Easy Digging
Soil improvements help
to avoid poor
drainage in yard

Improving your soil to avoid poor
drainage in yard or lawn

Landscape Drainage System
Additional Instructions

Please first read Steps 1 to 4,
beginning with: Lawn and Garden Drainage Guide

This page will provide information on:

Using gypsum to improve soil drainage
Improving clay top soil with compost
Using lime to improve soil drainage
Adding sand to aid water flow through the top soil

Lawn and Garden
Drainage Guide

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Lawn Yard and Garden tools
trenching for a French drain
There is information on specific techniques for improving the drainage of your topsoil

On using gypsum to improve soil drainage
"What does Gypsum do? It's main purpose is to penetrate the many clay particles in
heavy or the layer of hard subsoil type soils and loosen the soil structure. Then this
creates air and moisture slots that will loosen and break-up the soil structure."

On improving clay topsoil
"in clay soil, use plenty of organic matter and horticultural grit before planting to
improve soil structure and drainage"

On using lime to improve soil drainage:
"Lime has a tendency to chemically aggregate soil – that’s good. It can help open up
the soil structure and make it more permeable. Lime is inexpensive. If lime is added, it
can be sprinkled on top of the finished trench and gravel and allowed to leach down
and chemically aggregate the bottom of the trench."

On top dressing a lawn with sand:
"The final stage needs to be carried out over a number of months. It involves top
dressing the lawn with a washed sand over a number of months to build up a carpet
of sand at the base of the grass plants to allow the rainwater to move freely on the
surface and down the sand slits into the drain."

On using sand in micro drainage trenches:
"I'd like to add that sand can add benefits in small areas. For some drains, I've cut
"V" shapes slits a few inches deep in areas of water puddles. These slit trenches run
from the trench to the perimeter of the puddle. I fill these slits with sand only. Where
the slits meet the main trench; the trench is topped with sand, with fabric well-placed
to prevent the sand from washing into the French drain. I do this often in lawns, and
let the lawn grass spread into the slits. The sandy slits still allow water to move and
grass to grow. These are what I refer to as "micro-drainage" or micro-managing a
drain line."
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