Drawing on years of experience this easy to follow guide shows how to Install French drains.
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Just completed the drainage on my lawn using your diy guide, must say it was simple to follow still hard work, but what a difference, my boys can play on the lawn again, and I did save a lot of money. I found the gravel calculator really useful, ended up with a bit left over but probably my calculation.
Thanks again and for the chat on the phone (well worth a tenner)
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Tips explaining how to install water drainage channels and French drains yourself.
There's also an easy to follow Garden and lawn drainage D.I.Y. guide available to purchase and further down the page you will recommended tools to make digging easier and the correct materials to ensure the drainage works .
Not into D.I.Y. or digging trenches in clay see our garden drainage services
Single French drain.
Used to drain water away from a wet, soggy or waterlogged part of your garden to a soakaway or drain.
Slope the French drain to carry the water down to its destination. Dig a horizontal trench across the length of the slope heading in the direction of the soak away. This type of drain need only be about 6" wide and 12" deep. Before filling with gravel, line the trench with landscape fabric to keep earth out of the gravel to allow water to percolate through easily. Shovel coarse gravel onto the landscape fabric. Wrapping the fabric over the top of the gravel and top up with soil.,
Digging drainage trenches is a lot easier if you use the correct tools.
These are the tools you will need to dig drainage trenches.
Strong rake, Drain spade, Trenching shovel, Digging Hoe.
Rake 1500 mm
Over the years I have broken more ordinary garden rakes raking clay than I care to remember. I have used this Heavy duty all steel rake for years and it is still being used by my team.
It is strong enough and suitable for raking and breaking up heavy clay soil.
Forged Trench Shovel, 970 mm
Heavy duty forged steel head Tubular steel shaft and MYD handle Heat treated for durability For digging and bottoming trenches Blade L x W: 270 x 165 mm
Forged Drain Spade, 1150 mm
Heavy duty forged steel head with extended shoulders for safer foot-grip. For digging drain and pipe channels, trenches and fence post holes.
Materials you will need for DIY garden drainage.
20mm flint gravel and geotextile fabric.
Woven Polyproylene fabric with 40 securing pegs usefull for holding the fabric in place when shoveling in the gravel. Lets rainwater through and is essencial in keeping the soil out of the gravel.
20mm Gravel/Shingle (Bulk Bag) with free delivery in UK
This is the type and size of gravel you will need to fill the drainage channels.
As an alternative to using gravel consider the prefabricated crates below.
Pre fabricated soakaway and trench baskets
The pre-fabricated soakaway system offers an alternative to gravel when installing a French drain garden drainage system. Crates measures 69cm long x 41cm wide x 45cm high and hold 125 litre of water.
Crates are wrapped in a special geotextile fabric which allows water to soak through into the crates but keeps soil out. They can be used in exactly the same way as traditional gravel filled soakaways and trenches.
Dig out the hole or trench to the required length, width and depth, then place the wrapped crates into the soakaway hole or drainage channel. Connect any pipe work and back-fill with soil.
Read the old timers gardening tips for first time gardeners