• Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Give a Gift Subscription
  • BHG Archives
  • Sweepstakes
  • Landscaping
  • Landscape Basics

5 Smart Solutions for Dealing with Poor Drainage in Your Yard

Constantly soggy soil makes it tough for most garden plants to survive. Use these ideas to either fix the problem or work better with what you have.

Megan Hughes has a passion for plants that drives her to stay on top of the latest garden advancements and time-tested ways of growing great plants. She travels regularly to learn about new plants and technology and is closely connected to the innovation side of the horticulture industry. She has more than 25 years of experience in horticulture.

solving backyard drainage problems

Marcus Reeves is an experienced writer, publisher, and fact-checker. He began his writing career reporting for The Source magazine. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. His book Somebody Scream: Rap Music's Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power was nominated for a Zora Neale Hurston Award. He is an adjunct instructor at New York University, where he teaches writing and communications. Marcus received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

solving backyard drainage problems

If you've tried to grow much of anything in your garden, you've likely heard the advice to give your plants a well-drained spot. That's because the soil has tiny pore spaces that hold oxygen that roots need to stay healthy. If your soil is not well-drained, those pore spaces fill up with water, leading to all kinds of plant growth challenges, including disease, fungus growth, and rot . But there is good news! Some plants thrive in constantly moist, even wet, soil . And there are a few landscape tactics you can use to improve poorly drained soil so you can grow a larger variety of trees, shrubs, and perennials.

How Wet Is Your Soil?

The first step in working with soggy soil is to get to know it better. Determine which areas of your yard get frustratingly wet and how long they stay that way. Consider the moisture level of the soil throughout the seasons, also how quickly water dissipates after a big rain, and how often the area has standing water.

Here's a simple test that's used in the landscape trade to gauge the drainage of a particular soil . Dig a hole 18 inches deep and about 12 inches wide in the wet area. Fill the hole with water. The water level should drop steadily and be completely drained within 24 hours. If there is still standing water after one day, repeat the test several weeks later to determine if you have a seasonal drainage issue (spring runoff, for example) or a year-round wet soil challenge.

1. Mix in Compost

If your poor drainage area is a relatively small one and not too severe, you can lighten the soil by working in lots of organic matter . Compost is filled with pore spaces for oxygen. Mix it with slow draining soil to help add valuable air pockets. This is a multi-year process. Incorporate 3-4 inches of compost yearly to improve drainage over time.

2. Grow Water-Loving Plants

If the soggy area is too large to alter by adding compost or isn't going to change (a riverbank, for example), you have several alternatives. The simplest approach is to choose water-loving plants, such as marsh marigold , cardinal flower , and turtlehead , and, if necessary, to construct raised paths or boardwalks through the garden so that you can enjoy the garden from a drier viewpoint.

3. Build a Rain Garden

A rain garden is a terrific solution for areas that are prone to periodic sogginess. These hardworking landscape features collect and filter runoff water, allowing it to slowly percolate into the landscape. Rain gardens are filled with plants that appreciate wet soil but will also tolerate short dry periods.

4. Create a Bog Garden or Pond

Another, more elaborate solution to a poorly drained spot is to create a pond, bog, or water garden . This will probably require some professional help: The land will have to be carefully sculpted in order to hold enough water in the area. The added bonus of having a small pond on your property is that wildlife naturally gravitates toward wet areas for drinking and bathing. Numerous birds, such as grackles, mocking birds, catbirds, cardinals, and nuthatches, are sure to seek out your wet garden .

5. Install Drain Tile

A more labor-intensive solution to altering a site with poor drainage is to excavate the soil and install underground drainage tile. Attention to detail is key to success when installing drain tile. Carefully analyze slope, tile depth, and where the water will outlet. A rain garden or bog garden might be necessary near the drain tile outlet. It's often best to involve a landscape professional for this project, but if you would like to tackle it yourself, here are the tools, materials, and instructions to use.

What You Need:

  • Corrugated drainage tile
  • Stones or groundcover

Step 1: Dig a Trench

Dig a trench from the wet area to the desired drainage area. An 18-inch-deep trench will usually work for most landscape drainage situations. The trench should have enough of a slope to move the water to the drainage area. Make the trench an inch or two wider than the pipe you plan to install.

Step 2: Spread Gravel

Spread a few inches of gravel in the bottom of the trench and rake smooth. Lay drain tile on top of the gravel.

Step 3: Cover and Protect Pipe

Cover the entire drainage pipe with a few inches of gravel to prevent soil particles from plugging the openings in the tile. Then, fill the trench to the surface level with topsoil.

Step 4: Camouflage Outlet

At the pipe's outlet, cover the drainage field with stones or with a moisture-loving groundcover without blocking the pipe. If you're worried about critters getting into the pipe, place wire mesh over the opening. If you do cover the end, make sure to clean debris off the mesh to avoid blockages.

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.

Content Marketing World 2017 Finalists

How to Improve Drainage in Your Yard

By Andrea Axsom on May 8, 2023

Home Improvement & DIY

Every homeowner knows the value of keeping up their home’s curb appeal. So what do you do when pools of water disrupt your beautiful yard? Identify the underlying cause, then get to work on the solution. Luckily, most yard drainage problems can be traced back to a fixable cause ​​— often one you can tackle yourself.

Standing water is the most common sign your yard is not draining properly. Flooded tree roots and overflowing gutters are other symptoms to look out for.

Even if you’re not worried about curb appeal , addressing poor drainage matters, as pooling water can lead to a variety of serious problems. This includes foundation damage , peeling paint , basement flooding and even mold. It’s important to resolve these issues as soon as they appear to prevent further damage.

6 Common Causes of Drainage Problems

Here are some of the most common drain issues in yards.

1. Yard Slope or Pitch

Ideally, your yard should be sloped in a way that allows water to drain away from your home. If you notice your yard isn’t draining, it may be because the soil wasn’t graded properly.

“If your yard rests towards the bottom of a hilly area, water will begin to pool in the lowest sections of the yard since it has nowhere else to go.” Conor Battles | The Basement Guys Cleveland

What’s the First Sign?

  • Large puddling in one spot

What Can Happen if I Don’t Fix It?

  • Soggy soil and mud
  • Brown patches of grass
  • Foundation damage
  • Mold growth

2. Impacted Soil

Have you recently installed a pool in your yard? This type of construction project can pack your soil so tightly that it can’t drain. Hardpan clay is especially problematic when impacted since it can retain moisture longer than other types of soil. Natural underground springs can also cause too much moisture and contribute to impacted soil.

“Most yard drainage issues are caused by homeowner projects. When developers set up a master plan, drainage is usually set correctly. Unfortunately, when people move into their home, they install things like pools and gazebos that disrupt the soil.” Robert Sherwood | French Drain Man
  • Hard and dense soil
  • Pooling water, especially in areas where you’ve completed projects
  • Low spots in your yard

Water Puddling Under Gutter Downspout.

3. Short Gutter Downspout

Your gutter is designed to direct water away from the foundation of your home, but water can still puddle if the downspout isn’t long enough.

  • Big puddles under your downspout
  • Basement flooding

4. Barriers Like Sidewalks, Walkways and Rocks

If a sidewalk or concrete path sits in front of your house, it may be the cause of flooding in your yard. When sidewalks are installed at a higher elevation than the surface of your soil, water can flow off the sidewalk and into your yard.

  • Standing water in low spots
  • Mosquito attraction

Yard With Thin Patchy Areas of Grass

5. Runoff Erosion

Runoff from stormwater and your downspout can strip away some of the topsoil in your yard. As topsoil is washed away, your yard is left with the compacted dirt below that can’t absorb water easily. Water will begin to collect in these places, and as topsoil keeps eroding, you’ll see more and more flooding.

  • Thin, patchy areas of grass
  • Exposed tree roots
  • Damaged plant beds

Water Line Bursting

6. Broken Water or Sewer Lines

Excessive water pressure can cause water lines to break and leak underground. If you have a septic tank, keep an eye on standing water near the unit or drain field — this is an indication of septic tank flooding.

  • Low water pressure
  • Wet spots in yard
  • Discolored or odored water
  • High water bills

8 Yard Drainage Solutions You Can Do Yourself

Once you’ve identified your issue and the most likely cause, you can use one of the following lawn drainage solutions.

Quick and Easy Lawn Drainage Solutions

1. water less often.

If there’s no clear cause of your drainage problems, it’s possible that you’re overwatering your yard or garden. Cut down on your watering and watch to see if the trouble spots improve. If they do, the soil could be draining properly but simply can’t keep up with your watering schedule. If not, it may be time to get your hands dirty.

“Maintaining a dry yard is a crucial part of homeownership. When water is allowed to accumulate, especially near the foundation or other vulnerable parts of the home, it can often lead to leaks and other issues that can balloon into a much bigger problem.” Conor Battles | The Basement Guys Cleveland

Person Raking Dirt into Yard.

2. Add More Dirt

If you only have a few shallow areas in your yard that collect water after a rainfall, add dirt to those spots. Simply scatter topsoil over the low spots and rake it in.

Think your yard needs a thorough grade correction? Place a level against the soil directly surrounding your home’s foundation. If it is graded correctly, the ground will drop about 1 inch for every foot that you move away from the house. If it doesn’t, add more soil around your house. Make sure the soil does not come into contact with your siding. You should see at least 4 inches of your concrete foundation above the soil.

Pro tip: If you discover damage to your home’s foundation, make sure to correct it before adding dirt. Water can seep into dirt and eat away at already compromised materials.

Extended Downspout Installed Away From Home.

3. Extend Your Downspout

If you find that the runoff causing your yard drainage problems is coming from your gutter system, try extending the downspout away from your house so it doesn’t form a basin. Just make sure that you point the extended downspout towards a storm drain or other safe drainage area, not a neighboring property.

While you’re at it, make sure the gutters themselves are working properly. Blocked or faulty gutters can cause water to overflow, leading to costly damage. If your roof turns into a waterfall every time it rains, it may be time to tackle a few gutter repairs . At the very least, check that they are clear of debris and pests.

“An easy way to ensure that your yard is protected from unnecessary water intrusion is to make sure that your gutters, downspouts and discharge lines are all working properly. This helps keep water from accumulating in the yard and potentially breaching your foundation, leading to leaks and other home safety concerns.” Conor Battles | The Basement Guys Cleveland

Person Pushing Aerator in Yard

Aerating your yard creates holes in the lawn and breaks up compacted soil underneath. This yard drainage solution allows air, nutrients and water to reach the roots of your grass, reducing runoff.

You can rent an aerator from a local home improvement store or use a manual spike aerator. Whichever tool you choose, make sure to rake up loose sticks and debris from your lawn before using it. After you’re finished aerating, leave the extra soil to break down naturally. For optimal results, add fertilizer after aeration.

5. Remove Large Rocks

Decorative rocks in your yard, if not placed properly, can also create barriers to runoff, causing water to pool in undesirable locations. Consider relocating or removing some rocks to ensure rainwater has a clear path out of your yard.

