Five ways to fix your lawn drainage issues…

The bad news is that you will never have a great lawn if you have drainage issues. Poor drainage can and probably will cause problems such as fungal disease and weed infestation and can even cause your grass to keel over and die!

Of course, getting the drainage right before laying your new lawn is the perfect answer. But what if both the lawn and the problem greet you after you move into your new home?

Poor drainage will cause fungal disease and weed infestation and can even cause your grass to die.
Poor drainage will cause fungal disease and weed infestation and can even cause your grass to die.

Five Easy Drainage Solutions

It rains for a day or two and you start to see pooling and water laying on the surface. The dog starts bringing in muddy feet! What now?

It’s time to consider these five easy drainage solutions…

1. Aeration – possibly a quick and easy solution

Aerating your lawn will help to improve soil permeability. This allows the water to be absorbed better. Aerating can be done mechanically but for smaller yards, it’s a case of finding that gardening fork and getting some exercise!

While aerating your lawn is always beneficial, if your drainage issue is moderately or very severe, regular aerating – in itself – may not be enough to stop water from pooling.

Aerating your lawn will help to improve soil permeability.
Aerating your lawn will help to improve soil permeability.

2. Top-dressing to improve the overall soil profile

Is your soil base compacted? Does it have a high clay content? If so, regular aerating combined with top-dressing will help to improve the soil profile. This will allow for water absorption and you will see continuing improvement over time.

Remember that top-dressing should only be done during the warmer months of the year when the grass is actively growing.

If you have a clay problem, add gypsum as you top-dress. Gypsum helps to break up the clay allowing surface water to seep down deeper.

If you’ve tried the above tips but the problem continues to persist even with moderate rain, you will need to look at a more permanent solution to your drainage issues.

Regular aerating combined with top-dressing will help to improve the soil profile.
Regular aerating combined with top-dressing will help to improve the soil profile.

3. Install a French Drain

A French drain is a common solution that involves digging a trench with at least a 2-4% slope for the excess water to flow into. For a 1-metre trench for example you would need the slope to be at least 2cm from the highest point to the lowest. At the bottom of the trench is a perforated pipe that is covered over with gravel.

The French drain is a common solution to drainage problems.
The French drain is a common solution to drainage problems.

4. Build a drywell

Also known as a gravel pit, a drywell is simply a large hole in the ground filled with gravel. It has an inlet line coming from a drain, downpipe or French drain coming into the pit. The idea of the drywell is to simply move surface water into deeper subsoils. Even though the absorption takes time, a large pit can hold a significant volume of water while gravity works its magic!

You might also consider running agricultural pipe (ag-pipe) under the worst drained areas of your lawn back into the drywell.

Also known as a gravel pit, a drywell is simply a large hole in the ground filled with gravel.
Also known as a gravel pit, a drywell is simply a large hole in the ground filled with gravel.

5. Dry Creek Bed

A dry creek bed is a trench that usually follows along a channel or the natural fall of the surface. It is then filled with gravel or stones to resemble – wait for it.. a dry creek bed!

This new ‘creek bed’ helps to control the water flow, diverting it away from low spots and preventing erosion through run off. Dry creek beds are becoming increasingly popular since they add an interesting element for landscaping while also providing a practical drainage solution.

It’s a good idea to lay down a weed barrier under your new ‘dry creek bed’ to minimize future maintenance issues.

A dry creek bed is a trench that usually follows along a channel or the natural fall of the surface.
A dry creek bed is a trench that usually follows along a channel or the natural fall of the surface.

You can get some more dry creek bed inspiration here…

There are many other options available to suit different situations, so if you are uncertain on what drainage option is the best solution for your area, it’s best to bring in an expert. Why not check out our directory to find a lawn professional in your area?


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