How to Improve Drainage in My Lawn

improve drainage lawn

Standing water in our lawns causes a variety of problems for homeowners, aside from being an eyesore. Grass that is exposed to pooling water for extended periods of time will drown and die, you can’t mow over these pools, and your soggy yard will likely make its way into your home when friends and family track in mud.

Pooling water near the foundation of your home can also be severely damaging to the structure of your home. There are several causes for this pooling water, and also a variety of solutions to improve the drainage in your lawn. 

Poor Drainage Factors

There are a variety of factors that could lead to poor drainage in any homeowners lawn, and each problem may require a different solution.

If you are struggling to maintain a healthy, dry and thriving lawn due to poor drainage, you may be dealing with one of the following problems:

1. Slope of Lawn:

Depending on the general shape and pitch of your lawn, you may experience areas of pooling water. A steep hill could lend to a pool below, or a lawn that is entirely flat may not provide the slope needed for excess water to drain or run off appropriately.

2. A Short Downspout:

The length and location of your downspout is important when it comes to redirecting excess water away from your home. If you find yourself with a short downspout that leads directly into a flat flower bed or mulch, the draining water can gather in your flower beds, mulch, and soil. Your downspout can also cause areas of runoff erosion, stripping away sections of topsoil. This is another prime area for water to collect in your lawn.

3. Impacted Soil:

A poorly aerated of heavily impacted lawn will also lead to poor drainage. If your topsoil is heavily impacted, your grass is unable to absorb the rain and irrigation it receives, again causing pooling water.

4. Front Walkways:

Sidewalks and walkways in your lawn may also block excess water from escaping your lawn, and finding its way to the available storm drains in your neighborhood.

Solutions for Poor Drainage

Once you’ve identified the areas of poor drainage of your lawn, the next step is to determine the cause and begin to plan a course of action. A good way to begin is by laying out a drainage plan for your lawn.

Create a drawing of your property, and include features such as walkways, landscaping, patios, porches, swimming pools, or any other obstructing features in your front and back yard.

Note the areas that are experiencing drainage issues, and use a line level to determine the relative high and low areas of your yard. Use arrows to indicate the flow of water in these areas.

Once you understand the cause of your drainage issues, you can decide which of the following solutions best suits your needs.

1. Extend Your Downspout

As previously mentioned, flower beds and other landscaping near the base of your home and your downspouts can become areas for water to collect and pool.

You can purchase and install an attachment to extend your downspout beyond these areas, and direct the flow of water away from your home, and out into the lawn where it can properly drain and hydrate your plant life.

2. Use a Rain Barrel

By placing a rain barrel at the base of your downspout, you can collect the excess rain water draining from your spout, and use it in the future to water your lawn when rainfall is low.

3. Create a Creek Bed:

A creek bed is a great and attractive solution to creating a drainage point from a low point in your lawn. You can access the best direction in which to build it to move water away from the problem areas and either out of your lawn, or into an area where it can more easily spread and be absorbed in your lawn.

That creek bed could even lead to a rain garden, if you have the space and means to create one in your lawn. Fill this area with water loving plants, and with enough space to absorb the runoff.

4. Create a French Drain

The greatest benefit of this draining system is that it does not require an outlet for your excess water to drain into. This system allows water to be evenly distributed along the length of the drain buried beneath your turfgrass, and all throughout your lawn.

To install a french drain, you will dig a trench underneath your top soil, and install a perforated pipe in its place. Along the length of this drain you can add as many points of entry for the water as are necessary.

The excess water will enter the piping system through these openings, travel down through the drain, and empty out along the length of the pipe into your soil through the perforated holes. This system is visually discrete, and is also a great irrigation tool for your soil.

5. Aerate your lawn

While this is a great tool for drainage problems created by compacted soil, lawn aeration is also an important practice for maintaining a healthy lawn over all. Compacted soil is less able to absorb rain water and irrigation, and can lead to an unhealthy and waterlogged lawn.

You can aerate your lawn yourself by either using a garden fork or aerator shoes. Your soil will have more room to absorb the air, water, and nutrients it needs to thrive, and it can help reduce areas of standing water in your turfgrass.

Use a Lawn Care Specialist

If you are finding it difficult to access the best way to troubleshoot these drainage problems on your own, consider consulting a lawn care specialist.

Here at Gecko Green we have a team of highly trained lawn care specialists that are trained to help to evaluate the current state of your lawn, and the best way to promote healthy, sustainable plant life.

Call now to schedule your free consultation with a lawn care specialist at your convenience!

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