More Advanced DIY Yard Drainage Solutions

If our quick and easy solutions aren’t doing the trick, here’s how to fix water drainage problems in your yard with a little more effort.

Creek Bed With Surrounding Landscaping

6. Dig a Creek Bed or Swale

Installing a creek bed is a solution to backyard flooding that works well and looks good, too. It creates a drainage channel and redirects water away from your house in a way that can really level up your landscaping look. Similarly, a swale is a sunken area that collects water, but does not contain as many rocks.

  • Once you decide where you want the creek bed to go, mark the spot with stakes.
  • Use a shovel or excavator to remove the top layer of soil. The bed should have a gradual slope of about 1 inch per every 10 feet. Use a level to check the slope.
  • Cover the trench with landscape fabric.
  • Add a layer of small rocks.
  • Start running water from your hose to the bed and test the flow. Make sure the water doesn’t pool in any areas.
  • For a visual boost, surround the bed with plants.

Green Hosta Leaves and Pink Astilbe Flowers in Rain Garden

7. Construct a Rain Garden

Consider turning your soggy patch into a rain garden to catch rainfall so it doesn’t flood your yard. Rain gardens are usually filled with water-loving plants like hostas, ferns and ornamental mosses that help dry out saturated areas. They don’t necessarily solve the yard drainage issue, but they’re definitely more attractive than a muddy hole full of soaked grass.

A completed rain garden will ideally drain water within 24 hours. This number, as well as how absorbent your soil is, can help you figure out how deep to dig the garden. You can dig a small hole in the area, fill it with water, and watch how fast it drains as a test to help determine the right depth. Your rain garden can also be the ending point of a downspout or creek bed.

8. Install a French Drain or Dry Well

What’s the difference.

Dry wells and French drains are different lawn drainage solutions. A French drain is a very effective pipe drainage system that channels runoff water to a single point. While dry wells can be helpful, they aren’t effective during the rainy seasons when soils are saturated.

“Unlike a dry well, a French drain discharges to a storm drain or a ditch. Since it goes somewhere and you’re able to discharge water, it works really well.” Robert Sherwood | French Drain Man

How to Install a French Drain

Digging a hole is hard work, but you can create a DIY French drain in a few steps. If you’re not sure where to start on gathering the right supplies, consider investing in a French drain kit .

  • Identify the area in your yard that needs a rain drainage solution. Make sure the drain is at least 10 feet away from your house or septic system. Decide what type of drainage system you want to send your water to.
  • Dig the trench with a shovel or trenching machine. The trench should be about 18 inches wide and 24 inches deep, depending on the size of your pipe. The trench should slope downhill, away from your home. Hand digging is easiest in the spring, when the soil is still wet.
  • Line the trench with landscaping fabric and secure it with sod staples. This will keep dirt, roots and other debris from clogging the drain system.
  • Place the drain pipe in the trench . Check that the pipe has a continuous downward slope. Your drain should slope downward at least 1 inch for every 10 feet of pipe. The pipe should run from your home’s downspout to a storm drain.
  • Add a gravel layer around the pipe . Fill the trench to about 2 inches below the surface.
  • Finish installation with a layer of topsoil and plant grass to backfill the trench. Alternatively, you can keep the sod you originally dug up and place it over the top. Water the area periodically as it dries out.

How to Install a Dry Well

Installing a dry well involves an almost identical process to installing a French drain. Just make sure the hole for your dry well is about 4 feet deep and the pipe running toward the dry well slopes one-quarter inch per foot.

I Fixed My Drainage Problem — Now What?

Now that you know how to fix landscape drainage in your yard, check out the following posts to make your yard the space you want.

  • 11 Backyard Landscaping Ideas on a Budget
  • How to Make Your Backyard Private
  • 7 Dog Friendly Backyard Ideas

Related Posts

Cover - "Checklist for Building an In-Law Suite"

November 13, 2023 11

What You Should Know Before Building a Mother-in-Law Suite

How to Convert Your Attic to Living Space

October 9, 2023 10

How to Finish an Attic

Transform Your Shed With These 10 Ideas

August 24, 2023 2

Our Top Ideas for How to Make a Shed Livable

' src=

Consider how an integration project will impact your routine and the do-it-yourself options available.

' src=

We have a flooded backyard and it keeps getting worse. We have added soil and has not worked. Our backyard is like a bowl. The property behind us slopes down and it goes onto our backyard. We need help and ideas. Looking forward to hearing from you. We don’t have a lot of money. Help!

' src=

I have the same problem, I have had people come look at my yard and give a few options. one common option was to put down fake grass so my yard does not get muddy, but is it super expensive, at least my quote. I am still trying to figure out what to do. Plus I have 2 dogs who loves to run around the back yard. I feel your pain, good luck.

' src=

Without knowing your specific layout, it’s hard to say, but if it’s anything like what we had at a rental some years ago, I’d say the best bet is to have a drain near the bottom of your bowl of a backyard that connects to piping to take it elsewhere. Then again, if the slope of the bowl is steep enough, it may be impossible to have the drain pipe have at least an even, preferably downward, slope out of the bowl. Alternatively, fill your bowl with dirt, or partially fill it to where the slope is marginal enough to put in the drain. Good luck.

' src=

Same with my yard, Robyn. My yard somewhat terraced and the upper terrace slopes so water goes to my backyard, underneath my french doors and it has leaked underneath the outside of my house into my kitchen, dining room and bedroom during torrential, heavy rains. I have no idea what to do. I’ve gotten one estimate for $2500.00 to put in plastic near the foundation, flower beds and a type of trench, as he stated that he would not do a french drain because the get clogged up so he will not guarantee those. Still on the hunt for the best solution.

' src=

House we bought 2 years ago has the same problem we have the land to the side and behind us that drains into our yard and the yard is shaped like a bowl. We also live in KY so we get a lot of rain… think Seattle Bay area for those that don’t know Kentucky’s grey skies and rain. It’s basically a pond 30ft wide, 1-2 ft deep pond back there that almost never dries up. Additionally all the run off and flooding come into the back door making us contend with a wet utility room, mold, insects often. Had someone come by to survey the land for a drain, and they said it was impossible because there was no where for that much water to drain to . Any suggestions would be helpful It’s so wet back there we can’t keep up on mowing and often are trying to prevent City fines for over growth.

' src=

Oh man! Our backyard is a lake!!! We asked our surrounding neighbors if the had a main drain from the “City” and asked if we could divert the lake there! So our plan is to fill in the yard to slightly slope towards the main drain! Will let you know how it works out!

' src=

Hi Diane, Keep us posted on how this works out for you, and thanks for reading!

Leave a reply Cancel reply

Need a dumpster rental.

Call 833-499-7507

or get instant pricing

Stay in touch to receive special offers

Read our storm prep and cleanup guide.

Storm Preparation Tips

Latest Posts

Cover - "Checklist for Building an In-Law Suite"

  • Become a Hauler
  • Dumpster Weight Calculator
  • Request a Free Dumpster
  • Dumpster Services
  • Online Pricing
  • Order Another Dumpster
  • Schedule a Pickup
  • Request a Quote
  • Rental Terms and Conditions
  • 833-499-7507

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Pinterest

Connect on Linkedin

Subscribe on Youtube

Follow us on Instagram

Subscribe to our feed

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer    © 2023 BudgetDumpster.com All Rights Reserved

solving backyard drainage problems

100 Day Dream Home

  • Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge

Bargain Block

  • Battle on the Beach
  • Brother Vs. Brother
  • Building Roots
  • Celebrity I.O.U.
  • Christina on the Coast
  • Down Home Fab
  • Farmhouse Fixer
  • Fix My Flip
  • Fixer to Fabulous
  • Flip the Strip
  • Help! I Wrecked My House
  • Holmes Family Rescue
  • Home in a Heartbeat with Galey Alix
  • Houses With History
  • Lil Jon Wants to Do What?
  • Love It or List It
  • Married to Real Estate
  • My Lottery Dream Home

No Demo Reno

  • Property Brothers: Forever Home
  • Rock the Block

Tough Love With Hilary Farr

  • Unsellable Houses
  • Vacation House Rules
  • Windy City Rehab
  • See Full Schedule
  • Stream Full Seasons
  • Sign Up for Our Newsletters
  • Ideas by Room
  • Design Styles
  • HGTV Magazine
  • HGTV Newsletters
  • Flowers and Plants
  • Landscaping and Hardscaping
  • Outdoor Spaces
  • Curb Appeal
  • Cleaning and Organizing
  • Entertaining
  • Health and Wellness
  • Real Estate
  • Home Improvement
  • DIY Projects
  • HGTV Handmade
  • $10K to Holiday Giveaway
  • HGTV Urban Oasis 2023: Enter the Sweepstakes
  • HGTV Dream Home
  • HGTV Smart Home
  • Product Reviews
  • Gift Guides
  • Sales and Deals
  • News and Trends
  • Newsletters
  • TV Schedule
  • Get inspired! Sign up for our newsletters for the latest ideas, products and projects.

By entering your email address, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the Privacy Policy . HGTV and its affiliates may use your email address to provide updates, ads, and offers.

Want even more inspiration?

  • HGTV Shopping
  • HGTV Makeovers
  • HGTV This Week
  • HGTV Gardens and Outdoors
  • HGTV Weekend Projects

How to Improve Yard Drainage

Poor yard drainage is more than just a nuisance. Standing water can destroy your lawn, invite pests and even jeopardize your home. Here are some things you can do to improve the drainage in your yard and around your house.

Standing Water in Yard

Standing Water in Yard

If water stands in your yard for hours or even days after a moderate rain, you have poor drainage, which can be caused by heavy, compacted soils or improper grading. If this occurs near your home’s foundation, it can lead to nasty moisture issues in your basement or crawlspace. Fortunately, a French drain or re-grading the property can usually solve this problem.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/samheaton


solving backyard drainage problems

Related To:

Where’s the water from and where’s it gotta go.

Before you can determine how to drain an area of your yard, you’ll need to make some basic observations first. Where is the water coming from? Meaning, is it runoff from a neighbor’s yard? Is it sheeting off of your shed’s roof? Do you have too many rain gutters emptying into the same spot? Identifying the causes of excess volumes of water goes a long way toward choosing the solutions that are right for you.

Next, you’ll really want to understand why a particular spot is holding water. Is it a low spot in the yard that can just be landscaped so that it drains? Or do you have garden beds holding water and not draining properly? Maybe the terrain around your house doesn’t adequately guide water away from the homesite. These issues may require heavy changes in the landscape to address drainage issues.

Finally, you’ll want to know which way you can divert water so that it’s safely away from your home and that of your neighbors. Ideally, you’ll take excess water out to the street or local stormwater system and away from your home and your neighbors'. Now that you’ve thought about the causes of your drainage issues, here are some solutions that can help you move water away from your yard properly.

