Making a Drain in Garden Borders

What You'll Need
Excavator (hired from tool hire outlets)
Optional: Perforated pipe (otherwise known as a French drain)
Landscaping curb
Wheel barrow
Native Plants

Garden borders are not just a cosmetic finish; they can also be used to direct water in the garden and create an irrigation system. After all, why pay the water company for extra water if you are not making the best use of the stuff that falls from the sky? Follow these steps to make an effective garden drain.

Step 1 – Work With Nature

Work with nature to create the garden border to drain in the direction that already exists in the topography of your garden. Use gravity and create a drain that focuses on removing the water in a downward motion. If you try to create a drain in a garden that goes uphill, you are creating too much work for yourself.

Step 2 – Research your Existing Pipes

If you have a plan of the service installations that already run under your property, check that any digging you do to create your garden border drain will not disturb the existing pipes and wires. If you do not have a plan, examine the ground closely and tap the ground to inspect where pipes may lie, and be careful when digging.

Step 3 – Start Digging

If you have a particularly large garden border to dig, it can save a lot of effort if you can hire an excavator. Some companies will not let you just have the machine itself, but insist that a member of their staff operates the machinery, but this can be expensive. Also, remove the clay from the soil, as it retains too much moisture for your intended purpose.

Step 4 – Add the Gravel

Adding a seam of gravel along the length of your garden border will create an underground drain effect, which will channel the rainwater in the direction of the border. You may also want to lay a perforated pipe, which is sometimes referred to as a French drain. This will produce a more pronounced effect, with the water being carried away faster.

Step 5- Top with Soil and Plants

Top the garden border with soil to fill it to the level you require. When you are making your plant choices, try to choose plants that are native to your area, as this will add to the environmental sustainability of the whole drain enterprise. Lay mulch around the plants to avoid weeding. Not only will this keep the weeds down, but it will also assist with the drainage on the site.

Step 6 – Add Landscaping Curb

Now that the garden border drain is complete, you need to finish the job by adding some lawn edging. For a natural look, try stone or reclaimed wood.