Testing your soil for drainage
In a recent article we looked at identifying your soil structure, and a few tips to improve it.
When working with your garden is also important to determine whether you have drainage problems or not.
Many plants will eventually die if their roots stay too wet. To test your soil’s drainage:
- Dig a hole approximately 40cm deep and at least 15cm in diameter.
- Fill the hole with water and leave to drain overnight.
- Fill the hole with water again and watch how fast the water drains.
- If the water sits in the hole it’s poorly-drained.
- If after an hour the level has a couple of centimetres it’s moderately well-drained.
- If it drains faster than that, it’s considered very well-drained.
So what should you do if you have poor drainage?
Well, you could think about adding a creek bed, or maybe add a french drain. In some contexts you could add berms or swales, but more popular back yard solutions are adding a pond or even a rain garden!