Mulch your borders
Mulch is any covering of the soil to retain water and keep down weeds – but the best is well-rotted manure, garden compost or leaf mould.
Autumn mulching will help absorb any downpours and protect plants from flooding. The mulch will break down over the course of the winter, adding to the texture of the soil.
In spring, wait until your border plants have appeared, add a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil and let the worms do the rest. Over the years, their actions will take more and more organic matter down into the soil, improving its structure, composition and water-holding capacity. Magic!