How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

Last update: 2021-04-18

If you frequently find some puddles through your garden after rains or watering it, maybe you have to check if there is any drainage problem to find out the right solution.

Don’t worry if you’re just so new about this stuff, our experts have listed out the most common causes and how to fix garden drainage problems. Read on!

Common Reasons For Poor Garden Drainage

To get the right solution for your poor garden drainage, it’s important to understand what causes the problem. Here are the most common ones:

  • You overwater your garden

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

  • Thick, water-retentive clay terrain (and this generally happens in England)

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

  • Your garden is located on compact soil that probably was created by the mix of topsoil and subsoil when your house was built

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

  • Changes of underground springs after heavy, constant rainfall

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

  • Clogged, too short, or no guttering in your house or outbuildings

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

  • The drainage system of your neighbor’s garden diverts water into yours
  • Your garden has an impermeable surface that disturbs water drainage (such as patios or paved driveways)
  • Your garden is on a lower degree than your surroundings or at the bottom of a slope/hill

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

  • Too high level of the natural underground spring located beneath your garden
  • The uneven surface of your garden, which is prone to create puddles
  • Results of a construction project with too deep foundations that divert the water, such as a swimming pool extension or house extension

How To Fix Garden Drainage Problems

If The Cause Is Impact Soil

Fix them by adjusting the surface level.

In the worst case, install a dry well or a French drain below the topsoil to help divert and redistribute excess water.

The differences between these two methods are:

Dry wells

French drains


At the endpoint of a French drain, swale, or creek

Almost anywhere because it’s versatile

Structure/How it works

Install a large concrete or metal basin with holes in its side, or a drainage fabric weighted sleeve

Excess water once collected will run through this basin/sleeve and drain out the nearby porous soil

Feature a drainage pipe and a long trench filled with substrate materials (like gravel) buried beneath the soil

This system runs from your house along the drain length

For serious poor drainage issues, combining two of these methods is the most effective solution. But take note that they are only recommended if the surrounding soil is porous and well-drained.

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

To check if the terrain of your garden is suitable for this method, dig a small hole at the surrounding area, then pour water into it. Count the time that it takes to drain out completely.

You’ll need:

  • Rock and gravel
  • Topsoil
  • Concrete/metal dry well sections and/or drainage cloth
  • Post digger
  • Shovel
  • Waterproof plastic pipe

If The Cause Is Uneven Surface Or Low Degrees Of Location

In this case, it’s essential to change these puddles into a rain garden.

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

This might not be 100% for solving the poor water drainage in your garden but definitely looks more beautiful than a deep hole filled with mud and grass.

What is a rain garden? It is where you will grow some water-loving plants, such as ornamental mosses, ferns, and hostas.

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

During downpours, rainwater is collected and accommodated here to nourish these plants. It will drain completely within 24 hours depending on how porous your garden soil and the depth of the garden.

You’ll need:

  • Water-friendly plants
  • PVC pipes
  • Landscape fabric
  • Gravel
  • Decorative stones
  • River rock
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Level

If The Cause Is Your Guttering


If your hour or outbuilding doesn’t have a gutter system, add one. If there’s one and you find that it’s clogged, unclog it by swiping and removing debris. Hire a professional handyman if you find yourself isn’t good at this field.

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

In case that the system is too short, consider extending it away from your garden/house. But make sure to divert the water to a safe drainage source or storm drain, not another property.

You’ll need:

  • Bolts
  • Washers
  • Screws
  • Pliers
  • Power drill
  • Extra drain spout materials

If The Cause Is You Overwater Your Garden

This is the simplest case to solve.

To check it, you need to cut off the amount of your watering and observe the puddles around your garden within one or two weeks.

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

If they drain well, that means there are no problems from the guttering, the soil, or anything but just it doesn’t keep up with your watering schedule. The solution is to decrease the time of watering your garden as well as the amount of your watering.

If you use an automated irrigation system, reset and adjust its timer appropriately.

Other Causes

After extending your guttering, the drainage issues haven’t been solved yet, consider setting up a drainage swale or an artificial creek.

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

This not only diverts water away from those soggy spots in your garden but also creates an interesting accent to the landscape because it’s basically a long trench filled with decorative gravel and rocks.

You’ll need:

  • Rocks
  • Gravel
  • Spades
  • Shovels
  • Something to remove excess dirt

How To Prevent Further Poor Drainage In Your Garden

Here are some extra tips and tricks for you to prevent further drainage problems in your garden:

  • Rearrange or remove some stones from your garden if you check that they disturb the runoff
  • Aerate the soil to loosen it, which helps water drains faster and more easily

How Do You Fix Garden Drainage Problems?

  • Frequently check the guttering of your house or outbuildings; make sure that it’s clogged
  • Take care of your soil


Above are all the solutions to fix garden drainage problems. Some of them might be expensive and time-taking; if you don’t know where to start, consider hiring an experienced or ask for a consultant from some pro landscaping designers.

We hope that our guide was helpful to you. Thanks for reading!

Harry Ramos
Harry Ramos

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