Do you have a drainage ditch in your Nashville yard? We bet it’s just a grassy dip in your landscape, not something you think about much — except when you have to mow and the angle is steep.
Want to know how to keep from ever facing that mowing challenge ever again, while also improving the drain? It’s really quite simple: natural stone. What kind of Nashville, TN natural stone do you need? We thought you’d never ask.
Why line a ditch with stone?
For starters, a drainage ditch is usually an obligation of a homeowner in order to keep rainwater from pooling and his yard and flooding his house or the neighborhood. In fact, if you live in a Nashville neighborhood, you probably already had one when you bought your house. But bottom line, according to this Do It Yourself article, drainage ditches exist to prevent water buildup on your property. Lining your small trench with natural stone helps shape the ditch. Stones will also slow the growth of grass and weeds, which can in turn slow the drain of water.
Types of Stone for Your Ditch
When it comes to functional natural stone, it’s important to know your options. For a drainage ditch, you need stone that makes it easy for water to flow. So imagine a creek. What shape and size are the stones? Usually a mixture of rough-cut or naturally rounded stones is needed. To recreate this concept in your drainage ditch, you need stones that are both small and large. We’re talking gravel and small boulders.
For example, take at look at this drainage swale installed by a homeowner. He used granite rip-rap, which is small boulders used for edging, in streambeds, to prevent erosion, and so on. Gravel is also a good option for a ditch, such as crushed stone (mechanically cut rocks), and gravel is cut in many sizes. You can also consider a French drain, which is a ditch dug at an angle to draw water away from an area, then lined with gravel and topped with sand or sod.
So to be prepared with a well-lined drainage ditch, consider the small boulders of rip-rap, the little rocks of crushed stone and gravels, and the layers of a French drain — gravel and sand.
Weighing the Stones
But which type of Nashville, TN natural stone is right for your ditch? Part of this decision is based on functionality — how deep and wide is your Nashville ditch? How much water usually runs through it in a typical Nashville, TN storm? Like we talked about above, a French drain is what you want when water collects in an area. The ditch dug on a slope will pull the water away from this spot. So you’re looking at small gravel and sand.
If you want something wider and more aggressive, a swale may be in order. A swale is used the same way a drainage ditch is, to manage water runoff, but is most useful when you need to drain water the length of your property. In this case, boulders are useful. For a medium sized, simple front yard drainage ditch, consider medium-sized crushed stone. In the Nashville area, this will usually be made of limestone.
Do you line your drainage ditch with stone?
Not all Nashville, TN drainage ditches are equal. Some are wide and heavily used, some are narrow and so shallow you forget they’re there. But one thing is for certain — lining them with natural stone facilitates the passage of rainwater, livens up the look of your home (in fact, you could consider turning your ditch into a dry stream bed!), and removes an annoying mowing obstacle.
Is your drainage ditch lined with natural stone? What size stones did you end up with — tiny pebbles or large boulders? Did you use the ditch as an opportunity to add to your landscape? We want to hear your drainage ditch experience, so leave us a comment below!