Saturday was a write-off, from a gardening viewpoint; attending morning tea with friends, driving kids off to birthday parties and the usual activities that Saturdays incur. So when I was able to get my hands dirty in the garden on Sunday it was a treat worth embracing.

Alas, it was a day of maintenance rather than creating, planting and landscaping. The big ticket item: another soakwell installation. This is the last one we had to install and I was hoping that we would never have to. We had tried detouring the runoff into the garden but this downspout just releases too much water, sending it away from the garden and pooling in the middle of the lawn. It would have been great for a rain garden but not much help for our lawn.

So, it was off to Bunnings to get a soak well kit, not that it’s sold as a package but it always involves the same items; plastic soak well, downspout attachment, plastic 45° elbow and a 600mm x 600mm concrete slab. I already had some 90mm storm pipe left over from previous jobs and fortunately it was just long enough.
Once back home the work began and it’s never much fun navigating a spade around reticulation pipes, tree roots and buried builder’s rubble. But once I was past this it was just sand from there on. The one, and only, benefit of sandy soils is that they aren’t hard to dig in.

When the hole was dug, it was just a matter of locating the soakwell in place, connecting up the pipes and then back filling. Then the lawn segments were put back in place, stomped down and watered. And in no time at all, our lawn will have repaired itself and the only hint that a soak well had been installed is that the lawn won’t keep dying each winter.

Noala has another nifty idea for this instead of placing the concrete slab over top. If you can get away with it, you can easily install some drain grates above the soak well to alleviate any water pooling that naturally occurs in your yard as well.