Damage from flooding can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Did you know there are ways you can prevent it, starting with your landscape and gardens? Survey the land around your home the next time it rains, and photograph areas where there is flooding. Those are trouble zones should torrential rain ever fall. Follow these tips to keep your home and yard dry, no matter what kind of weather is in the forecast.
Install Drainage Systems
Drainage systems are a must when trying to avoid flooding. You want the water to travel as far as possible from your home. Install them in your garden; there are many different types of drainage systems you can use for your landscape.
While french drains vs. trench drains offer different styles and benefits, they are both excellent options:
- French Drain System – This drainage system is standard in most landscapes. Most professionals use flexible, corrugated piping to maneuver drains in channels they dig. Gravel rock further supports the pipes to prevent them from sinking into the soil. Drainage pipes will connect to one or more catch basins depending on the needs of your garden bed. French drain systems can be installed anywhere. Be sure to target areas where flooding is likely.
- Trench Drain System – Trench drains are hard plastic or metal basins with a long rectangular shape usually installed on the edge of garden beds, outdoor flooring, or a driveway. Their tops are grated to filter out large debris and can connect to PVC or corrugated piping systems. If you use this drainage system next to a garden bed, do a maintenance check each time it rains to keep drains from clogging.
- Rock & Rock Trench Systems – Using rocks to manage water is a creative and efficient drainage method for gardens. Gardens are often at the mercy of a deluge, and channeling around a garden bed may not be enough to control the flow of water. Consider installing rocks inside your garden, so water flow is soaked into the ground. Better yet, create a ditch behind your garden bed with rocks rerouting water away from your home and garden.
Use Dense Mulch
Pine straw and pine bark are affordable ground covers but lack durability. Use mulch as the ground cover of choice. Mulch is much like soil; it holds water and temperature much better than most ground covers. Densely spread mulch to retain heavy rains. Be sure to keep an eye on your drainage system after heavy rainfall, as mulch debris can clog the pipes.
Consider a Rain Garden
Rain gardens are a combination of plants (mostly native shrubs, trees, and grasses) that absorb over time. As the plants in your rain garden flourish, the likelihood of flooding diminishes. Building a rain garden on low elevated areas of your property will better direct flood waters away from your home. Consult your local florist or nursery to help you select plants native to your local area.
Link Gutters to Drain Systems
Don’t underestimate water that falls from your home. Homes and gardens are both in danger of flood damage if water that rolls off the roof isn’t properly managed. To negate excess water from the roof, hire a professional to install your gutters. Gutter guards are usually suggested to keep out leaves, acorns, and animals. Next, consider connecting them to a drainage system that leads away from the home and garden beds.
Elevate Garden Beds
If your house is situated on a flat landscape, it can be challenging to create a drainage solution for your garden bed – the answer: grading. Grading a garden bed is the process of changing the elevation of your landscape. Professionals construct a design, dig around the landscape, and then increase its height with materials. The construction is filled with soil, making it a graded land structure. In addition to grading land, a drainage system is usually installed to keep water from flooding the area. Nearby rain gardens and rock trenches are also a good idea.
A lot of time and money is invested in a home’s gardens, so it’s important to locate any flooding issues before they start. A reactive approach could cost you money in the long run. Be sure to talk to professionals the moment there’s standing water anywhere in your landscape.