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How to improve my water retention

my garden is higher than the neighbours and I have a bed that is retained from neighbours drop into their garden with a gravel board. They are about 2.5ft lower than us. Last year I had to fill bottles of water and put out daily to drip water. But its not even summer and during the day my emerging flowers are flagging. 

Any ideas or tips to increase water retention. I have broken my clay up with soil improver and compost and mulched with compost but it's still dry. I figure it's draining down to the neighbours level. Help pls


  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    Right plant right place - try succulents and arids. Palms, Agave, Yucca come to mind.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    blairs is right really, if you can't improve the moisture level with soil improvers, then create a dry area. My garden has 3 distinct area's. I have  moist area, a slightly dry south facing area and a dry bank again south south/west facing. I have had to choose my plants carefully to cope with the conditions in each area.

    As the slightly dry area is bounded by a leyllandi hedge, I have created raised beds, for veg and plants which can cope with the drier conditions.

    You have to work with your conditions, especially if there is little or nothing you can do to change the situation you are in.


  • I have moved my perennials around to try And put the sun loving dry people across there but I wondered if there were any matters that would help lock in moisture a tad longer in between wateringS. At the moment I have some foxglove, skimmia, allium, delphinium, verbena, dahlia (when put back in). It's literally a 6 ft by 2.5ft border. 

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Dripping water will not cure the problem as it will encourage the roots to grow near the surface.  You need to soak the plants, maybe, just once a week with a hose or watering cans.

    Get yourself some water butts and fit them to your down-pipes, this will give you somewhere to fill watering cans.

    I wonder what your soil is as clay is water-retentive and the drop to your neighbour's garden should have a minimal effect. It may be the solution to grass it over.

    Adding as much compost as you can is good if you really do want to keep a border.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    to answer your question, add as much organic matter as you can organic matter holds 20 times it's volume of water, which is a lot.image So compost and well rotted manure will do well. And then mulch to stop evaporation, so no bare soil. Then shade it with your plants.

  • Right operation pack bed and compost!!!! Thanks

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