How to Fix Poor Soil Drainage

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To fix poor soil drainage, raise all of the flower beds up at least a foot or two to provide enough room for water to drain off. Create a series of raised flower beds to promote proper drainage with plant tips from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Tips & Tricks
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about how to fix poor soil drainage. Now I know about this very well. I live on a hill now so everything drains off pretty well. But when I lived in Vancouver we lived in an area that was just a mud pit, it was basically a boggy area for six months out of the year. So nothing drained, it just sat in muck. So to fix that there's a few things that we did. And first of all we put French drains all the way through this property. So basically you just cut a hole or drainage ditch basically in rows all the way through the property, and then you put some plastic tubing in there just so that it won't break back down and fill it up, and then the water goes down into that tube and it flushes out but the side into the storm drains. And so by doing that we got a lot of the water out of our beds. But what we found that worked out more than anything is raising everything up. So whatever type of soil you have, especially in you're in a mud, mucky clay pit, just get a lot of dirt delivered, rocks, especially, so if you get a layer of rocks or a layer of compost, and you build up your flower beds one or two feet above the muck, you will find even if you have poor drainage, the plants will do really well because they're above it. So by building up raised beds and putting rocks underneath or building it up, then you will find that the water will not sit where the plants are and everything will grow really well. And you really can't do a lot with the actual muddiest areas, you can try to do the drains and then put maybe some rocks in that area, or build a little pond in that area too, that's always nice. But whatever you do you can never really fix the situation completely, you just have to work around it, so if you have bad drainage, divert the water somewhere else by using ditches or build raised beds above. And especially if you have a lawn and your lawn is just dying 'cause it's wet all the time, get a truckload of compost or potting soil delivered, put it above your existing lawn and then grass seed it like no get out every spring and fall and you will find that you'll build it up and over time if you've got your lawn maybe a foot above instead of three inches above the muck, it'll grow much better and you'll have a gorgeous garden for the next year.

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