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 Post subject: Drainage problems
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:06 pm 
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We are having a drainage problem in our backyard which slopes away from our house. When our sprinklers are running on one side, the water is running into the neighbors yard (directly behind us). Any suggestions for how to fix this, or does anyone have recommendations for a landscape company who truly knows how to fix it? We live in the Flower Mound/Lewisville area. We run the sprinklers on short cycles and on one section at a time, instead of all at once, but in this one spot there is a lot of run-off.


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 Post subject: Re: Drainage problems
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:09 pm
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
What can you tell us about the soil in that part of the yard? If water is running off so fast perhaps you need to aerate and add amendments like lavasand to improve the absorption (without turning it into a swamp). What grows there, or what have you tried to grow there that didn't work?

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 Post subject: Re: Drainage problems
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:05 am 
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NW'er,
How would the lavasand need to be applied? Just spread a very thin layer?

I was thinking about lavasand with my clay soil.


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 Post subject: Re: Drainage problems
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:24 am 
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I think you need to look into some of the advice that David Hall gives in the lawn forum, about ways to aerate the soil (he has a method using clear shampoo, but there are also physical aeration devices) and after that, adding a layer of compost, lavasand, and maybe even mulch to improve the soil.

If gjc5tx can put up photos that show us what is growing in the yard, of what is or isn't growing in that particular area, and also show us a view of the slope involved, etc. that would help. Also a photo of the sprinkler setup, any information that lets us get a look at the circumstances and to consider the options. The water runoff may partly be a sprinkler issue, but I suspect the runoff is demonstrating a soil issue first and foremost.

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 Post subject: Re: Drainage problems
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:07 pm 
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A friend of mine in Phoenix has fixed his water runoff problem by installing low flow sprinkler heads. They spray just a small stream of water. He still uses the same amount of water but it takes 4 times longer to water than it took before when he had the runoff. His soil just won't absorb the moisture as fast as the original sprinklers put it out. Over several years his bermuda lawn has improved and the nutsedge that was invading has disappeared.

There are two approaches to spraying stuff to improve water retention. One is shampoo. On the professional market there is a product called Cascade (not the dish soap). It costs about $75 per gallon. One of the gurus on another lawn forum also happens to have a soap making hobby. He bought some of the more popular soil softener sprays and tried them. They all worked. Then he looked at the ingredients and had some tested. Basically they were concentrated soap. Once you dilute them for use, they are about the same 'strength' as shampoo with practically the same ingredients. Sooooo, I got the bright idea to revive the idea of spraying soap on the soil. This idea was made famous by Jerry Baker (America's Master Gardener) on public tv back in the 90s. I tried it and it worked fine. Spray any clear shampoo at a rate of 3 ounces (or more) per 1,000 square feet followed by an inch of irrigation. If you get runoff before you get a full inch, then apply up to runoff and shut off the water. Let it ground absorb as much as it can for 30 minutes and start to water again. Repeat the water-rest-water cycle until you get a full inch. Then let it sit for a full week. Then don't spray the shampoo but do repeat watering a full inch. A week after that, repeat the shampoo and inch of water. Normally that is all you need. Test your soil with a screwdriver before and after you do this. See how far you can stick the screwdriver into the soil. It should go much deeper after the shampoo.

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 Post subject: Re: Drainage problems
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:31 pm 
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How do you apply the soap? With a hose end sprayer? My back yard is about 1000 SF so I thought I would use a hose end sprayer. Do you know how I would set it? One teaspoon per gallon or more than that? Math is not my forte. Thanks so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Drainage problems
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:21 pm 
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I wonder if you might not get a foamy froth in a hose-end sprayer? You'd probably dilute the shampoo with some water for the hose end tank - I'd experiment to see if it works.

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