Rain Rain, Drains Away


918 Lafitte Street

Mandeville, LA  70448


Fax 985-674-3560


Rain, Rain, Drains Away….


Drainage Tips for Homeowners

Grading of your property should be the first step prior to any landscape items being installed. Make sure you and your landscaper have a clear understanding of how your property will be graded to direct storm runoff away from property.

We have been on countless Drainage remediation projects, consultations and Landscape renovations. The story is usually the Home Builder blaming the Landscape or Pool contractor and the Landscape or Pool contractor blaming the Home Builder for the Drainage problems.

Unfortunately, many times the homeowner is left footing the bill of often several thousand dollars because the Builder or Unlicensed Landscaper or Pool builder have gone out of business and are nowhere to be found or the warranty has expired.

The truth is that it is usually a combination of all of the contractors involved that contribute to drainage problems.

You as the homeowner should be vigilant in making sure that during every step of the building process that all contractors are paying attention to Grading, Drainage, and Erosion control.


In order to maintain the structural integrity of your home, long after you close escrow, proper planning and maintenance of the finish grading, pool and landscaping are the responsibility of the homeowner. We recommend the homeowner take the following preventative measures:

  1. It’s a good idea to go out during or after a rainstorm to identify any standing water next to your home’s foundation.
  2. Make sure positive drainage away from your foundation is maintained.
  3. Do not over water plants near the foundation, patios or fence walls.
  4. Care should be taken when adding pool or landscaping improvements to ensure any mounding or grade changes direct surface water away from the home and are in conformance with the general grading plans of the home site.
  5. Check to make sure there are no leaks or excessive water from irrigation systems.
  6. No landscape plantings should be placed within 2 feet of the house.
  7. Keep Plants that need a lot of water at least 6′ from your home’s foundation.
  8. Pipe A/C Condensation lines away from your foundation.
  9. Be careful not to backwash pool water close to the house; Water can migrate up to 15′ underground.
  10. Make sure the soil level around your home is not higher than the stucco line and that you have a positive grade away from the foundation.
  11. Get Rain Gutters. If you already have Rain gutters, Direct gutter downspouts away from your house or pipe them directly into a drain pipe and run the pipe away from your house.
  12. Sewer lines and other water lines that run under your house can leak. If you suspect you have an under the slab leak, a leak detector/locator contractor can test for breaches in your sewer lines or water supply lines.
  13. And finally, be sure there is no stagnant water in low lying spots in the yard that don’t drain for long periods during rainy seasons where mosquito’s can breed.



A common problem that can have expensive consequences later if not addressed early.








clip_image006An effective and remarkably durable drainage solution well implemented.






Many residences flood as a result of excess stormwater runoff, causing damage to the property and a deterioration of the landscape. Installation of a channel drain as part of a stormwater management system prevents damage to the house and landscape from excess water.




We Put Water in its Place


Call us anytime for a FREE estimate for your landscaping project!

(985) 674-9001


Proudly Serving the Southeastern Louisiana Area.

The GroundHOG service area includes: Abita Springs, Covington, Hammond, Madisonville, and Mandeville communities.

918 Lafitte Street

Mandeville, LA  70448

(985) 674-9001 

Pathways & Patios


Long overlooked, gravel is finally being recognized for its enduring beauty. Warmer-toned than pavement, cooler and more neutral than grass, gravel is weather proof and manageable; gravel can follow curves as easily as it does straight lines. Properly installed, it acts as a weed barrier, and the colors pick up on the adjacent plant palette. Gravel is easy to set down, requires little maintenance, and, if well-contained, calls for only minimal replenishment every few years. It’s cost-effective, given that it requires no mowing, watering, or fertilizing. Local gravels range in price from $45 – $142 per cu yard; a 20-by-20 foot patio can be covered with roughly 3 cubic yards. Throw in that it’s biodegradable and gravel seems to be the surface without a down side.

 Lay Your Own Path…

Given enough patience and back strength, anyone can install a basic path. (1) Mark out the path’s outer boundaries using string or a garden hose, taking time to find the most pleasing curves and angles. Walking paths should be 24 – 36 inches wide and preferably on level ground. Excavate soil to eight inches below the surface. (2) Spread and level four to six inches of crushed concrete aggregate base (available from home improvement centers). Compact the leveled base using a drum roller or hand tamper. Hose it down once or twice to help compact. (3) To inhibit weed growth, lay a double layer of landscape fabric over the compacted base, leaving excess fabric to go under the the path’s edging (which can be made of brick, stone, steel or wood). Lay in edging allowing is top to sit no more than two inches above the finished surface. (4) Spread two to four inches of gravel over the base, using the back of a metal rake to help distribute the material.

 Not exactly a “Do it Yourselfer?”  …no problem, just call the experts GroundHOG.

Whats Your Color For Fall?

The time to plant fall color is quickly approaching.  GroundHOG is ordering flowers now and scheduling installations from late October to mid November.  John Gillis, our veteran horticulturist, suggests the following flowers for your Winter viewing pleasure.  Whether you like solid, bold, pastels or a mixture of colors, we can work out a plan for you.  Call our office to be part of this seasonal flower order.

