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Very wet garden - just compacted soil?

Hi all, I hope someone can help me out here please?

My house was built 25 years ago and the back garden never used to have a problem with drainage, in fact I used to have to water it in the summer months. But as the years went by I started having drainage problems.

The garden is about 50' wide x 30' long, sloping to the back corner with a drop of about 2' - 3'.

As time went by it started holding water in the low corner - it gradually got worse until eventually it had standing water a few inches deep, and also puddles in the borders, even at the highest parts.

Early last year I decided to put a soakaway at the lowest point, with plans to lay drains running to it. I dug down about 3' - there was a fair bit of clay in it but the bottom was sandy. Half way down I discovered the opening to a land drain (about 4" diameter) - this was blocked with clay. I unblocked it and ran water into it with the hosepipe and it was draining away no problem - I thought that I'd found the source of the problem...

I decided to hold off any further work to see if clearing this land drain improved things, so I left the hole open.But the garden was still holding water as bad as ever - it was even puddling right by the edge of the hole.

The consistency of my soil I would describe as "claggy". I never believed that my soil was compacted, as the level of my lawn has risen considerably over the years - surely, if it was compacted the lawn level would have dropped?
Then I read somewhere that the soil particles can bond together at a molecular level...

I'm now thinking that installing drains won't solve the problem, and maybe the soil just needs breaking up?

I'm prepared to do whatever it takes to sort this out, but I keep fretting that I'll put in a massive amount of work and expense, only to find that it hasn't worked...

Last edited: 01 April 2017 13:40:14

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