Lawn Drainage

The basics.

If this is the first season you are attempting to keep your lawn green and beautiful, the topic of proper lawn drainage can seem overwhelming. On the surface, drainage seems like something that only the caretakers at the local golf course or baseball field need to worry about, but the more you learn about your lawn, the more you realize just how important it is to be able to manage the water on your lawn. Let’s take a look at a few basic lawn drainage tips that can help you win the war against drainage.

Specific amount of watering.

First, many lawn care amateurs believe that their lawn simply can’t be watered enough. You’ll find sprinklers on all the time, even during rain storms, which can kill your grass faster than any fungus or weed. The truth is that your lawn only needs a specific amount of watering to stay green and too much water can disrupt any drainage system, no matter how foolproof it might be. The proper amount of water for your lawn depends on the type of grass seed you planted, the type of soil you have and the amount of direct sunlight and heat your lawn is experiencing. Before you plan any kind of drainage system, make sure you take these important aspects into account.

Before you begin.

Before you begin to install your own lawn drainage, you need to judge the lay of the land. Your lawn should have a gentle slope away from the home. The worst thing you can have is a lawn that slopes towards your home. This will often lead to a flooded basement and serious drainage problems not only for your lawn but also for your home. If you are installing your own lawn by hand, you can build in a grade that slopes away from your home, but it likely won’t be cheap. If the land around your home is as flat as a pancake, you may need to install your own drainage system.

What kind of soil.

Next, you will need to have an idea of what kind of soil you have underneath your grass. A sandy soil will drain in one particular way and a marshy soil will drain in a completely different manner. Some lawns even have a combination of several different types of soil, which can make proper drainage a nightmare. If you aren’t sure of the type of soil you have, consult with an expert who can give you basic drainage tips for your particular lawn.

If hiring an expert is out of the question, you can perform a simple test to see if you need to install separate drainage tiles or ditches on your land. Pick a few different spots on your lawn and dig holes about two feet deep. The holes don’t have to be that big, but you will need to fill these holes with water and then leave them overnight. If you wake up in the morning and the holes are still filled with water, you may have serious drainage issues. If the holes are empty or somewhat dry, you likely won’t have to make any drainage changes to your lawn.