lil_sprout
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:42 pm
Location: NYC

need help with drainage problems!

hello, i am starting a vegetable garden for the first
time this year in my backyard. I am working with s
sloped area, which I terraced into three levels each
about seven inches higher than the other. My soil is
fairly rich and maybe a little on the clay side. Last
week I planted peas, kale and onion seedlings (which i
started indoors), and also some herb and flower seeds.
Since I planted those things, we have had two heavy
rains that have caused a lot of problems. Yesterday
some of my seedlings were totally underwater! We ran
out in the rain and tried to build some channels to
divert the water away. Today I went out to assess the
damage, most of the seedlings are damaged and soggy
looking, I think many of the tiny seeds washed away as
well. Obviously a lot of erosion is happening, mud is
in places where it shouldn't be and rocks and weeds
have washed on top of the beds from somewhere else. I
need to build a drainage system immediately. I have an
idea to dig trenches out and down from the levels. I
am thinking of burying some buckets in the ground at
the lowest level to collect the water from the
trenches. I would cover the buckets when it's not
raining. Then I might even be able to use that water
when we have a dry spell. Or I could drill holes in
the buckets so the drain slowly.

Also yesterday when we were trying to do the emergency
rescue i put soda bottles with the bottoms cut off as
shelters on top of the seedlings. Wind is also a big
problem i need to deal with. Please share any advice
you can! Thank you so much!

--sarah

User avatar
Roger
Senior Member
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:52 am
Location: North Georgia

Hi there. It may help to place a landscape timber, or an old board, or some large rocks or such on the high side of each of your terraces to make like a small temporary retaining wall. Anything to slow the flow of water will help divert it to the sides or down into the soil. A little hay or straw could be spread out on the beds themselves to hold the soil in place long enough for your plants to develop enough roots to help slow erosion. Or a good layer of mulch. You could also plant flowers between the terraces to help control water flow, or a good barrier of wood chips or some form of ground cover. In a pinch, some landscape fabric stapled to some stakes in the earth could provide a makshift soil erosion barrier.

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