Waterlogged Garden: These Tricks Will Help You Avoid It

Gießt du deine Pflanzen zu oft, kann im Boden Staunässe entstehen.

As a hobby gardener, you surely know that waterlogging can be very harmful to your plants. In this article you will learn how to prevent your potted and garden plants from standing in permanently wet soil.

Waterlogging: why it harms your plants

Waterlogging occurs when you give your plants too much water and it cannot drain away properly. This leads to the roots permanently standing in wet soil. The water prevents the plant from absorbing oxygen and nutrients from the soil through its roots. If you don’t do anything about the waterlogging, the roots will eventually rot completely and your plant will die.

Therefore, it is important to prevent waterlogging from the very beginning. Because once the roots are dead, it is very difficult to save your plant.

Avoid waterlogging in the garden

Whether your garden plants are at risk of waterlogging depends primarily on the soil conditions of your plot. In addition, you should also avoid typical watering mistakes so as not to overwater your plant. By following the tips below, you’ll ensure that your garden plants are spared from waterlogging:

Check soil consistency: If the soil is well-drained, loose and sandy, you don’t have to worry because watering water will drain very well. In firm and loamy soil, on the other hand, water quickly accumulates. To find out exactly what your garden soil is like, you can look for indicator plants, for example. If you discover a lot of white clover, meadowsweet or field horsetail, this indicates very wet soil. Sorrel, plantain and hare’s-foot trefoil, on the other hand, indicate that you have very sandy soil in your garden.


Loosen the soil: If you suspect that your soil is too firm, the first thing to do is to use a shovel. Dig a circle around your plants, making sure to keep enough distance from the delicate roots. Once you have dug about half a meter deep, you can loosen the soil at the bottom with a hoe and mix it with sand. Also mix the excavated soil with sand and finally fill the mixture back into the hole. The sand ensures that the irrigation water can now drain away better and thus prevents waterlogging.


Install drainage: You can also prevent waterlogging by embedding a drainage layer in the soil. To do this, first dig a hole around your plant. Gravel is best suited as drainage. Cover the soil with a thin layer of gravel and then put the soil back into the hole. The small stones will loosen the soil and water will soak in better.


Water properly: One of the main causes of waterlogging is watering your plants too much or too often. Therefore, before watering, always test with your finger whether the top layer of soil has already dried out. If it is still moist, your plant does not need water. However, most plants tolerate occasional dryness better than too much wetness.


Tip: Before you place new plants in the soil, you should always first thoroughly loosen the soil at the location and, if necessary, mix it with sand. This way, the soil is well-drained from the start and your young plants are safe from waterlogging.

Avoid waterlogging with potted plants

Auch Topfpflanzen sind von Staunässe gefährdet, wenn das Wasser nicht richtig abfließen kann.

Keeping pot and container plants from getting waterlogged is relatively easy. Just like in the garden, you should only water your plants when the top layer of soil has dried out. In addition, you can prevent water from collecting in the pot with a few simple steps:

Avoid waterlogging in the planter: It’s best to use flower pots that have a hole at the bottom through which excess water can drain away. Most planters look nice, but they lack these holes. If you still want to use planters, you can avoid waterlogging by placing one or more small stones in the planter and then placing the flower pot on top. This will allow the water to drain away better.


Check the saucer: If you use coasters, you should periodically check to see if water has collected in them. Empty the saucers as often as possible so that your plants are not permanently standing in water.


Loosen the soil in the pot: Even with potted plants, you should loosen the soil from time to time. You can do this either carefully with your fingers or a small shovel. But be careful not to damage the roots of the plant!


Clay granules instead of soil: Instead of potting soil, you can also place your plants in clay granules or expanded clay. This material retains moisture and gradually releases it to the plant. This is also very practical if you can’t water your plants for long periods of time, as is often the case with office plants, for example.


Watering systems: If you are unsure exactly how much water your plants need, you can use automatic watering systems. These are available in garden stores, for example. The practical thing about these devices is that they always tell you exactly how much moisture your plant needs, giving you more confidence when watering.


Sand and gravel as drainage: Even with potted plants, you can create a drainage layer of sand or gravel at the bottom of the pot so that the water drains off better and no waterlogging occurs.

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