Dealing with a perpetually waterlogged garden


Most conventional vegetables don’t like very damp soil; constant and/or excessive water often causes their roots to rot, or root diseases to develop.  To make it worse (for you), stagnant water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other waterborne insects.

If your garden is waterlogged, it may be because it’s at the bottom of a hill or in a depression, or at the end of a septic bed that contains soil that doesn’t drain very well.  It may also be due to a naturally occurring spring or a rising water table.  Perhaps a neighbour is unintentionally diverting water onto your property.

You may be able to improve drainage in your garden by filling in recessed areas, adding organic matter to clay soils to improve drainage, adjusting the plane of the garden so that water drains away rather than collecting within it, or building a pond.  You could also install a French drain.  If none of these are options, consider installing raised beds so that the roots of your plants are safely out of the saturated underbelly.  You could also use containers, for the same effect.

Many common plants, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers, like damp soil.  Cauliflower and other brassicas also tolerate a fair bit of moisture.  If your garden is quite wet, though, consider the following plants, which range from needing a lot of water to being able to be grown within a semi-aquatic garden:

  • Celery (shown above)
  • Groundnuts
  • Ong choy (water spinach)
  • Taro roots
  • Upland rice
  • Water chestnuts
  • Watercress




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