The Q&A Archives: How-To Fix my problem

Question: Just finished up my front yard garden. I made a trench infront the bed and 1

Answer: Sounds like your yard is a good candidate for a curtain drain. The trench you dug was a set in the right direction but I think you may need to install perforated pipe in the trench (or beneath the downspouts) to redirect the rainwater. A curtain drain is just another name for a gravel filled trench. Adding perforated pipe will give the water a place to go until it percolates down into the soil. The depth and width of the trench can vary, but 5 to 6 inches wide and 8 to 12 inches deep are common sizes and usually satisfy most needs. Grading is a critical consideration ? you must ensure that enough slope exists for the water to actually flow, and flow in the right direction. It might be adequate to check very short stretches of drain with a level to ensure that a slope exists to carry water in the desired direction. Place several inches of gravel in the bottom of the trench, set your perforated pipe on top and then add gravel to the trench to within a few inches of the surface. Gravel for this use is typically 0.5 to 1 inch in size. On top of the gravel, lay at least 3 or 4 inches of coarse sand. This provides a medium in which turf can grow so that the trench will not be visible. But remember that the sand must be coarse or it won't allow water to properly drain through. Turf may be seeded into the sand or simply allowed to grow in from the adjacent stand, if the turf is a spreading type. Or, you can lay sod over the sand. Best wishes with your landscape.

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