Has Your Yard Become The Watery Deep? 3 Steps To Solving The Problem
Dealing with a wet yard is a normal ritual after rains or during the winter. But if you're suffering from a perpetually wet yard, you may need to tackle the problem in a more permanent way. So, what can you do to dry out a swampy area of your yard? Here are 3 steps to get you going.
Assess the Source
Observe the wet areas to determine where the water is coming from, how it flows and how long it stays. If the water is flowing down from a higher location -- for example, the roof, gutters or hardscaping -- you may be able to simply add or replace gutters or downspouts to divert the runoff. If, instead, the water forms a large and lasting rain puddle, you could consider changing the elevation of the yard slightly by grading the area, bringing in additional topsoil or creating a small slope leading to a safer area of the yard. If the water source is a constant and unchangeable one, such as a pond or stream, you will likely need to come up with a way to make use of it instead (more on this below).
Dealing with natural topography problems or a water problem that's larger than one downspout may call for adding some drainage. Perhaps the easiest way to improve drainage yourself is to use a French drain. A French drain is simply a permeated pipe that you bury in the ground surrounded by a bed of gravel and with an outlet where you'd rather the water end up (such as the street, an unused spot in the yard or a ditch). Larger drainage issues may require the help of a professional landscaping service who can test your soil for permeability or compaction issues and perform large-scale grading to lead runoff where it belongs.
Embrace Natural Wetness
The final step is to determine where and when it's most appropriate or less expensive to simply embrace the natural topography of your yard and work with the water instead of against it. A rain garden may be a good solution to permanent wetness. A rain garden consists of plants that love water, such as papyrus or palm grass and flowers like Louisiana iris or yellow flag. Dig a hole where the water puddles, and fill it with a highly permeable soil mix that includes sand, compost and top soil. Plant your water-loving flowers into this garden and let them thrive beautifully. A landscaping service can help you design the best garden for wet lands.
By figuring out where your water is coming from, how it acts, and how you can decide between draining it off or using it to create a garden, you can come up with just the right solution for any yard.