Your backyard plays an essential role in your enjoyment of your home. Offering a place to gather with friends and family, to play, to entertain and just to hang out and relax, having a backyard you can really enjoy is an important part of the way you live. Unfortunately, if your yard is swampy or muddy, your enjoyment can be significantly affected, and you may find yourself foregoing many of those backyard pleasures. The good news is, in most cases, there are plenty of solutions. Here’s what you need to do to help your backyard achieve its full potential:
- The first step is to determine the cause of the water buildup. Is the groundwater level high? Is your roof draining into the yard? Is the ground hollowed out or located at the bottom of a slope? Is the soil very compacted? All of these issues – and more – can contribute to a swampy back yard.
- For compacted or clay soils, deeply tilling the soil and adding amendments like compost can help aerate the soil so it drains better. If you have grass growing in your yard, till it in with the rest of the amendments to help provide essential nutrients and green material that can aid in breaking up hard, compacted soil.
- Try adding some trees and shrubs. You’d be surprised how much water can be absorbed by a few thirsty trees and bushes. You may not notice a big change for a season or two while the new plantings gain their footing, but over time, many people report significant improvement in drainage issues. Ground-covering plants like ivy or pachysandra, once established, can also soak up a lot of extra water.
- Make sure the yard slopes away from your home. This helps any roof runoff or runoff from downspouts drain properly. To get a good slope, till the area near your home to loosen the soil, then refill creating a very gentle slope that will help gravity do its job. Also consider repositioning your downspouts or using diverters to keep water from running into the backyard in the first place.
- Install drains. Drains provide a permanent solution to your swampy backyard and they don’t require you to alter your gutters or rethink your landscaping. While you can install some simple drain systems on your own, it can be a big job, and if it isn’t done properly, it’s like throwing money down the drain – literally. A better option is to hire a company like Wet Lawn to design a drainage system specifically for your property and your problem. We use both dry wells and underground piping systems so we can make sure the solution we develop is right for you.
Your backyard is a valuable piece of property; don’t let it go to waste. Draining your yard and preventing future water buildup issues is an investment that will pay you back over and over again for years to come.