How to Help Drainage in Yard?

Bad drainage in your yard can be the source of many problems. Water can pool in areas, causing the ground to be soggy. It can also retain water in unwanted areas, which prevents plants from thriving in spots. Water can seep into the basement. All of these problems, plus more, can be fixed. 

Several solutions exist for how to help drainage in yard. You can add plants, install drainage, create a rain garden or a creekbed, install a dry well, improve your soil, add a rain barrel and install drain extensions.

Read further to find out what’s the best way for you to fix your drainage problems. 

Top Drainage Problems with Solutions

Below is a list of some of the biggest and most common drainage problems and some ways to fix them.

Reoccuring Rains

Drainage problems can occur when there is just too much rain coming your way. This is a certainty for some climates but can happen seasonally in others. There are a couple of ways to resolve this but one common way is to plant trees, shrubs, and plants that use a lot of water. 

You may also want to plant ground cover in low areas to soak up pooled water. Some plants and trees use more water than others. Be sure to get ground cover than can be easily maintained and doesn’t become invasive. 

Use a rain barrel to collect water. That way you can use it when days are dry and water is needed. Dry wells work well for excessive rainwater. This is a hole with a perforated container that holes water and disperses it throughout the soil so it doesn’t collect.

Read: How Much Does It Cost To Redo A Backyard?

Bad Soil

Some yards have a lot of clay in the soil and that can become compacted. This leads to bad drainage. You can add compost or other organic material to the soil to improve water flow. You can also aerate and poke holes in the soil to improve drainage. 

Drainpipe Issues

Most homeowners know that water regularly pouring out of drainpipes can cause problems where it flows. It could pool in flower beds or erode the soil which results in little trenches across the yard. It could also flow into the basement or lower floor of a house.

You can fix this issue easily by installing a drainpipe extender. This gives the flowing water another place to go besides the house. Redirecting the water is an inexpensive fix that saves a lot of money compared to installing drainage.

Read: Are Backyard Renovations Worth It?

Water Pooling

Some areas are prone to pooling because of slope or low spots. Landscape experts say that yards with less than 3 percent slope can’t adequately move water off the property. However, you have several solutions like the ones below to address this issue. 

Build a Rain Garden

Those who want to make the most of spots that collect water can build a rain garden. A rain garden is an area that incorporates natural elements like rocks and plants to absorb and drain excess water. 

Some trees that love water are river birch and weeping willows. Plants that work well in wet soil include daylilies, purple coneflower, and bee balm. 

Be sure to check which water-thirsty plants are natural to your area to make sure they are good to grow in your yard.

Read: How Much Should I Spend On My Backyard?

Build a Creekbed

Another solution to excessive water pooling is to create a small creekbed to allow water to wash away. This involves some digging, although the creek can be a small one. Fill the creekbed with rocks and gravel to prevent erosion and help water drain. 

A new creekbed can also add beauty to your yard, especially if you plant seedlings around it and cultivate the area to look natural.

Read: How Much Does A 14×20 Deck Cost To Build On The Backyard?

Installing New Drainage

Serious drainage issues call for a more structured plan to fix them. This can include creating a berm or installing drainage that helps water flow off of your property. 

Underground pipes help in situations where a section of the yard becomes isolated and retains water. This could be a front flower bed that sits between the house and the sidewalk. It can also be a section of grass that lies between the driveway and a fence or patio. 

Installing underground pipes can be a mess and a hassle but some plumbing companies offer trenchless systems that can install a pipe without any digging. 

You can also look to a French drain to solve your problems. French drains are popular because they look good and are incredibly effective. A French drain includes a pipe with holes on top and surrounded by gravel. It naturally drains water away from the house. 

Berms can be used to redirect water elsewhere. This works well to improve garden bed drainage and prevent them from flooding. It involves building up the garden bed so water runs down it rather than collect in it.

A  disadvantage of a berm is that water will go somewhere else. That can present another problem wherever it collects. Be aware of how water will flow so you can control where it goes and prevent other problems down the road.

Read: How To Catch A Bird On The Backyard?


What do I do about my soggy yard?

The first thing to do is find out why your yard is retaining water. It could be a busted water line or just too much rain. There is a cause. Once you establish a cause, you can work on a solution like installing drainage or planting items that use a lot of water. 

How do I get rid of standing water in my yard?

There are many things you can do to eliminate standing water. The first step is the dethatch it. That means getting rid of all the leaves, straw, and debris. These things can prevent your yard from draining well. After that’s done, aerate and see if that improves drainage. 

The other option is to regrade the spot to see if you can fill in low areas and add a better slope.

How do you drain a sloped yard?

You can create a creek bed that flows with the slope or install a rain garden at the top of the slope. A more expensive but permanent solution is to install a French drain or dry well to catch the water flow and whisk it away. 

How do I fix a muddy yard?

The immediate fix is to throw out some pine stray or haw, mulch or bark. You can also put out some sod to cover the mud. Long-term solutions include installing an underground drainpipe or creating a rock or rain garden over the spot. 

What is the right slope for good yard drainage?

Most experts said there is good drainage with a slope that’s between 2 and 5 percent, although some landscapers claim the minimum amount of slope is 3 percent.

How deep should I make a perimeter drain?

This type of drain must be a trench that encircles your entire footing. The size should be at least 6 feet deep and 2 feet wide. However, slab-on-grade homes can have a more shallow trench. Those can be as deep as two feet.

A perimeter drain is typically something to ask a professional about before starting the project because it involves a lot of labor and some equipment.