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How to drain a wet field

Updated April 17, 2017

Drainage is an integral part of any agricultural activity. Growing anything on a large scale requires different ways of adequately maintaining the soil at the optimum moisture level. If the soil is too wet, plants will not grow adequately--or at all. There are a variety of methods for draining a wet field; however, some are more costly than others. The open ditch system is the easiest and cheapest method. With some hard work and careful planning, you can set up a drainage system for a water-laden field.

Measure how the size of the field in the width and length, then draw a layout of the field on a piece of paper with drainage systems around the perimeter. Draw a drainage ditch every 300 feet along the length of the field.

Measure out in the field where the drainage ditches are located on the paper. Place stakes into the ground every 50 feet or so along the spot designated for the ditch and tie a piece of coloured ribbon at the top.

Use the backhoe to dig the ditches to a depth that suits the environment. For rainier regions, dig deeper, while for drier areas, shallow ditches are adequate. A good rule is to dig ditches at least three feet deep.

Clean the ditch every month or so, removing debris and any excess dirt that has fallen in.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Small wooden stakes
  • Brightly coloured marking ribbon
  • Backhoe
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About the Author

Based in Kingston, Canada, Samantha Lowe has been writing for publication since 2006. She has written articles for the "Mars' Hill" newspaper and copy for various design projects. Her design and copy for the "Mars' Hill" won the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker award in 2008. Lowe holds an Honors BA from Trinity Western University, and a MSc in Occupational Therapy from Queen's University where she is currently doing her PhD.