The Best Drainage Options for Your Lawn and Landscape

Drainage Options for Your Lawn

The Best Drainage Options for Your Lawn and Landscape

We all know the saying: April showers bring May flowers. While it’s always exciting to see the colors and beautiful flower beds of Spring, there’s another vital element to be aware of to keep your lawn and landscape healthy. That element is drainage and how improper or inadequate drainage can cause harm.

Why Is Proper Drainage Important?

There are several reasons proper drainage matters when it comes to your outdoor space. One of the most important reasons is soil erosion. If your space does not have proper drainage, the risk of water runoff is high—and when there’s runoff, there’s a risk of soil erosion.

That might not seem like a big deal until you realize that soil erosion can cause foundation issues for your home, which can be dangerous and expensive. Erosion can also harm the health of your lawn and ruin the landscaping you’ve worked so hard to install.

What is erosion? Erosion is what happens when water carries your landscape away. Think about a Spring rainstorm and how the water can flow down a street in search of the gutter. If you watch, you’ll see it brings any debris and litter with it. The same is true in your yard: runoff can pick up and carry away soil. This means all your hard work will be gone. Left over time, erosion can become a substantial problem, not just for your lawn, but for your home.

Fix Erosion with Proper Drainage

The way to stem this troublesome erosion is to ensure that you have proper drainage. There are basically two types of drainage: surface systems and subsurface  systems.

Surface draining systems are options that are on the surface of the ground. They use the power of gravity to pull excess rainfall away from places it might cause harm. Subsurface draining systems are underground but work in a similar way.

Types of Drainage: Surface and Subsurface Options

An example of a surface drain is called a channel drain (which is also sometimes called a trench drain). This type of drain moves water through an underground drainage system—picture the gutters on your home, but used in your yard instead. Channel drains can be used wherever you need to direct overflow to a different area.

An example of a subsurface drain is called a French drain. If you’ve seen a rain barrel, you already have an idea of how a French drain works: excess water is collected and held so it can seep slowly into the ground. The difference is that a French drain is installed in the ground and often includes different layers that help filter impurities out of the water. It also has small holes that allow the water to seep into the ground slowly, while a rain barrel is an enclosed system that requires a spout and/or hose to extract water manually.

The type of drain—or types, depending on your particular space and needs—can be trick to determine and install, but we’re here to help. To learn more, visit our projects page or give us a call. We’d love to work with you.

irrigation systems Olathe landscapes

How the Right Irrigation Design Protects Your Landscape Investment During Hot and Dry Seasons

irrigation systems Olathe landscapes

Summer in Olathe and surrounding Johnson County is hot and often dry. These conditions can wreak havoc on landscaping. From dehydrated lawns to dying plants and damaged trees, summer weather conditions can ruin the landscape you’ve worked so hard on—and invested money in.

Why Smart Irrigation Matters

Watering your lawn simply to keep it alive might seem an easy task. But determining how much water your landscape needs is more math equation than intuition: you need to know how much water your soil can absorb at a given time, how much flow your irrigation system produces, how much water is absorbed by the atmosphere, and how much it will rain.

Those are a lot of variables to worry about every week. But it’s necessary to be consistent; a lack of water results in dehydrated lawns, dead grass, and wilting or dead gardens. This isn’t just an aesthetic issue; it’s also monetary. The same is true of watering too much. The grass might be green in that case, but it won’t be healthy. Excessive watering can also lead to soil erosion, pest problems, and even foundation issues.

Why Automation Saves You Money

Installing an automatic irrigation or sprinkler system might seem like an unnecessary luxury, but it isn’t. Installing a system that makes it easier to keep your lawn and landscape properly hydrate can save money in the long run because it preserves the landscape you’ve worked so hard to create.

It can also save you time. Instead of hooking up hoses and moving sprinklers and standing at your flower bed, you could be working or spending time with family or even traveling—all while maintaining your lawn, trees, shrubs, and landscaping.

Irrigation Systems are Environmentally Friendly

Irrigation systems allow you to customize how much—and when—you water your lawn and landscape. This means you can use technology to ensure that you’re not only protecting your investment, but also the environment.

Excessive watering can lead to run-off and soil erosion. It can also waste water, which is a precious and sometimes scarce resource. By installing a newer, more precise system, you can beautifully and easily maintain your lawn and landscape and help protect our environment.

Ready to explore the idea of installing a custom irrigation system? If so, we’d love to share our expertise with you. Contact us to learn more.

How Installing Retaining Walls Can Help Your Landscape and Prevent Spring Runoff

How Installing Retaining Walls Can Help Your Landscape and Prevent Spring Runoff

Spring means the beginning of watering lawns and landscape. That also means it’s time to worry about runoff. What is runoff? The technical definition is: the flow of water that occurs when excess storm water, meltwater, or other sources flows over the Earth’s surface. Running water is powerful—it has carved canyons and moved boulders. You might not worry about issues of this scale, but it’s a fair question to ask what runoff might do to your landscape.

The short answer to that question is erosion. Spring runoff can lead to erosion on your property. This isn’t just an issue of being an eyesore. Erosion can affect your home’s foundation. Installing a retaining wall can help prevent soil erosion. By doing so, you can help protect your landscape and your property.

What’s Your Slope?

It can be a bit technical, but the slope of your landscape dictates what kind of retaining wall you need. It’s something best left to experts, though there are resources to consult if you want to learn more, like this guide from the National Resources Conservation Service. Is it possible to DIY your retaining wall? Sure it is, though in our opinion it’s best to consult an expert. If you decide to go solo, be sure to do your homework and to consider every option carefully.

How Retaining Walls Work

Simply put, a retaining wall holds soil in place.  When designed properly, retaining walls also ensure that excess water drains in ways that don’t erode the soil. Think of these channels almost like water slides at a big amusement park: with the right structure and construction, you can change the direction of drainage in your space, making sure that runoff water goes where you want it to go.

There are several options to consider: full retaining walls, partial walls, and raised terraces with plantings, just to name a few. Construction can vary too, depending on design need and aesthetic preference. Concrete, brick, and wood are all options. The best way to decide is to discuss the variety of options with a company that specializes in retaining walls in your area. We do just that.

 

Landscape Project Overland Park KS

Job location:

  • Overland Park, Kansas

What was being asked of Huston Contracting?

  • Build a retainer wall
  • Basketball court
  • Drainage
  • Sod
  • Irrigation
  • Lower grade 3.5 feet

How did we meet the clients’ needs?
Throughout the project, we made sure to include the clients’ ideas and preferences in the big picture while recreating a new backyard for them including a new basketball court and a level lawn for all outdoor activities.

What was difficult about this landscape project?
Upon completing the court, there were various drainage issues that needed addressed. We were able to solve the water problem by installing a French drain to keep water from pooling up in the newly sodded backyard.

Testimonial:
“Anthony and the entire Huston team impressed us from day one and throughout our project which required a substantial backyard dig, grading, 120′ long retaining wall, drainage system, and basketball court. Anthony was the only landscape architect with whom we met during the bidding process who truly listened to our needs and understood what we were trying to achieve. He and the entire Huston team were always quick to respond to our questions and proactively provide updates on progress. They set a very high bar for excellent customer service. We even switched our lawn maintenance servicer to Huston after the project was complete, because we had such a positive experience working with them. We trust that whatever our landscaping needs are, Huston will provide excellent results and service along the way.”