A soggy backyard is irritating. Eventually, your kids or pets will carry the mud into your home, which can be messy. Therefore, you should find a way on how to dry up a wet yard as soon as possible to overcome this problem.
Why My Yard is always Wet and Muddy
Before discussing some ways on how to dry up a wet yard, you had better learn what made your lawn soggy.
Several factors make your yard not dry properly. The soggy conditions may happen because of the rainy season, leaking pipe and sewer line, the soil type, and the troubles in the drainage system.
During the rainy season, your yard will get more water until the soil will not be able to hold it anymore. As a result, the constant outpour will eventually flood your lawn.
Before learning how to dry up muddy yard, try to observe what might be the cause of your swampy lawn.
Pay attention to how the water moves across the backyard and check whether you can find any standing puddles that do not dry out for 24 hours.
Remember that water is supposed to move towards a drainage outlet, meaning it should be away from your home. If it does otherwise and creates standing puddles instead, the problem might probably lie on the yard’s slope.
If individual spots are the case, the solution will be easy. You can just fill them in, amend the soil, and then grow some absorbent plants.
If your lawn keeps being swampy although it does not rain, you need to check for leaking pipes. This job may require a professional plumber.
In addition to the occurrence of standing water, the increase in your water bill can be an indication of leaking pipes.
By observing the main problem, you will be able to determine how to dry up a wet yard.
Leaking Sewer Line
Besides, checking for any leaking pipes, you should also take a look at the sidewalk gutters and the sewer drains. If you find some standing water along with a terrible odor, your sewer line might be leaking.
A gutter line leakage can be distinctive from a leaking vessel. It will not make your backyard swampy so fast.
However, it can get dirty and smelly after a couple of weeks, which requires you to find a way on how to dry up a wet yard as soon as possible.
When you are pretty much sure that there is something wrong with your sewer line, give a plumber a ring. Then, you must pump the septic tank and get the line fixed. Otherwise, it can be a serious problem.
Trouble in the Drainage System
Another common problem that you should anticipate before you look for a way on how to dry up a wet yard is your poor drainage system.
The problems that affect your drainage system can vary. One of which is too compacted or rocky yard, which does not allow the soil to absorb the water well. As a result, the drainage system will have to work harder.
If it happens, you should have a land excavator, professional plumber, and an engineer check the drainage system in your home.
The flooding in your backyard may happen because of a crack in the sprinkler lines or a grading problem.
Check Your Soil Type
Finally, before determining the best way on how to dry up a wet yard, you should check the soil. Make sure it can absorb enough water well.
To know whether it can absorb water, you need to test it. First, fill in a mason jar with the soil taken from the problem area.
After that, pour some water into it and wait for them to separate. Then, you will find sand accumulate on the bottom. Right above it is a layer of silt, and then clay.
When it passes a minute, identify the sand’s level. Then, wait for 2 hours and begin to mark the silt level. Only when the water in the jar is clear, you can identify the clay level. This way, you can measure the dimension of each element.
If the previous method is quite complicated, you can try to test the soil absorption in a simpler way. Begin with digging a hole in 1’ deep and 4” wide.
After that, fill it with water and see whether it drains quickly. If it takes more than 4 hours, you will require to alter the soil with fertilizer and sand.
How to Dry up a Wet Yard
Once you know what causes the flooding, you can figure out the way on how to dry up a wet yard. Each problem may require a different solution.
So, here are some ways on how to dry up a wet back yard.
1. Install a French Drain
The first tip on how to dry up a wet yard is by installing a French drain. You might be questioning what it is actually. It is a trench filled with rocks and gravel. You will also find a long pipe which is full of holes.
A French drain is beneficial because it can redirect the water from the ground. It can also keep excess moisture out of your garden.
You might be curious about how to dry up a wet yard using a French drain. Basically, this trench applies the basic concept stating that water always flows downhill by taking the easiest route available.
For this reason, to provide a proper channel for the water, the gradient should be approximately an inch after every eight feet. It also has to focus on the direction of the flow.
This is how a French drain works. The water will pass through the rocks before it finally flows into the pipes.
After that, they will empty the excess moisture at a safe distance, which is quite far from your lawn. This is how to dry up a wet yard.
An exposed French drain can ruin your yard landscaping. Therefore, you can use polished rocks to bury the pipes. This way, you can conceal them while improving the curb appeal.
