How To Absorb Water In A Garden (12 Sure Ways)

Water is the most important element of gardening. It’s essential for growing healthy plants, and keeping your garden hydrated is vital to its success. 

But water doesn’t always get to where it needs to be in your garden. That’s where these 16 tips come in: they’ll help you make sure every drop goes where it needs to go, helping your plants thrive!

Deep Watering – How to do it & Why it Matters to Your Garden
Best methods for garden drainage
Effective ways to absorb water in the garden
Tips for adding garden soil
Easy fixes for adjusting garden hose sprinklers
Ways to add color to your garden
Watering tips for garden maintenance

Install Rain Barrels

If you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, you may want to consider installing a rain barrel. These are barrels that collect the water from your rooftop or gutters that would normally be wasted and then allows you to use the collected rainwater as needed. 

Some people use their rain barrels exclusively for watering plants while others use them for other purposes such as washing cars or watering pets. The best part is they are very inexpensive and easy to install yourself!

To improve garden drainage, one effective method is to add drainage tiles or pipes to direct excess water away from the garden. Check out our article on “how to add garden drainage” for more tips and methods for improving your garden drainage.

Mulch Your Beds

If you’re interested in reducing the amount of water your garden uses, mulching is one of the best ways to do it. The reason for this is that mulch acts as an insulator, preventing water from evaporating out of your soil.

If you want to use a thick layer of mulch on top of your beds or around plants, try using straw, hay or woodchip. 

This will help retain moisture and also reduce weeds from growing through it. Mulching can also be used to protect against soil erosion by acting like a barrier between your plants’ roots and the ground below where they grow up from.

Mulching Benefits Table

Benefits of Mulching
Reduces water usage
Prevents soil erosion
Regulates soil temperature
Suppresses weed growth
Adds nutrients to garden soil
Enhances garden aesthetics
Promotes healthier plant growth
Reduces soil compaction
Cost-effective garden maintenance method
Minimizes garden maintenance time

Use Woodchip Paths

One of the best ways to absorb water in your garden is to use woodchip paths. Woodchips are a great material for absorbing water because they form a barrier from the water, which prevents it from pooling on the ground and assists in keeping your garden dry. 

It is best to use untreated woodchips for this purpose, as treated chips can contain chemicals that can leach into soil or harm plants over time. 

You can also use them indoors in your home if you have pets that tend to play outside; otherwise, it may be safer for them if you opt for using mulch instead of woodchips on your patios and walkways!

Effective water absorption is key to maintaining the health of your garden. Learn how to absorb water from your garden and lawn using different methods such as using a rain barrel or employing mulching techniques. Check out our article on how to absorb water from a lawn and garden to learn more.

Cover Bare Soil

Cover bare soil with mulch. Mulch is a great way to absorb water, especially during times when the ground is dry. 

Mulch can be wood chips, straw, or bark. You can use it in beds and paths, or around trees and shrubs.

Do Your Watering Early

It’s common knowledge that watering plants in the heat of the day can make them more susceptible to fungal diseases and other ailments. But did you know that watering early in the morning is actually better for your garden?

Watering early will help prevent heat stress on your plants (and you!). The temperatures are cooler, which means it won’t take as much liquid to saturate their roots. 

Plus, since most people tend to get up earlier than they go to bed, this also gives you a few hours before things start heating up again outside.

If you water at nightfall or later in the evening after sunset, much of that liquid will evaporate before reaching its intended destination; this leaves any thirsty plants out in the hot sun without enough moisture to keep their systems running smoothly.

Adding proper garden soil can be essential for a garden’s health and growth. One key method is to add compost to your garden which provides necessary nutrients and organic matter. Check out our guide on how to add garden soil to learn more about the best methods and materials for your garden.

Water Deeply

If you’re watering your plants at all, they’re probably getting the bare minimum of water they need to survive. Don’t just sprinkle around the surface water all the way down to their roots so that they can grow deep and strong.

Wait until the top inch or two of soil dries out before watering again (which will be less often than you think). The plant itself does not have a lot of moisture storage capacity, so it’s important to avoid over-watering by letting it dry out completely between watering sessions.

Keep an eye on your soil’s moisture levels by putting your finger into the ground about four inches deep; if it feels dry, give it some water!

Benefits of Watering Deeply Table

Benefits of Watering Deeply
Promotes healthy root growth
Reduces risk of overwatering
Encourages drought-tolerant plants
Supports deeper and stronger plant growth
Reduces water runoff and evaporation
Reduces weed growth
Better nutrient absorption
Increases moisture retention
Decreases watering frequency
Cost-effective garden maintenance method

Add Lucerne Hay Mulch

If your soil is heavy and clay-like (which can be the case in many parts of Australia), it’s a good idea to add some lucerne hay mulch to help retain water in your garden beds.

