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Land Drains

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by andy, May 2, 2005.

  1. andy

    andy Apprentice Gardener

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    OK - I've had enough ! A new lawn down last year with lots of new top soil with lots of stones but its still very damp. There is no way I can let the kids on it unless there's been no rain for 3 days and even then, you'll get damp knees if you kneel down.

    We have a lot of clay in the area. The garden gently slopes away from the house (about 40m) but the boggiest parts seem to be half way down (doesn't appear to be the deepest).

    Are land drains any good and does anyone know who is good at installing them in the Essex area or 'an expert' that could come round an advise.

    Thanks
    Andy
     
  2. Will Dunkerley

    Will Dunkerley Gardener

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    Hi Andy,

    From what you say, I wonder if you've become the victim of somebody elses land drains [​IMG]


    Any sort of drains will help take away excess water, but you really only want the water removed from the top couple of inches. If you have good access for a compact tractor, you might have some success with a Mole Plough - this will create channels just below the surface with minimal surface disruption.

    You could go for a full scalle herringbone drainage system with perforated pipe, but this would be expensive, time consuming, and would make a mess of your new lawn, so I'd try a mole plough first, then go for something more drastic if that doesn't work. As for where to get one, you could try larger landscape contractors. Some golf courses also have them, but they aren't always keen to hire their machinery / operators out.

    Another option might be to dig a sump drain in the worst affected area - to do this you'd dig down through any clay in the subsoil to more free draining soil, although this would ony help in the immediate vicinity.

    One thing to remember is that with new lawns, drainage generally improves over time, as the root systems develop and the earthworm population rises.
     
  3. andy

    andy Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks - I've been thinking about a couple of soakaways but what puts me off is how do I know how deep the clay is to ensure that the soakaway goes through it and empties quicker than it fills.

    andy
     
  4. Will Dunkerley

    Will Dunkerley Gardener

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    You keep digging [​IMG]

    Basically, if you come across a decent layer of better draining soil, that should be enough even if there is more clay underneath - the water will drain laterally as well as downwards.
     
  5. slugbug

    slugbug Gardener

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    When I first met my husband his garden was clay and his shed constantly sat with a moat around it. The grass was like a jungle as it was always to wet to mow. Solution I moved in and we worked wonders.We built a concrete base and built a patio slightly raise at top of garden.Dug 4 or 5 long trenches filled with perforated pipe ang covered with gravel this all sloped down to a pipe that gradually fell into a sump( square hole that was lined with concrete the water collected and drained off clean water into the drains.
    We are only novices and did this all ourselves. I might even have some photos somewhere.
     
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