Understanding What a Well-Drained Soil Is
If you are new to gardening, you may have come across the term “well-drained soil” multiple times. Most garden blogs emphasize its importance since it can affect the growth of plants. It may sound self-explanatory but that term is actually more than what it means.
There are a lot of contributing factors that make soil well-drained. Let’s find out what does are.
What does well-drained soil mean?
It is soil that drains water well after watering it. For this to happen, the soil should have adequate space between each particle. The spaces allow the free movement of water and oxygen. If the spaces are too narrow, it will drain the water slowly. If the spaces are wider, they will drain fast.
Not all soils are equal. There will be ones that are always preferred by gardeners because they drain well. Before buying one, make sure to research its structure. For example, clay soils are not suitable for plants that need to be watered more than once a day because they don’t drain water fast.
What can I do to know my soil is well-drained?
You can do this test to know if your soil can drain water well:
- Dig a 12” square and 12” deep hole then fill it with water.
- Wait for the water to drain. Then, fill it with water again but measure how deep the water is with a ruler. Take note of the measurement.
- Check how deep the water is after 15 minutes. Subtract the new measurement from the first one then multiply it by 4. This will determine the drain speed in one hour.
- A well-drained soil will drain 1 to 6 inches of water per hour.
- If it is lower than 1 inch, then your soil is wet. If it is higher than 6 inches, then it is dry.
What are the tips on making well-drained soil?
If you’ve found out that your soil is either dry or wet after the test, you can still remedy this by doing the following:
- Use organic matter.
- Build raised beds if the water is too high.
- Form channels to divert water in your dry planting area.
A well-drained soil will depend on its structure. Knowing this will help you apply the proper solution to your soil problem.