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Flooding lawn

My lawn has alway gets waterlogged when it rains , dug a test hole about 2and half foot down and after 3 inches of soil just clay what would solution be nowhere to drain water of , also had some work done and scaffold was erected on my lawn would this had compressed my lawn soil .



  • Oh dear... I think you know the answer already... If you have to, you must put in a perforated pipe drain.

    You have effectively got a tank of water underground... with a thin layer of soil on top?

  • Before putting pipe work down to reduce the flooding, look at aerating the lawn. Obviously, the way you would do this would depend on the size of your lawn and also how bad the flooding is to the lawn. Most lawns are layed on clay soil structures and survive quite well with some good lawn maintenance. I use a hollow tine fork to create hollow passages down to a 3" to 4" depth and then brush in some seived top soil and hort. grit in to the hollow passages. This will create effective drainage holes for water to permeate in to the lawn sub soil. There are also mechanical aerators that will aerate your lawn with multiple spiking actions. Obviously, i do not know how bad the flooding is but if your lawn is compacted down then water will just drain off the sides in to boarder areas. Excavation to lay drain pipes would be my last resort

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,025

    And anyway, where would you drain the water to? 

    I agree with Steve ... Improve the structure of your soil. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for replying , I will go down the road to aerators and use some old compost to level of lawn to stop water gathering at dips .

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,025

    Jason, I find that vigourous spiking with a border fork to be just as good, if not better, than some of the mechanical aerators on sale. 

    Just mind your toes ... my brother once spiked himself securing his foot to the lawn ... he was stuck there until our parents heard his cries and came out to help ... he was only five and had been copying our uncle who was spiking the lawn when we visited.  Bless the little man image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hi Dove 

    Thats why I was interested to find out the size of the lawn as manual aerating of a large lawn can be physically demanding and time consuming even for someone who had a high level of fitness. I annualy use a manual spiker that I run across my lawn that rotates and forces 4" spikes in to the lawn to aereate the lawn surface . Quite easy to use when the sub soil is wet in early spring and late summer so that the spiking is easier and thrusts completely in to the lawn. I use this on an area of lawn that measures 80ms

  • I wouldn't waste time with aeration. 

    Aeration is NOT a task that improves drainage. 

    What difference will improving the top 3 inches make when your garden is on a bed of clay? You need to dig one or more sumps...huge holes filled with round gravel and topped with free-draining soil then turf. Plus a few side trenches leading towards the sumps.

    Lawn aeration is a process that improves airflow to the rootzone of the grass.

  • I did a trench at back of the lawn dug down to 1 foot and half middle 2 half foot acting as sump but could not pass clay , then dug 3 seperate trenches sloping down to main trench filled all with gravel and back fill with soil , but all that happened was water started to come up end of the 3 trenches onto my path , today I dug the 3 trenches out of gravel and filled with old compost and soil , I left the back trench in hopefully it will not cause a problem , my house is set down a little from a grass verge on public path , my lawn has 3 raised beds and 10 foot by 14 foot lawn and a path on front of lawn , problem seams water goes down to clay then just sits there and floods lawn .

    Last edited: 25 October 2017 21:08:03

  • Most lawns are laid on clay sub soil that is why good aeration maintenance over the years will release surface compaction and improve drainage. Most lawn become flooded in very extreme wet weather but ripping up the lawn to lay drainage is an extreme that possisbly is not required in this instance. My own expereince on this is based on my own garden that had similar water logging when servere rainfall over 2 days flooded most of my lower lawn area and boarders. Aeration of the lawn resolved this over a 18 month process. Where the boarders flooded I mixed manure and grit to break down a heavy clay soil in that part of the boarder and over a short period of time, no flooding.

    I am also a jobbing gardener and carry out all type of softscape work that includes laying lawns. If I had to excavate for drainage on every clay soil I have layed turf on, I would be out of business 

  • Hello greenfingers how right you are I have learnt a costly and backbreaking  lesson , I have put everything back just waiting for soil to dry and will level of , what is the next date I can start sowing grass seed .

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