We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Should I Know About Garden Drainage?

By Erika Peterson
Updated: May 17, 2024

As an essential element of any garden, proper garden irrigation not only includes sprinklers and drip systems, but also garden drainage. Proper garden drainage allows for a beautiful garden area and a structure that is free of foundation damage. Garden drainage ensures the heath and prosperity of your plants and the safety of your home.

Prior to beginning any new garden project, it is important to check the area’s drainage. In fact, it is best if a garden area is chosen based on a specific location’s drainage as well as environment. Once you have chosen the best location for your garden based on sunlight and shade, the best thing to do is to check drainage of the area before you plant your garden.

Checking the garden drainage of a perspective area is a relatively easy task that is as simple as digging a hole. The needs to be an even shape with a depth that is twice the width of the hole, try digging a hole that is 12 inches x 12 inches x 24 inches (about 30 cm x 30 cm x 60 cm). Next, fill the large hole halfway with water from your garden hose and wait 24 hours. The next day the hole should be empty. If it is, you have found an ideal garden location because it has great drainage. On the other hand, if the hole still has water in it, your chosen area may need some help with increasing drainage before creating your garden space.

There are many ways to increase an area's garden drainage. One of the most popular — and easiest — ways is to add dirt and soil to create hills and slopes in the garden. In areas that have clay or other hard soils increasing drainage may be as simple as replacing a few inches of hard soil with a high quality top soil.

However, if these methods do not work, garden drainage piping may be the only answer for your desired garden space. Garden drainage pipes should be installed prior to any work being completed in a garden. In fact, they should be invisible to the eye after the garden is completed.

Besides making sure that your garden space has the appropriate amount of drainage, the direction of water flow is also important. Regardless of the drainage method that is used, the water should flow away from a home or structure. This will prevent any structural damage to the building and ensure a healthy garden and home.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By wfarmer — On Aug 23, 2009

I think you should check out the math in your answer to the question "What Should I Know about Garden Drainage?” There are 2.54 cm/inch. Thus a hole 30 cm wide and 60 cm deep would be approximately 12 inches wide by 24 inches deep, not 75 inches by 150 inches. The latter would be a very large hole for checking drainage, although digging such a hole might go a long way toward fixing a garden that had poor drainage.

By the way I like your site. It was a big help with explaining "digging bars".

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.