French Drains

Drainage Pipe Emptying Into Pebbles

Drainage Pipe Emptying Into Pebbles

Hide the end of a drainage ditch with attractive pebbles.

solving backyard drainage problems

While they require a fair amount of elbow grease, French drains are a great way to disperse water over a large area, and they’re used to deal with a large number of drainage issues. French drains do not require an outlet; instead, they rely on a perforated pipe laid in a gravel trench to collect and disperse water as it flows along the inside of the pipe. Learn how to install a French drain.

French drains are unique in that you can have an inlet on both sides of the pipe, so that two areas can flow into the same drain. French drains can be used in conjunction with gutters or dry wells to reduce surface water runoff.

The Dry Well

Dry wells are perforated tanks surrounded by aggregate that receive water piped from other areas. The water collects into the well and slowly seeps into the ground through the perforations in the side of the tank. This system can ingest a large volume of water and contain it so that the soil doesn’t become super saturated. An effective dry well should be able to collect the first 20 minutes of your largest average rainstorm of the year. You can connect a variety of drainage devices to a dry well, including French drains, gutters and channel drains.

It might be necessary to consult your local building inspector and ask if permits are required for a dry well. Since a dry well can have an impact on groundwater, certain municipalities might require specific designs or materials to mitigate any threats your dry well might potentially pose.

Gutter Downspouts

The gutters on your home could be contributing to the mass of water collecting in your yard. As your home’s gutters collect rain, they eject it through the nearest downspout. If your downspouts are emptying into an area that runs uphill or tends to collect water, it might be time to redirect your gutters.

You can attach a rigid drain pipe to the end of a gutter spout to carry water away from problem areas. Or, if it’s feasible, simply dig a dry creek bed for your gutter to empty into that will carry water away from problem areas.

Rain Gardens Are the Eco Solution

Front Yard Rain Garden

Rain Garden With Flowers

Rain gardens earn their keep, catching rain water runoff from roofs, driveways and lawns. A well-designed rain garden holds runoff long enough so it can soak into soil, instead of running into storm sewers. It also helps clean rain water runoff by removing up to 90 percent of fertilizer nutrients and up to 80 percent of sediments. Best of all, a rain garden can look gorgeous while effectively handling storm water runoff. This rain garden design features strong summer and fall color, with gold black-eyed susan, purple Russian sage, purple coneflower and rose-pink ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum.

Photo by: RainDogDesigns.com/wordpress


Sometimes it’s either not feasible to solve a large drainage problem, or it’s too costly. When that happens, it might be time to consider an alternate landscaping choice. There are lots of options for native plants that thrive in soggy areas and that create a habitat for birds, frogs, insects and all kinds of wildlife that depend on them for food and shelter. Rain gardens can soak up tremendous amounts of water, are easy to care for and provide hours of enjoyment for homeowners. Check out some of HGTV's favorite rain gardens for inspiration and tips for building your own.

We're sorry, there seems to be an issue playing this video. Please refresh the page or try again in a moment. If you continue to have issues, please contact us here .

Dealing with Drainage

Dealing with Drainage

Drain and Drain Hole in Bathtub with Chain in France.

How to Unclog a Shower Drain

Water flowing out of a kitchen stainless steel tap into the sink. Wasting water by leaving a chrome faucet tap running. Overusing household water. Water misuse in domestic duties and activities.

How to Increase Your Home's Water Pressure

solving backyard drainage problems

  • How to Install French Drains

solving backyard drainage problems

How to Clean Any TV Screen

solving backyard drainage problems

How Much Does Solar Power Cost?

solving backyard drainage problems

How to Clean Battery Corrosion Safely

solving backyard drainage problems

How to Identify Basic Electrical Wiring

A dusty air conditioner filter from an AC wall unit held up against the sky.

How to Clean an AC Filter

Attach New Switch

How to Wire a Light Switch

solving backyard drainage problems

How to Clean a Computer Screen

Go shopping.

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

solving backyard drainage problems

Celebrate 'Elf' the Movie's 20th Anniversary With These Home, Apparel and Food Buys Nov 16, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

84 Best Finds and Gift Ideas From Amazon's Holiday Deals Nov 15, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

HGTV Magazine's 2023 Holiday Gift Guide Nov 6, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

35 Thoughtful Gifts to Send to Long-Distance Family and Friends Nov 13, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best 100+ Christmas Decorations to Buy in 2023 Nov 13, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

40+ Christmas Gifts for Teachers That Really Show Your Appreciation Nov 9, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

54 Best Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas for $50 or Less Nov 8, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best Walmart Black Friday Deals to Shop Now Nov 14, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best Early Black Friday Sales for 2023 So Far Nov 8, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

Brighten Your Yard With the Best Christmas Inflatables Nov 7, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Cheeriest Finds From the New 'Elf' Collection at Pottery Barn Nov 7, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

11 American Indian and Alaskan Native-Founded Home Brands We Love Nov 6, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best Black Friday Deals We've Found at Target So Far Nov 6, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best Outdoor Decorations for Hanukkah Nov 3, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

10 Best Indoor Christmas Lights for Every Style and Budget in 2023 Nov 4, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

56 Best Gifts for People Who Love to Cook Nov 3, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The 5 Best DIY Home Security Systems for Every Budget Nov 3, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The 11 Best Refrigerators for Every Budget in 2023 Nov 3, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

54 Thoughtful and Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Co-Workers Nov 2, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

Everything We Want From Pottery Barn's 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' Collection Nov 1, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best Christmas Tree Stands for Every Type of Tree Nov 1, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best Gifts From Oprah's Favorite Things 2023 Nov 1, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

How to Recreate Hilary Farr's Best 'Tough Love' Looks in Your Own Home Oct 31, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The 40+ Best Practical Gifts Oct 31, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

40 Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Couple Oct 31, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

63 Best Gift Ideas for Women Oct 31, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

11 Stylish Sleeper Sofas for Every Budget in 2023 Oct 30, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

15 Beautiful Christmas Tree Skirts Under $100 Oct 27, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

The Best Gifts for Babies, Kids and Tweens This Year Oct 26, 2023

solving backyard drainage problems

20 Beautiful Christmas Tree Toppers for Every Style Oct 26, 2023

House hunters, house hunters international, rehab addict lake house rescue, get the hgtv gardens newsletter.

Subscribe now to get our best gardening and landscaping tips delivered to your inbox weekly.

To withdraw your consent or learn more about your rights, see the Privacy Policy .

  • HGTV Insider
  • HGTV Inspiration

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages

  • Solving Common Drainage Problems
  • How Do I Ensure Good Drainage in Container...
  • Basement Drainage Systems
  • How to Improve Clay Soil
  • 13 Tips for Fertilizing Your Lawn

This site does not support Internet Explorer 6 or lower. Please consider updating your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Google Chrome .

  • Lawn & Garden

Solved! Here’s Who to Call for Drainage Problems in the Yard

If you’re confused about who to call for drainage problems in your yard, this guide can help you figure out what the problem is and who can correct it..

By Melissa Graham | Updated Mar 24, 2023 9:49 AM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Who to Call for Drainage Problems in Yard

Photo: depositphotos.com

Q: I’ve noticed pooling water on my lawn, and I’m worried I have serious drainage issues. Who do I call for drainage problems in my yard?

A: Since pooling water can be indicative of bigger problems in your yard, it’s recommended to call a landscaping professional to diagnose the issue and come up with lawn drainage solutions. A number of issues could lead to drainage problems, including poor soil irrigation, improper grading, or neglected or damaged gutters. While it may be tempting to address the issues yourself, the problem may be more complex than a simple DIY fix. Whatever is causing the issue, it’s wise to have an expert look at it as soon as possible, since pooling water can be a breeding ground for pests such as mosquitoes.

A professional landscaping contractor can examine your yard to pinpoint the cause of the drainage problems.

Before trying to diagnose yard drainage issues themselves, homeowners will want to have one of the best landscaping companies take a look at their lawn. This way, they don’t get knee-deep in a DIY project that doesn’t address the real problem. These experts have years of experience to help figure out the root of the issue and come up with a plan to eliminate the pooling water or muddy spots in no time. Plus, the landscape drainage project may require specific tools and equipment that makes it a project better left to the pros. If the yard needs to be graded, connected to local drainage systems, or requires the installation of new drains, a homeowner will need the help of a professional landscaping contractor.

Who to Call for Drainage Problems in Yard

Drainage problems may be caused by improper grading or poor soil irrigation, which requires the expertise of a landscaping professional.

A number of problems could result in drainage problems in a yard, from improper grading to poor soil irrigation. If a homeowner notices pooling at the base of their house, low spots, ruts, or slightly raised areas, these can all be signs that they’re dealing with improper grading. To solve this issue, yard drainage contractors will regrade the lawn by removing soil from raised areas and adding and compacting soil in low areas. Poor soil irrigation may be the cause of broken or unbalanced sprinkler heads or leaks. A landscaping professional can help determine if all the sprinklers are in working order and spaced appropriately so that the entire yard gets equal coverage. Soil irrigation issues can also be solved by putting in more absorbent soil, aerating the lawn so that it absorbs water more efficiently, or putting in an underground drainage system.

A landscaping professional may suggest a more extensive fix, such as a dry well or a French drain. A dry well is commonly used to prevent flooding from sudden storm water or gray water, which is the runoff that comes from things like the washing machine or bath tub. Dry wells give water a hidden place to go, leaving the yard puddle-free. A French drain diverts water through an underground pipe to a curbside storm drain, again preventing water from pooling in the yard. Installing a French drain costs an average of $5,000 but can be well worth the expense if it helps correct the yard’s draining issues.

Who to Call for Drainage Problems in Yard

An old or neglected gutter system can cause water to pool close to your house and can require the services of a roofing or gutter professional.

The good news about having outdated or worn-down gutters is that the problem is generally easy to spot and fix. If a homeowner owns a tall enough ladder, they can check their gutters to see if they’re clogged, sagging, or have bad seams or joints that are causing leaks. If any of these issues are present, it’s an easy enough task for a homeowner to handle on their own. But if the homeowner is afraid of heights or finds that the damage is more severe than they expected, they will likely need to call one of the best roofing companies or the best gutter cleaning services who can correct the issues. A professional can perform routine maintenance that will help water drain more easily, or if the home needs new gutters, the pro can install them properly and advise the homeowner on which type works best for their home. A homeowner can also have their downspouts extended farther beyond landscaping around the home to prevent water pooling in the future.

For extreme drainage problems, your water company or local government may be able to provide assistance.

If the drainage issues are the result of a sewer problem, a homeowner’s local water company may be able to help if there’s a blockage that lies on the city’s side of the yard . This would occur where the sewer line connects to the municipal sewer system. The homeowner’s local government may also be able to provide assistance if tree roots infiltrate the sewer lines in their yard, causing a leak or other drainage issues. If this requires the work of a plumber or landscaping professional, the city may be able to cover the costs or reimburse the homeowner if they present them with a copy of the bill.

