Landscape Drainage Techniques


If you are planning a landscaping project that will require effective water drainage, then there is a few materials and techniques that you should know about before beginning your project. Planning and using the correct materials and techniques can make or break your new landscape project. Since drainage is one of the most important aspects of your landscaping, you should plan for installing a good drainage system, including pipe, slope of dirt and depth of soil.


To install proper drainage for your grass, flower beds, trees and shrubbery, purchase 6-inch or 8-inch perforated pipe, landscaping fabric, gravel, topsoil with organic materials and gutter pipe. You will also need a shovel, pick, tape measure, razor knife and hand saw when installing any landscaping drainage.

Grade Slope and Dirt

Slope any dirt in the proper direction when planting flower beds or grass lawns. Many installers make the mistake leaving dips and trenches in the dirt grade, thus allowing water to pool up in the center of lawns and flower gardens. Slope flower beds away from house foundations and walls-- make the slope gradual so that it is unnoticeable. Install loose top soil that has plenty of organic materials mixed in, such as peat moss, tree bark and decayed forest materials. The organic materials will allow water to seep into the soil and drain away properly.

Gravel, Sand and French Drains

When installing flower beds, remove 16 to 24 inches of soil, replace with 12 inches of gravel or sand, cover the sand or gravel with landscaping fabric, and then add organic top soil. The sand and gravel will allow water to drain freely through the loose materials. Install French drains that are connected to gutter drain pipes and place them into the gravel bed in the bottom of your flower beds. The drains will collect water from the surrounding soil, as well as the roof, by way of gutters, and drain it away from the flower or plant beds.

Keywords: landscaping drainage, french drains in landscaping, flower bed drainage

About this Author

Billy McCarley has been freelancing for Demand Studios since April 2009. He has published poetry for Dead Mule, an online literary publication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University Of Alabama where he is also a first-year graduate student in history.

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