Do you have a Wet and Soggy Yard? Here’s the Ultimate Guide on How to Dry up a Wet Yard!
People with a green thumb take care of their yard like the plants are their children. They’d love for them to grow healthy and sustain this until they are bigger and older. One of the joys of gardening is seeing your hard work pay off in turning that bare land into something beautiful and colorful. From seeds to flowers or trees.
It also helps bust the stress out in your system. Gardening tends to be a very therapeutic hobby. Some might see it as literally a back-breaking activity or that it is dirty but those who love tilling and tending to it finds a place of peace in their home.
In as much as gardening could be all good and pretty, there are many concerns once you start gardening. There’s a problem with which seeds to plant on which soil. Even more, problems when it comes to pests and how to control them. Starting and maintaining a garden can be a great challenge, too.
One of the challenges that seem to come out now and then are wet yards. While moisture and water can be good to plants, too much of it can drown them and eventually kill them. That is why whenever you notice this, you have to address the problem right away to save your plants and your entire garden.
If you are wondering how to dry up a wet yard or a muddy yard, the best option is to build a French drain. A French drain is a great way how to dry up a wet yard, it is a pipe inserted into the ground to drain rainwater from your yard. It is a cost-effective solution that you can do yourself to reduce the amount of water in your yard.
My Yard is Always Wet and Muddy, Why? (5 Common Causes)
1. Rainy Season
You just can’t stop water from flooding when it’s the rainy season. There will always be times that the soil won’t be able to hold much water. As much as your garden needs rain, the constant outpour can harm them.
If you think your yard is getting unbelievably swampy, try to look around. You can check the sidewalk gutters, sewer drains, or even your neighbor’s yard for comparison. When you see that there’s just as much water, then it’s probably the heavy outpour and rainy season that’s causing it.
2. Drainage System
After you take a look around your neighborhood and you see that there seems to be no problem and if it still gets muddy and wet even if it’s not the rainy season – it’s probably your yard that’s problematic.
Your wet yard could be because of a poor drainage system. The soil in your yard contributes to how well your drainage works, too. If it is too compacted or rocky, the soil cannot absorb water well. Thus, leaving all the work to your drainage system.
Have a professional plumber, land excavator, or engineer to check your home’s drainage system. The flooding in your yard might be caused by a grading problem or a crack in your sprinkler lines.
3. Leaking Pipe
Once you have your drainage system check and you find that there’s nothing wrong with your drainage system at home, maybe it’s time to check for leaking pipes.
Have a professional plumber check your ‘water main’ or the pipe that runs from the water meter to your home. Sometimes, that standing water in your yard is an indication of leaking pipes. So, it’s better to have it checked. Another hint might be your increasing water bill!
You can also check this by looking at your meter and see which among your sprinkler system or main water line pikes up the leak detection dial. Most likely, the standing water came from leaks between those two.
Should this happen, it’s best to consult a plumber. They can help with any leak repair and any dealings with the local officials if needed.
4. Sewer Line Leakage
So, you have the drainage system and the main water line checked. If you still find some standing water in your yard – and if they smell a bit foul – it’s most likely your sewer line that’s leaking.
Unlike a leak on your main water line, though, a sewer line leakage does not swamp up your yard fast. But it can get murky and foul after a few weeks.
When you suspect a sewer line leakage, you need to contact a plumber fast. Have your septic tank pumped and the line fixed because it does not only harm your plants or the rest of your yard. It can be a health hazard, too.
5. Soil Type
Your yard’s soil type may also be a suspect to the swampy problem in your yard. Ideally, you can check the soil map in your county, so you’ll be sure how to deal with it when you start building your garden.
However, if you already started your garden without the knowledge of your yard’s soil type, it’s still a good idea to check the soil map. Then, to remedy the puddle in your yard, you can ask a local landscaper on what’s your best option. You can probably change the type of plants you grow in your garden or look for a better soil and/or compost combination so your plants will thrive in your garden.
How To Dry Up A Wet Yard In 10 Steps
Now that you have determined the cause of that water buildup in your yard, it’s time to do something about it.
Here are a few steps that you can take to alleviate the situation. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to follow all of these. See what works best for your type of garden and the cause of your wet yard.
Remember to clear out the mud or murky parts of the yard before proceeding with the following solutions.
1. Level Out the Soil
Try to level out the soil. If taking out the mud left a huge hole in your yard, you can mix some topsoil and construction-grade sand (2 parts soil, 2 parts sand, 1 part compost) and fill the hole. If it still can’t absorb water that well, you can add more sand.
