Nearly everyone knows gardens need water to thrive, but like almost everything else in life you can have too much of a good thing. Water that pools in your garden and fails to drain properly can leave the soil waterlogged and cut off life-giving oxygen to the roots of your plants. Unless you are growing a bog garden, your garden space needs good drainage to keep your plants happy and thriving. One solution to drainage problems in garden areas is to install a French drain to whisk away the excess water. While it may sound intimidating, a French drain is simple to install.
What is a French drain?
A French drain is a trench filled with gravel or stones used to drain water away from a structure. It can be located near the foundation of a home or barn to prevent water from pooling near the building. In the case of gardens, the French drain surrounds the garden and channels excess water away from the plants.
Many people assume the name French drain originated in France, but this is a misconception. The French drain was named after Henry Flagg French, an agriculturist, lawyer and judge from Massachusetts. French described this method for promoting drainage in his book Farm Drainage published in 1906.
Where do you put the French drain?
A French drain can be placed along one or both sides of your garden to funnel water away from the area. You can even add install a French drain in the middle of your garden to create a divider if you prefer. This method works well for gardens that are slightly lower than the surrounding area as the water collects at the lowest point.
For gardens that are raised in the center and lower along the sides, you will want to add a French drain along the side of the garden. The object is to collect and direct the water away from your gardening area. If the land around you garden already slopes you are in luck, but you can compensate for a lack of slope with your French drain.
How do you make a French drain?
You will need to dig a trench and fill it with gravel for the French drain. Here's how.
The ideal garden plot is slighted raised in the center with a gentle slope towards the sides to promote drainage, but should not be sloped so greatly that water runs off the garden before the plants get the water they need. If you would prefer professional assistance or tips, click here for more information.
Hello, I am Manny Juanez. When I moved into my home, I instantly started to plan out my landscape features. I knew that I wanted a small waterfall leading to a pond for my fish. I also wanted to create a few raised beds around the sitting area by the pond. What I didn't know, however, was that the project would take a lot of manpower and a bit of professional help. My site will explore the process from grading the land to setting up the electrical components. I will also talk about building the garden beds with pavers and other found materials. The information I provide should help you create a beautiful layout in your back or front yards. Come back to my site whenever you need some inspiration.