This is some information for do-it-yourselfers. South Austin Irrigation does not deal with drainage issues, only irrigation equipment repair.
Good yard drainage is crucial to the health of your yard. That’s because most plants need well-draining soil so that fungal and bacterial diseases don’t infect their roots. Heavily compacted soil or soil that has a poor balance of solid material and pore space will not allow for the drainage your plants need to thrive.
Following is a guide for how you can check your soil drainage and make the changes that will keep your yard healthy.
Do the dig test
Dig a hole 12 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain. Refill the hole and return to the hole in four hours. If the water still remains in the hole, your soil needs help.
Determine amount of organic material needed for yard drainage
Measure the length and width of your yard and multiply the measurements together. Purchase enough organic material, such as compost and builder’s sand, to cover the yard at a depth of 4 inches.
Remove existing turf
Take a shovel and remove the existing turf or gardening area. Wet grass with a hose if the ground is too hard to easily lift the grass from underneath the roots. Put grass in a wheelbarrow.
Spread organic materials over yard surface
Lay down 4 inches of compost over the yard using a tiller to work the material into 6 inches of the top soil. Then spread 4 inches of builder’s sand over the lawn area and work it thoroughly into both the compost and the soil.
Check soil pH
Using a soil testing kit, check the soil pH after three or four weeks. Be sure to monitor the range carefully because compost breakdown will change it.
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