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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Drainage Problems? Grading Is the Solution.

Home Depot
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Difficulty: Advanced
Duration: 1-2 days


Drainage and landscape rocks

Lawns settle over time and create places where water collects in your yard or even worse, in your basement. Fortunately water flows downhill so you can steer it away from your house and keep your basement dry and your grass green. When you see these problems develop, grading is the first solution.


  1. During a rain, take note of where the water flows. Ideally, it should run downhill at least 5’-10’ away from your house toward a stream, swale or street.
  2. A few hours after a rain, check your yard and home’s foundation. If soil puddles when pressed, drainage is an issue. If there is standing water, this area needs attention.
  3. On a dry day, use marking paint to indicate low areas of standing water and high areas where water drains toward your house.
  4. If water drains from a high spot, dig a swale between your house and the spot. A swale is a shallow ditch wide enough to mow while allowing water from the high spots to flow away from your house.
  5. Use soil dug from high spots, or top soil, to fill and level holes that are trip hazards and spots that rarely dry out.
  6. Check for correct drainage with a level or by running water from a hose until water flows around and away from your home.


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