Lawn Tips: Take Care of Your Drainage

When you think about ways to improve the quality of your lawn, your mind probably runs to a few common options: adding new, higher quality sod, reseeding, getting more direct sunlight, using better fertilizers, and other such things. Those are all good ideas in many situations, but one issue that I often see ignored in these lists is improving drainage. I’ve seen many people puzzling over why their lawn just isn’t looking great no matter what they do. They’ve put down new sod. They’ve trimmed back some trees to get more light. They’ve bought the best fertilizer on the market. They water their lawn regularly. They keep it trimmed to a good length. Yet, still, it’s patchy with large areas that never quite flourish. What’s up with that, they ask me. What am I doing wrong?

You probably aren’t doing anything wrong. The problem isn’t in what you’re doing for your lawn. It’s very likely the issue is simply too much of a good thing. In many cases, your lawn is simply getting too much water.

Take a look at your lawn after a big storm. Does it look more like a pond than a yard? It’s likely your issues aren’t with fertilizer, it’s with drainage. There are a lot of drainage issues that your yard might have. Ware Landscaping points out a few of the biggest concerns:

  • Your yard was improperly graded
  • Your yard doesn’t have outlets where the water can flow
  • Your yard is uneven, leaving water pooled in certain places
  • Your sprinkler system is pouring too much water in certain parts of the yard
  • Plant debris is holding the water in certain parts of your yard
  • The soil is too compact and can’t absorb the water
  • Your gutters aren’t functioning properly

There can also be issues with there being too much rain over a short period that has overwhelmed the drainage system and the yard. In all of these situations, your yard isn’t going to improve just by cutting it regularly. You will need to make changes where it matters: to your drainage system.

If the issues are obvious, you can probably handle this yourself. In the case of plant debris, it may simply be a matter of picking up branches and other debris that has been reducing the ability of the rain to move where it needs to. However, with more serious issues, like the grading of your lawn, you may well need to work with professional landscapers to make sure the right grading is measured for your yard and then implemented.

So, if you are having drainage issues, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that your yard can be saved and you haven’t been hurting it by laying new sod and putting down new fertilizer. The bad news is that you may have a significant amount of work ahead of you to get your lawn to that healthy, attractive point you’ve been working towards.

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