Grading and Drainage in Commercial Landscaping

When it comes to commercial landscaping construction, making sure the grading and drainage is in order is just as important as making sure the landscaping is fresh and the plants and lawn experience a certain level of care. Let’s discuss the elements of grading and drainage and how a comprehensive commercial landscaping construction plan will make it all work.


The task of grading is ensuring the base area is level or has a specific slope to it. If the base is not level, anything built upon it will not be level either. Like everything else, grading will require maintenance to minimize and avoid erosion and ponding areas. Landscape areas have to be graded to minimize erosion, allow the plants to flourish, and to keep pedestrian and vehicular ways from excess storm water.


On all sites, the drainage should flow away from buildings, pedestrian and vehicular ways as much as possible. This will help minimize and even eliminate water damage to the foundations of buildings and erosion in landscape areas.

Water from rain storms, melting snow and irrigation has to be directed into areas away from pedestrian and vehicular areas. Such drainage will infiltrate planting and soil areas or be directed to flow into retention and detention basins or the storm water system via catch basins and swales. Sometimes a swale installation along the perimeter of the site will intercept the flow of water before it flows over a walk, parking or travel area. A swale is a depression in the soil and it is sloped in order to carry runoff from a high point to a low point and eventually discharge from the site.

Grading and Drainage Working Together

Water is a wonderful thing, but water in the wrong areas or in excess can be devastating. Improper drainage will cause water to pond and puddle and cause unnecessary erosion. When all the proper grading and drainage is complete it will require maintenance to make sure the system continues its effectiveness. Commercial landscaping construction professionals will inspect all landscaping, including grading and drainage and regularly perform the necessary tasks to make sure the grading and drainage are working efficiently and effectively. Swales will be raked and cleared of debris and sediment, designated ponding areas will be raked and sediment removed.