Now that the snow is starting to melt and the end of winter is in sight, you might be tempted to get out there and start setting up your backyard for summer cookouts and nights on the patio. But landscaping in Columbia, MO, can be tricky, especially this time of year. 

Spring is Wet in Columbia, MO

Spring can bring some of the wettest months in Columbia. On average, the city gets about 4.49” of precipitation in April and 4.98” in May. Heavy rains put the area at risk of flash floods. These floods and steady rains can ruin your landscaping if you get started too soon. 

However, there are some projects you can tackle in the spring that will improve your landscaping. One of the most important ways to prep your yard is to make sure you have proper drainage.

Problems with Poor Landscape Drainage

If you don’t fix your drainage before the bulk of the wet season, it can lead to these problems in your yard. 

Standing Water

Standing water causes a host of problems, including pests and mold. Too much water can also drown various yard plants — like flowers and vegetables — make tiles and walkways slippery, and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. 


Standing water can also carry soil from one side of your yard to the other. This eventually changes your soil depth, which could end up ruining your landscaping. 


When you don’t manage yard drainage, it can put you at risk of flooding. When your system isn’t set up for water to drain properly, standing water and floods can damage your foundation and seep into your home, damaging surfaces in your interior. 

Common Landscaping Drainage Solutions

Prep your yard before the rains come with these simple solutions. 

Lawn Aeration

This is a common practice in the early spring. You’ve probably driven around and seen people putting small holes in their lawns. These holes break up the soil, allowing air and nutrients to settle in. Aerating also helps guide water down into the holes. 

Rain Barrels

Add a rain barrel at the end of your gutters to catch runoff during a storm. There are plenty of styles of rain barrels available, so you can likely find one that fits your backyard setting. When you collect the water, you can use it later to water plants. Just make sure to cover it to avoid attracting mosquitoes. 

Switch Up Your Hard Surfaces

If you have concrete patios and walkways, they may be directing water into one spot in your yard. Consider replacing these surfaces with rocks, pea gravel, or other hard surfaces that allow water to drain more evenly. 

Add a Channel Drain

If you love your concrete patio or don’t want to remove your driveway, consider adding a channel drain. This requires a trench to be added to the patio or other slab of concrete. Once you’ve dug the trench, you can add the channel drain to direct water away and keep it from flooding your yard. Channel drains come in a variety of styles to fit your other landscaping. 

Create Your Own Creek Bed

If you’ve always wanted waterfront property, dig a creek bed in your backyard. A dry creek bed keeps your landscaping looking natural and attractive by providing a designated pooling location for excess water during heavy rains. Make sure you plan out your path so the water drains to where you want it to end up. 

To build your creek bed, use rocks of all sizes and arrange them to divert water to a catch basin or even to the street. You might want professional help with this task, depending on your neighborhood’s HOA rules and how you want the water to drain. 

If you decide to DIY your creek bed, make sure you call the utility company before you start digging to make sure you don’t hit any buried lines. 

Extend Your Downspouts

Your house has downspouts on the side to divert water as it trickles off the roof. If you want to protect the landscaping near your home (and foundation), consider using an extender to move water even further out. 

Depending on the extension you choose, you may have to change them out every few years or so. 

Landscaping Services in Columbia, MO

If you’re not sure what is allowed in your neighborhood or you just want a drainage system that lets you keep your backyard polished, call Voss Land and Tree. We can evaluate your yard and help you pick a drainage solution that meets your needs. 

Don’t let the water drown out your summer fun. Contact us today!