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Lawn Drainage

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 13 May 2015 | comments*Discuss
Lawn Drainage Waterlogged Lawn Soggy

One of the most important aspects of caring for your lawn is ensuring that there is sufficient drainage in place to lower the chances of water logging. Excess water is one of the most common causes of lawn trouble and it can be prevented - or at least minimised - by carrying out a few minor tasks throughout the course of the gardening calendar.

Where Should the Water Go?

The first thing to do in deciding about whether or not additional lawn drainage is required is find out where the excess water is coming from and where should it be going to? It is easy enough to say that high rainfall is the problem but perhaps there is a problem with existing drainage in and around your lawn. If there is already pipe work in place it is worth checking this thoroughly for damage with might allow the water to escape into your lawn.

Secondly it is worth investigating where the water is going? Is it collecting at a central point in your lawn? Is there surface flooding? All of these questions should be addressed as answering them will give you a good starting point in your quest to put the problem right.

If your lawn is not flat and runs on a slope it is worth seeing where the water stops because - as we all know - water cannot travel uphill so there will be a point at low level where the water collects.


The process of daylighting is not as difficult as it might sound. For those not familiar with the term it is the procedure of connecting your existing drainage with an additional piece of pipe that will be visible above ground and allow the excess water to run off without causing any damage to either your lawn or any nearby property. Consider running this additional pipe work into a border at the slope of your garden where you could plant bushes and plants that thrive on lots of water. This way the plants take on the water and you have additional colour and vibrancy in your garden throughout the year.

If you chose however to run the pipe work out of your garden - say underneath a fence - you must ensure that this excess water is not letting out onto a public right of way or someone else's garden. Likewise it is not a good idea to run it into a river or stream as not all the nutrients in your soil may be conducive to wildlife beyond the realm of your garden.

Soak Away

Digging a hole roughly one metre by one metre and around 75cms in depth and filling it with gravel is another good way of reducing your lawn's water content. The gravel will act as a sponge and holds the water until such times as it can be absorbed into the earth around it, this again causes minimum damage and is a relatively easy task to carry out.

Rainwater Drains

Perhaps not the easiest of tasks - and best carried out by a professional landscape gardener - routing some pipe work to your rainwater drain is another way of ensuring that excess water is directed away from your lawn and out through the rainwater drainage system. It is important not to route this pipe work to your sewage pipes and also that a silt trap is installed to prevent blocking. Also you must ensure that you have access to this drain should it ever block. Again it is best to consult with a landscape gardener as to how to best do this work and for a fee they will be happy to carry out the required work for you.

Using any of these methods will ensure correct drainage for your lawn and will go a long way to preventing water logging and also soil compacting.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
@Pedro - you may have to get a professional to come out and look at it, as it's a bit too difficult to visualise without actually being there.
LawnExperts - 15-May-15 @ 12:39 PM
We have a slight slopping, south facing lawn with the bottom third wet through and like an ice ring due to the water retention. Green slime expels out when you stand on the lawn ? Main problem is that the ground under the top layer of soil is clay based. How can I divert or soak up the rainfall. I don't know if any of our drains run through the garden. If I dig some pipes in to the lawn, where will they lead to ? . What about a large hole filled with gravel, then replace the lawn, but the hole will have to go through the clay layer and I don't know how deep that is. Any suggestions will be helpful. Thanks
Pedro - 13-May-15 @ 8:27 PM
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