I got a .2 acre (close to) rectangular backyard, slight slope. No puddle, yet the lawn feels wet. Or at least it takes longer to dry up after rain. Sometimes, when my neighbors started mowing, my lawn still is not completely dry.

So I am considering laying down some french drainage system under the lawn. In some YouTube videos, the handyman just dug trenches around the perimeter (fence) inside the yard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDOUmX1meAs

I am curious if the center part of the lawn is too far from the drainage. Wouldn't it be better to dig parallel trenches all over the yard to "cover" the whole lawn?

If that is the case, how far apart should we dig our trenches? Let's say we are using 4" perforated PVC tubes.

  • Would you say that your yard is in a hole, so to speak? Is there a low spot or two in your yard that you could take advantage of? How well does the ground slope away from your house and into your yard? – Rob Sep 13 at 19:20
  • There is some low sport (area). Does it mean we can just lay drainage in that area and trust water from high places will seep there through the soil? – Blaise Sep 13 at 20:30
  • That's where I would focus your attention. Anywhere there is puddling in a heavy rain is a low water retention area and may require your attention. That being said, don't go filling your lawn up with drainage pipes. Dress your lawn with sand (helps with water retention) aerate your lawn as well and focus in on a few areas. – Rob Sep 13 at 21:31
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    Sounds like you actually have the makings of a rain garden or pond, if you're up for it. You could edge the area, remove the grass, and install the appropriate perennials to soak up your excess rainfall. Beauty during the growing season and less lawn to mow - a win-win situation to me. – Jurp Sep 13 at 21:39
  • Rain gardens = mosquitoes, raccoons. You need drainage. When you install your french drains do what is called a Herringbone pattern. Use perforated pipe wrapped in landscape fabric. Go diagonally across your property towards a main collector (not perf pipe). – stormy Sep 13 at 22:45

Rain gardens = mosquitoes, raccoons. You need drainage. When you install your french drains do what is called a Herringbone pattern. Use perforated pipe wrapped in landscape fabric. Go diagonally across your property towards a main collector (not perf pipe).

What are the regulations for daylighting drain pipe? Install gravel below the daylighted end of the pipe to stop erosion at that point. What is the slope you are dealing with? That dictates the distance between 'parallel' perf pipes connected to a main line of drainage. Looks like a feather? Each line is taking up whatever the up slope diagonal line hasn't taken up in water.

Rain gardens = mosquitoes, raccoons. You need drainage. When you install your french drains do what is called a Herringbone pattern. Use perforated pipe wrapped in landscape fabric. Go diagonally across your property towards a main collector (not perf pipe).

I am trying to draw using a mouse, okay? This is the best I could do right now. Does it make sense? Downhill is to the right on a simple rectangular lot. I assumed your home is uphill. If it is downhill, that gets far more important and one does not ever direct water towards a home, no tying into the foundation drain that kind of thing. At least these are big no no's to try to not do? a sketch of herringbone drainage

There is also this thing I use an awful lot and that is a dry well. Instead of daylighting the pipe you would simply dig a big hole, landscape fabric, fill with drain rock and cover with landscape fabric and then soil, lawn works but not that well, rocks, cobble, gravel are great. No standing water and wet soils.

  • Thanks. What are the three line blue lines? Are they perforated pipes? – Blaise Sep 14 at 17:32
  • If a dry well is set up, should it be located at the end of the middle non-perforated drain pipe? – Blaise Sep 14 at 17:33
  • Yes, on YOUR property. Digging a 6 X 10 X 3' deep hole is normal. – stormy Sep 15 at 5:16

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