Question: I live in a low spot where the soil is very poorly drained. What steps can I take to correct it?

Answer: Determine where the water is coming from. If it’s off your roof, consider guttering and downspouts that could re-direct the flow of the water away from your planting beds. If it’s coming down a hill from the neighbors’ houses, you might be able to build a low berm or cut a shallow swale to re-direct the incident water. A French drain installed beneath the bed could carry the water away, rather than letting it stand in the soil. Finally, plant in raised beds so that your plants’ roots will be above the water table at all times. You can determine whether your soil is waterlogged by digging a post hole, then watching it for a few days after a heavy rain. If the hole remains filled with water two or three days later, you have a problem.

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