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My garden is boggy after rain

John Conlin / 26 April 2018

A reader's lawn is always wet for a long time after rain and they would like to install a soakaway.

Wet garden
A reader's garden is always flooded after rain


We have a paved patio that borders and drains on to the lawn. After any meaningful rain the lawn becomes boggy and takes an age to dry out because the soil is mainly clay. How do I install a soakaway?


Firstly you need to catch the water before it reaches the lawn. Do this by installing lengths of plastic drainage channel flush with edge of the paving.

Because your soil is clay a traditional rubble filled hole will not be an adequate soakaway. Beg some plastic milk or beer bottle crates, wire them together to form a cube, wrap it in horticultural ground cover fabric and bury it in a pit, running a rainwater pipe from the middle of the crates to the outlet of the drainage channel.

The large empty space created by the crates will hold surges of water that will slowly be absorbed by the surrounding clay.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.