The Guild ReportDrainage Tips
August 2011 
In This Issue
Point of View
Surface Drainage
Organic Soil Building in Action
French Drain

Point of View   With Employee Owner 

Monica Garcia-Alamilla
Monica Amallia


Monica is our HR Coordinator and is the former chairperson and now liaison of the ESOP Communication Team (ECT). She also serves as an Associate to the Trust. 


An important part of her job is to improve internal communication for the company.  To accomplish this she created a monthly co. newsletter called the GGI Times. 


The GGI Times
is a high quality, communication tool that promotes ownership behaviors in 
both English and Spanish.    


We appreciate Monica's many contributions to Gardeners' Guild!






See the video on our Sustainable Program!






Can you believe it?  


Fall is right around the corner.  That means winter storms will soon follow.  It's time to think about drainage. 


This is what Kip Matthews, Operations Manager for our Construction Division, says about the importance of drainage:

"Make sure to work drainage into any landscape project.  Unfortunately, it is the one thing that gets overlooked.  Make sure to hire a qualified professional to design and build your drainage system.  And, don't wait till October to solve your drainage problems."   


All the best,
Suzanne Harris

Surface Drainage

Surface Water Drainage 
This is the method by which runoff water is handled or disposed of as it flows over the ground.  Runoff is defined as the water falling on a site that does not naturally pond, is not absorbed by soil or plants and does not immediately evaporate.   

Solutions to remove water from the surface of land include:

By properly grading and the site, surface water is directed to the lowest spot on the property, which will then empty into a drainage ditch, catch basin or dry well.  Many drainage problems exist simply because soil grading and leveling was inadequate. Water can be removed from a site more rapidly by surface drainage, allowing use within hours after a rain. 

Other solutions include:  

A drainage "swale" for open turf areas:  it is a graded sloping ditch where downhill flowing water can be "intercepted" and flow to lower ground. (See below for more details)

French drains:  ditch-like trenches dug and filled with rock or gravel to the soil surface and crowned to prevent soil covering the drain. A French drain must be installed so the pipe slopes level or downhill.

Area drains: collect storm water into a drain pipe which carries the water to the street through a series of underground pipes.  

Poorly drained soils can be a problem:

Excessive Drainage
This occurs typically with sandy or loamy soils and the water moves rapidly, depriving plants of necessary water.

Poorly Draining Soils 
This is more common. In many cases the culprit is compacted soil or those with greater than 20% clay.  When the water moves too slowly root decline root rot occurs and eventual death of the plant.  


Improving Surface Drainage 
The solution is reducing the operation tilling and instead topdressing with organic matter.  This helps to create more "air space". 




Bioswales are storm water runoff conveyance systems that provide an alternative to storm sewers. They can absorb low flows or carry runoff from heavy rains to storm sewer inlets or directly to surface waters. 


Bioswales improve water quality by enhancing infiltration of the first flush of storm water runoff and filtering the large storm flows they convey.


A common application is around parking lots, where substantial automotive pollution is collected by the paving and then flushed by rain. The bioswale, or other type of biofilter, wraps around the parking lot and treats the runoff before releasing it to the watershed or storm sewer.