If a homeowner has already called a landscaping professional and they’ve suggested drainage ideas for the backyard that haven’t solved the issue, the homeowner may have an extreme drainage case that requires the help of the water company or local government. It’s worth a homeowner giving them a call to see if they can provide assistance or suggest another local yard drainage contractor.

Who to Call for Drainage Problems in Yard

In general, a landscaping professional can help solve most yard drainage problems.

There’s a chance that the drainage problems in a yard are too complicated to tackle solo and require the help of a landscaping professional who has yard drainage solutions. Plus, a homeowner may not have the time or resources to provide backyard drainage solutions, if that’s where the issue is located. In short, if a homeowner’s search history reads “yard drainage specialist near me,” an expert landscaper can get their yard in tip-top shape and prevent additional pooling from occurring. They may need to install a French drain, which redirects water discreetly, or they may need to secure permits to hook the drainage pipes or trenches to municipal storm drainage. In short, if a homeowner is in need of water drainage solutions, calling a landscaping professional is the best place to start.

11 Backyard Putting Greens That'll Make Your Neighbors Envious

  • Best Weed Killer
  • Mushrooms in Lawn
  • Best Lawn Sprinkler
  • Homemade Fertilizer
  • How Long to Water Lawn
  • Brown Grass
  • Best Electric Mowers
  • Best Time to Water Lawn
  • Best Lawn Fertilizer
  • Newsletters
  • Advertising
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • How We Test & Review Products


Articles may contain affiliate links which enable us to share in the revenue of any purchases made.

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service.

© 2023 Recurrent. All rights reserved.

Hatcher Logo

5 Common Landscape Drainage Problems (and How to Solve Them!)

Michael Hatcher

Feb 29, 2016 9:38:53 AM

You don’t have to be a professional to know your lawn has a drainage problem.

The water line on the side of your home, bare roots and yard rivets that look like little streams are hard to miss.

These issues are not only unsightly, but they can also lead to some serious damage if left untreated.

Why Proper Drainage is Important

If you don’t have good drainage on your landscape, chances are, your outdoor living space isn’t going to be a success.

And there’s one factor that will decide if you have drainage issues: having something that hinders water from moving downhill. It’s really that simple.

nice landscape

It could be the result of neglecting to design a stormwater drainage plan or, most often, attempting to correct something without the proper experience and knowledge.

Drainage plans are a vital part of any landscape design. It could consist of an elaborate plan with a catch basin, large and small diameter pipe, sump pump, French drain, gravel and head walls. Or, it could be as small as just thinking about what happens on your terrace when you water a new container plant.

Water is obviously a necessity for a healthy landscape, but you need to know how to properly distribute this resource to prevent issues. If you don’t, the results can be disastrous.

Here are the five most common landscape drainage problems and how to fix them.

1. Poor Elevation at the Foundation

One of the most prevalent drainage problems we see when water is being held at the foundation of a client’s home.

That can be disastrous to the house’s interior finishes, such as drywall or wood floors, and it can also contribute to foundation failure. These are all major issues that could have easily been avoided at the initial construction of the house by elevating the house slab enough to get proper slope away from the home.

Solution: Grading around your home to create another place for the water to flow can help keep it from building up around the foundation. You can also install a sub-surface drainage system that includes a catch basin and pipe.

2. Plant Bed Designs

There’s more to think about than just what plants you want installed in your beds. You also need to consider the bed’s layout if you want to prevent another common drainage issue.

flower bed

Improper bed designs impede the natural water flow, keeping the water from moving in the direction the developer and engineer intended. That could cause the water to remain in the beds, killing your plants, or going in a direction that causes other damage.

Solution: Your drainage solution should include a calculator and a site level to make sure you calculate the proper slope to efficiently move the water down hill.

3. Water Traps

Improper grading of your yard can create depressions that hold water.

This excess water will ultimately kill your turf and plant material. Plus, it can leave you with marshy conditions in those areas if it continues.

Solution: You can give water a better place to go by installing creek beds that allow stormwater to be moved on the surface. These creeks can also add some aesthetic value. In extreme causes where there are no other ways to move the water using gravity, you can use mechanical options to evacuate the water with a sump pump.

4. Paved Surfaces

Having the proper grade isn’t just important for your yard — it’s also vital to preventing drainage problems with your hardscape surfaces.

You need to make sure your solid surfaces like a driveway, pool deck, terraces and walkways have the proper slope.

Solution: In addition to properly grading the area, you can also install retaining walls to help with drainage issues.

5. Gutter Spouts

Another common drainage problem is when gutter down spout exits aren’t properly addressed.

gutter spouts

If the gutter is emptying into bed areas and over saturating plant material, or dumping concentrated amounts of water on paved surfaces, you will have issues.

Solution: Be mindful of where your gutters are pouring water, and redirect them so the water will go down hill.

Hire a Landscape Drainage Professional

You want to fix any drainage issues you have as soon as possible, and one way of doing that is by hiring a landscaping company.

Depending on the complexity of your drainage issue, this is one of the landscape projects that, many times, should be left to a professional. A fraction of an inch can make the difference between solving the problem and spending more money to fix the drainage twice.

Whatever corrective drainage measure you select for your property, the most important thing is to identify your water patterns and ensure they work within the scope of your overall design.

Here at Michael Hatcher & Associates, we can help diagnose your drainage problem and create a lasting solution.

In addition to water management, we also offer lawn care , custom patios, commercial and residential maintenance, landscape design, lighting, outdoor entertainment, custom gunite pools and urban gardening services . Our service area covers Memphis and the Mid-South.

No matter your drainage or landscape needs, we can handle it all.

Contact Michael Hatcher & Associates at 901-755-3207 or by filling out a form online. You can also request a free consultation online.

Use Our Landscape Project Pricing Calculator

Written by Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is Founder and Chairman of Michael Hatcher & Associates.

solving backyard drainage problems

  • Cost of Living by State
  • Maintenance
  • Building Better

How to Solve the 5 Most Common Drainage Problems

solving backyard drainage problems

We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If your yard floods every time it rains or your walk-out basement floods on a regular basis, you may have a drainage problem. Landscape drainage problems are common in yards with a slope or around areas where impervious surfaces, like a sidewalk, are present.

While drainage problems can cause significant headaches for homeowners, most issues can be easily resolved with a few basic fixes. Here are five of the most common drainage problems, and how to solve them.

1. Soil Impaction

Soil impaction most often occurs around new construction when heavy equipment disturbs the soil. However, soil impaction is more common in certain soil types. For instance, clay-based soil is more likely to have issues with impaction. If you have impacted soil, you may notice that the ground remains wet for days after a rainstorm, or that certain parts of your yard remain soggy all year round.

One method of mitigating soil impaction is incorporating new plant life into your yard. Adding organic matter to the ground, like compost, helps to break up the soil and improve its ability to hold water. Consider planting trees or shrubs in the impacted area, or constructing a raised bed that holds flowers or vegetables.

If adding plants to the area is not plausible, you may want to construct a French drain that can help mitigate standing water.

2. Short Downspout

Most homes have gutter systems that run into downspouts, designed to move water from the roof away from the base of the house. However, downspouts that are too short or facing the wrong direction can cause issues for homeowners. Short downspouts are a common drainage issue, meaning the water gushes out too close to the house, eroding soil and creating a stream.

To avoid this issue, redirect or lengthen the downspout. You may also want to look into planting a rain garden , which is an area of water-loving plants designed to soak up extra moisture in your yard. By running your downspout into a rain garden, you can avoid soil erosion and create a beautiful habitat for wildlife.

3. Erosion Run-off

Soil erosion is most common on previously disturbed soil, such as agricultural land or recently constructed home sites. However, the slope of the land around your house can also be a determining factor. Soil erosion happens when the top layer of soil is completely removed. You may have soil erosion run-off if heavy rainfall or flooding leaves you with rivulets through your yard or collections of loose soil at the bottom of a slope.

One solution to soil runoff is building a swale. A swale is a shallow trench that holds water . It slows down water flow and prevents soil from degradation. Building a swale is simple and inexpensive, and it requires only a shovel. Planting perennial plants can also help strengthen soil structure, helping the ground to hold water better.

4. Yard Slope

If you have a steep backyard or a graded driveway next to your house, you may experience drainage issues due to yard slope. Yard slope is perhaps the most common drainage problem. While it may seem like there is not much you can do to change the slope of your yard, it’s actually not that complicated to fix.

Consider adding a perforated drain pipe close to your house, especially if you have a walk-out basement or patio. This will help to catch a percentage of the water flow. In addition, you may want to build a trench drain to redirect water in the direction you want it to go. More serious landscape updates, such as flattening graded yards, may also help slow the flow due to yard slope.

5. Path Flooding

Impervious surfaces, such as paved driveways and pathways, can cause drainage issues. Impervious surfaces restrict the flow of water, causing it to run across the surface rather than be absorbed into the ground. This can make drainage much more complicated.

If you are experiencing path flooding, be sure to incorporate moisture-loving plants to help slow the flow of water, and consider adding drains that can reroute additional water flow. If you can, build a drainage plan before construction. That way, you can ensure that you have accounted for water flow before building.

Fixing Your Yard

Landscape drainage problems are very common , and most homeowners have had at least one encounter with a broken downspout or soil erosion. If you have regular flooding in your yard or find that areas around your home are holding standing water, consider these simple solutions to the five most common drainage problems.

Did you enjoy this post? Join the Renovated community!

A house is more than just where you live. it's where you build a community. we'll give you all the latest trends you need to make your home your haven. subscribe and never miss out, about the author.

Evelyn is the founder and editor-in-chief of Renovated with over 5 years of experience researching and writing about home living. Her passion project is writing about the real estate market and home staging. Her other passion projects include reading and exploring Lancaster for the best coffee shops.

Evelyn's work has been featured on National Association of Realtors, McKissock, Insights for Professionals, Appraisal Buzz, and Commercial Truck Trader.

For more articles from Evelyn, you can follow her on Twitter at @renovatedmag.

Popular Now

can i break my lease because of roaches

Can I Break My Lease Because of Roaches?

what to do when contractor does poor work

What to Do When a Contractor Does Poor Work (Updated for 2023)

snowiest cities in the us

The 10 Snowiest Cities in the U.S.

Stay up to date.

