‘Plants can become ruined’ – stop your garden flooding in 4 easy steps

Gloucester man has to put up with sewage flooding his home

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Heavy rain has prompted several Met Office flood warnings across the country with more downpours expected later this week. While potted plants are easy to shelter from severe weather conditions,  flowerbeds and lawns can suffer from waterlogging, and in some cases, plants can even die off. Gardening experts have shared exactly how to protect your garden against flooding in wet conditions.

Waterlogged soil can devastate plants by reducing the amount of oxygen available to the roots.

Yellow leaves, root rot and wilted blooms are all common side effects of boggy soil conditions and will eventually lead to the demise of both new and established plants.

An expert at Gardeningetc.com said: “Garden drainage solutions are a must if you live somewhere that’s graced by heavy rainfall frequently. Without necessary measures in place to control water run-off, plots can begin to flood, flower beds can erode, and plants can become ruined.”

It’s not just excessive rain that can cause this either. Blocked drains and collapsed pipes are also worth watching out for during autumn and winter. 

How to stop your garden from flooding

Whether it’s your lawn, flowerbeds, or even your patio that’s prone to harbouring excess rainwater, there are a few easy ways to resolve these issues ahead of the poor weather.

Aerate your lawn

David Hedges Gower, founder of the Lawn Association said: “Aeration will allow the best chance for your lawn to survive if you have flooding.

“It will ensure there is adequate space in the soil beneath your lawn for soaking up as much water as possible.”

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He explained that simply piercing your lawn with a gardening fork is not enough to change the soil structure and relieve its compactness, and will “rarely improve” the condition of the grass for more than a few minutes.

Instead, use a plug aerator. The plugs will naturally break down into your lawn’s surface and are much more effective for long-term results.

Add grit to flowerbeds

In planting areas, drainage can be improved by adding horticultural potting grit or bark chippings to the soil.

These organic materials absorb moisture from the bed while improving drainage.

Scatter the materials around your plants and dig over the soil. The water will slowly percolate through the bed to prevent waterlogging.

An expert at Gardeningetc.com said: “If you get lots of rain in your region, you may want to swap out borders for raised garden beds instead as they tend to be better for drainage and the soil structure is easier to control.”

Install drainage panels

Patios are non-porous and prone to flooding during heavy downpours. To prevent water from gathering on the surface, Chris Moorhouse of Wickes recommended installing drainage panels.

He explained that this is the “most effective” approach for patios and driveways – particularly around garages and conservatories.

Re-design your patio

If you are in the market for a new patio or some garden landscaping, it is worth considering weather-proof options.

Chris advised that permeable paving and budget-friendly gravel are both good for reducing the amount of rainwater on the surface.

Another option is to use a sloped patio. Even a slight incline or decline can help drain rainwater run-off into nearby drainage areas.

The pavement should slope away from your property to prevent surface water from ‘hanging’ against the masonry of a building, which could lead to problems with dampness.

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