4 Tips for Protecting Your Lawn from Runoff

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Your lawn is an important component of your home. While it is not actually part of the physical building you live in, it complements the home’s architecture, forms the first impression for visitors, and can bolster the value of the property. It takes time, money, and consistent work to create a lawn that’s beautiful and inviting. Yet, all your effort can (quite literally) go down the drain if your lawn isn’t designed with rainwater runoff in mind.

Not only can runoff flood your lawn but it also creates unsightly puddles. Runoff may even carry soil, vegetation, and debris from your lawn that could block your home’s or public drainage system. Of course, you could always get in touch with a seasoned blocked drain Sydney professional to unclog your home’s drains whenever that happens. Nevertheless, you’d like to prevent such problems in the first place by having a runoff-proofed lawn from the get-go.

Here are some useful tips on doing just that.

1.  Add Plants

Vegetation has always been a tried and tested tool for preventing soil erosion. It can be just as effective on a lawn as it would be on farmland. Plants help compact the top soil. However, they also serve as a trap for runoff and accelerate the speed with which it percolates through the soil.

Grass is the primary choice for lawn vegetation, but there’s no harm in incorporating a couple of other plant varieties as well so long as this doesn’t rob your lawn of its aesthetic appeal.

2.  Plant a Tree

Given the size of the average lawn, chances are you may not have enough room to plant multiple trees. Nevertheless, just one or two trees can have a substantial impact on runoff. Just like other vegetation, a tree’s roots create channels for the water to seep into the ground quickly.

The tree’s canopy also spreads rainfall over a larger area and slows down the amount of water falling directly to the ground at any given time. By holding some of the rain in its leaves and branches, it gives the ground beneath it time to absorb the water, thereby reducing the likelihood of flooding.

3.  Construct a Berm

A berm is a small raised area of land that can be used to divert runoff from a lawn area you’d like to protect. You have to accurately envisage or recall how the runoff would flow before and after the berm so you can know exactly where to place it. That being said, the berm shouldn’t become a dam that creates a reservoir behind it but should instead facilitate rapid water flow.

Since the berm will be hardest hit by the force of flowing water, you must protect it from erosion by not only ensuring the soil forming it is well compacted but that you plant grass or other lawn vegetation that will hold its surface soil together. Planting grass also helps the berm become visually imperceptible by blending in with the rest of the lawn.

4.  Break Concrete Surfaces

Having a concrete patio or footpath may seem like a great way for helping drain away runoff from your lawn. Nevertheless, concrete surfaces can, in fact, be unintentional collection points since any rainwater that lands on them can only stagnate or flow without being absorbed.

Ergo, replace your concrete patio and footpath slabs with flagstones, pavers, or bricks that allow water to sink in between them. You could also go with a permeable material such as gravel, aggregate base, crushed shells, or mulch. If you can afford pricier options, you could install pervious asphalt or concrete.


While these tips are helpful, the effectiveness of the techniques will vary from property to property depending on the unique challenges of each. For example, a property may be located at the bottom of an incline with runoff coming from adjacent properties further up the slope. Therefore, take time to understand your lawn so you can pick what will work best for you.


Tags: grass, lawn, protection, rain, tree

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