Enjoy your Inbox again

More Like This

how to remove a stripped screw

How to Remove a Stripped Screw

solving backyard drainage problems

How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Vacuum (Updated for 2023)

solving backyard drainage problems

Putting Your Garden to Bed for Winter: 10 Do’s and Don’ts

Pool floor with flamingo, donut and bed floats

7 Mistakes To Avoid When Winterizing Your Above-Ground Pool

solving backyard drainage problems

10 Items To Put On Your Fall Cleaning Checklist

bee garden - a photo of a bee

How to Make a Bee Garden

ways to make your backyard more environmentally friendly - a home with a backyard garden

7 Ways to Make Your Backyard More Environmentally Friendly

Yard Drainage Problems and Solutions: A DIY Guide

a gray house with a flat roof and a backyard with evenly spaced, modern concrete rectangular steps, various green plants and a table with three chairs

Every landscape design includes a detailed plan for yard drainage because simply allowing water to flow wherever it wants can create a number of potentially disastrous problems, including erosion, standing water and water-clogged soil that is unfit for planting. Poor yard drainage can also cause water to collect around the foundation of your house and seep into the basement, where it can cause expensive issues such as flooding, structural damage or both.


Yard drainage problems can be the result of topography and a mixture of soil types as well as improper placement of gutter downspouts, installation of nonpermeable patios and driveways and poor grading. Some of the more common problems have fairly simple DIY solutions, but some call for professional help because it's easy for an inexperienced landscaper to create a new problem when tackling an existing one. Two natural forces — the relentless pull of gravity and the uncanny ability of water to find the path of least resistance to the lowest point — underlie all drainage problems, and to solve them, you have to think like water.

Video of the Day

Characteristics of a Well-Draining Property

Before a house is built, the land is typically graded to direct water runoff away from the foundation. Ideally, the land descends at least 6 inches over a 10-foot distance from the house and another 12 inches over the next 100 feet. Few properties are ideal, however, and undulations in the land may force water to flow toward the house. In this case, the foundation construction includes an effective perimeter drainage system.

Water that flows away from the house continues on its downward course until it either soaks into the ground or runs off the property. In most cases, this runoff is unnoticeable, but if the land is hilly, small streams or rivers can form, and these can turn into torrents during heavy rains. These torrents may occur only occasionally, but each time one does, it can wreak havoc.

When the features creating these streams are natural, nature usually also provides escape routes for the water, and builders avoid constructing anything on these routes. The causes aren't always natural, though. They could be hardscaping items such as retaining walls, walkways or small buildings that alter the direction in which stormwater flows, thus creating new drainage issues to solve.

Water Around the Foundation

Even if the property was properly graded before the house was built, water can collect around the foundation for a number of reasons. The eaves may be flooding over, the downspouts may be too close to the house or a new patio may be shedding water that previously soaked into the ground. Michael Hatcher & Associates recommends regrading to clear water from the foundation, but that's a big job that may require a contractor with heavy equipment, depending on the size of the house. Even regrading with hand tools can disrupt the landscape, and it isn't always necessary.

If the ground around the foundation is soggy, the gutters are the most likely source of the excess water. If it has been a while since you cleaned them, now is the time to do it again, paying special attention to the downspout inlets and clearing them of leaves and other obstructions. Extend the downspout outlets with corrugated drain pipe long enough to ensure water flows away from the house or, if necessary, dig a small dry well for each downspout outlet so water can seep into the ground.

Canadian House in Beaconsfield, Island of Montreal

Runoff From Patios and Driveways

The sogginess around the foundation may be runoff from a patio or walkway, and you may be able to handle that by digging a swale, which is a wide, shallow rock-filled or grass-filled trench that slopes away from the house. Another solution is to construct a French drain, which you do by digging a sloped trench, laying perforated pipe over a bed of gravel and covering it with gravel followed by topsoil. Connecting the French drain system to grid-covered catch basins located where water tends to pool improves the efficiency of the system and offers more protection to the home's foundation.

Swales are a common way to handle runoff from the driveway. They can be filled with stones or covered with turf, and either way, they work by allowing the water that flows off the pavement to soak into the ground. In places that get a lot of rain, a swale provides an ideal location for a rain garden filled with water-loving plants.

Yard Drainage for Standing Water

When a small lake forms in your yard every time it rains, it's usually due to a combination of topography and poor soil. Standing water creates what Warner Service calls water-clogged soil — soil so saturated it can't handle any more water — which would be disastrous if the flooded section is part of a septic drainfield. Fortunately, that's unlikely since a drainfield must be located on well-draining soil to be permitted by the local heath authorities.

Often, the best way to handle standing surface water is to regrade the ground and perhaps bring in extra dirt to build up the low spot. If the water covers a large area, this is another job for a contractor, but if the area is fairly small and you want to do something yourself, consider these drainage solutions:

  • Dig a swale with a downward slope to a runoff point or a dry well on your property. Do not direct the water to a neighboring property unless you have worked out a plan with the neighbor. Draining water onto a neighbor's property is an unneighborly thing to do, and it's even illegal in some communities.
  • Install a French drain system that directs the water to a dry well or a suitable runoff point.
  • Improve soil that has a high clay content to make it more porous and water-absorbent. To do this, Gardening Know How recommends turning organic matter such as compost into the soil and then covering the area with organic mulch. If you plant a cover crop such as borage or clover, the roots will aerate the soil, and when the growing season is finished, you can turn the crop into the soil to increase the concentration of organic material as further insurance against clogging.

Exterior view of a mid-century modern house

Handling Erosion Problems

Flowing water can create as many drainage issues and cause as much damage as standing water. It can shift topsoil and create ever-deepening ruts that make the ground unsuitable for planting or building. Strategies for countering erosion usually focus on slowing down the water flow and diverting it:

  • Terrace a steep slope to slow down stormwater surges and change the direction the water flows while giving yourself the opportunity to plant flower beds or construct rock gardens.
  • Build a retaining wall to protect existing shrubs, flower beds or hardscape features. A retaining wall usually has an underground drain pipe on the uphill side to catch water and direct it to a more suitable location.

Constructing a dry creek bed that follows the path of the water neither slows down nor redirects the water flow, but it prevents further damage to the landscape. A dry creek bed is a trench lined with landscape fabric, bordered by large river rocks and filled with smaller ones. It's an attractive feature to add to any landscape, especially in semiarid places prone to the occasional washout.

  • Bob Vila: What Would Bob Do? Solving a Yard Drainage Crisis
  • Michael Hatcher & Associates: 5 Common Landscape Drainage Problems (and How to Solve Them!)
  • Gardening Know How: Improving Clay Soil In Your Yard
  • Warner Service: How to Solve 4 of the Most Common Drainage System Problems

Report an Issue

Screenshot loading...

Landscaping Ideas

Research Landscapes

Landscape design.

  • Landscape Ideas
  • Small Yard Landscaping
  • Landscaping for Privacy
  • Landscape Design Styles

Backyard Features

  • Swimming Pool Design
  • Outdoor BBQs
  • Outdoor Fireplace
  • Fire Pit Designs

Front Yard Features

  • Walkways & Paths
  • Porches & Entryways

Outdoor Structures

  • Pergolas & Patio Covers
  • Retaining Walls
  • Fencing & Gates

Hardscapes & Lighting

  • Landscape Lighting

Plants & Lawns

  • Plants for Landscaping
  • Sprinklers & Drip Irrigation
  • Style Guides

solving backyard drainage problems

Research Backyard Landscaping Browse photos and get backyard design ideas

Garden Design

3 Backyard Drainage Solutions for Your Landscape

solving backyard drainage problems

Where land is flat, soils are dense or the water table is high, a well designed drainage system is a priority. Without proper drainage solutions in place, water may collect to undermine structures and drown expensive plants, turning parts of your new landscape into perpetually wet swamps. This can be the most important issue to a landscape architect due to this potential for damage. Backyard drainage may also be overlooked entirely by a designer poorly trained in grading and drainage.

Do You Have Drainage Problems?

A good designer will analyze the nature of your yard, and may "shoot the grades" to establish the exact topography no matter how flat the site may seem. Spot elevations tell the designer where problems lie so that she can solve them through design.

Ground water can also play an important role in drainage, and it is directly related to rainfall patterns. In the low lying areas of the South, the water table can be just inches below the surface. Such conditions create all sorts of problems for construction and limit planting options.

Rainfall is the periodic catalyst that sets drainage problems in gear. Where heavy downpours are common, poorly drained sites can become flooded for a short time if drainage structures are in place, or extended periods if they are not. Add heavy rainfall to a high water table and the potential for damage increases exponentially.

Find out what's going on underground with this simple test. Dig a hole about two feet deep and as wide. Fill it to the top with water. If it drains away within an hour your drainage is excellent. If it takes 12 hours to drain, there may be problems. If it takes more than 24 hours to drain, then there is a serious problem that could impact the deep root zone of trees and shrubs.

Problem #1: Surface Water

Solution: Surface Drainage

Homesites with clay soils suffer problems with lingering surface water. In theory every lot was graded to drain so that water in the backyard flows through a swale down the sideyard to the curb or storm drain. The reality is that builders don't always get their grades right and water becomes trapped, causing muddy zones in lawns and planting areas (see Lawn Drainage ). When your designer creates the new drainage plan, it may utilize surface grading to ensure there is enough fall to drain. If there is not, another option must be found.

The French drain is an age old drainage solution that gathers water and provides a place underground where it may take its time percolating down through dense soils. It is essentially a trench that is dug to any depth and filled with gravel and possibly a perforated drain line. Roofing felt or geotextiles are laid over the top of the gravel and the soil replaced. The surrounding area is graded to drain to this trench so water no longer gathers on the surface to create problems.

Hillside Landscaping Rocky Soil View all Common Landscaping Problems

Problem #2: Hardpan

Solution: Underground drainage

Where hardpan layers exist, the entire site may suffer poor drainage and standing water. This is too great a challenge for spot solutions. Insist on a site-wide grading and drainage plan with an underground system of pipes fed by drop inlets or trench drains. The advent of easy to install plastic piping makes it easier to move water off site and directly into the storm drain.

The drainage plan may prove to be the most important part of your project in areas of high rainfall such as Florida or Seattle where heavy flows are common. Such drainage costs more to install, but it pays for itself time and again. Where there is no storm drain or it is inaccessible, this kind of system may flow into an underground sump. This is a large hole dug and packed with gravel where water stands until it drains away. With luck, digging of a sump punches through hardpan into more porous soils deeper down.

If your yard has a high water table or poor drainage it can be difficult to find trees that will thrive. Here is a list of 10 trees for a wet garden .

Problem #3: High Water Table

Solution: Raise it or use water loving plants

Low lying areas with a high water table can make landscaping a real challenge. Plant roots in saturated soil during the growing season are denied oxygen, and quickly rot just like an overwatered house plant. Certain plants that originate in river bottoms and wetlands do quite well in high water landscapes. The best choices will be riparian species from local bogs, fens and swamps naturally adapted to your climate and soils. Trees from similar wetlands elsewhere in the world also make good candidates. These provide more diversity than what is native to local plant communities.

