If you’re a gardener or just starting to get into gardening, you’ve no doubt heard the term “well draining soil”. But what is well draining soil exactly? Simply put, well draining soil is just that: soil that does not retain too much water, nor does it get rid of water too quickly. Well draining soil basically allows water to drain at a moderate rate.

Having well draining soil is super important for most plants because this means that plants won’t sit in a pool of water, but the soil will give the adequate time to absorb said water.

What is Well Draining Soil Exactly?

well draining soil

These soils are just right: they do not drain water too quickly or too slowly. When soil drains the water too quickly, plants may not have enough time to absorb that water. Likewise, when soil drains water too slowly, plants can sit in a pool of water which can lead to root rot and diseases.

For example, compact and clay soils can drain very poorly, and therefore are not the right soil choices for plants that require well draining soil.

Sandy soils drain water away from plants too quickly, therefore not giving them enough time to absorb water.

Making Well Draining Soil:

If you have soil that’s less than ideal (not well draining), you can amend it to make the right conditions:

  • You can mix sand and clay soil to make well draining soil.
  • If you only have sand or only clay soil, you can easily add the following materials to make well draining soil:
    • Peat moss
    • Compost
    • Manure
    • Shredded bark

Adding the above to any soil will ensure that your plants get just the right amount of water!

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What is Well Draining Soil