How To Add Garden Drainage (13 Ways)

Your garden isn’t just a place to grow plants and flowers. It’s also a place for you to relax, entertain family and friends, and have fun. 

But you need to make sure that your garden is able to handle the extra water from rainstorms and irrigation so your plants don’t get damaged. 

The best way to do this is by adding drainage solutions that help take care of excess water in your garden so it doesn’t pool up on the surface or become stagnant underneath the soil. 

In this article we’ll discuss some of the best ways you can add drainage solutions like french drains, dry wells with septic stubbed areas or even create a bioretention pond in order to keep your garden healthy while still looking beautiful!

Fixing garden drainage issues
Proper garden drainage is essential for healthy plants and soil.
Adding the right soil is key to ensuring healthy plants.
Garden edging can help keep your beds tidy and make mowing around them easier.
There are a variety of techniques you can use to absorb water in your garden.
Building a support system after experiencing grief and loss can make a big difference.

The Right Soil for Your Plants

In order to grow healthy plants, your soil needs to have the right pH (pH is a measure of acidity), texture (how sand-like or clay-like it is), fertility (how much nutrients are available), temperature (too hot or cold will kill your plants), drainage (too wet or dry can cause root rot) and moisture content.

Soil pH levels range from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral. Ideally, you want your garden soil pH level between 6 and 7 for most plants — any less than 5.5 and you risk having nutrient deficiencies in your garden; any higher than 7 makes it harder for plants to absorb nutrients from their roots into their bodies; too high or too low of a pH level can also trigger pathogens in some species of fungi which will kill your crops without warning! 

If you’re unsure about how many amendments you need to add in order for it all to balance out properly then I recommend just going ahead with some kind of pre-mix fertilizer since they’ll definitely help out with this issue!

 If you’re looking for ways to absorb water from your garden, one option is to use a rain garden. Essentially, a rain garden is an area of your yard designed to collect and absorb rainwater runoff. To learn more about creating a rain garden, check out our guide on how to absorb water from a lawn and garden.

Choose the right soil for your plants.

A healthy and thriving garden requires the right soil. Soil should be well drained, nutrient-rich, and of the right texture for your plant’s needs. It should also be pH balanced and free of weeds or pests.

If you have a large area to fill with new soil, consider purchasing topsoil in bulk (usually sold by the cubic yard). This can be delivered directly to your home or poured over a small area at a time using wheelbarrows or other large containers.

Choosing Soil for Your Plants

Key Factors to ConsiderDescription
DrainageSoil should be well-drained but still capable of retaining some water. Consider adding organic matter or sand to improve drainage.
Nutrient ContentSoil should have the necessary nutrients for your specific plant’s needs. Consider adding fertilizer or compost.
TextureSoil texture should match the needs of your plant. Some plants prefer sandy soil, while others need soil with more clay.
pH BalanceSoil pH should be in the optimal range for your plant’s needs. Consider testing soil and adjusting pH if necessary.
Free of Weeds and PestsSoil should be free of weeds, pests, or other contaminants that can harm your plants. Consider sterilizing soil before planting.

This table provides the key factors to consider when choosing soil for your plants. It includes descriptions of each factor and tips on how to improve soil to better match your plant’s needs.

Use Larger Pots

Use larger pots. When planting a new plant or transplanting one, use a pot that’s at least one size larger than the root ball. This will help prevent soil compaction and waterlogging, which can cause roots to rot and plants to decline.

Use pots with holes in them for drainage. Your garden may have many drainage problems if you don’t use pots that have holes in them for drainage; all of your plants will be affected by this, especially during heavy rains or long periods of time when they’re prone to over-watering.

Proper garden drainage is essential for healthy plants and soil. One way to improve drainage is to add a layer of gravel to the bottom of your planting container or bed. To learn more about this and other tips for improving garden drainage, check out our article on how to add garden drainage.

Add a Mulch Layer

You can also add a mulch layer to your garden. A mulch is simply any material that’s added to the top of your soil, such as wood chips or bark. 

This helps to retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing. As long as you keep adding fresh mulch regularly, it will help control weeds which reduces the need for weeding and fertilizing.

The amount of mulch you would want to use depends on how large your garden is; more surface area means more potential weeds can grow in it!

Create Raised Beds

If you want to grow veggies, fruit trees, or flowers, raised beds are a good option. They’re easy to access and work in (no bending over or kneeling). You can weed them easily, too.

Raised beds can be made from several materials wooden slats or boards; concrete blocks; stone; brick; paver stones and are often filled with good garden soil and compost.

Whether you’re starting a new garden or refreshing an existing one, adding the right soil is key to ensuring healthy plants. One option is to use a soil blend that includes a variety of organic matter. To learn more about this and other ways to add soil to your garden, check out our guide on how to add garden soil.

Water Carefully

To water effectively, you should:

Water plants when they need it. Plants have different watering needs according to their size, type and location. Some plants need little or no water at all while others require regular watering (especially during hot weather). 

Be sure to check the plant tag on the plant’s container for specific watering instructions before you begin.

Do not over-water! Over-watering can drown your plants by causing root rot or root decay. The soil should be moist but not soggy or muddy and never allow standing water in containers/pots/containers at any time as this will cause fungus growth which will kill your plant if left unchecked for too long.

Water early in morning; avoid evening sprinklers because this may encourage fungal growth inside a container (fungus loves warm moist conditions). Also remember not to water if rain is forecasted because this could lead to runoff issues later down road with your drainage system!