Lucerne hay is an ideal mulch for use underneath vegetables as it provides excellent drainage, as well as improving the soil structure and retaining moisture.

To apply lucerne hay, spread around 2-3cm (1 inch) thick over the surface of your vegetable or flowerbeds prior to planting out seedlings or sowing seeds, then cover with another layer of topsoil. This will provide both nutrients and protection from frost during winter months.

Adjusting garden hose sprinklers can help ensure even and efficient watering for your garden. Learn how to adjust and fix these sprinklers with our easy-to-follow guide on how to adjust a garden hose sprinkler.

Build Swales

Swales are a type of water management system that collects rainwater and redirects it to areas where it is needed. 

Swales can be built from wood, plastic or metal, depending on your budget and time constraints. The size of your swale will depend on how much water you want to collect the larger the swale, the more water will be collected.

The most common types of swales include:

  • A mounded swale—this style requires minimal digging since only an area about 2 feet wide needs to be cleared before construction begins
  • A trench-style swale—this kind of ditch must be dug 6 inches deep and 18 inches wide before construction begins

Install A French Drain

Installing a French drain is a great way to manage water in your garden. French drains are installed under the ground and can be installed above the ground as well.

They come in a variety of styles and can be used for many different purposes.

Adding colorful plants and flowers is a great way to add vibrancy and life to your garden. Check out our article on how to add color to a garden for tips and tricks on choosing and arranging plants and flowers to create a beautiful and colorful garden space.

Build A Berm Around Your Garden

A berm is a mound of soil that is used to prevent water from flowing away from the garden. Berms can be made using soil, compost and mulch. 

They can also be built using a variety of materials, including wood chips, straw and bark. You can also create your own by stacking large stones along the edge of your garden bed or around individual plants. 

This will keep water from running off too quickly and keep it in place for longer periods of time.

Create A Hugelkulter Garden Bed

Hugelkultur beds are a great way to absorb moisture from the soil and create a garden bed that is both beautiful and functional. Hugelkultur means “hill culture” in German, because these raised beds look like little hills when they’re done right.

Here’s how to build one:

First, you’ll need a large area of land with plenty of room for digging. If you don’t have space for this sort of project on your property, consider renting a plot at one of many local community gardens around the world (search them here).

Next, dig out two holes that are wider than they are deep about 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep in total would make good hugelkultur beds and fill each hole with limbs or logs. You can also use branches or pieces of wood if you’re going for more rustic style! 

The idea is just to make sure there’s plenty of material for decomposing into rich soil later on down the line when it’s time for planting seeds or seedlings; any kind of organic material will do just fine here! Now cover those logs up again so that only about 1 foot remains exposed above ground level: You’ve got yourself an edible hillside!

Make Keyhole Garden Beds

Keyhole garden beds are a great way to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers. The shape of the bed helps water to soak in, which is especially important in dry climates or during droughts. Because the shape is so easy to weed, this type of gardening can even be done by kids!

When you make a keyhole garden bed (sometimes called a “cloche”), you dig out an area about 2 feet deep by 3 feet wide and then build up soil around three sides like an igloo. 

You fill this hollow with compost and plant seeds or transplants at ground level; they will grow up through holes cut into each side of your trough-shaped container as they reach maturity.


You can have a beautiful garden and still be environmentally conscious. There are plenty of ways to use water in your garden that won’t waste it, like using mulch or hay for example. 

You can also make keyhole beds which don’t require watering because they are shallow enough to absorb moisture from the soil around them.

Further Reading

The Spruce: Watering Deeply: This article provides tips for watering your garden efficiently, and understanding the importance of deep watering for healthy plant growth.

Efficient Use of Water in the Garden and Landscape: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides an informative guide on the proper and effective use of water in gardens and landscapes, including irrigation methods and water-saving tips.

The Proper Way to Water Your Garden: HGTV offers a comprehensive guide on the proper way to water your garden, including techniques for watering different types of plants and soil moisture-testing methods.


What are some common watering mistakes in gardening?

Common watering mistakes in gardening include overwatering, underwatering, watering at the wrong time of day, and using incorrect watering techniques.

How often should I water my garden?

The frequency of watering your garden depends on various factors such as the plant type, soil type, and climate. As a general guideline, it is recommended to water deeply and less frequently, around one inch of water per week.

How do I know when to water my garden?

You can tell when your garden needs water by checking the soil moisture level. Stick your finger about an inch or two into the soil, and if it feels dry, it’s time to water.

How much water should I use per plant?

The amount of water per plant varies depending on the size, type, and growth stage of the plant. As a general guideline, plants typically require around one inch of water per week.

What are some water-efficient gardening methods?

Some water-efficient gardening methods include using a drip irrigation system, mulching, selecting drought-tolerant plants, and adjusting your watering schedule based on seasonal changes.