The other solution for high water table landscapes is to raise the planting areas, an expensive but effective option. Raised planter heights can vary according to what the designer wants to grow there. For trees and large shrubs, the size of such planters must be greater to keep the root crown high and dry. The root crown is a woody structure at the base of the trunk from which roots diverge out into the soil. Where planting is limited to smaller shrubs and perennials, the depth of the planter may be shallow and thus less expensive. The challenge to your designer is to balance the cost of raised beds with the benefits of her proposed planting.

solving backyard drainage problems

Find expert solutions for solving typical yard and landscape challenges

solving backyard drainage problems

Get four ideas for solving driveway drainage problems

solving backyard drainage problems

Learn more about selecting location and form of landscape berms

  • About Us: Contact us and view our privacy policy, terms & conditions, press room

Landscaping Network

Follow us on:

solving backyard drainage problems

Stay Up-To-Date

Get our weekly newsletter each Thursday

Sign Up Today No Thanks

solving backyard drainage problems

We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations.

Horizon Landscape

7 Common Property Drainage Problems and How to Resolve Them

You may not have control over when it rains or how much it rains, but there are things you can do to lessen the impact that rainwater has on your property. Without proper drainage, water can collect in your yard creating structural issues to your home, damage to plants and flowers, an increase in bugs and a messy, swampy mess. Signs that you may have poor drainage are:

  • Water in the basement
  • Mosquitoes breeding in puddling water
  • Dead grass, trees and plants suffocating/drowning
  • Ice building up on walkways and patios in the winter

Let’s discuss seven of the most common property drainage problems and what you can do to resolve them.

Problem #1: Improperly Installed Downspouts and Gutters

solving backyard drainage problems

To fix, make sure all downspouts are pointed away from the home and that they lead far enough away from the dwelling. Connect these spouts to a drainage system if necessary to carry the water even further.

Even more importantly, be sure to clean your gutters. At Horizon Landscape, the biggest drainage issue we see is gutters that are overflowing. Sometimes, a tennis ball will be thrown up in the air and onto the roof -and plop! – it lands in the gutter. This will then create a cover over the leader drain so the gutter overflows. And sometimes, it’s not just balls in the gutters, either. We’ve seen everything from dead squirrels to bird nests to sticks, leaves and debris piling up and blocking the downspout. It’s amazing to see how much blows around and collects in the gutters or are carried there by squirrels and birds looking for a place to nest or hide food.

If you want to see if your gutters are the issue, grab an umbrella and step outside when it’s raining, observe the gutters and check if there are wet areas around your house. This is a quick and easy way to see where the issue is stemming from.

Problem #2: Improper Grading

In a perfect world, lots are graded to drain so that water moves away from the house and flows through a swale, to a drainage catch basin or down to the curb. Unfortunately, homeowners, landscapers and builders don’t always get their grades right, and this can cause water to become trapped, or worse yet, flow toward the house and into the basement, home or building. The solution to this watery mess: a new drainage plan. The plan may involve drains to collect water and pipe it away, subsurface drainage to collect water as it percs into the ground or regrading to direct the water in the correct direction.

Problem #3: Run Off From Neighbors

Erosion coming from higher elevations is a major problem, and it happens when you live downhill from other properties. It’s not really your neighbors’ fault that this is happening, but you can’t exactly ask them to prevent it, either. The best thing to do is to watch at how the water runs into your yard during a rainstorm. You can then divert the water by building a berm or swale, or by re-routing the water to a catch basin or dry well. Another option is to hire a professional landscaper to grade broad surfaces.

Problem #4: Your Landscaping

It’s hard to believe that your hard work may be causing the problems, but it’s possible. Bare soil without vegetation, a yard that slopes toward your home or paved surfaces that direct water to the structure are all potential problems. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks of these things when making amendments to the home. The key is to divert the water elsewhere, which can be done with French drains or other creative solutions like gravel and rocks.

Often we see that people use too much topsoil or mulch in their planting beds, or they were simply graded the wrong way when they were created. They become raised and slope back toward the house, causing water to run back and against or into the home. If the gutters overflow, too, then you have real problems. Be sure the grade of the planting beds is AWAY from the home or structure.

Problem #5: Roots in your drainage pipes

If you notice your drains are backing up, it may not be a crushed or broken pipe but roots that have invaded the pipe. Sometimes we find that they squeeze in at joints and quickly grow, breaking the fitting and loving all the moisture in the pipe. In a short time, they not only block the pipe but completely fill it requiring removal of the pipe or a root cutting service to come in and mechanically clean the pipe out. Occasionally we find perforated pipe used in shallow situations or near trees. This allows grass roots or tree roots to quickly find the source of moisture and invade the pipe. After you clean the pipe of roots – be sure that perforated pipe is wrapped in filter fabric when close to roots and glue the joints to keep roots from finding a way into the pipe.

Problem #6: Surface Depressions

If water is collecting in flat areas or the soil is staying saturated in some spots, it may be surface depressions causing the problem. These depressions allow water to puddle, creating a mess. A swale could be helpful, or certain portions could be filled in and graded so that the water drains out of the low spot and away from the home. If this doesn’t work, an underground catch basin or drain may be necessary.

Problem #7: Your Soil

If you notice that your lawn is muddy in one spot and dry in the next, it could be the type of soil that is causing drainage problems. There are three basic soil types: sand, silt and clay. If your soil is heavy in clay, it won’t drain very well. If it’s sandy, it will let water slip right through. If it is sandy right against your home, the water will run down the sides of your foundation causing wet areas in the walls to your basement.

The best trick is to dig a small hole, fill it with water and watch how it drains. If it takes 12-24 hours to drain, you have a problem. (It should only take about 4 hours.) Improve your soil with a coarse aggregate like sand or pea gravel and organic matter.

If you are experiencing one or more of the drainage problems we describe, these tips will help you resolve the problem. Often we find that several issues contribute to the situation. We’re happy to help you figure it all out — just schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our drainage experts.  Call 201-848-0022  or complete our consultation request form . We’ll get back to you right away to schedule a visit to your property.

solving backyard drainage problems


solving backyard drainage problems

Solving Drainage Problems in Your Yard

Nothing ruins a backyard quite like a drainage problem.

Drainage problems can:

  • Damage the structural integrity of your home
  • Cause basement flooding
  • Serve as a breeding ground for disease-carrying insects
  • Ruin grass and cause ruts from lawn mowing
  • Cause plant erosion
  • Flood patios and other hardscaping in your yard
  • Create a mess inside your home from mud tracked in by people and pets

For all these reasons, solving drainage problems in your yard is critical. Unfortunately, finding the exact cause of your water problem can be tricky.

Drainage Problems are Frustrating

Drainage problems in your yard can range from consistently muddy soil to large standing pools of water.

Trying to solve drainage problems can be frustrating—especially if you implemented the “obvious” solution, only to find it didn’t work. The pool of water has returned and you’re back to where you started.

Causes of Common Yard Drainage Problems

Consider these causes of drainage problems. Does your property have any of them?

Poor Soil Drainage

Good lawn drainage depends on good soil. Some soils drain better than others.

A man’s hands filled with dark rich soil

In New Jersey, soil can range from sandy to clay-like. Sandy soil drains better, while soil with lots of clay has slower drainage. Loamy soil—good crop and gardening soil—consists of a mixture of clay, silt and sand. Loamy soil resists getting dried out in summer and avoids getting water-logged in winter.

You can improve soil drainage by adding organic matter to the soil—often in the form of compost, sand or shredded leaves.

Soil can become compacted during construction or by heavy foot traffic. This also slows drainage. Going over the soil with a power aerator helps.

Too Much Watering

Overwatering a lawn or garden can cause drainage issues.

solving backyard drainage problems

Try shortening the automated sprinkler watering time. The soil will have more time to drain, and the drainage issue may be fixed.  

Water Draining Directly onto Your Yard

A neighboring home’s downspouts may be directing water onto your property. Or the town-owned property behind your house slopes in your direction.

Even new construction on the lot next door can cause drainage problems. Rainwater can be inadvertently directed in your direction as old trees are removed and a new foundation is poured.

Property Has Subtle Low Areas or Slopes

It may not be obvious to the naked eye, but land with low spots or a gentle slope can cause significant drainage problems.

Very flat land can also cause drainage issues.

Impervious Structures

Impervious hardscaping, such as concrete patios and walkways, can cause drainage problems. They don’t allow water to pass through them and so reduce the square footage of your property’s total drainage surface area.

Man building a concrete walkway is smoothing the newly poured concrete.

If you’re adding a concrete structure on your property, be sure your new project keeps your property within the town’s acceptable pervious vs. impervious ratio .

Use modern pervious hardscaping materials that allow water to seep through and promote drainage.

Too Much Lawn Thatch

Lawn thatch consists of dead leaves, roots and other organic material. A thin layer of thatch makes great organic mulch. However, lots of thatch on your lawn will keep water from draining through the soil.

Use a dethatching rake or power dethatcher to solve this problem.

Poorly Managed Downspouts

A short downspout draining rainwater next to a foundation.

A short or misdirected downspout causes serious drainage issues. Sometimes the obvious is overlooked, and a downspout drains directly into a flower garden, or to a low area in your yard.

Repeated runoff in your yard erodes topsoil and causes water to collect.

Effective Drainage Solutions for Your Landscape

If you’re planning on building a new home, adding heating and air conditioning isn’t as exciting as designing a new kitchen. But if it will be disastrous if it’s left out of the plans.

Similarly, when planning your landscape design, don’t forget about planning for adequate drainage. If you fail to plan, it will have to be addressed later—probably at a greater cost.

A good landscaper will always address drainage issues.

Here are some effective drainage solutions for your yard.

Man-Made Creeks/Swales and River Stone

Man-made creeks are visible landscape features that redirect water and promote good drainage. They are dug into the landscape to drain overly wet areas. The creek needs to be on property that slopes downward to encourage water flow.

A swale is an open channel for water collection. It’s covered by grass on the sides. and properly directs and filters the water. The water slowly percolates into the ground.

A river rock bed alongside a patio

River rocks are an attractive addition to a man-made creek. Place river rocks on foundation fabric, with gravel under the larger rocks. This promotes drainage and discourages weeds from growing in the stone bed.

A man-made creek empties into a dry well, or if allowed by the town, into a storm drain.

Simply put, a dry well is a deep hole where water collects. Landscapers fill the hole with rocks to help water drain slowly into the soil. The rocks are kept from eventually blocking water drainage by being placed in a perforated plastic tub.  

The more water there is to be drained, the larger the dry well needs to be. A common dry well size is 4’ x 4’ x 4’.

Rain Garden

A rain garden is an attractive way to deal with excess water on your property. This garden area uses native plants that easily absorb water. The plants can surround a small water retention area and help return collected water back into the ground.

In New Jersey, swamp milkweed, white turtlehead, cardinal flower, ferns, ornamental mosses, and hostas work well in rain gardens.

A rain garden helps when you don’t have space for a man-made creek. Other times, a rain garden serves as a beautiful base at the mouth of a man-made creek.

French Drain Construction

A French drain is a trench that is dug into downward sloping property to collect runoff water. The trench usually contains gravel that surrounds a perforated drainpipe.

