How do you deal with poor lawn drainage?

A green lawn in premium condition looks fantastic outside your home. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as you think to keep the lawn looking that way. If it’s used a lot or the undersoil is clay you’ll find that the soil underneath is compacted. This reduces the amount of oxygen available to the roots of your grass and can damage their ability to grow.

The more compacted or dense the soil the harder it will be for water to drain through, you’ll end up with puddles on the surface and grass that is desperate for water.

It’s not good for your lawn and, if the drainage problem is severe enough, it may not be good for your home. After all, the excess water needs to go somewhere, if it can’t go into the ground it’s going to find the next available outlet. Fortunately, it’s not the most common cause of house flooding.

Dealing With Poor Drainage

There are two potential issues to concern yourself with. The first is that the soil is compacted. The second is that you have an issue with your current drainage system.

Before you start working on the grass it’s a good idea to check your drains. Gardens that commonly have puddles will often add drains at the edge of the soil. These carry the water away, often through smaller pipes.

Unfortunately, they can get blocked. You may also have your mains drains running under your lawn. If these become blocked or broken the water could leak into your soil, saturating it While this may help grass growth it will also contribute to your puddles.

In both of these scenarios, you should invest in a pipe inspection camera. This will allow you to inspect the pipes without doing any digging. If there is a problem you can rectify it, if not you can look at the compacted soil.

Compacted Soil

The easiest way to deal with compacted soil is to fork it. This loosens the soil, helping it to drain more efficiently. It’s a good idea to remove the turf first, you’ll be able to relay it afterward.

However, before you start forking the soil you need to consider the type of soil you have. Clay-based soil is naturally going to compact again and again. This is because it’s a heavy, sticky soil, and water enhances the effect.

The best way to change the soil and allow it to drain better without becoming compacted in the future, is to add small stones/gravel to the soil.

This will reduce its ability to stick and compact, allowing water and air through. You’ll notice the difference as your grass will grow better, and there should be no mode puddles!

Extra Tip

If you’re dealing with clogged soil it’s going to be hard work digging over the entire garden. You may be better to get professional help or at least rent heavy-duty equipment that will allow you to transform your garden safely, without breaking your back.

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