Did you know Snapdragons are native to the Mediterranean? They are known for their strong-stemmed spikes ( 1 ½’ to 3′ tall) packed with large “dragons” and beautiful fragrance. Although planted in the fall, most varieties bloom in spring in our climate. Local growers often offer a variety of hues – white, yellow, purple, crimson, bronze and pink. Snapdragons are the perfect flower for beds, edgings and containers. Try them in your rock garden too.


Violas are native to the southern hemisphere and generally  more winter-hardy than the larger-flowered pansy. Often  planted late October through mid December, they can  bloom well into spring. Violas are small plants that  produce a wealth of dainty, fragrant blooms in jewel-like  shades of yellow, apricot, blue, scarlet, white and violet.  Consider filling and entire garden bed for the striking spring effect your neighbors will envy.



Petunias, native to Argentina, are commonly used in our area as a fall bedding plant. They have wide trumpet shaped flowers and branching foliage that is hairy and somewhat sticky. They are prolific bloomers, although some forms require deadheading to keep them going. The varieties are endless – single, double, ruffled, or smooth petals, striped, veined, or solid colors. The ‘Wave’ petunia spreads, making it a great bedding plant that doesn’t need to be deadheaded. You can find petunias in just about every color except black and blue.


Allyssum, native to EuropeAsia, and northern Africa,  with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean  region, is often compared to a cheerful blotch of summer  sunshine. The delicate plants are available in a bouquet of  colors including white, yellow, pink and lavender. The  delicate scent makes them a welcome addition to any  garden. Growing only six to nine inches tall, it is wonderful for edging a flower bed, adding color to a rock garden or cascading from a hanging basket.

Adding Beauty with Ground Covers


Ground Covers Minimize Maintenance Around Trees:

Maintaining turf in the shade under established trees can be an ongoing battle. Mowing over large surface roots is hard on both the tree and the mower. And grass growing close to the trunk needs trimming, of course, but it’s tough to keep it neat without cutting into the trunk. Mulch can solve these problems, but needs regular replacement. The simple solution that maximizes long-term maintenance and enhances the beauty of the trees – ground covers.

Exploring Your Options:

Ground covers are not only practical solutions, they can also be eye-catching design features.

Single Solution:

A ground cover planting composed of one species or cultivar is easy to plan and plant, and simply adds a formal element to the landscape.


Groupings of several different ground covers that drift into one another give the plantings a more garden-like look, especially if you combine plants with showy flowers of colorful foliage.

Mixing It Up:

Choosing four to six different ground covers similar in height and setting them out in no particular pattern creates a natural-looking effect.

Planting Around Established Trees:

The root systems of even large trees tend to be surprisingly shallow, so avoid disturbing the soil as much as possible. Instead of using a sod cutter to remove the grass and weeds, strip them off manually. Or, if absolutely necessary, carefully apply an appropriate herbicide to kill the vegetation, wait at least three days, then plant through the dead turf. Resist temptation to spread a thick layer of top soil around the tree to create a fresh planting bed because changing the grade more than an inch or two may seriously damage the tree roots. Instead, dig individual holes for each plant, avoiding the medium-and large-size roots as much as possible.

Planting Around New Trees:

Establishing a ground cover at the same time you plant trees is a much easier project. First, remove or kill the existing sod. If you’re setting out large trees, it’s usually best to settle them in and then create the planting bed around them so you’re not compacting loosened soil with heavy foot traffic or machinery. With more easily managed trees, prepare the entire area first and then do all the planting at the same time. Newly planted trees typically don’t cast much shade, so you can use ground covers adapted for partial shade or full sun.

Post-Planting Care:

Add a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch and water thoroughly to wet the soil and mulch. Water again during dry spells for at least the first growing season to get the ground cover off to a good start. Regular watering is especially critical for plantings under established trees because they have to compete with the tree roots for moisture.

Beyond the Ordinary

Ground covers are suppose to minimize work, not make more, so stick with plants that are proven performers in our climate. There are lots of options beyond “the big three” -English Ivy, Japanese pachysandra and periwinkles-such as ferns, hostas and stonecrops.

Let GroundHOG maximize your view!

“Boots On Your Ground”


Dixon Mateo

Dixon“Dixon Mateo is one of those employees EVERYONE enjoys working with. He always has a smile on his face, and his work ethic is exceptional,” says Tim Twomey, Managing Partner of GroundHOG.

“While his talents are always appreciated, his contributions to our clients are always above and beyond even our own high standards. But perhaps even more importantly, our client feedback is always positive and his teammates rave about his leadership skills and supportive manner.”

“Dixon is the embodiment of GroundHOG’s spirit this year and we are very excited about the work we will complete and the contributions he will make in the future. With his help, GroundHOG is growing.”

For fun, Dixon plays guitar in the band at his church. Ask him how he spent his weekend and he’ll ALWAYS tell you he was in church.


Call GroundHOG Today for All Your Lawn & Landscape Needs!

(985) 674-9001

Proudly Serving the Southeastern Louisiana Area.

The GroundHOG service area includes: Abita Springs, Covington, Hammond, Madisonville, and Mandeville communities.

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