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Fix outdoor drainage issues before investing in anything else

The winter is an excellent time to think ahead, planning for the next year’s growing season. While your landscape may be cold and barren during a December day, viewing the landscape in its empty state can help you get a better view of problems that may need to be fixed. A critical consideration for your yard is drainage. A yard that has poor drainage can leave not only your plant life open to maladaptive growth environments, but also leave your home and hardscapes open to rot and damage. During these winter months, walk your landscape and try to notice where water may be pooling in places that may otherwise be covered in the growing season. Doing this can give you insight into where you need to focus some time on drainage, before investing more time into your landscape.

Drainage is an extremely common consideration for homeowners who are planning a hardscaping or landscaping project. As explained by Landscaping for Dummies, “unless your entire site has no low spots where rainwater and melted snow accumulate, you probably have some drainage problems to solve—especially if water accumulates under decks, around patios and walks, under sheds, or around the house. You can divert water away from low spots by creating swales (shallow gullies with gently sloping sides) or ditches along the surface of the ground, or by installing a subsurface drainage system.”

Improperly drained yards can leave massive muddy pools in the middle of your landscape. These pools are unappealing, can ruin plant life’s growth habit, damage your home’s foundation, are unsafe and can even be hazardous to your health. By not figuring out where your drainage problems are and mitigating them as soon as you can, you’re just procrastinating on a job that will eventually have to get done. To add problems, any work that you do on your home and landscape before figuring out drainage may have to be re-done, as drainage may reconfigure the layout of your yard, dictating where you should be growing.

Yards with improper drainage are also liabilities when selling your home. As explained by Landscaping for Dummies, “drainage problems are deal killers. Correct drainage problems that have caused water to build up against the outside wall, collect under the house, or drain into a neighbor’s yard. Install underground drains to take the water to the street or recontour (rearrange gullies and mounds) the soil so that water drains away from the house.” If you have drainage problems, your home’s foundation may already be damaged, or at the very least it indicates to prospective buyers that you may not care too much about critical upkeep.

Drainage is a massively important factor in a well built and maintained landscape. Unless you live on a perfect plot of land, which likely doesn’t exist anywhere, you’re going to need to think at least a little bit about where water collects in your yard, and how to disperse that water safely and effectively. At Whispering Hills, we carry all that you need to get your drainage projects done, offer landscape design services to help you reach your goals and have expert staff on hand to help guide you through the process.

Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center is a full service landscape center and nursery located in Cary, Illinois. Stop in today to schedule a Spring 2022 cleanup. (Updated: 12/9/21)

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