A French drain is also called a weeping tile.

How to Fill in a Ditch in a Backyard

by Sarah Mason

Ditches are an important landscaping tool. These man-made troughs prevent standing water, improve drainage and channel water in low-lying areas, along roadsides and in backyards. Despite their role in irrigation, ditches can be an eyesore and a potential safety hazard and therefore are not always desirable. In order to remove an unsightly ditch in your backyard without interrupting the flow of water, install a French drain, which is a gravel drain with no pipe.

Remove any grass or vegetation growing in the ditch with a shovel. In order for a French drain to work properly, water should flow back into the soil on an even slope without obstructions.

Line the bottom of the ditch with landscape fabric.The fabric should extend beyond the edges of the ditch by between 6 and 12 inches, depending on the width of the ditch. The fabric will ensure that dirt does not clog the gravel and prevent the flow of water.

Add an even layer of gravel on top of the landscape fabric until it is within 3 to 4 inches of the surface. Pull the ends of the landscape fabric over the top of the gravel.

Pour between 3 and 4 inches of coarse sand over the top of the landscape fabric. The course sand will allow the water to drain while providing a medium for turf to grow.

Wash the soil from the roots of the sod and lay it over the sand. It is important to remove the fine soil so that it doesn't contaminate the coarse sand.

Items you will need

  • Shovel
  • Landscape fabric
  • Gravel, 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter
  • Coarse sand
  • Sod

About the Author

Based in Fort Worth, Sarah Mason has been writing articles since 2009 on topics including nutrition, fitness, women's health and gardening. Her work has appeared in "Flourish" and "Her Campus." Mason holds a Bachelors of Arts in economics from the University of Florida.

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