Landscaping & Design/Grading-culvert


QUESTION: Can I get by with just grading on a slope or would a culvert be better

ANSWER: Hey, Kim.

What's your goal?

If you're attempting to divert rainwater, generally a culvert would be better, but we know from experience making all the Los Angeles rivers into concrete culverts that water rushes through those culverts and if they overflow, the rushing water causes much more damage than if the river had remained natural soil and plants, which slow the water down. Same thing works for culverts in our yards.

I see you're in California, but we have a lot of diverse climates here. Any pictures of what you have and more about what you want to do?


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi  thank you I actually live in Arizona and we are coming up on monsoon season we just moved here so not sure all what happens except a lot of water comes down

Are you wanting to put culverts on each side of the driveway? If so, I'd advise against it for you in Arizona.

Instead, create some terraced gardens on each side of the driveway so the water will soak in.

For the driveway, I'd dig a ditch (a type of culvert) across the driveway, 12-18 inches wide, and fill it with gravel.

If you want it to look the same as the driveway, you could fill the top three or four inches with gravel from the driveway since it looks like you have quite a bit.

The ditches across the driveway will stop the flow of water down the driveway by catching it and allowing it to sink in to the ground.

I'd dig a ditch across the driveway every six to eight feet coming down the driveway. Hope that makes sense.


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Russel Ray


I can answer questions about water-wise landscaping, xeriscaping, and using native vegetation, cactus, and succulents to create a home paradise that won't increase your water bill.


My wise ol' grandmother got me started with cactus and succulents 42 years ago. The rest, as they say, is history.

National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Better Business Bureau of San Diego

After graduating from Texas A&M University, I started a plant-sitting business in Houston to take care of the house plants when people went on vacation. That went on for five years before I moved back to College Station and started several businesses, one of which was a landscaping business specializing in "dry" landscaping.

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