We previously discussed microclimates and their impact on landscapes. One of the most common trouble areas for homeowners is between homes. Over time, drainage changes cause water to collect from rainfall, irrigation and our air conditioning units.
Because sunlight is often blocked in this area, a microclimate is created, which leads to declining plants and turf. Combine this with additional rainfall during the wet season, and these areas can become muddy messes.
Mainscape works to adjust irrigation systems to reduce the impact of watering cycles. This can include reducing run times, changing application methods and reconfiguring zones. There are other things that homeowners can do to address this issue as well.
- Plant selection: Some homes have landscape plantings along the foundation of the home. Unfortunately, these plants are not always optimal for shade and excess water. Choose plants that perform best in partly to mostly shaded areas. Also, make sure you do not select plants that like “dry feet.” While they may survive, they will not thrive.
- Turf: St. Augustine grass may not be the best option. While St. Augustine requires a good amount of water to survive, it does not perform well in shady areas or like saturation. Installing other plants, rock, pavers or mulch may be a better option for these areas.
- Gutter placement: Re-route gutter downspouts, if possible, to distribute water to sunnier areas of the lawn. This is generally toward the front or back of the home. Unfortunately, installation of gutters places the outflow to the sides of a home. However, re-direction of the water does not require much cost. Flexible downspouts can be purchased at many home improvement stores and quickly installed.
- French Drains: Consider installing French Drains between your homes to quickly collect water and move it to more sunny areas. These should be installed by a capable and reliable company. French Drains require proper grading to ensure water can be moved to the appropriate area. If not installed properly, the drains could cause a bigger issue, but at best, becomes a waste of your resources.
These issues are not exclusive to residential homes. Every property has unintended areas of water collection. If you are experiencing the challenge of microclimates and soggy soil, please reach out to your Mainscape team. We can develop a plan to address the issue and create a great landscape experience for you.