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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19

    Default Backyard Drainage

    Whenever it rains I seem to develop a small pond in a section of my backyard that I've attributed to this area being lower than the rest of the yard. I've also noticed that this area does not grow any grass and when it's not raining or hasn't rained in a while this area is all dirt. I'm currently in the process of re-designing my backyard living space and would like to know if anyone has any economically friendly ways of fixing this problem.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,617

    Default Re: Backyard Drainage

    The only way to take care of the pond will be to install drainage and to regrade the soil. The only way to improve the soil is with organic matter in the form of manure or compost. How you go about these projects will depend on your budget, yard size, and physical fitness. If your yard is more than a 50 foot square (2,500 square feet ), then I'd suggest renting a tractor to till and move the soil. If it's less than 50 foot square, then a renting a commercial walk-behind tiller will suffice for the cultivation and you can use a combination of garden rakes and landscape rakes to regrade.

    Manure is plentiful from horse stables and similar places where quantities of animals are kept, and it's usually free for the taking. Another alternative is municipal compost - made from the green waste picked up from curbside residential customers which is usually available directly from the municipal waste management facility that produces it or local landscape material suppliers. There is usually a small fee from the municipality, landscape suppliers will charge more. The only thing with municipal compost is that it has a certain amount of plastic and other debris in it, as well as all the yard chemicals that folks tend to use to keep their yards green and critter free. All this isn't a big deal as long as you're only landscaping the area, however if you have a veggie garden in the plans, DO NOT use municipal compost in that area. Whichever you use, apply 4" or more and work it to a depth of 4" to 6" into the soil.

    You may find that regrading the soil will be enough to produce natural drainage, however, you can't redirect run-off from your property to any adjoining property, you must divert it to municipal storm run off systems or create a French drain or dry well on site.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Backyard Drainage

    Thanks so much for your suggestion. As I said in my original post, I'm in the process of re-designing my back yard and was considering doing a border of gravel which will run over this problem area. And I guess I was considering using as much gravel to somewhat level this area out but I guess that doesn't answer my drainage problem and I would likely end up with a pond with gravel in it. Does it make sense to till the problem area, use the composte as you suggest, then do my gravel over top? I appreciate any suggestions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,617

    Default Re: Backyard Drainage

    I wouldn't recommend gravel at all. The reason being is that it's a pain to maintain with and will only look good for a few months, until the weeds start taking over, and the weeds WILL start taking over. When you change your mind later, the gravel will be difficult and a pain to remove, and as you said, all you're doing is filling in the low spot with gravel, you're not getting rid of the problem. By regrading the soil, you'll get natural run off. Best case scenario is that you can regrade your property so as to have the water naturally flow to municipal storm systems (not the neighbors property ). Depending on the lay of your land, this may or may not require the installation of a drain tube.

    As to amending the soil, yes, it makes sense to amend everything. If you can get something to grow, then it is less likely that you'll need or want gravel to begin with. During the amendment process, this is the perfect and easiest time to regrade and install drainage. It is not expensive to do either, the most significant cost will be the implement you rent to work the soil.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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