Stop Your Yard From Flooding

Installing French Drains and Dry Creek Beds
April 18, 2024 by
Stop Your Yard From Flooding
Zach Raymond
Installing Gravel and River Rock to Prevent Mud and Flooding

Whenever it rains, is your yard a constant pool of water and mud? Do you have trouble getting anything to grow? Do you often ask yourself, "can my yard be cursed?" — Well even though you may be convinced it is, there’s a good chance that your lawn isn’t cursed but instead has poor irrigation. 

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to find themselves in a swampy situation. There are many reasons why your yard can have poor irrigation, but that’s okay because fixing the problem may only require a few pounds of aggregates. 

First, understanding how or why your yard came to have poor irrigation will help identify the solution. The most common irrigation problem comes from the slope of your yard or your neighbors. The slope of your yard should be down and away from your house. This helps by channeling the water around the whole yard rather than pooling up in one spot—effectively drowning anything trying to grow there. On the contrary, if you live at the bottom of a hill, the water will collectively build up where gravity directs it.

There are 2 Solutions to this problem

1. Installing a French Drain           2. Installing a Dry Creek bed

 French Drain Installation 

French Drain Installation 

If either of these are the case for you, then have no fear, installing a French drain is an actionable and popular solution for you. A French Drain is a simple pipe with holes placed in a trench where most standing water is found. 

  1. When digging the trench, the depth should be anywhere from 8” to 2 feet. If there is an abundance of clay where you’re digging, try to dig closer to 2 feet. 
  2. Once your trench is dug, fill up half of it with crushed limestone. The best to use would be #57 limestone gravel. The limestone’s angular shape allows tight compaction while also allowing water to flow through. 
  3. Then take a pipe with “breathing” holes poked along the bottom, and place it inside the trench on top of the aggregates. Once established, double-check to ensure the holes are facing downward; this is a vital part of ensuring the French drain works properly. 
  4. Using the rest of your aggregates, completely cover the pipe. From there, tamp the aggregates and place soil on top until level with your yard. Once correctly installed, the water that accumulates in that spot—instead of pooling—will flow through the aggregates into the pipe, which will run off to a more desirable location. 

Dry Creek Bed Installation 

​Another option (my personal favorite) is to make a dry creek bed where the water pools, installing a natural solution to natures problem. The function of a dry creek bed is similar to the French drain in having the water run to the desired location. While the French drain is hidden, a dry creek bed gives the desired natural look to your yard.


  1. To install, you must first dig a trench.
    1. Try to add curves to it for a more natural look, but don’t go overboard because if the bends are too sharp, it could affect the water flow.
    2. Use the excavated dirt to accentuate the trench. Your trench should be about 12-18 inches deep (the center of the trench should be the deepest).
    3. Make sure that the trench is following a downward slope, or the water won’t be able to flow out of the area. 
  2. Now that the trench has been excavated lay down a yard fabric such as WeedEnder or YardTek Pro. Begin to lay boulders or large rocks (about 10 inches in diameter) on the edges of your creek. Place them randomly for a more natural look. Using River Cobble (a random assortment of large and small river rock), fill in the creek bed. (check out our Landscape Supply Company Mr. Mulch for any materials you need in the process).
  3. The dry creek bed is nearly finished; all that is left is decorating it. Lining it with plants and other vegetation is a significant step to making it look more natural. Some other ideas would be to add a potential bridge to walk across or maybe even some large stones lined up to act as a bridge. This final step is up to you, make your creek bed unique in a way that brings out the best of your yard.

Let us complete either of these projects for you!

Outdoor Living Installation by Mr. Mulch are experts at completing these projects ensuring your yard isn’t destroyed in the process and proper drainage is achieved. We want your yard looking better than ever, give us a call at (614) 407 - 0847 or visit our website to find out more and book a consultation.

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