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Improving lawn drainage

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by alpine692003, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering whats the best way of improving draininage for postage sized lawns. I currently service some townhouses that need some major lawn renovations, because when I mow with my 21" honda mower it leaves streaks and will cause mud.. Doesnt look too good, so I spoke it over with the maintenance committee and they said sure, just give us a quote..

    I was wondering would topdressing a lawn be a good way to improve lawn drainage?
  2. arborist-28

    arborist-28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    well top dressing might make it even more of a mess unless your regrading the fall of the land so that the water no long collects in a certian area a french drain would be something to think about in that area ... that is my suggestion french drain it and run the gutters into the french drain and off the turf into the landscape ... c
  3. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    Yah, I'll show you guys pictures of this place and the lawns that will need to be worked on..

    Its hard to explain because its a 24 unit complex and pictures will describe a much more better job which I will show you guys in the next couple of days.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Drainage issues are often very complex. Sometimes there is a fairly simple solution. For instance, if the property having problems is lower in elevation than the neighboring property, a lot of times that can be where the water is coming from. If you can figure out that is where it's coming from, and install a proper french drain then you can alleviate some of the drainage issues.

    But it's not always that simple. A lot of times, the soil is compacted and not very porous. It won't allow water to drain quickly. This is called "soil permeability". And that kind of problem isn't easy to fix. You should aerate twice each year (once in the spring and again in the fall) and you can try to use products like gypsum and limestone to help break down the soil a little bit. But the real solution would be removing the turf and ammending the soil with some sandy loam.

    Other options include installation of thin drains every few feet throughout the turf. But that is probably more work than ammding the soil, which is the real solution.
  5. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    It all depends on your situation. A lot of times, if you know where the water is ponding you can install a collection drain bin and use 4" pipe (either soild or perf in sock depending) and run to an area downhill where it can be better alleviated w/ a "pop-up" emitter and/or stone bed. This type of work can be a real PITA if you;re guessing at it. We charge top rate for any drainage work we do.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    we've had friends in raliegh that have had to drill "cores " 15 or so feet deep and fill with sand. then sod was laid over the top. this allowed the h2o to move down the sand and fixed thier problem
  7. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    yard pro....that was just what i was gong to recommend....

    how did your friends drill the cores to 15 foot depth?

    if you fill it with gravel or sand, it will fix your problem.
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    they got a two man auger and kept adding 4' sectiond then pulling the dirt back up out.

    sand works better, becuase gravel will have voids that the soil can work into. this can lead to light settling in the area, and clog the drain tube.
  9. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    thats called a snake pit. In ohio in alotments that proper drainage wasn't allowed for they dig a huge hole in the back yard. Then they coil a drain pipe in it and back fill with gravel. Then put top soil on the top 2 feet. at the top you put a catch basin with a grate. just a thought.
  10. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,502

    Yes, aeration will help a with annual aeration in fall and spring..

    i will do that jimbo, thanks a lot..

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