If you’re hosting regularly, or if you just want to be able to use and enjoy your yard, having poor drainage can be a real issue. It can be caused by a whole range of things in your garden/home design, from something as simple as a non permeable driveway to landscaping near the home, but whatever the cause, it is truly frustrating to step out into your garden only to see surface water and damp soil.
There are a few things that you can do in order to improve your yard drainage and to prevent any yard drainage issues if you’re concerned about poor drainage. Any of these will help to prevent the issues that come with having bodies of standing water, such as a prevalence of mosquitos and other pests.
Build a rain garden to improve soil drainage
If there is a certain region within your yard that seems to have the biggest issue with soil drainage, you can isolate it and use that space to create what is called a “rain garden”. By channelling the water toward this area, you save the rest of your garden, and you can create something truly beautiful. Plant a series of water loving plants in the rain garden and isolate it from the rest of the garden with rock walls if you want it to look more organised, and you’ll improve yard drainage and you’ll have rid yourself of what would have previously just been a muddy hole. A rain garden is relatively easy to build and to maintain, too, so is suitable for even relatively amateur landscapers and gardeners.
Not only do the flower beds in a rain garden provide a splash of colour for your garden, but they are also good for the environment as they provide a new influx of biodiversity and will be a haven for pollinating insects like bees. It’s a win-win, really.
Install a french drain to help with yard drainage issues
We spoke to Paul Rider from Rider Drains, a drain unblocking company in Darlington who said that a french drain is a less intrusive way to improve drainage, and unlike the rain garden, it is not visible. It involves installing a buried perforated drainage pipe surrounded by either gravel or aggregate beneath the soil. This helps to improve yard drainage by allowing an influx of standing water within the soil from above and then dispersing it beneath the pipe, into the aggregate or gravel surrounding it.
You can install a french drain alongside other methods such as a dry well in order to achieve optimum yard drainage, but it depends on how much space you have available within your yard, as well as how much of your yard is affected by poor yard drainage.
Create a dry well to fix slow draining soil
A dry well works in a similar way to the french drain system, except it involves a large cylindrical well full of aggregate or soil that you channel drain water into. The well then holds the water and slowly disperses it into the soil beneath and around it, preventing excess water and helping with yard drainage problems. The benefit of a dry well is that due to the shape of them, you are able to install multiple across your garden if necessary, whereas with methods like an underground drainage pipe, many people only have the room for one.
As mentioned above, you can also install a french drain alongside a dry well to really improve drainage within your yard – it depends on how much excess water you’re struggling with.
Construct a creek bed in your soggy area
A creek bed is a downhill slope that helps to channel drain water away from the property and toward a certain area. You can use a creek bed to provide water to a rain garden, dry well or to a pond. They can be built to look incredibly attractive, and work as drainage systems as well as water features.
Add stones, native plants and raised gardens packed full of water loving plants around a creek bed to help solve your drainage issues as much as possible. Planting as many plants that are likely to help drain any water and heavy rains as possible will ultimately reduce runoff in the rest of your garden.
Install an underground drainage pipe
This drainage system is relatively self-explanatory, it involves installing a drainage pipe beneath the ground at an angle, with the inlet basin at the point in your yard that seems to be retaining moisture, and the outlet basin downhill, somewhere that will not cause you as many issues (i.e out into a drain). This is perhaps the most strenuous of drainage systems, but it is also one of the most reliable, and so long as there are no tree roots or heavy vegetation in the way, it is relatively easy to install into a yard.
Extend the downspout to reduce excess water
It is not uncommon for previous tenants or owners to have landscaped the garden in a way that completely ignores where the downspout drains, and this can cause soggy areas of land. Before you begin to install various drainage issues, evaluate your yard and see if the cause is simply a downspout. If it is, use a pvc pipe to redirect the water. You can move it along the wall to a basin, a water butt or a dry well, or you can redirect the pre-existing pipe if you feel like that would be a better solution to your yard drainage problems.
Add organic matter to make your lawn healthier
Lawns are usually fairly adept at removing excess water, but when they aren’t looked after they can sometimes struggle. If you add organic matter to your lawn, you may well see that the decomposing organisms within the organic matter will break down, providing the lawn with better structure and thus enabling it to handle the excess water that was previously water-logging it.