Once you filled it, level out the soil in the same height and depth as your original yard.
2. Aerate the Soil
Aerating your yard’s soil can help absorb water. Sometimes, the soil can get too compacted because of the pressure of foot traffic or the presence of clay in the soil. Using an aeration tool to punch some holes in the ground can create that breathing room allowing your soil to absorb more water.
3. Dry Out Naturally
Give your yard some time to dry out naturally.
After you add some soil and/or aerate your yard, leave it untouched for 8 to 12 hours (or overnight) just to let the soil settle. The key to drying out the remaining standing water or excess moisture in the soil are sunlight and air.
It doesn’t have to be completely dried out before you can work on it. A little moisture can help you amend your yard and turn it back to the garden you wanted to have.
4. Apply Compost
Check and assess your soil and see how damp or dry it has become from being left to be dried out naturally. If you think it needs a bit of an organic amendment, you can add and apply more compost on it. It does not only help balance the moisture of the soil, but it’s also a great and healthy start for your garden.
5. Apply Grass Seeds
Installing sod or applying grass sees in your newly tilled and level yard can help prevent erosion. Just make sure to keep off from the soil since foot traffic can affect the growth of the grass seeds. As much as possible, wait for the grass to grow before you can set foot on it.
6. Lead Water to the Gutter
Filling in and flattening the yard may not be enough to dry out the entire yard especially if your garden is situated lower than the rest of the area in your house. The tendency would be that when it rains – no matter how light the precipitation may be – the water would eventually flow down to your garden.
The best thing you could do is dig and create a path that would lead any standing water down to your gutter. According to a study, 2% of the slope is good enough to drain out water. Further, “slope of 2% means the elevation of the soil changes by about 1⁄4 in (0.64 cm) over 12 in (30 cm) in distance”. The steeper it is, the more it can redirect excess water.
7. Build a Rain Garden
If your yard is a low-lying area or if there are other lower-lying areas, building a rain garden could also be an option.
You can grow water-loving plants and other plants that can thrive in extreme moisture. It’s not a total solution, but it’s better to make use of that wet yard to something beautiful than just let it sit as something murky and muddy.
8. Install/Repair the Drainage System
As mentioned earlier, there might be a problem with the drainage. Call a nearby professional and ask for help to repair the drainage system.
Assess your area and see if you have a space for the water discharge that’s lower than the inlet. The drainage pipe should be situated underground and with a slope of at least 1/8 inch per foot.
It is also helpful to use smooth-wall pipes for your drainage since it can drain water quickly and is easy to clean out when it gets clogged.
9. Create a French Drain
A French drain is also a good alternative for a drainage system. It is known to be a versatile system that solves most kinds of drainage problems. You would need a large area where the water would be dispersed, and the pipes must be surrounded by materials that allow water to easily drain out.
Most effective French drains would not need an outlet. The soil will simply absorb the water being dispersed and will just flow along the perforated pipe.
10. Build a Dry Well
Another option to dry up your wet yard is to build a dry well.
A dry well is a large hole filled with gravel that would catch the excess water from your yard and would hold the water as it soaks to the ground. One advantage of building one is you can expand the capacity of a dry well by just building more dry well barrels. These barrels are just special plastic containers that collect the water and drains out through holes at the sides and bottom.
The key to an effective dry well is to make sure that it is surrounded with porous materials (such as gravel) so it can drain and hold water well.
A dry well could also go well with a French drain.
Dry Up That Wet Yard Now
A wet yard could be a pain especially when you love to tend your garden and you worked so hard to grow your garden and make it aesthetically presentable.
Understanding the cause of your wet yard problems is always the key to finding its apt solution. Always be on the lookout for anything that goes wrong in the yard. While a long downpour could be one of your easy suspects, there might be other factors that are causing it.
Your home’s drainage system and the rest of the plumbing could be a huge factor with your wet yard problems. The best step you could do is to consult with a professional right away, potentially a civil engineer, so you’re sure of what leakage problems you should address.
Other than that, it must be in your soil. If so, do the best amendments you can do to save your yard from being drowned out with too much water. Remember to also check the type of soil you have so you can treat your soil properly and with the right amount and combination of compost, sand, and topsoil.
These tips and solutions are just a few ways how to dry up a wet yard. You can always consult with an expert if you are not sure you can do these on your own. It’s always better to be safe in what you do than totally ruin your entire yard, however, if you follow these tips it is always a great start and a way to save some money.
Other Questions About Your Yard? (click to read)
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Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.