The French drain empties into a dry well or storm drain. A French drain is often hidden by grass.

Channel Drain

A channel drain moves water to another area on your property, often using PVC pipe.

Channel drains are often connected to downspouts and move water away from building foundations.

Regrade Property

Water should always drain away from your property to prevent water damage and basement flooding.

Often slight regrading of property to direct water away from your home will make a dramatic drainage improvement.

Talk to an Expert About Your Drainage Problems

Drainage problems are easy to solve with the proper machinery, knowledge, and experience. Contact us   at Sponzilli Landscape Solutions for superior landscape design, outdoor living spaces, and maintenance.

solving backyard drainage problems

Award-winning landscape design, construction & lighting. Serving discerning homeowners, architects, landscape architects, general contractors, and leading property managers throughout New Jersey and New York City.

Copyright © 2023 Sponzilli Landscape Group | All Rights Reserved | Web Design and Development by Evans Alliance

Greenfrog Logo

  • Testimonials & Google Reviews


All of us at green frog waterproofing are taking the necessary precautions to care for the health and safety of our customers and employees. we are offering virtual inspections for inside your home as well as our regular, onsite inspections that are outside your home, including yard and crawlspace inspections. we will maintain a safe 6-foot distance..

Do you have problems with standing water in your yard after a rain? Is it causing damage to your lawn, garden or driveway? Poor yard drainage is a common issue that many homeowners experience. The good news is that with the right knowledge and tools, you can easily tackle this problem. In this blog, we will explore various ways to solve your yard drainage problems, so you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful yard.

solving backyard drainage problems

Identify the Problem

The first step in solving a yard drainage issue is to identify where the problem lies. Observe your yard to identify where the water is pooling or flowing. Is there a low spot on your property which receives more water from surrounding areas? You may need a plan to grade the soil for water to flow away from your house. Or perhaps water is coming from a neighbor’s yard, requiring a barrier to be built. Additionally, you may need to evaluate how much water is coming from roof gutters, downspouts, or sump pumps.

solving backyard drainage problems

Install Drainage Solutions

After identifying the problem areas, it’s time to take action and install drainage solutions. There are several drainage systems that can help solve your yard drainage problems, such as French drains , surface drains, drywells, and catch basins. Installing these systems will help collect water from one area and transfer it to another part of your yard, where the water can be safely absorbed or discharged.

Create a Rain Garden

A rain garden is another effective and environmentally friendly solution to yard drainage problems. This is a landscaped area that is designed to capture and absorb rainwater runoff from your property. The system involves installing a depression bed in your yard, which is filled with soil, rocks, and native plants and shrubs. The garden acts as a sponge, soaking up excess water and filtering polluted stormwater runoff.

Preventative Measures

It is important to take preventative measures to avoid future yard drainage issues. Regularly cleaning gutters and downspouts is an easy step to prevent water overflow from collecting in certain areas. Install gutter extensions for added protection. Make sure that soil is properly graded to allow water to flow away from your home. Planting vegetation according to the type of soil can also help slow down runoff water, besides adding to the beauty and health of your yard.

Seek Professional Assistance

When the problem is more complex or severe, it is important to seek professional assistance. Consulting with a landscape architect or drainage contractor can help identify accurate solutions for your specific issue. Contact Green Frog Waterproofing for a Free Estimate.

solving backyard drainage problems

Stagnant water in your yard can lead to problems like property damage and health hazards. As a homeowner, it is important to take yard drainage problems seriously and look for appropriate solutions. Whether it is installing drainage solutions or creating a rain garden, there are various steps that can be taken to improve the drainage system of your yard. Prevention is better than cure, so it is important to take preventative measures and regular maintenance for the health and beauty of your lawn and your entire property. A good drainage system is essential for a sustainable and comfortable home environment.

recent posts

Older posts.


  • Sealed Crawl Spaces
  • Basement Waterproofing
  • French Drains
  • Gutter Extensions
  • Vapor Barriers
  • Dehumidifiers / Pumps
  • Yard Drainage
  • Foundation / Floor Joist Repair
  • Mold Testing & Remediation
  • Testimonials

How to Solve Dirt Backyard Problems

Are you tired of dealing with a messy and dusty backyard? Look no further! In this article, we will show you how to solve dirt backyard problems.

From identifying the root causes to implementing effective solutions, we’ve got you covered. Say goodbye to muddy shoes and hello to a clean and beautiful outdoor space.

Get ready to transform your backyard into a low-maintenance oasis that you can enjoy all year round. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Plant ground cover plants or grass to stabilize the soil and reduce erosion.
  • Create barriers such as retaining walls or terraces to prevent soil from being washed away.
  • Use gravel trenches or French drains to redirect excess water away from the yard.
  • Consider low-maintenance ground cover options like mulch or gravel to prevent water pooling and minimize upkeep.

Assessing the Root Causes of Dirt in Your Backyard

You need to start by examining the main factors contributing to the dirt in your backyard.

Two common causes of soil erosion are water and wind. When heavy rainfall or irrigation occurs, the water can wash away the top layer of soil, leaving behind bare and exposed patches. Similarly, strong winds can carry away loose soil particles, causing erosion.

To prevent soil erosion, you can implement various measures. Firstly, planting ground cover plants such as grass or shrubs can help stabilize the soil and reduce erosion caused by water runoff. Additionally, creating barriers like retaining walls or terraces can prevent soil from being washed away.

Another factor to consider is soil compaction. This occurs when the soil becomes tightly packed, limiting the movement of air, water, and nutrients. To prevent soil compaction, avoid heavy machinery or excessive foot traffic on your lawn. Instead, use aerating tools to loosen the soil and improve its overall health.

Implementing Proper Drainage Solutions

To solve your dirt backyard problems, implementing proper drainage solutions is crucial.

One effective method is the use of gravel trenches, which help to redirect excess water away from your yard.

Another option is installing a French drain, which involves creating a trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe to efficiently channel water away from your property.

Gravel Trenches for Drainage

Digging four gravel trenches around your backyard can effectively solve drainage issues and prevent water pooling.

Gravel trenches are commonly used for erosion control and landscaping purposes. These trenches serve as a drainage system, allowing excess water to flow away from your yard and prevent waterlogging. The gravel acts as a filter, allowing water to seep down into the ground while trapping sediment and preventing erosion.

To create the trenches, you’ll need to dig a trench about 12 inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the gravel. Then, fill the trench with coarse gravel, ensuring that it’s evenly spread. This will create a path for water to follow, preventing it from pooling on your lawn and causing damage.

Overall, gravel trenches are an effective solution for managing drainage issues and maintaining a healthy backyard environment.

French Drain Installation Tips

Installing a French drain can greatly improve your backyard’s drainage and prevent waterlogging. Here are some tips to consider for french drain installation and maintenance:

Installing the drain:

Choose the right location: Find the lowest point in your yard where water tends to accumulate.

Dig the trench: Dig a trench that slopes away from your house and is deep enough to accommodate the drain pipe.

Add gravel: Place a layer of gravel at the bottom of the trench to aid in water filtration.

Maintaining the drain:

Regular inspection: Check the drain regularly for any blockages or debris that may hinder its effectiveness.

Clean the drain: If you notice any buildup or clogs, remove the debris to ensure proper drainage.

Installing Low-Maintenance Ground Cover Options

You can easily choose from various low-maintenance ground cover options for your backyard.

If you’re looking for alternatives to traditional grass, there are several options available. One popular choice is using mulch as ground cover. Mulch not only helps to suppress weed growth but also retains moisture in the soil, reducing the need for frequent watering. It also adds aesthetic appeal to your yard with its natural and organic look.

Another low-maintenance option is using gravel or pebbles as ground cover. These materials require minimal upkeep and can withstand heavy foot traffic. They’re also excellent for drainage, preventing water from pooling in your yard.

Additionally, you can consider using ground cover plants such as creeping thyme or moss. These plants create a lush and green carpet-like appearance without the need for mowing or extensive maintenance. They also provide natural weed control and help to prevent soil erosion.

Ultimately, the choice of low-maintenance ground cover will depend on your specific needs and preferences, but these options can help transform your backyard into a hassle-free and visually appealing space.

Building Raised Beds for Gardening

Building raised beds for gardening is a great solution to maximize your backyard space and improve soil conditions. With raised beds, you can enjoy benefits such as better drainage, easier weed control, and improved access for planting and harvesting.

To construct raised beds, you’ll need basic materials like wood or cinder blocks, and a few simple tools.

Benefits of Raised Beds

Using raised beds can significantly improve the drainage in your garden, preventing waterlogged soil and promoting healthier plant growth. Here are the advantages of raised beds:

Better soil quality:

Raised beds allow you to control the soil composition, ensuring optimal nutrition for your plants.

You can add organic matter, compost, and fertilizers to improve soil fertility.

Weed control:

Raised beds provide a physical barrier against weeds, reducing the need for constant weeding.

The elevated soil level also makes it easier to spot and remove any weeds that do appear.

Extended growing season:

Raised beds warm up faster in the spring, allowing for earlier planting.

They also drain faster, preventing waterlogged soil and enabling you to start planting earlier in the season.


Raised beds are easier to reach, making gardening more comfortable for people with mobility issues.

They also reduce strain on your back and knees, as you don’t have to bend down as much.

Raised Bed Construction

To properly construct raised beds for gardening, it is important to carefully plan out the dimensions and materials needed, as well as securely fasten the boards together. When building raised beds, you have a variety of materials to choose from. Here are some options:

Once you have chosen the material, you can start assembling the raised beds. Make sure to measure and cut the boards accurately, and use screws or nails to securely fasten them together. Finally, fill the raised beds with good quality soil and start your raised bed planting journey. Happy gardening!

Creating Defined Pathways to Minimize Dirt Tracking

You can easily reduce dirt tracking in your backyard by outlining clear pathways. By implementing defined pathway designs and considering alternative ground cover options, you can create a cleaner and more organized outdoor space. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

Defined Pathway Designs:

Use materials such as gravel, pavers, or stepping stones to clearly define your pathways. This will help to guide foot traffic and prevent people from veering off into the dirt.

Consider incorporating curves or bends in your pathways to add visual interest and create a more natural flow throughout your backyard.

Alternative Ground Cover Options:

Mulch: Spread a layer of mulch on your pathways to create a softer surface. This won’t only reduce dirt tracking but also provide a more comfortable walking experience.

Artificial Turf: Install artificial turf on your pathways to eliminate the need for grass maintenance while still maintaining a natural look. Artificial turf is durable and easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas.

Adding Artificial Turf for a Clean and Green Look

Consider replacing your natural grass with artificial turf for a clean and green look that requires less maintenance. Artificial turf installation offers numerous benefits that make it an attractive option for homeowners.

