Dry wells can save your rain soaked lawn

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By Susan Stone

We certainly dodged a bullet last week here in Beaufort County. All we could do was watch as the rest of the state was experiencing a catastrophic 500 year rain event. You may have noticed flooding on your own property. There may be an area of your property that holds water much longer than other areas. Trees and shrubs that sit in standing water can be adversely affected, especially if it stands too long or happens too often.

If your lawn/garden is already established, then re-grading is impractical, not to mention pricey. The least expensive way I have found to deal with low or clay packed lawns is dry wells. A dry well is a hole filled with gravel and sand. Before you begin be sure to locate all underground utilities and irrigation equipment. One phone call beforehand can save you thousands in repairs later.

For large areas; rent a 6” gas powered auger (for fence post drilling). For smaller areas use a manual fence post digger. Dig or drill down at least 3 feet. Fill the hole with some kind of stone aggregate. Pea gravel works great. Then fill again with play sand (I do not recommend beach sand, due to the salt). Water in and fill with sand again. Repeat until the hole is just above level with the surrounding lawn. You do not want to create divots that someone can turn an ankle in.

How many holes do you dig? It depends on how severe the problem is. I usually dig holes 2-3 feet apart with a pattern like that on a dice. If the problem runs along a building, perhaps a French drain would be better. There are many D.I.Y. sites that can walk you through this simple project.

Helpful hint: As our temperatures get cooler, little critters begin looking for a warm winter home. Put out the “no vacancy” sign with peppermint oil soaked cotton balls. Mice cannot stand the smell and will look for another place to winter over.

Happy Gardening!