Many of us have driven through neighborhoods admiring the lawns and landscapes of the homes. We make mental notes of the plants and think: “That’s exactly what I want my lawn and landscape to look like”. We’re off to the local nursery, pick out the same exact plants we remember, along with fertilizer, write a check for a pretty big sum, and head back to an afternoon of back-breaking work. Once finished, we step back and admire our efforts. Perfect.

Beautiful natural garden with pond

A month later, we notice some of the plants are drooping. A few flowers are flourishing, while others look neglected. Maybe more water, so on comes the sprinkler. Nothing. More fertilizer? Still nothing. Eventually, we give up and vow to try again next year.

This expensive cycle can be broken by homeowners if they would take the time to see if their yard has adequate drainage. Drainage solutions go a long way in ensuring that the landscape plants that are installed have the opportunity to thrive, therefore increasing the value of your property. In Ann Arbor MI, this is especially important given the amount of rain and snowfall we receive each year and our relatively short growing season. The following are a few things to look for where drainage solutions may help:

Many homes do not have ideal drainage. During a rainy period, water may collect on the surface or drain slowly. Continually wet soils often have a musty odor caused by anaerobic bacteria. This is a sure sign of poor drainage.

Poor drainage occurs naturally, and it is the homeowners challenge to make sure the yard has adequate drainage. Bright soil colors indicate good water drainage, while dull soil colors show poor drainage. If a homeowner notices dull soil around the foundation of the home, a drainage solution is definitely needed, as this would indicate that moisture may be permeating the foundation and creating problems in a crawlspace or basement.

So, what to do? First, a simple test will tell if your yard has poor drainage. Find a spot where you may want to install a landscape plant, keeping in mind the recommendation for location given to you by the nursery. Dig a hole 12 inches wide, 12 inches long, and 12 inches deep. Fill the hole with water. If the hole is drained within three hours, your drainage is excellent and plants that require dry locations will do well.
If the drainage takes 3-12 hours, then that location is adequate for most plants. If some of the water is still there after 12 hours, then you need a drainage solution. In Ann Arbor MI, it is safe to say that most areas will need some drainage correction.

All homes will benefit from proper yard drainage. Landscaping and lawns will look better, and getting moisture away from a home’s foundation is always prudent. Keep the value of your home at its highest with adequate drainage.

Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.