In recent years, many areas of the UK have been beset by flooding. Winter seems to have been characterised by huge flooding problems normally hitting around the Christmas holidays.

If you know your garden is prone to waterlogging or even if you’ve been flooded before, then read on, this article is for you.

Today we’re looking at what you can do to minimise the risks of waterlogging and flooding.

Waterlogging is caused by bouts of extremely heavy rain that falls too fast for your garden to absorb it. The problem is normally exaggerated in areas of heavy clay soil that tend to retain water for much longer and take a long time to clear.

The occasional spot of heavy rain isn’t usually a problem for your garden. It’s really when gardens sit under water for long periods of time that the problems really set in.

To avoid too much damage, make sure your soil is not compacted. Good drainage is key here. It may be worth investing in some professional drainage advice if you know waterlogging is a problem for you every year.

If you are faced with a waterlogged garden during the winter, don’t panic. Plants don’t need as much oxygen over the winter so are actually able to survive under water. Next is to remember not to walk on your garden too much. This will only cause compacted soil which will just make everything worse.

Once some of the water has drained away, get out there and spike your garden. Good, deep spikes will help the remaining water to drain away. Make sure holes are really visible – using a spiked stake could work really well.

If you grow your own veggies and they have been subjected to time under water, make sure you wash them extremely well before consumption to avoid any problems with contamination.

Without meaning to sound flippant, flooding is an extended version of waterlogging – though much more likely to have invaded and damaged your home as well.

The same rules apply but if you have been properly flooded, it’s best to compost any veggies you may have had growing as there is much more risk of serious contamination from chemicals, and even sewage.

Raised beds can really help protect your crops of veggies and there’s no reason why you can’t plant flowers and shrubs in a raised bed too.

In the long term, one of the best ways to deal with waterlogging and flooding is to severely reduce the amount of concrete in your garden and around your home. Green crops, plants, flowers, shrubs and trees are all nature’s most effective water soakers.

You could also invest in some proper drainage to protect your property and even dig in some run-off areas for patches you know are particularly prone.

When it comes down to it, however, there is very little you can do to protect yourself from serious flash floods. If this happens to you, remember we here at The Garden Style Company are thinking of you.