The soil most commonly found on Arizona properties is packed with clay, which means that it holds water tightly. Clay-dense soil doesn’t drain well, which means that your yard can become over-saturated and damaging to your plants and foundation.
How can your yard become drenched in a state with such a small amount of rainfall? Any Arizona gardener or lover of landscaping can tell you that if you want your yard to flourish, you’re going to need an irrigation system.
So, how do you solve your drainage problems?
Landscape Drainage Solutions
Read on to learn more about 6 different landscape drainage solutions you can use to improve your Arizona property.
1. Change Your Soil Profile
One thing you can try is changing your soil profile. Because Arizona soil is often so dense with clay, it can be beneficial to add other organic materials to the soil. Not only will this loosen up the clay and allow for better natural drainage but it will improve the nutrient density in your soil, making it a better environment for plants to grow.
Tilling your yard to introduce organic material is not recommended to do frequently. Instead, consider top-dressing your soil by adding a layer of compost or an organic soil mixture that will make its way into the natural soil over time.
Note that this method works if your drainage problem is mild. If you have a more serious issue, proceed to our other tips.
2. Aerate Your Lawn
Aerating is the process of poking systematic holes into your turf or lawn to allow water and oxygen to permeate. You may consider this solution if your drainage issue stems from water sitting on top of your lawn, rather than soaking into it.
If your landscaping is well-established already, aerate with caution. Aeration disturbs root systems that sit close to the soil’s surface, which is often the case with grass and even some edible crops like lettuce and herbs. If you have serious pooling issues in your yard, aeration may not be enough to prevent sogginess.
3. Build a Dry Creek Bed
Dry creek beds come in handy if your drainage issue is threatening to damage your home’s foundation or a neighboring property. The objective of building a dry creek bed is to divert water from traveling to a trouble spot in the land.
Dry creek beds can make for a fun DIY project if you enjoy minor landscaping. However, you will need to develop a drainage plan before doing so. Dry creek beds can either follow the natural slope of your yard or can work against the natural slope of your yard, depending on your needs. The rocks and stones in a dry creek bed promote the even distribution of water as it flows through your property.
4. Install Retaining Walls
When you’re dealing with a drainage issue, you may find yourself with a soil erosion problem on your hands. Water buildup disturbs topsoil and can even dislodge mulch. As this water flows, it carries all of these materials with it, altering your property’s terrain and potentially causing cross-contamination of soil beds.
The placement of retaining walls can also create a more purposeful grade in your yard. Properties that are built on a slope often encounter issues with pooling at the lowest points. By installing a series of retaining walls along this slope, you can break up the flow of water and give that run-off a place to soak into the ground more evenly.
5. Ditch Concrete for Pavers
Drainage problems don’t just affect your soil and disturb your gardens. Excess water can also cause problems with your paved areas like the driveway, walkway, or concrete patio.
Concrete is a porous material but many driveways and other surfaces are treated with waterproofing chemicals. As a result, you’ll notice quite a bit of pooling after a heavy rainfall or the use of your sprinkler or irrigation systems. Not only is this unattractive but it can cause damage to your driveway and other surfaces over time.
Pavers, on the other hand, are more permeable. They are also laid with small spaces between each tile which allows water to seep through and go back into the ground.
6. Add Rain Gardens to Your Landscaping
If you are one of the lucky individuals with a green thumb, you might want to consider planting rain gardens in your yard. In fact, pairing a rain garden with a retaining wall can be a beautiful and functional solution to your drainage problems!
Rain gardens are designed to make use of excess water rather than diverting it off of the property or into something like a dry well. The idea is that you locate areas where pooling and buildup occur and cultivate your rain garden there. You will want to seek out plants that thrive on tons of water and aren’t susceptible to root rot.
In other words, rain gardens don’t get rid of your drainage problems. Instead, they turn your drainage problems into an attractive gardening solution! Those puddles won’t look nearly as unattractive if they’re hidden by the foliage and blossoms of your rain garden.
We Recommend Jose Knows Trees to Help with Your Landscape Drainage Solutions
Many Arizonans love to spend time out in the yard but struggle to find the answers to their drainage problems. Whether the water is sitting on top of your lawn or saturating your clay-dense soil, poor drainage can turn your oasis into a soggy mess.
That’s why Jose has perfected landscape drainage solutions. We’ve been in the business of improving East Valley landscaping since 1997 and we’re happy to help you find the solutions you need! To get started, contact Jose so that we can set up a consultation right away.