​Ideal plants for gardening on wet soil

Posted by Tammy Sons on 22nd Sep 2015

There are numerous reasons why soil will become wet in your garden, add wetland plants to accent and clean those areas. To start with soil will become wet when there is a considerably high water table. Additionally, soil can also become wet when it happens to be compacted. If the groundwater is at a distance considered to be near the surface, the soil will also become wet. Planting will grow hard, and not all crops will thrive in such conditions. In this regard, there are numerous considerations when dealing with soil that is considered to be wet

Improving your soil can be a good idea. Measures such as; drainage and mulching will help you to address this problem. Note that, different soils will tend to react differently in wet conditions. Clay will dry up in summer and appear to be baked. The same soil becomes very wet in winter. Sand does not retain much water while loam has a relatively moderate reaction.

Examining your soil

There are a lot of gardeners out there that do not know the type of their soil in the context of the water table. Identifying the level of your water table is important with regards to having a successful garden. Having a clear knowledge of the level of the water table will help you to decide on what plants to plant, thus avoiding the ones that are not able to thrive in wet conditions. Gardening will become a lot easier and even fun when the knowledge in question is at hand.

There are numerous ways that you can use to identify the size of your water table. One of the simple methods is excavating a pit, usually 1.5 ft deep. The pit can be dug at any part of your garden. After digging the pit, cover it with some polythene bag and leave it overnight. Covering the hole will help to prevent rainwater from accumulating into the cavity, thus interfering with the process. After leaving it overnight, the results will either be a dry/moist pit or one that has accumulated water. The latter signifies that your soil has a high water table. The former result indicates that your soil has a lower water table. Further tests can also be carried out of this kind. For example, you could carry out a drainage test. This test is done by simply adding water to 50 cm pit and leaving it overnight. Should you find this water, the drainage of your soil is poor.

Information relating to the soil’s structure and texture can easily be gathered using the pit. Specifically observing the sides of the pit will give you clear information regarding the two factors. You should also examine the sides of the pit to determine the root penetration level. If you happen to find a relatively hard layer, especially at the sides, understand that digging is needed. Digging, in this case, will help to improve the drainage, since you re loosening the soil. There are also cases where dark topsoil is usually resting on an impervious rock. During these instances, digging will not help much. A suitable way of addressing this case would be raised beds.

Ideal plants for planting

A majority of crops will not do well in soils having relatively high wet conditions. Waterlogged soils will only support some plants and spell doom for a majority. In this regard, identifying the type of crop is of great essence and will ensure that you are successful while using this kind of soil. There is a considerably growing list of plants that can thrive in areas that are considered to have wet soils. This group will thrive in these areas, provided that there is oxygen in the said kind of soil. It is worth noting that clay can also have properties exhibiting the same characteristics with soils that are considered to be wet. In this case, there are also a group of plants that will do well with these conditions. Specifically, crops for soils that are considered to be wet includes; Cornus Alba, weigela, and c. Stolonifera. On the other hand, perennials that can thrive in these conditions include Hosta, Astilbe, Actea, and Zantedeschia.