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Gravel area

Hi, we've just moved to a new build, the grass is going yellow in areas & gets boggy. I think this is because of the clay soil. The small patio does get flooded in heavy rain, but clears quickly. We were thinking of digging it up & laying a membrane then adding gravel. Would this be ok or am I adding to my woes?? Any help would be great. Thank you


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Sensible solution up to a point Julia. What you have to consider is that the water still has to go somewhere. If it's not draining now it still won't drain if you put down gravel, it'll sit just under the gravel. As its a new build I'd ask the builders to return and sort out the drainage issues first. If they install drainage you may be able to have grass. 

  • Julia 11Julia 11 Posts: 7
    When you say install drainage, what do you mean please.

    Thanks for your help, really appreciate it
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    If the drainage is bad they can install land drains, a series of perforated pipes underground. Not complicated but can be expensive and labour intensive.

  • Julia 11Julia 11 Posts: 7
    Right, I can't see Belway doing that! It's taken ages to get the snag list sorted.

    Can I just ask you one more question?

    Can you get a membrane that allows water to drain but doesn't allow weeds?
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Most membranes do that anyway Julia. It's best to get a heavy duty membrane if you're placing any depth of gravel. You can buy it from Amazon. If you are experiencing drainage problems it may be worth consulting any solicitors you used. You have to ask yourself the question, would you have bought the house if you'd known there would be drainage issues?

  • Julia 11Julia 11 Posts: 7
    Certainly not! We've never brought a new house before & thought it would be easy going.... Far from it.

    Thanks for all your help Dave
  • JenC2JenC2 Posts: 7

    Hope you don't mind me chipping in, but just thought I'd mention that I have a similar garden to you Julia, moved in nearly two years ago - very boggy lawn, lots of clay making up the soil - the lawn is really patchy and quite awful to be honest! We have quite a narrow, long garden and the bottom third is already gravel. 

    I have actually done away with some of the lawn and increased the amount of border on one edge in the boggiest section, even though it's in shade for 95% of the day. I've tried to include plants that like shady/boggy soil and it's been quite a success. I presume the roots are taking some of the moisture out of the soil because they seem happy and the lawn has grown back healthily around the new border. 

    I am also intending to get rid of the gravel further down altogether. As Dave mentioned, the water has to go somewhere and I think the gravel and lining must surely make drainage in the garden worse as rainwater can't infiltrate the soil? Furthermore, I constantly have weeds and brambles growing up through the lining every year - it's back breaking work getting rid of them all the time and it looks awful. I believe the lining was fitted 'well'! Just my two thoughts, hope it helps!

  • JenC2JenC2 Posts: 7

    I have to be admit by the way, that I don't think our lawn will ever be anything near perfect, given the boggy conditions. It will seemingly always need a lot of tlc. Not helped by our lovely golden doodle who likes to dig it all up!

  • Julia 11Julia 11 Posts: 7
    Thanks Jen, that's been really helpful too.

    We not planted anything yet, so I will look for moisture loving plants.

    I just wish I could afford the decking!!
  • darren636darren636 Posts: 666
    There's new builds going up around the corner , very heavy clay soil

    They have pumps going to dry out the area around the brickwork , its at the bottom of a hill. New owners are in for a treat.
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