Poor drainage

desaladJune 21, 2006

Two areas of my lawn have very poor drainage. With the extreme amounts of rain we've had in Massachusetts, a small pond has collected in one area of my lawn. There is no grass there right now, and there is an obvious depression in the soil where it has been compacted.

What is the best way to recondition the soil for replanting. Should I till the area and plant, just aerate? Something else? I actually have a drain in the middle of the yard, but it appears to be backed up. I'm waiting for the water to dry out so I can fix the lawn and look into unclogging the drain.

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Dear desalad,

Again, thanks for the question and let me know if you have more. Drainage is the biggest key to turf areas and often the one overlooked as it does not come into play until there is excess water. I would not till the yard, aeration is fine for reseeding, some grasses may come back. You may have some crabgrass later, and if you can find Drive (quinclorac) at a LESCO or someplace else, this will help.

Anther issue is how to handle the depression. Obviously, address the existing drain. If there are no drains in the other depression and you cannot easily tie into one, you are left with two choices. One, build up the area so that water will runoff and not collect. Probably not that easy and will take too much time and resources, but it is always an option. The second idea is to install a dry well. This will get the water into the ground faster and keep water for sitting in the area as long. At the lowest area in the depression, drive a pipe in the ground up to as far as 3 feet if you can. Remove this pipe as it will be full of soil. Place another clean pipe with perforated holes in the last foot of the pipe (leading end) into the hole. If the pipe is wide enough you may choose to cover it with a drain cover. You can place any size pipe you want but the smaller ones are easier to install. Drive the hole with metal pipe and then use PVC pipe for the drain if you can. It many need to be tamped down on occasion as the winters will cause heaving. You will be surprised how much water this will help move if you can get the hole deep enough.

Let me know how it goes and thanks for the question.


Trey Rogers
The Yard Doctor

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 8:36AM
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Just bought a new house in Seattle and have problems with teh yard drainage system. Right besides the yard inlets I have a slope which was not landscaped however it has a mesh with grass installed by the builder. They always responded to my concerns saying there will be no issue with the dirt washing out in the inlets. Right now I have both inlets with dirt sediment which went also in the pipe. Both pipes go under the crawl space and I am quite worried everything will get clogged pretty soon. I need someones advioce to clear the pipes and what to put around the inlet in order to prevent the issue in the future. Your suggestion is greatly appreciated

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 5:50PM
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Will the perforated drain tube with a sock work for a yard drainage problem,or should I use gravel along with it?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:09AM
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