When planting and nurturing grass, in the hopes of having a lush green lawn, nothing is more nerve wracking than finding it saturated in water every morning due to poor drainage. Every kind of grass requires good drainage in order to thrive, otherwise it will slowly turn brow and die -- like your dreams of a thick green lawn. To prevent this, it's important to immediately correct drainage problems before they get out of hand.
How to Solve Lawn Drainage Problems
Understand the cause of poor lawn drainage so you can correct it accordingly. Heavy clay soil is usually very poor in organic matter and sand, with molecules so close together that they prevent water from going deep down, causing pools and puddles above the soil surface. Compacted soil is another cause of poor drainage. These types of soils become compacted due to foot traffic, and prevent air pockets or water from moving around.
Aerate the soil with a manual aerator from your local garden supply center. Insert the aerator into different areas of your lawn so it removes cores of soil and adds air pockets to it.
Wear your gloves and mix equal amounts of compost and topsoil, or compost and sand in a bucket and pour over the soil. Compost is organic fertilizer that does wonders for both clay and sandy soils, and incorporating this into your soil will eventually reintroduce natural organic matter that your soil lacks. Both these mixes will retain water and improve poor drainage.
Build raised beds over wet areas to overcome drainage problems. Build beds using wooden boards that can be as high as your waist, allowing you to work easily without bending your back too much.
Build a French drain for a permanent solution to drainage problems. These drains are sloped slightly downwards so water can easily move from one part of your lawn to another. Dig the area where you want to install the drain 8 to 10 inches deep and 5 to 6 inches wide. Line the trench with 2 inches of gravel, insert the pipe with its holes facing down, and cover with gravel again. Backfill with dirt and tamp it down with your foot.