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How Reshaping Lawns Can Help Prevent Flooding

James Steakley
Wikimedia Commons
A rain garden in the Allen Centennial Gardens on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It finally feels like spring outside, which can only mean one thing: rain. The Milwaukee area has been hit with some torrential downpours, leading to flooded yards and, even worse, flooded basements.

But there are some ways to manage water through gardening. These techniques can improve drainage in your yard and also lead water away from the foundation of your home, keeping your basement dry.

Lake Effect contributor and gardening expert Melinda Myers says there are many different ways to keep water out of basements and plants, but first, you must diagnose the problem. 

She says, "Take a walk around your yard, find out where those problems are occurring. Is the soil up against your foundation, is it grading towards the house? Is it lower by your foundation and higher away from the house?"

Myers says grading soil away from the house will help guide it away from the foundation. Creating rain gardens and installing rain barrels can also be a good way to contain or trap rainwater.

Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine.