Monday, May 25, 2020

Heavy Rains / Drainage Issues

Horticulture Hotline 05/20/20
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

We have had some crazy rain recently. Six inches I heard on James Island a week or two ago. The rain has been really heavy when it has come and it has been dry and windy in between rains. With all the rain, now is a great time to see if you need to work on drainage for your whole yard, areas of your yard, or just have some small areas that puddle.

Starting with gutters, do you have them? Do you need them? Are they clean and functioning properly? If water is running off your roof and draining under your house (crawl space), you may want to consider gutters. Moisture underneath a house can led to mold, fungus, moisture damage and termites.

If you have gutters, are the plants near the downspouts drowning? Do you need to put a piece of flexible pipe on the end of the downspout and direct the water to a place in the yard where it is not a problem? Could you collect this water in a rain barrel and store it for future use?

A large low area in the yard could be dealt with in many ways. Find the lowest point and put a drain and run the water elsewhere. If there are not any tree roots in the area, you could fill in the area with topsoil. If the area is small enough, consider using bagged topsoil, so you do not bring a bunch of weeds in the soil to your yard. If the area is really big, you could remove the grass with a sod cutter and re-grade the area.

If you would like to drain an area very effectively and without having to do a lot of digging, then Turface is the way to go. All you need to do is aerate the area then apply Turface. If you don’t have an aerator, you can just spread the Turface along the surface. We have worked with many customers using this product in many different situations with great results. Turface will help drain large areas and small areas. Some areas that are bigger and wetter you can dig columns with a post hole digger or auger and backfill with Turface. You will also save on the water and fungicide bill with this product.

Using wetting agents can also help get water off of the surface and into the ground.

Hot topics at Possum’s – Cotton Burr Compost, fleas, bedbugs, little dead areas of grass, fungus, masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, mole crickets, mulching beds now that leaves have fallen, termite swarms, chinch bugs, wetting agents …

Always read and follow product label. It is the law.

Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. Possum’s has three locations 481 Long Point Rd in Mt. Pleasant (971-9601), 3325 Business Circle in North Charleston (760-2600), or 606 Dupont Rd, in Charleston (766-1511). Bring your questions to a Possum’s location, or visit us at You can also call in your questions to “ The Garden Clinic”, Saturdays from noon to 1:00, on 1250 WTMA (The Big Talker). Saturday's show is replayed Sunday from 11:00 - Noon.