Tips for Building a Drainage Ditch

Landscaping in Connecticut is problematic because of the frequent storms that drench the land during the summer. Plants and lawns need some water to grow and thrive, but waterlogged land causes roots to rot, killing the plants. Building a drainage ditch is a good way to quickly drain excess water out of your garden so that the soil remains fertile and healthy. Here are some tips for building a drainage ditch which will prevent your garden from turning into a swamp after heavy rain.

How to Build a Drainage Ditch

  1. Decide where you will build your drainage ditch. The course of the ditch should follow the natural slope of the land. It should take the water from your land into a pond, stream, or drain. Avoid building a drainage ditch that removes water from your garden and dumps it in your neighbor’s yard.
  2. Clear away plants from the planned course of the ditch. You might be able to replant them in another part of the garden.
  3. Remove the topsoil from the course of the ditch. This top layer of soil is very fertile, so don’t discard it: instead, move it to another part of your garden or use it for potting young plants.
  4. Using a large, flat shovel, dig a trench that is roughly twice as wide as it is deep. The sides of the ditch should gently slope down toward the center.
  5. Use stones, broken rocks, or gravel to line the ditch. Embed larger pieces of rock along the sides of the ditch to clearly define its shape.
  6. Plant long-stemmed grasses or rock flowers among the stones lining the edges of the ditch. These plants will anchor the soil around the ditch to prevent it being washed away during a storm.

Key Takeaways:

  • A drainage ditch removes excess water from your land, which helps stop the soil from getting waterlogged.
  • A drainage ditch should follow the natural slope of the land and lead water into a sewer or waterway.
  • Line the drainage ditch with stones or gravel to define its shape.
  • Plant rock flowers and grasses around the ditch to prevent soil erosion and disguise the ditch.

Need Help?

If you’re interested in building a drainage ditch but are having trouble getting started, contact us today!
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