Is your yard full of puddles, soggy and squishy? Do your kids and dog like to splash around on the grass after a rainstorm?
Chances are that you have lawn drainage issues. Better fix them fast or else you could lose your grass, damage your gardens and even risk water leakage into your home.
Here are 5 steps to proper lawn drainage.
1. Survey your lawn during and directly after a heavy rain. Watch where the water is collecting and where (if anywhere) it’s draining. Often low lying spots or high traffic areas are the worst. Target these spots for drainage solutions.
2. Try aeration first. Punch core aeration can be done efficiently using rented machinery. The holes that the equipment punches into your lawn will add sizable air pockets, improving surface drainage. Sometimes the compression or the original makeup of your soil makes drainage difficult. Clay soils need aeration regularly, as do pathways that are heavily traveled (at the bottom of deck stairs for instance).
3. Top dressing – If necessary, look at adding a level of top dressing onto your grass. This should be organic and well mixed soil. It will work its way down, helping to create better air and water flow through the existing base.
4. French and Trench drains – For more permanent solutions, install a French drain or trench drain (also called dry creeks or beds). A French drain is a slotted or perforated pipe buried in the ground that carries water away from an area. Often these are installed along retaining walls or basement foundations, but they can be put anywhere else on your yard to direct water away.
Trench drains or dry beds are on the surface – trenches dug and lined with rocks or stones. The water runs into a properly placed trench drain and then away down the rocks. These can often be installed to add to your landscape design and can even be considered an impromptu water feature in a storm or during the spring thaw.
5. Dry wells can also be used. Deep holes filled with gravel or larger stones, dry wells deliver water down well below foundations or anything else. They can be put at the end of French or trench drains to supplement the system.
Good water drainage will keep your yard healthy and growing well. Tell your kids and pets to splash in the sidewalk puddles – with these tips you’ll have no more standing water on the grass.
photo courtesy of Roy Mattappallil – sxc/roym