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View Full Version : Wet feet in a planting bed


glfredrick
05-19-2010, 01:22 PM
I'm having a problem with a formal boxwood lined planting bed that is THE focal point of the campus I manage.

The bed is surrounded by pavement and sidewalks, and it sits over an 4840 electrical vault and some other underground issues of concern, such as storm drains, water mains, gas, fiber optic lines, etc.

The bed is half-moon shaped, and lays over a limestone/clay bed that is mostly impermiable to water. Topsoil depth is 18" and the soil is already ammended with natural products for water control.

The issue is, anything above normal rainfall (we're already 5"+ for May) fills up this ground like a pond.

I'm looking for ways to drain the excess water. We do have irrigation in place in these beds (currently turned off). Do I French well this with an auger (issues with underground stuff), tie it into storm drains (requires excavation of roads, etc.) or, ???

Here's a picture of one half of this bed (the other half mirrors it):

Think Green
05-19-2010, 09:29 PM
The unfortunate thing is.......you cannot predict or prevent mother nature from ruining a good landscape. I can imagine the mulches over flow the side walks as no edging was installed or the old raised bed concept wasn't developed. Drain systems and drain boxes would help and will cost some extra money for the demolition or boring under sidewalks,etc.
I am not sure about your state or university guidelines, but I would find out about your local drain code specifications and follow them. What ever lies underneath those grounds, needs to be considered as well.
We are having excessive rain fall this season and our usual 4" drain pipes and our 8" drain pipes aren't carrying out the water fast enough to do any justice.
Monitor the water system until the wet season ceases and possibly install some type of border that will deter the water flow.

Dreams To Designs
05-21-2010, 09:46 AM
You could either redecorate with wet site tolerant plantings or install drainage that will take the excess water away. Basically you have a very large container with what you've described. Tyeing into storm drains is a great way of ridding excess water, but only if cost effective and the water load you will be adding does not overwhelm the existing system. It's not always about the amount of water, but in the amount of time that water is delivered and drains away. An additional option to tyeing into the existing storm drain is to create a rainwater storage or infiltration system. I have had great success with the use of drainage "milk crates" like Eco Rain. http://www.ecorain.com/paginas/proyects.html

Kirk