Creating Adequate Drainage in Your Yard

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Poor drainage in your yard is not good for your plants, lawn, or your home foundation and can cause erosion if your property is not level. This is a page about creating adequate drainage on property.
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I worked for a landfill. It is some of the worst ground to cover. I learned one important thing about all ground, drainage is important. The cheap effective way to make drainage is filter black cloth for gardens.

Find out how your land lays, where water comes in, and where it puddles. Then start at the puddle areas and dig a long ditch (6 inches wide, 6 to 8 inches deep) from puddle straight to desired drain area.

Lay the cloth in the ditch lengthwise, centering it. Place river rock in fabric 2 inches deep, and fold cloth over rock, overlapping the fabric. Cover with dirt and pack down.

Now that your land drains, you can put any kind of dirt and a lot more kinds of plants. Some areas are sandy and high or hilly so it drains too much.

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This is a little more work but fixable also. At a mid low area on the high spot you will also dig a ditch a V into the side of the hill 4 inches deep.

In this ditch, place a three inch thick by 4 inch deep clay wall put dirt around it keeping it in the wall shape. Sometimes a rock on the down slope of the ditch helps hold the clay but costs more. This clay slows down the drainage and the plants have time to get water. Some people put a V on one side of the hill or high spot. The water will care for half the high ground and the rest is decorated with rock.

These gardening tips are a lot of hard work, but help most kinds of places, and is low cost.

By Carolyn from Chilliwack, BC

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

October 24, 2019

In order to not damage your french drain pipes, you will want to select plants with shallow roots. This page offers some advice about planting over a french drain pipe.

A French drain in a backyard.

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Home and Garden Gardening AdviceSeptember 16, 2014
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