Rain Would Be Welcomed By Most Of Us. But Here’s Why Rain Doesn’t Help A Parched Garden. it Doesn’t Soak In As The Video Shows.
Sadly any rain we get in the next few days isn’t going to do a lot of good in many gardens. Because dry soil is almost “waterproof”.
Look at this demonstration carried out by the University of Reading (below video). Dry soil resists water. And that means any downpour we get will mainly run off the land into the ditches . That’s good for rivers but not a lot of good for gardens.
Swales /Rain gardens and No Dig are more resilient gardening techniques in very dry weather. No dig because the soil is more open and allows water to percolate more readily. And swale gardening because it retains water and prevents dos much of rot from entering streams and rivers.
Rain gardens are all about bioretention and often use contour bunds to slow and retain rainwater.. It slows the passage of water over the surface and gives it more time to percolate the soil. We don’t necessarily need a fully swale retained garden to create a pond when there is excess rain. We can create shallow rills across the slopes of our garden as an alternative that is quick ad easy to produce. These will retain some water for a short while and allow it to percolate.
Even long grass and vegetation slows the water movement. Areas with longer grass retain more water to begin with and then slows water movement and allows it to percolate more readily.
Retaining water isn’t rocket science. It’s actually quite simple. But say too few of us do it well.
NB The video can only be watched on YouTube. Click to view.