An immaculate landscape is easily ruined by poor drainage. However, by rerouting natural water flow, better drainage methods can ensure a more prosperous environment for plantings while contributing to a healthy ecosystem and effective water saving methods. Here we’ve outlined some of the ways you can incorporate better drainage practices into your Pleasant Valley, NY yard and use them to your landscape’s advantage.
Change the composition of, or break up, impenetrable soil
Water pooling on your lawn is the primary sign that your soil is to blame for poor drainage. Soils rich in clay quickly form a compacted layer that prevents water from being absorbed deeper into the soil. You can get your soil composition tested at your local nursery or by calling in a landscaping consultant, but even relatively loose soil can become compacted over time if it receives heavy traffic. Thatch, the matted carpet of dead grass that forms beneath an otherwise healthy lawn, may also be to blame for poor drainage. To break up this hardened layer and pierce thatch for better water penetration, a seasonal lawn aeration is recommended.
Divert excess water with drains or swales
Stormwater that’s unable to drain into the soil immediately will follow the law of gravity and run to the lowest point of your yard. If this natural collection point is an area of poor drainage - or worse yet, your home - you’re going to need to divert the water run-off using drains of some sort. Having effective drain systems installed, or shallow runoff catches placed to redirect the natural flow of rainwater can save your yard and home from tremendous amounts of unnecessary damage.
Install a rain garden
Where pooling is a persistent problem - particularly at the edges of large impervious paved areas - the problem can be embraced by having a rain garden installed. A landscape professional can help advise which plants will thrive in the swampy conditions created in these areas in order to transform slushy patches into thriving oases. Plants in these areas can also help to prevent soil erosion and stop parts of your landscape from being washed away after heavy rainfall.
Reduce run-off with an eco-friendly rainwater tank
Rainwater tanks are an excellent way of both conserving water and reducing excess run-off into storm drains, thereby reducing the risk of flooding and erosion in your landscape. A simple rainwater collection system can be installed quickly by a professional and will ultimately pay for itself. The water collected in rainwater tanks can be used for landscape irrigation, topping up swimming pools, laundry and other household purposes.
Make your paved areas permeable
Large, impenetrable paved areas are unfortunately perfect for masses of stormwater to collect and subsequently flood your yard. Occasionally it’s unfeasible for these areas to run at an angle conducive to good run-off and at other times there is simply nowhere else for the water to go, particularly when rainfall is exceedingly heavy. This can be easily remedied by having your paved areas - driveways and major walkways - constructed from permeable concrete or natural stone pavers with porous jointing. This allows the water to soak back into the soil and return to water basins beneath the earth. Not only does this save your home and yard from flooding, but it also contributes to the natural water cycle and replenishes underground water systems.