How to make a drain in the garden: Why is it necessary?

Hello to all gardeners! Sometimes we observe that water accumulates in certain parts of our garden and this may be due to poor drainage. In today’s article we will learn how to make a drain in a simple and economical way to prevent our plants from drowning or the appearance of different diseases.

What is a drain?

Cultivation has always been given much more importance than soil. In fact, there are sayings that say that ” the soil is the poor brother of agriculture “. However, for the correct development of plants (with the exception of hydroponic and aeroponic crops) it is completely necessary to take care of both the soil and the plants.

One of the fundamental factors that influence whether the soil is suitable or not to produce is that there is good drainage. We know by the term “drainage” the action of extracting water from the soil to increase crop production and prevent flooding .

The origin of the water that we want to evacuate can come from:

  • The precipitation that falls directly in that area.
  • Due to the runoff of water from one area to another.
  • Due to the elevation of the water table due to irrigation or the elevation of the water of a nearby river.

Why is it necessary to drain the soil?

The main objectives that we want to meet when making an agricultural drainage are the following:

  • Avoid the water stress of the plants due to an excess of water and humidity.
  • Prevent diseases caused by fungi in plants.
  • Protect crops against runoff from heavy rains.
  • Eliminate excess salts in the soil. Salinity is a major problem in soils.
  • Maintain an ideal humidity for the development of crops.

In the following image you can see an example of a soil that does not drain well:

How to make a drain in the garden

Whether we grow in soil, on a grow table or in a pot, the drainage must be good. We will explain each of the cases below.

1. Drainage in pots

Making a drain in a pot is very simple. You simply have to make sure that there are some small holes at the bottom of the container (otherwise you can do them with the help of scissors or a screwdriver).

Next, before putting the earth in, we place small stones that partially cover the holes, as shown in the following image.

Once all the stones have been placed, we toss the earth and place our corresponding seeds or plants.

2. Grow table with drainage

If what we want is to drain a grow table, we have many options. Next I am going to show you the simplest ones.

  • Sometimes the grow tables have holes in their base to facilitate such drainage. For this reason, the simplest option is to place a plastic (normally it comes included with the table when you buy it) on the base, helping us with a stapler. It is important that this plastic (or mesh) is permeable to allow water to pass through it and fall to the ground.
  • On the contrary, we want to prevent the water from falling directly to the ground, we can make a hole (the size of the mouth of a bottle) in the base of the table. As we always support recycling, you can put the neck of a bottle in the hole and place a bucket right at the bottom. It is important that we place the hole in the part of the table that is more inclined so that the water travels to that place.
  • Next, to avoid damaging the wood of the table with the substrate, we can put a normal plastic on the base, cutting a circle right where the hole is. The next thing will be to put some gravel on the base that will favor drainage and, finally, place a permeable plastic on top. In this way we will have an effective drainage system that will help our plants to develop better.
  • Depending on the money we spend, a better or worse drainage system will be incorporated .

3. Drainage in the ground

In crops on soil we must favor drainage using an appropriate soil. Currently the most used is a gravel base, then coconut fiber or another similar substrate and finally worm castings.

Depending on your geographical situation (whether it rains a lot or not) it will be necessary to install a drainage system using pipes that allow the excess water to be collected and drained. These pipes would be placed at the bottom of the orchard and should have a short incline.

This is all for today, I hope you liked it and see you in the next article.

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