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Landscaping Solutions for 3 Drainage Problems

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Many homeowners experience problems with poor drainage in their gardens: lawns become paddling pools, plants fail to thrive and your patio is continually under water. That's where a good landscape company can come to your rescue. Read on to find out how a good landscape contractor could solve these common drainage problems that could be afflicting your outside space. 

Poor grading

In an ideal world, every new home should be built with a garden that's graded to allow rainwater to drain away freely. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, and problems can arise with poorly graded land. If surface water can't drain away, it pools on lawns and turns flower beds into patches of saturated mud.

In order to solve this problem, your landscaper may suggest using a French drain. This is a very traditional and effective drainage solution. The French drain is formed by digging a trench, and filling it with gravel and a perforated drain liner. Roofing felt is then placed over the gravel, and the excavated soil is replaced. The area surrounding the drain is re-graded towards it, so that water is carried away, rather than collecting on the surface.


Hardpan layers beneath the soil can mean that the whole area around your home may suffer from poor drainage and continual problems with standing surface water. Unfortunately, there's no quick-fix solution to this. 

Your landscaper will need to re-grade the whole site to include a system of underground drainage pipes that are fed by trench drains or drop inlets. Plastic pipes can be used to move water away from your land and straight into a storm drain. In the absence of an accessible storm drain, the water will be diverted into an underground sump. The sump must be dug deep enough that it goes right through the hardpan into the porous aggregate beneath.

High water table

If you live in an area where the water table is high, you could find that your flowerbeds are always wet. Many summer bedding plants will not thrive in saturated soil conditions as their roots will just rot. Your landscaper can help to overcome this problem by planting water-loving species of flora. There are some beautiful species of bog and fen plants that will thrive in wet soil. In addition, carefully selected moisture-loving trees can also help by 'drinking' excess water and thus controlling the saturation levels naturally.

Another solution that works well in high water table gardens is to use raised flower beds and planters. This can get quite expensive, but will enable you to grow a wider variety of plants. Your landscaper could work out a design using different heights of raised beds and planters to give your garden a three-dimensional look. Using a raised-bed strategy will enable you to incorporate more traditional, summer garden flowers and shrubs with more native water-loving species to give you the best of both worlds.

If your garden drainage is less than perfect, don't despair. It may simply be a case of using clever planting to resolve matters, rather than a full-blown re-grading project. Consult a local landscape company like Melaleuca Landscapes for advice on how they could give your garden a makeover and solve the problem for you.