Who should I call to have a lawn drainage system installed? I want to be
sure it is done right, so I am not sure if the guys who cut my lawn are the
right people to call. I have some sloppy areas in the yard, plus I want the
downspouts to drain far away from my house. I also already have a sprinkler
system installed, so I really don't want these guys to tear it up. I
thought maybe a landscape architect should check out the yard first.
First, if you frequently have sloppy areas, you are overwatering. You
should have no sloppy areas that last longer than an 1/2 an hour or so
after watering. If they do, you have too much water in the lawn, and/or
a claybase, which inhibits drainage into the lawn. If you have a clay
base, you should make sure that the grass clippings are mulched and left
on the lawn, to build up the loam, and you should also frequently aerate
the lawn, as this will help water absorbtion, as well as fertiliser
penetration to the roots. Generally speaking, it's a bad idea to bag the
grass clippings and remove them. There are exceptions to this, for
example if you mow over the leaves in the fall, but then the clippings
should go in the compost.
Also, depending on your area and rainfall, etc, you should not water
more than 2 or 3 times a week, and only once or twice a week in regions
with good rainfall and milder summer temperatures.
Secondly, if the water pools in some areas of the lawn, bulld up those
areas with a mix of topsoil, sand, and peatmoss, and reseed. If the area
is shallow enough, just rake the mix into the lawn, and repeat at two to
three week intervals until the low spot is levelled off.
Thirdly, it may be that your house is built on former wetlands, in which
case your idea of consulting a landscape architect is a good one, since
such a professional can suggest what needs to be done. (S)he'll probably
advise installation of drainage tile, which will, unfortunately, mess up
your sprinkler system. But if your subdivision is a former wetland, you
will eventually have more problems than a lawn with sloppy areas.
Finally, to reduce water drainage towards the house, make sure the lawn
and driveway etc slope away from the house on all sides. It needn't be
much, 4" to 6" rise in about six feet in the lawn and 2" to 4" in the
driveway is enough. If this isn't at present the case, build up the lawn
so you get that slope away from the house. To direct the rainwater
away from the hosue, add a rotating downspout elbow at the bottom of the
downspout, and attach a self-un/re-rolling extension to that.
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