Rain Water Taking Dirt to my Neighbor's House


Old 06-16-08, 04:15 PM
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Rain Water Taking Dirt to my Neighbor's House

Hi everyone, I need some help because I just ain't sure what to do here.

The short story is that my 22 year old house had neglected landscaping. Really it was just a few overgrown bushes/shrubs in front. My wife wanted pretty shrub and flower beds so she enlisted me and my father-in-law to fix it up. My father-in-law took a spade and cut a nice trench from the left side of my house to the right side. They planted shrubs and flowers, but we haven't put mulch down yet.

It has now rained twice since then and the trench fills with water and takes dirt into the neighbor's yard. It has actually eroded the original trench into something deeper and wider.

Does anyone know how to fix this before I begin wasting my time?

Do I fill the trench in with dirt and then get some mulch down, or do I have to put something in the trench (rock)?

Please help!


Old 07-16-08, 04:28 PM
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Jay, Sorry I didn't see your post before now and I'm wondering if you've solved the problem by now. I'm not sure I understand what you've done as I don't understand what the trench is for. If you are still having a problem, can you post a link to some pictures?

Old 07-16-08, 05:10 PM
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The only time that I have been aware of a need to plant shrubs in a trench is when you are heeling them in temporarily for whatever reason until ready to plant. Shrubs in the landscape are planted in beds, not trenches. Foundation plantings are planted in holes in the bed so that they are spaced away from the foundation and properly spaced to accommodate them at size of maturity. Soil next to foundation should not be disturbed because of potential for moisture issues. Soil should slope away from structure so that excess water drains away. Gutters and downspouts should be clear and carry excess water away in drains. (Splash blocks do not carry water far enough away from downspout and foundation.) Directing runoff onto neighbor's property can raise some legal issues. There are many good websites that provide step-by-step instructions on 'how to plant shrubs.' All you have to do is Google.

In the meantime due to the trench and drainage issues, a consultation with a landscape engineer might be in order. A professional who can see for himself the lay of the land and the problems with the trench can best advise you.

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