If you’ve suffered from the problem of flooded soil before then you know the pain of a lost harvest that was so close to ripening. Luckily, there are ways that you can prevent it from happening again.
Even if you don’t have a big enough garden to create a drain or run-off areas, you can still implement small solutions that will work as long as you make sure to act at the right time. First and foremost, you should be mindful of the weather forecast and whether it calls for rain.
A few days ahead of the rain spell, you should begin by picking up fallen leaves or pebbles that may block the drains, leading the soil to absorb all the moisture. Remember to have a look at the drain as well and pick up any leaves that surround it because these can get carried into the drain and allow a blockage. If you don’t have the time to pick leaves yourself, you can purchase a garden vacuum to do it for you.
You can optimize your soil to have the best drainage possible by adding organic matter like peat mulch or compost. While this will increase your soil’s absorbency, you can add heavy topsoil like bark or fresh mulch to protect your crops’ roots. If there are parts of your garden where the soil tends to get flooded often, add adequate topsoil that’s mixed with some sand.
Leaf mold is made from leaves that have decayed and serves as an excellent conditioner for your soil. Whether you’re getting rain or not, it’s always a good idea to add some to your soil every year; it can increase the soil’s ability to retain more water, which is excellent in the case when you’re expecting heavy rainfall.
Since leaf mold generally doesn’t need to be used more than once a year, you’ll have plenty of it as long as you’re adding to the pile. It takes around two years to finely decay and turn into compost that’s much more refined.
Another factor you need to make sure of is that your soil isn’t compacted i.e. has few air pockets and isn’t well-aerated. This is actually a fairly common problem that leads to waterlogged soil and it highlights the importance of tilling your soil often. If the soil is compacted, it keeps water from passing through the top layer of the soil, therefore allowing water to collect and subsequently drowning the crops.
By aerating your soil regularly, you can create more air pockets in it which lets roots have better access to oxygen and other nutrients. In this case, aerating it gives water a way to pass through the top layer and increases the soil’s absorbency. You can use a number of tools, such as a garden fork, to aerate your soil.
These are some of the preventative measures you can take a few days before a heavy rain spell to help reduce the chances of waterlogging and flooding in your garden. Make sure that you don’t waste any time after learning that a heavy downpour is on its way because carrying out the above-mentioned measures takes time. Happy Farming!