Homes in areas that experience heavy rainfall, even if it’s just seasonal, can be vulnerable to water damage without proper drainage in the yard. Landscaping stones and rock can aid your landscape in appropriate water management.
One of the most effective methods is known as a swale. In general, a swale refers to a gently sloping depression. In your landscaping, a swale can be created to manage water runoff and promote drainage. A swale is most effective when it follows the path that water usually travels on your property, but can also be used to redirect water if you’re willing to spend a little extra time adjusting for the difference. There are several different kinds of swales, and the decision on what kind to build depends primarily on what kind of soil you have and on what you are trying to do with the water.
A French drain is a deep trench, filled partially with granite or river gravel, and then lined with a perforated pipe. More gravel fills the remainder of the trench. The cumulative effect of the stone and the perforated pipe slows the flow of the water, allowing some of it to drain into your soil while carrying the bulk of it away. Grass or plants can cover the French drain. These are especially well-suited to soil that doesn’t drain well or in areas with a lot of rain or a lot of runoff.
Another kind of swale is also known as a dry creek and is made by creating a depression and filling it with small rocks to slow the movement of the water. This type of swale prevents soil erosion and can sometimes be used to direct the water to a place where it is needed. This is especially beautiful in low-water landscapes where rainfall is sporadic, but it can add beauty anywhere. Adding plants near the dry creek is a wonderful way to enhance the beauty of both the plants and the creek bed.
To make creative use of large landscaping stones in promoting drainage, strategically place large rocks or boulders near trees. The additional shade created by the stone can trap moisture in the ground and keep the soil cooler. During heavy rains, the moist soil will absorb water more readily than hot, dry soil. Over time, the large stones create a microclimate which will also act as a drip irrigation system for the trees and plants near it.
Adding landscaping stones is a beautiful way to promote drainage on your property, slow soil erosion and control water runoff. To find out more about how landscaping stones in San Jose, click here.