13 DIY Landscape Drainage Methods and Solutions

13 DIY Landscape Drainage Methods and Solutions

One of the biggest and most concerning issues many yards and lawns have is standing water. After a rough storm, you may notice wet spots that do not drain right away. Over time, this water can continue to pool, ruining your backyard landscaping, other landscape designs and your property’s foundation. 

Instead of letting this water take over, you need to take action. Having a landscaping drainage system installed is the perfect solution. It can take a long time to research and understand all the different yard drainage solutions. To save you time and effort, here are 13 DIY landscape drainage methods and solutions that you can try. 

Best Landscape Drainage Methods and Solutions

Pooling water attracts pests and causes damage to your landscaping and foundation. The best way to avoid these situations is with landscaping drainage methods. To help you on your standing water drainage journey, check out these 13 methods: 

Aerate Your Lawn

Have you ever seen random holes in someone’s yard? The reason those holes are there is because it is a cheap and easy yard drainage system. Aerating your lawn allows the compacted soil to break apart and introduces air and nutrients in the ground. 

These holes in your landscape allow water to trickle down. All you have to do is get a sharp object like a forged hay fork and place thousands of indentions in your yard. 

Install a Rain Barrel

Bring a rustic vibe to your home’s exterior by placing a rain barrel downspout drain for your gutters. A rain barrel is a barrel that catches any runoff. Water then pools in the barrel, which works as a way to water plants and vegetation later. Keep in mind that mosquitos and other pests love standing water. So, always cover your rain barrel after the rain subsides.

Add a Channel Drain

Concrete, gravel or asphalt will keep your driveway dry. But, they cause water to go in the wrong direction and make it pool in unwanted areas. To solve this problem, add a channel drain. 

A channel drain is a narrow trench or indentation cut into concrete or asphalt. Once the trench is ready, add a channel drain inside to send water in a different direction from your property. 

Install a French Drain

Installing a French drain is another cost-effective drainage solution. A French drainage system involves digging a small trench and adding a perforated PVC pipe surrounded by gravel. This pipe is then connected to a water drain outside of your yard. 

French drains are popular with homeowners because the system does not disperse water into the landscape. Istead, the water goes far away from your lawn. You can install a French drain yourself, or you can hire a landscaper to do the work for you. 

Replace Hardscapes with Drainage Materials

Hardscapes are perfect for driveways, carports and patios because they keep your vehicles and other belongings above wet ground. However, hardscapes can cause big problems. Since the main purpose is to keep the area as dry as possible, it steers standing water to other places. For example, if you have a slanted patio, the water will flow toward your home, potentially causing damage to your foundation. Instead of letting this happen, you can place crushed gravel or pea gravel to help with drainage. 

Install a Catch Basin for Yard Drainage

Gutters and downspouts are essential for keeping water off your roof. But, they can cause problems once the water hits the ground. This water can pool and seep into your foundation. Install a catch basin at the bottom of every downspout to prevent damage to your home. Water that enters this basin goes into a PVC pipe that directs water away from your property and lawn. 

Build a Dry Creek Bed

Natural and man-made dry creek beds do wonders for yard drainage. A creek bed consists of rocks in a wide range of sizes. When it rains, this bed of rocks acts as a channel for water. 

Creating a dry creek bed is great. It allows you to direct where you want the runoff to go, like to a grassy swale, catch basin or another outlet. Plus, dry creek beds add character to your yard. 

Create a Yard Drain

A yard drain is another excellent solution for draining large volumes of water from your property. These drains go in wet spots that pool a lot of water. The water goes down the drain and moves through other channels and hidden pipes, eventually leading out of your yard.

Add a Dry Well System

Another cost-effective drainage method is a dry well system. A dry well system consists of a large underground basin filled with rocks. This underground water pools and eventually ends up in the groundwater tables, which then distribute it to the surrounding soil. 

A dry well system is also environmentally friendly. So, it is perfect for the green-minded homeowner. You can find many different types of dry well systems at landscaping or home improvement stores.

Install Corrugated Plastic Tubes

You can easily use corrugated plastic tubes to create an underground piping system. A corrugated pipe is a tub that has ridges and grooves on its surface. These tubes are flexible and durable, which is perfect for handling water and other materials. 

Place corrugated plastic tubes underneath downspouts to drain the excess water. Most people install these pipes underground because they are not aesthetically pleasing. But, you can keep them above ground for easier maintenance. Since these tubes are flexible, they allow large amounts of water to drain compared to French drains that do not contract or expand. 

Create a Rain Garden

If you enjoy gardening, then creating a rain garden is an excellent option. Not only will this help your yard look aesthetically pleasing, but it also works as a perfect natural drainage system. The purpose of one of these gardens is to let water pool during a storm. Then, once it stops raining, the standing water will slowly seep into the soil. 

A rain garden is perfect for backyard drainage, especially in areas with lush plant growth. By mixing different types of soil, you can create a rain garden that does not have any wet spots. Plus, these gardens provide beautiful habitats for butterflies and birds. 

Plant Water-Absorbing Plants

Plants are wonderful for the environment and your landscaping. Many species of plants absorb excess or standing water. Well-adapted native or regional plants do well in areas with too much water. If you want to add water-absorbing plants to your yard, here are a few for you to check out:

  • Red Maple.
  • Weeping willow.
  • White Cedar.
  • Inkberry.
  • Red Twig Dogwood.
  • Blue Elderberry.
  • Globeflower.
  • Primrose.
  • Violet.

If you do not know which plant works best for your property, schedule an appointment with a landscaping company. They will give you a list of plants that thrive in your environment. 

Create a Grassy Swale

A grassy swale is a depression in the ground that follows the shape of a man-made or natural slope. The main purpose of this drainage system is to reduce or slow down the flow of stormwater runoff. It also filters out pollutants, trash, debris and other materials.

Grassy swales work well in large landscapes. For example, large swales make their depressions or ditches look like a creek bed or small meadow. However, you can have smaller swales coming off a house. For example, you can create a smaller swale that catches gutter water. 

If you do decide to create a grassy swale, there are a few tips you need to consider. Never use weed killer around one. It will kill the grass in the area. You should never drive over or park on top of a swale. Your car will compress the grass, making it almost impossible to drain properly. Any time you have a grassy swale, have a skilled expert visit, maintain and inspect it. 

Never let water sit on your lawn or yard. Instead, by following these 13 DIY landscaping drainage methods and solutions, you will have the perfect drainage system for your property.

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