One of the main advantages is its low maintenance requirements. Unlike natural grass, artificial turf doesn’t require regular mowing, watering, or fertilizing. This saves you time, effort, and money in the long run.

Additionally, artificial turf maintains its vibrant green color all year round, regardless of weather conditions or foot traffic. It’s also highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, making it ideal for high-traffic areas.

Another benefit is that artificial turf doesn’t require harmful pesticides or herbicides to keep it looking pristine. This makes it a safe and environmentally-friendly choice for families and pets.

Furthermore, artificial turf is a great solution for areas with poor soil quality or limited sunlight, as it doesn’t rely on natural elements for growth.

Overall, artificial turf installation provides a clean and green alternative to natural grass, offering a low-maintenance, durable, and eco-friendly solution for your backyard.

Maintaining a Regular Cleaning and Maintenance Routine

If you want to keep your artificial turf looking clean and vibrant, it’s important to regularly sweep and hose it down. Regular cleaning tips and effective maintenance strategies can help you maintain the beauty of your artificial turf for years to come.

Here are some tips to help you in your efforts:

Sweeping and Raking:

Use a stiff broom or rake to remove debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt from the surface of the turf.

Regularly sweep or rake the turf to prevent the accumulation of debris that can damage the fibers and affect the appearance.

Use a garden hose to rinse off the turf and remove any loose dirt or dust.

This will help keep the turf clean and prevent any build-up of dirt or stains.

By following these regular cleaning tips and effective maintenance strategies, you can ensure that your artificial turf remains clean and vibrant.

Remember to also check for any signs of damage or wear and tear and address them promptly to extend the lifespan of your turf.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to install artificial turf in a backyard.

Installing artificial turf in your backyard can be a cost-effective solution. While the initial cost may be higher compared to natural grass, the long-term benefits such as lower maintenance and water bills make it worth considering.

Can I Use Gravel as a Low-Maintenance Ground Cover Option?

Yes, you can use gravel as a low-maintenance ground cover option. Gravel alternatives are popular for their durability and easy upkeep. They can help solve dirt backyard problems while providing a clean and attractive landscaping solution.

What Are the Benefits of Building Raised Beds for Gardening?

Building raised beds for gardening has many benefits. They provide better drainage, improved soil quality, and easier access for planting and harvesting. They also allow for better control of pests and weeds. The best plants for raised beds include vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

How Often Should I Clean and Maintain My Backyard to Minimize Dirt Tracking?

To minimize dirt tracking, clean and maintain your backyard regularly. The cleaning frequency will depend on various factors such as foot traffic and weather conditions. Regular sweeping and hosing down can help prevent dirt from being tracked into your home.

Are There Any Natural Alternatives to Artificial Turf for a Clean and Green Look?

Looking for a clean and green look in your backyard? Consider natural grass alternatives or eco-friendly ground covers. They can provide a beautiful and sustainable solution to minimize dirt tracking.

Related Posts

What Does an Olive Branch Look Like

What Does an Olive Branch Look Like

Looking for a Convertible Mower? Check Out Our Sale

Looking for a Convertible Mower? Check Out Our Sale

Why Are Birds Building Nests in Gutters

Why Are Birds Building Nests in Gutters

About author.

solving backyard drainage problems



  1. 5 Ways to Fix Landscape Drainage Problems

    solving backyard drainage problems

  2. Backyard Drainage Issues

    solving backyard drainage problems

  3. Back Yard Drainage Problems

    solving backyard drainage problems

  4. 5 Most Common Yard Drainage Problems And Solutions

    solving backyard drainage problems

  5. fixing the drainage problem

    solving backyard drainage problems

  6. How to Fix Backyard Drainage Problems The Right Way

    solving backyard drainage problems


  1. Opening a Backyard Drain #drainagesystem

  2. Concrete problems solving the issues

  3. Drainage Assessment

  4. Homeowners Transform Lakeside Backyard with County Materials’ Concrete Landscape Products


  6. Drainage Education🤓


  1. How to Solve Yard Drainage Problems

    There are normally two main factors that contribute to the standing water: poor lawn slope and inadequate soil-drainage capability. There are several methods to correct water pooling on your lawn: Add topsoil to level out the low areas. Add sand and compost to your soil to aid in draining. Install a trench drain to channel standing water away.

  2. Solve Common Drainage Problems

    Problem #1: Yard Slope or Pitch. The majority of drainage problems are usually caused by an inadequate pitch or slope in your yard which prevents water runoff from being diverted away from the house. And the issue is often complicated by downspouts on the residence that do not pipe away the rain gutter water from the property.

  3. Yard Drainage Problems and Solutions

    Standing Water in Your Yard. One of the first signs of a drainage problem in your yard is standing pools of water after rain. Ideally, the soil should absorb as much water as it needs, then the natural slopes of your yard should direct excess rainwater away from your home. Broken water and sewer lines along with septic drain fields that aren ...

  4. How to Achieve Better Yard Drainage (DIY)

    Build a creek bed to direct water away from a low spot in your yard. Or if the slope of the ground permits it, use a creek bed to drain a low spot. Start by making a swale-essentially a gentle, shallow drainage ditch. Then line it with gravel or stones and add interest with boulders, a bridge or plantings.

  5. 10 DIY Yard Drainage Solutions to Protect Your Home's Foundation

    Connect a hose to the barrel's built-in spigots to use the harvested water to irrigate your flower beds or lawn. 6. Build a dry creek bed. Photo: istockphoto.com. A dry creek bed has the ...

  6. 5 Smart Solutions for Dealing with Poor Drainage in Your Yard

    Step 1: Dig a Trench. Dig a trench from the wet area to the desired drainage area. An 18-inch-deep trench will usually work for most landscape drainage situations. The trench should have enough of a slope to move the water to the drainage area. Make the trench an inch or two wider than the pipe you plan to install.

  7. 8 Yard Drainage Solutions You Can Do Yourself

    1. Water Less Often. If there's no clear cause of your drainage problems, it's possible that you're overwatering your yard or garden. Cut down on your watering and watch to see if the trouble spots improve. If they do, the soil could be draining properly but simply can't keep up with your watering schedule.

  8. How to Improve Yard Drainage

    Sometimes it's either not feasible to solve a large drainage problem, or it's too costly. When that happens, it might be time to consider an alternate landscaping choice. There are lots of options for native plants that thrive in soggy areas and that create a habitat for birds, frogs, insects and all kinds of wildlife that depend on them ...

  9. How to Fix Backyard Water Drainage Problems

    Locate a spot at least 10 feet away from the house in a low area where the water collects. Then, dig out your garden and fill it with a mix of native plants that can tolerate periodic flooding. Excess water is naturally channeled to the basin area of the rain garden, which is filled with plants that take up some of the water over time.

  10. Yard Drainage Solutions To Try

    8. Into a Man Made Dry Creek Bed. If your yard lends itself to a gentle slope, or you have the stomach to dig a trench, a dry creek bed can be a great place to send your water. Just make sure to ...

  11. Solved! Here's Who to Call for Drainage Problems in the Yard

    To solve this issue, yard drainage contractors will regrade the lawn by removing soil from raised areas and adding and compacting soil in low areas. Poor soil irrigation may be the cause of broken ...

  12. 5 Common Landscape Drainage Problems (and How to Solve Them!)

    Solution: Your drainage solution should include a calculator and a site level to make sure you calculate the proper slope to efficiently move the water down hill. 3. Water Traps. Improper grading of your yard can create depressions that hold water. This excess water will ultimately kill your turf and plant material.

  13. How to Solve the 5 Most Common Drainage Problems

    This will help to catch a percentage of the water flow. In addition, you may want to build a trench drain to redirect water in the direction you want it to go. More serious landscape updates, such as flattening graded yards, may also help slow the flow due to yard slope. 5. Path Flooding.

  14. Yard Drainage Problems and Solutions: A DIY Guide

    Poor yard drainage can also cause water to collect around the foundation of your house and seep into the basement, where it can cause expensive issues such as flooding, structural damage or both. Yard drainage problems can be the result of topography and a mixture of soil types as well as improper placement of gutter downspouts, installation of ...

  15. 3 Backyard Drainage Solutions for Your Landscape

    Dig a hole about two feet deep and as wide. Fill it to the top with water. If it drains away within an hour your drainage is excellent. If it takes 12 hours to drain, there may be problems. If it takes more than 24 hours to drain, then there is a serious problem that could impact the deep root zone of trees and shrubs.

  16. 7 Common Property Drainage Problems and How to Resolve Them

    Signs that you may have poor drainage are: Water in the basement. Mosquitoes breeding in puddling water. Dead grass, trees and plants suffocating/drowning. Erosion. Ice building up on walkways and patios in the winter. Let's discuss seven of the most common property drainage problems and what you can do to resolve them.

  17. How To Fix Backyard Drainage Issues

    Depending on the severity of your drainage issue, a combination of methods could be most effective, such as perforated pipe underneath a dry river bed. Adding some plant materials will make most drainage systems more attractive. Using native plants that can handle both dry and wet conditions gives the best results.

  18. Solutions to the Most Persistent Backyard Drainage Problems

    Fill. The most low-tech technique is to do simple "spot treatments" to deal with small damp areas. If there is a low spot in your yard, you can fill it with soil to absorb the moisture into the ground and keep it from puddling on the surface. This might serve as a sort of test to see how severe the drainage problems are before investing in ...

  19. Solving Drainage Problems in Your Yard

    Solving Drainage Problems in Your Yard. February 23, 2023 by Jason Sponzilli. Nothing ruins a backyard quite like a drainage problem. Drainage problems can: Damage the structural integrity of your home. Cause basement flooding. Serve as a breeding ground for disease-carrying insects. Ruin grass and cause ruts from lawn mowing.

  20. Solving Drainage Problems in Your Yard

    Drainage Problems are Frustrating. Drainage problems in your yard can range from consistently muddy soil to large standing pools of water. Trying to solve drainage problems can be frustrating — especially if you implemented the "obvious" solution, only to find it didn't work. The pool of water has returned and you're back to where you ...

  21. Drainage Dilemmas: Solving Backyard Drainage Problems for Dry Grounds

    Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions available to help solve backyard drainage problems. In this guide, we will discuss the different types of drainage solutions available, how to identify drainage problems, and how to properly install and maintain drainage systems. With the right knowledge and tools, you can easily solve your backyard ...

  22. How to Solve Your Yard Drainage Problems ~ GreenFrog

    After identifying the problem areas, it's time to take action and install drainage solutions. There are several drainage systems that can help solve your yard drainage problems, such as French drains, surface drains, drywells, and catch basins. Installing these systems will help collect water from one area and transfer it to another part of ...

  23. How To Solve Dirt Backyard Problems

    To solve your dirt backyard problems, implementing proper drainage solutions is crucial. One effective method is the use of gravel trenches, which help to redirect excess water away from your yard. Another option is installing a French drain, which involves creating a trench filled with gravel and a perforated pipe to efficiently channel water ...