The Q&A Archives: Handling Water Run Off

Question: We have an area in our backyard which received at lot of water run off from our neighbor's yard, which washed away the top soil and mulch. We put in a natural drainage ditch about 6 inches deep and filled it with stone to outline and protect the shrubs, trees and grass in that area. At first it looked great, now over time, the stone line is not as becoming, can we use garden edging on both sides of the drainage ditch to keep the stone in the area we want it, and still allow the shrubs, trees and grass to recieve the water it needs?

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I can't picture the area with any great certainty, but one way to keep the stones in place without interfering with the water might be to layer wire mesh over them and pin that to the soil. However, in general water problems worsen over time rather than improve (and in many areas it is illegal for a neighbor to direct water at your property). Odds are good that this problem will not be solved in the long term by adding edging. I would suggest you have a professional drainage expert take a look at the area and make some suggestions.

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