2. Level the Soil
You have already learned that a swampy lawn may happen because of low-lying areas that tend to collect moisture. The poor shape does not allow the excess water to drain away. So, how to dry up a wet yard?
If poor gradation is the problem in your yard, leveling out the soil will be your safe bet. This way, the water can flow off the backyard easily.
To level out the lawn, you will need to fill up the low-lying areas with a mixture of some topsoil and construction-grade sand. It will take approximately 2 parts soil, 1 part compost, and 2 parts sand or fine gravel.
Also putting more sand can be a way to get better absorption. Once you have filled the low-lying areas, level out the soil so that it has the same depth and height as the remaining yard.
Another way on how to dry up a wet yard is by regrading the lawn. The objective is to make the surface slope to one side, which improves the drainage.
You can do this by removing the topsoil taken from the low-lying areas and then laying it on the upper side.
3. Fix the Small Patches that Collect Moisture
If the flood happens in some small patches, here is how to dry up a wet yard.
First, clear the wet areas from any loose material, such as sticks and rocks. After that, remove any plant, including grass, which grows on that patch.
After that, use a spade to create a hole. The depth should be 6” while the width is based on the entire problem area.
Next, fill in it with 2 parts sand, 2 parts topsoil containing a balanced amount of sand and clay, and 1 part compost. Combine them with the original soil.
Then, grab a tamper and begin to press down the soil so that it is compact and level with the surrounding surface. It is supposed to be flat or create a smooth slope that will help redirect water more easily.
You can also try watering the lawn to check whether the sand and compost have fixed the drainage issue well. Besides, the water will help you compact the soil mixture.
Once you fill in the hole with new topsoil, you will see a bare patch. If it happens, consider covering it with sod and grass seeds.
Unroll the sod over the bare patch. Another option is to spread grass seeds, then scrape them into the dirt. To protect them from birds, cover the seeds with a ¼-inch layer of topsoil and then an equal layer of straw.
In addition to sod and grass seeds, you can also opt for some moisture-resistant plants, such as phlox, arrow-wood, elderberry, ferns, and violets.
In some cases, the ground can be too compacted due to the presence of clay and the pressure of foot traffic. Therefore, another tip on how to dry up a wet yard is by aerating the soil.
That tip can be done by using an aeration tool. Simply punch some holes in the soil to create “breathing room”. This way, you help the ground absorb the water better.
5. Let Your Yard Dry Naturally
Another effortless tip on how to dry up a wet yard is by leaving the lawn untouched for 12 hours after adding some soil and aerating it.
By leaving it untouched, you give your yard a chance to settle and eventually dry out naturally. All you need is just the sun and air.
You do not have to make it completely dry out, though. A little moisture can be beneficial for you as it helps you amend the yard. Eventually, you can have the garden that you have been longing for.
6. Try Compost
If the soil in your lawn does not have a good consistency, you can fix it with organic compost, such as bark, mulch, or grass clippings. Those can also be an option although you already had grass in your yard.
Below are some methods on how to dry up a wet yard using compost.
- Spread the compost. Make sure it forms a ½-inch thick layer.
- Rake the compost into the dirt in late fall or early spring.
- You may need to rent a rototiller if your yard is not in a good shape. It will help you mix the compost deep into the soil. Unfortunately, it may ruin your lawn. However, this method is worth trying since give a significant impact on the drainage immediately.
- If you want to rototill your entire yard, try mixing peat moss or sand into the soil because it will drain water better.
The change in the soil may not emerge instantly. Therefore, you need to be patient and wait for a couple of seasons because the organic materials require some time to break down and finally mix into the yard.
7. Install a Dry Well
One of the most common tips on how to dry up a wet yard is by constructing a dry well.
A dry well can direct and catch the excess water near buildings. It helps to hold the moisture as it soaks into the ground.
To construct it, you have to dig a hole. It has to be 10’ from the closest waste. You will also need a plastic dry well tank and put it in the hole. After that, use landscape paper to line the tank.
The landscape paper plays a crucial role when it comes to how to dry up a wet yard. It helps to release the excess water while preventing the gravel from coming into the tank.
This material allows the tank to store the water until it gradually releases the excess moisture. This way, your yard will not be too wet.
Once the landscape paper is in its place, run a PVC pipe right from the downspout to the tank. Finally, fill in the surrounding space with gravel.
You can find many ways on how to dry up a wet yard. But before jumping into the solution, you had better observe your lawn to know what you are dealing with. Good luck!