Good Drainage Could Transform This Disaster Zone

May 10th, 2011 by
New or neglected lawns can be a problem that’s easy to acknowledge but tough to fix. Sometimes the challenges are so great that homeowners feel helpless to make a difference. These folks want a well landscaped yard but don’t know where to start. That’s the case with Yardshare member Tara Geoffroy:

Front Yard Drainage Problems

She describes this yard as a disaster area. Who can blame her for feeling that way? Much of the front yard is swamped (I think I see a ‘gator eyeball peeping out of the slime). It’s difficult to maintain a lawn that is constantly under water. You can’t work in it without creating muddy tracks through the gunk. That’s not how you want to leave your mark on your landscaping!

Front Yard Lawn Drainage Problems

It’s a huge mess, especially during the summer when the heat finally dries the mud and creates cracked clay pot holes everywhere. Landscaping is simply not happening here unless the land itself can be transformed. One Potential Solution More than anything else, this yard needs proper drainage. French drains could direct most of the water to where it needs to be. The lake behind the backyard is the perfect reservoir to receive all the excess runoff. These drains are designed to be easily concealed so they don’t make an ugly situation worse. French drains should be planned and constructed in the backyard too. Adequate drainage will prevent water buildup that could damage retaining walls. First, stabilize the soil with drains and then you can maintain a retaining wall fairly easily to keep soil in place.

French Drains Will Help Stabilize the Soil

Once this is done, shrubs and other hardy landscaping plants will have a much better chance at survival. Yes, it’s going to take a lot of effort and patience to fix this yard. With a starting point identified, real progress is finally possible. So, here’s our advice for Tara and other swamped lawn owners: start with the front yard and work your way around back improving drainage as you go. Then, you can watch your landscaping woes be washed away.