Designing Garden Drainage Systems

Garden drainage systems
Keep your home drainage systems clear to help maintain good garden drainage systems.

When the rain is pouring down outside, you want to be warm and dry. Your home and your garden should be able to manage the moisture on their own. By designing more effective garden drainage systems, you’ll be able to avoid erosion and flooding in your garden, and you may even be able to design in water features such as rain gardens.

Home and Garden

Before you begin renovating your garden, consider how your home contributes to the water that flows through it. Do the drains from your roof send water out into your garden? Is it time for a gutter replacement because your gutters are overflowing into the landscaping around your home? Your troubles may have their roots in your home, rather than in the garden itself. Your first order of business is make sure that your drains are running clean and clear and that the water from your roof is making its way into an appropriate drainage system, instead of causing muddy puddles in the garden.

Garden Contouring

When you’re working to manage the drainage in your garden, you need to think of your garden landscape as not just plants and pathways, but as a drainage system. Look at the contours of your garden and consider why you’re raising the drainage question in the first place. Is it because you have a perpetual puddle in a specific location? Look at how your current garden contours have led to that puddle and what you can do to fix it.

Garden drainage systems
Adding a rain garden provides an opportunity for a seasonal pond.

Adding Swales and Rain Gardens

When you want to store water and encourage it to sink into the soil, a swale system or a rain garden could be the way to go. A swale is a trench dug on contour, followed by a ridge. This encourages water to soak into the ground, feeding the plants that grow on the ridge. In dry climates that have occasional instances of significant rainfall, this is an excellent way to manage through the dry times and the floods.

A rain garden can perform a similar function. This seasonal water garden is a pond during rainy times and a slightly wetter garden during the dry seasons. By sending excess water to a pond area, you can turn a muddy area that’s prone to erosion into an intentional and beautiful pond.

Adding a French Drain

A French drain is a trench that’s filled with a permeable material such as gravel. Inside the trench in modern French drains, there is often a pipe that fills with water and can carry it away. These drainage systems should have protection such as landscaping fabric so that silt does not clog the gravel and the pipe over time. If you’d prefer to move water instead of sinking it into the soil, a French drain can be a subtle way to add drains that move water from one place to the other in your garden.

Are you trying to improve the drainage around your home? If you’re considering gutter replacement, contact Harry Helmet. We specialize in installing gutters that help water flow clean and clear, whatever the season. Learn more about Gutter Helmet today.

Written by Del Thebaud

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