Dealing with Unwanted Water
Spring and summer rain showers are one of the most exciting things nature gives us, with or without their thunder and lightning shows. We enjoy the light spring drizzle that greens the grass, the powerful curtains of summer storm, and the cool autumn rain stripping the leaves from the trees. Rain storms leave behind a lightness in the air, new growth on the lawns…and, unfortunately, puddles of standing water. For children (and a few exploratory adults) puddles are for splashing. For homeowners and landscape artists, however, standing water is not as inviting.
You’ve heard the old saying “too much of a good thing?” You need the rain, of course. You need the moisture for the optimum growth of your plants. But too much standing water is not just annoying, it’s also unhealthy to plants, people, and the structural stability of your home.
In the Miami Valley, clay makes up most of the soil. After a rain shower, this clay solidifies without drainage, creating a muddy bathtub around plants’ roots. This prohibits the accessibility of oxygen to the roots, causing root rot and potential plant death. Without proper drainage, lawns and flower beds will eventually yellow and fade away.
For the homeowners themselves, standing water can be a low grade health hazard. Mosquito larvae are bred and hatched in pools of stagnant water—especially in the warm summer months.
Damp or flooded basements are often the result of downspouts that spill their water collection too close to the house wall, not just causing a mess, but also weakening the foundation.
What’s the solution? Well, we have spent the last fifty years exploring a variety of them! There are countless creative ways to channel, redirect, capture, or drain unwanted water in your landscape. In fact, many of Fullmers’ favorite designs were inspired by looking for an answer to a potential customer’s drainage problem.
- Rainwater can be collected in catch basins for watering your plants, keeping it out of a puddle and useful…long after the rain has stopped.
- French Drains (a gravel-filled trench with a perforated tile at the bottom) effectively filter water away from beds and structures, as well as drying out low spots in the lawn.
- Often, we’ll connect downspouts to underground tiles, relocating the water from your house walls to a more appropriate location.
- Dry rock streams (beautiful and textured when dry, functional and practical after rain) are used to whisk run-off water to proper drainage areas.
- Raised bed areas elevate the roots above the soil, allowing the water to drain from the roots.
Proper gardening to avoid wet pockets, tiling away of downspouts…all these are methods we employ to keep your planting areas in that Holy Grail of growth: “moist, well-drained soil.”
Maybe you have standing water on your property? Maybe you’re struggling to keep your favorite plants alive during the summer showers? We hope these ideas will inspire you to take the steps necessary towards your plant health.
If you have questions, or want to see what Fullmer’s would recommend for a solution, contact us!