24 Jun 2022

Drainage is a vital part of any outdoor space, no matter how many plants it might have. If water can’t drain out, then you are likely to drown plants, destroy well-kept surfaces, and create a waterlogged garden or yard that you can’t really enjoy until it all dries.

However, drainage is not always an easy thing to understand. For many people, coming up with the right solutions to drain an outdoor space like that can be tough, and there is not always a clear way to fix the drainage issues that your yard might be having.

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If your yard sometimes struggles to drain properly, then here are some common causes and quick ways to fix them.

Lack of Slopes

Water has to drain downhill, and that is not always an option if an area is far too flat. Without somewhere for the water to drain, it is just going to pool in the lowest point it can find, which might end up being the very middle of your yard.

Fixing this is not always easy, but there are thankfully some tricks to help with drainage. For a start, many people create their own artificial creek beds or drainage spaces, either through digging out a small stream or just embedding pipes into the dirt.

Either way, having an easy path for water to flow down will usually lead to much faster and more efficient drainage. If you target the areas that end up soggy and waterlogged the most, be sure that the new drainage method is not funneling all the water to the bottom of your garden and getting that area soggy too.

Downspout Issues

Sometimes your gutter might drain directly into a flowerbed, causing water to pool there. Even if it is not directly pooling in that spot, having water from your roof flowing into your yard means that you are getting more water than you might have expected, which can gradually accumulate over time.

Try to extend the downspout or find a way to divert the runoff water somewhere else. If you are absolutely stuck for any other options, then you could always add a rain barrel or use some other container to collect the water, rather than having it free-flowing into your yard.


It is possible that your drainage issues are simply because you are giving plants too much water and not letting them naturally grow or develop. If this happens, it can be tough to really understand how to resolve it, but cutting back on your own watering can help.

Do not water your plants if it has just rained, even if you are trying to stick to a schedule. Be sure to take good care of your plants and check on how they look before watering them – you do not want to give them more water if they are clearly already hydrated.

Remember that you can’t always predict the weather. If you water a plant and then the rain begins to fall, it is not your fault that your plants might get over-watered: however, you still need to correct it by not watering the plants even more if they are already waterlogged.

If multiple people take care of the garden, try to make it clear which areas have already been watered and which have not. You do not want to all be watering the same plants assuming that nobody else has, especially not if they are a core part of your yard’s visual appeal.

Sub-Surface Drainage Problems

Sometimes the soil itself has drainage problems, meaning that you can’t really fix it with anything surface-level. This generally leads to you need to install one of two things: a dry well or a french drain.

A french drain is a gravel-filled trench with a drainage pipe, one that can be installed almost anywhere you need it. This pipe is covered up with a filter and a layer of soil, allowing water from within the soil to seep down and drain away to some other location.

Using a french drain can be very effective, but it needs to be constructed well. Poor french drain designs will just keep the water pooling in the same place, only with less soil for it to actually seep into.

A dry well is the opposite and is placed at the end of a creek, small stream, swale, or french drain. These collect water and disperse it to nearby plants: they are often made as a large basin with multiple holes, letting water drain out in different directions all at once.

These are much more useful for areas where water needs to be moved slightly to avoid pooling and can also help keep plants watered more reliably. However, once again, these need to be designed properly, or they can backfire and just make things worse.

Other Issues

Really, there is not any single reason that your yard could have drainage problems. Many people have yards that will sometimes get waterlogged without any forewarning, and other people may only encounter drainage issues in their yard occasionally.

The important thing to remember is that you can always fix the issues, especially if they always arise in the same area each time. Do not hesitate to contact experts and contractors that can plan out a solution for you – it is easier than trying to do it yourself and messing something up.

If you are going to make major changes to your garden, then you will want a way to dispose of what is left. Our dumpster rental options can help you remove debris and waste easily, all without requiring you to take any extra steps beyond filling the dumpster up.