Two of the most common issues faced by homeowners when spring rains approach are landscape drainage and grading problems. Landscape drainage issues lead to situations where basements flood, plantings fail or lawns turn into a muddy mess. In order for your garden to be as successful as possible, proper landscape drainage is an absolute necessity.
Tip 1: Improve the soil quality
In order for plants to grow healthily, proper air exchange within the soil is required. Any time that soil becomes waterlogged, it can lead to a low oxygen supply, which causes root-rot and other potential health issues for your plants.
One mistake that many people make is to amend the soil within the planting pit or setting the plant too low in the planting area. This can cause excess water to collect, causing the roots to rot. Your best bet is to rototill the soil, add high quality compost and topsoil and raise the entire bed by four to six inches. This both improves the overall quality of your soil, while providing for ample drainage for your plantings.
Tip 2: Inspect your gutters
Providing a solution to a poor landscape drainage situation often requires an all-inclusive inspection of your home and landscaping. One of the first places to inspect is your gutters. If you don’t have gutters installed on your roof to route the water away from your home and landscaping, now may be the time to look into having them installed. If you already have gutters on your home, take some time to ensure that they are in good repair. If your gutters are bent, misaligned, corroded or otherwise damaged, it can lead to excess water collection all around your home.
Tip 3: Review landscape grading
Landscape drainage issues caused by poor grading around the house can lead to potentially destructive results. Whether your landscaping was graded poorly to begin with, or if it has settled around your foundation, it can cause water run-off to collect against the walls of your home. Over a period of time, this collected water can come in through the basement or other walls, which can lead to dangerous mold and mildew, which can be a serious allergen to many of us.
It is important to assess the soil level and grading around your home and gardens. Your gardens should provide proper drainage both down into the soil and away from your home. To accomplish this, your soil should be raised to create a 5% slope away from all walls and buildings. If this type of grade either does not do the trick, or does not fit in with your landscaping plans, consider additional drainage options such as French drains and other low-profile draining options. With the simple addition of an underground drain or two, you can safely route water from trouble spots and into the appropriate area of your home or property.
With the help of your landscaping professional, improved drainage can have a huge effect on your overall landscaping scheme. It helps to keep everything in place by preventing run off. Proper drainage also improves the health of your plants. The end result is a consistently beautiful arrangement with thriving plant life that requires less maintenance than a system that drains poorly.