Tips for Watering Your Plants

Key Factors to ConsiderDescription
Plant TypeDifferent plants have different watering needs based on their size, type, and location. Research your plant’s watering needs to avoid over- or under-watering.
Soil TypeSoil type can impact how often and how much to water your plants. Sandy soil drains more quickly, while clay soil holds more water.
Time of DayWatering in the morning allows plants to absorb water before the heat of the day. Avoid watering in the evening which can promote fungus growth.
Amount of WaterProvide enough water to reach the roots, but avoid over-watering which can cause root rot. A general rule of thumb is to water until the soil is moistened about 6 inches deep.
Container vs GroundContainer plants may require more frequent watering than those in the ground. Take care not to overwater container plants, as the water may not drain as effectively.

This table provides tips and key factors to consider when watering your plants effectively. It includes descriptions of each factor and practical tips on how to water to avoid under- or over-watering.

Install Drainage Tiles

Drainage tiles are a great way to get rid of excess water from your garden. You can buy them in many different sizes, colors and patterns. They’re also easy to install above or below ground. Drainage tiles are available in 4″, 6″ and 8″ sizes, so you’ll be able to find the right one for your project or area size.

These drainage systems work by directing water through the surface and into holes at the bottom of each tile where it then flows into an underground pipe beneath the soil surface. 

This keeps those areas dry while allowing excess water to flow away so that plants don’t drown during heavy rains or snows!

Garden edging can help keep your beds tidy and make mowing around them easier. One option for edging is to use stone bricks or pavers, which can provide a natural and attractive border for your beds. To learn more about this and other ways to add edging to your garden, check out our article on how to add garden edging.

Incorporate a Sump Pump Into Your Garden Design

If you’re worried about excess water in your garden, installing a sump pump may be the best solution. A sump pump is an electric-powered device that pumps out water from below the surface of your property. 

If you have a lot of water, such as with a pond or swimming pool, then this may be your best bet for drainage. You can also use it to discharge water into storm drains or dry wells if needed.

Create an Outdoor Kitchen or Entertainment Area

If you’re ready to turn your backyard into a resort-style oasis, consider adding an entertainment area. You don’t have to spend a fortune on this just put in some seating and an outdoor kitchen. For the entertainment part, you can set up a bar area with stools around it. 

Or if you prefer cooking outdoors, create an outdoor kitchen that includes all the appliances you need (stovetop and oven). Add in some shelves for storage, then add seating areas nearby for guests as well as yourself when cooking!

Finally, don’t forget about lighting! You’ll want both overhead lighting and task lighting so everyone can see what they’re doing at night time when entertaining guests at home or during parties/events held there.

 When it comes to absorbing water in your garden, there are a variety of techniques you can use. One option is to create a swale, or a shallow ditch that allows water to flow through your garden. To learn more about this and other techniques for absorbing water, check out our guide on how to absorb water in a garden.

Drainage Ditch

A ditch is a trench that’s dug from your garden to the edge of your property, where all the water can drain. It can be as simple as an area of soil about 6 inches deep and 3 feet wide, but more complex versions with curbs or even small dams are also possible.

Ditches are usually lined with rocks or plastic, which act like sieves to catch any large debris (like large stones) while allowing water to pass through.

French Drain

A French drain is a trench filled with gravel, rocks or concrete that channels water to a lower spot in the yard. In addition to preventing water from pooling on your lawn, it can also be used as an aesthetic feature. 

The installation process is relatively straightforward: dig a trench and fill it with gravel from one end to another. You can add drainage pipes at regular intervals if you want to improve the flow of water through your French drain system.

Dry Well or Septic Stubbed Area

The dry well or septic stubbed area is a hole in the ground that collects water. It’s best to avoid digging this out because it’s really easy to get lost and end up swimming in your own waste. 

If you decide to go ahead with either of these options, use caution and make sure not to dig too deep or else you might fall down into an underground river where there are piranhas that eat people!

Rainwater Garden or Bioretention Pond

If you’ve never heard of a rain garden, it’s time to learn. A rain garden is a shallow depression in the landscape designed to collect and detain runoff. 

Rain gardens are planted with native plants that are well-suited for their location, which prevents erosion and flooding while providing habitat for wildlife. Rain gardens can be added to your property right now, regardless of what kind of soil you have (or don’t have).


We hope you’ve enjoyed our list. We know how hard it can be to find the right garden drainage system for your needs, and we want you to feel confident in your choice.

Further Reading

Forbes: Yard Drainage Solutions: This article provides a detailed look at yard drainage solutions, including tips for improving yard drainage and troubleshooting common problems.

Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners: 13 Garden Drainage Ideas: This blog post provides 13 ideas for improving garden drainage, including tips for incorporating drainage systems into garden design.

The Spruce: DIY Yard Drainage Methods: This article provides a comprehensive guide to DIY yard drainage methods, including how to diagnose drainage problems, how to choose the right drainage solutions, and how to properly install them.


What are some signs that my garden may have drainage problems?

Some signs that your garden may have drainage problems include standing water, yellowing or stunted plant growth, and soil that remains soggy long after watering or rainfall.

How can I improve drainage in my garden?

There are several techniques you can use to improve drainage in your garden, including creating a drainage system, adding organic matter to your soil, and installing raised garden beds or containers.

What are some DIY yard drainage methods that I can use?

Some DIY yard drainage methods include creating a rain garden, building a French drain, using dry well systems, and installing permeable pavers.

How can I choose the right drainage solution for my yard?

Choosing the right drainage solution for your yard depends on a variety of factors, such as the size and slope of your yard, the soil type, and the drainage problems you’re experiencing. Consulting with a professional landscaper or drainage expert can help you determine the best solution for your needs.

Do I need to hire a professional to install a drainage system in my garden?

While some DIY drainage solutions can be effective, installing a drainage system in your garden can be a complex and labor-intensive process. In many cases, hiring a professional landscaper or drainage expert may be necessary to ensure the job is done correctly and in a timely manner.