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Hot topics: floods in the garden | DoItYourself.com

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Original Post: Backyard Flooding

Rick HarrisMember

My backyard floods almost every time it rains. The neighbor behind me had a garden located along her side of the fence line, which filled the natural drainage swallow. my garden is now flooded by surface water a lot. I think I will put in a drain like what has on golf courses, is it a French drain? How would I do that? 1

) dig a ditch 18 “deep. 2) put 2” gravel in the ditch. 3) perforated tube ??? should I use solid or perforated? There is only foot traffic in the garden. Should there be a white sock around the tube? Do the perforations look up or down? Should the high end of the pipe be plugged or closed? Is there anything else I am not thinking of?

Thanks for any help. Stack


So we did our part to install the green perforated pipe about 18 “deep in a gravel bottom with the holes up and covered with gravel. Did not care to cover the high end and did not use a sock. We also used some area drains every 15” “de 3 “x 12”. “Our garden and all our neighbors’ farms would be like a swamp after a rain. I can now mow my grass just a couple of hours after a rain. It made a world of difference.

logcabincook – Commissioner

In some areas, you may not change the landscape so that it causes drainage problems in the property of others. Personally, I would check with the county / city to see if there is such a rule, and if so, please talk to the neighbor to see if there is a solution that you can both come up with.


I agree with logcabincook, see if your neighbor can do what they did and maybe come to a compromise with them. If you still need to solve the problem, ever think of it as an asset rather than a problem. Take a look at water gardens online and see what you think …

If it is not your cup of tea, google french drains and they have many pages on how to install one. One piece of advice, I would use a sediment fabric around your drain so that it does not fill with sediment. If you do not do it, it can clog in 1-5 years and you have to dig it up and replace it ….

Rick HarrisThread Starter

BackYard Flooding Thanks to everyone

An update for everyone. My city will not do anything. They say there is no charter for this problem. The neighbor has no interest in “MY” problem, very rude. One more question if anyone can tell me, how does the perforated big O work? How does the water flow to the end of the pipe with holes around the pipe? Why shouldn’t the water just go to the top of the pipe and out to the bottom?

Please feel free to give me more suggestions on “MY” problem.

My backyard is only 50 ‘wide X 20’ deep. Too small for water garden.

Thank you all.

the_tow_guyGroup moderator

And if the neighbor continued with his plans, I would make sure I knew exactly where the party line was and I would make sure that neither he nor his workers were ever an inch above the line for any reason.


I’ve been reading about your problem for a few days now and I’m empathetic with you. Before I decided on my garden, I used to experience pools / floods where the lawn sloped down to the patio just from watering my grass!

Although I know it will not answer your prayers, I guess it will provide drainage design ideas. I found the view by doing a Yahoo search and typing in “garden flood drainage”. A little surfing on the Internet will go a long way and provide a wealth of information.

Hope this helps! Good luck!


My solution

I had a similar drainage problem in the garden. The surrounding lots were built after my house was built and all have a slightly higher quality. The rainwater would stand for a week because I have a clay / slate hard bowl one to two meters below the surface. My paving patio would be under water for several days after heavy rain and water would seep out of the patio into my screened porch.

The first thing I tried was to fill low places with 10 meters of sand. While this eliminated the lily pads in the yard, the grass was still very damp and I still had water on my patio sipping into my screened porch during heavy rain.

I then hired a contractor who dug trenches from the center of the garden to the street and installed drainage pipes surrounded by sand. Drain grids under the drain pipe were also attached to the drain pipes. A French drain was installed along the outside of the screened porch and is also connected. This helped the farm to drain, but was very slow. After heavy rain, the garden was no longer moist and the patio would be dry after a few days. The water would still seep into the screen porch during heavy rain when the water from the downpipes was backed up into the French sewer.

Then I installed a dedicated drain pipe from three downhill roads directly to the street. I also disconnected the French drain from the drainage system to prevent the water from backing up into it. This helped a little more and the floods on the screen were less frequent.

Then I bought a 30 gallon plastic drum with a lid and drilled several 3/8 “holes around the top half of the drum as well as in the lid. I wrapped landscape filter paper around the drum to cover the holes. I then dug a deep hole in the yard behind my patio and dropped the drum in it.I ran a drain pipe from the French drain into the drum.I also installed deck-o-drainage at the edge of the patio and connected it to the same drain pipe I poured gravel around the drum.

I put a submersible sump pump in the drum and ran 1.25 “PVC pipe out to one of the drains near the street. I installed PVC electrical wiring and connected the pump to its own GFCI switch. I put the lid on the drum, covered it with filter paper , laid a metal grate up and covered it with gravel.Another layer of filter paper on top of gravel, then dirt and sod.

This did the trick. When it rains, the water on the patio and the French drain are quickly pumped away. All the water in the yard also seeps into the swamp pool and keeps the garden dry. I have not had water seeping into the screened porch since I installed this system.


Nicely done! For every problem there is a solution. That’s the case for Rick, he just needs to find what works for his situation.


Also improve the soil in your garden.

Loose rich soil contains more water. If you have clay near the surface, no improvement will help much, but aerating and enriching the soil with organic compost is still good.

Drain: I used the sleeve on one and wrapped the other in landscape fabric, and both work well.

Dry drills: I could only find huge ones that cost the earth, so I, as a knavekid, made my own, but much smaller of bush pots [I could not dig a hole for a thirty gallon drum by hand].

Compost: Is there a farm nearby that sells compost from the animals’ barns?

Do you put an old car on a block, ideally surrounded by pink plastic flamingo, in your garden right on the property line?

Coward. At least point the drain at the evil neighbor’s new garden.

Rick HarrisThread Starter


I have decided to lay a 2x2x50 lady or as I will call it “A GARDEN” along my back fence line. If this does not keep the water out of my garden and in my rude neighbors backyard where it came from in the first place, I will put in a French drain. Thanks for all the input.


backyard flood

Hi just sign up and hope for some heplful ideas. I live in NY and the zoning laws require new houses to retain their own rainwater, with that said, I own my home for 20 years and in the last two years they have built three new houses around mine (have the lowest class of all three) when it rains a bit about standing water from the rear fence out about 15tf and it will be about two meters deep I have a garage that is behind the fence Do not take water in the house but get some in the garage and the water will be there for about seven to 10 days after the rain so the part of the yard that gets flooded is something that is closed off and the street is about 100 feet away some ideas on how to fix this would be good


I have the same problem in my garden. I decided on a French drain. Here’s what I did. Wear and 20 feet thick. About 18 inches deep and 14 inches wide. Lined with landscape fabric. Then I filled the bottom of the ditch with about 3-4 inches of stone (use washed stone preferably, but I did not). Then I put in two 10 foot long perforated drainage pipes with socks (bought from Home Depot).

Then cover the tube with stone that leaves about 5 inches to the top so you can fill it with dirt and cover it with sod. Before I add my dirt, I put more landscape fabric over the top. The reason for the fabric and socks is to keep dirt and debris out of the drain pipe.

I hope this helps. It’s hard work to dig it out but well worth it for the drainage improvement you will get. Good luck.

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