In order to dry a wet yard fast, first determine where water is collecting and where it is draining from. It’s important to make sure muddy or wet spots in your yard are not being caused by a broken water main or sewer line underground. If you suspect flooding is being caused by a broken line underground, consult a professional.
Once you’ve determined the cause of the drainage problem, there are several ways to fix lawn flooding easily. Digging drainage trenches to improve water runoff can provide big benefits. Filling low spots in your yard, as well as aerating the ground and seeding with additional grass can remove excess water. Finally, if your yard continues to flood or other fixes are impractical, consider hardscaping your yard to eliminate flooding.
8 Tips on How to Dry Up a Wet Yard
A wet yard is ugly, hard to work in, causes people and pets to track mud into the house, and can kill grass and plants. If you have a yard that experiences chronic or seasonal flooding, it can result in damage to your property. A wet yard or poor drainage can erode soil, damage foundations, or even infiltrate your home. Use these tips to dry out a wet yard and protect your house.
Determine the Cause
Before you can begin drying out a wet yard, it’s important to first know where the water is coming from. Yard flooding and boggy ground can be caused by a number of things. Observe your yard and mark areas where flooding is the worst. Some common causes of a muddy yard are:
- Rainfall collecting in low areas.
- Drainage from downspouts or gutters.
- Runoff from one portion of the yard to another.
- Drainage from neighboring property.
If a wet yard is caused by rain, downspout drains, or runoff collecting in portions of the yard, the following tips on this list can fix that. If a wet yard is caused or exacerbated by runoff from a nearby yard, you will need to work with your neighbor to create a solution that benefits you both.
Check Water and Sewer Lines
Lawn flooding and even such phenomenon as grass bubbles can sometimes be caused by a broken water main or sewer line underground. Signs of a broken underground line are:
- Lawn flooding even when weather hasn’t changed drastically.
- Water collecting in areas of your yard without any apparent cause.
- Boggy ground in areas with no previous flooding.
If you suspect there is a broken water main or sewage line, call a plumber. They will be able to advise you. Depending on your city and type of damage, repairing damaged underground lines may be a municipal responsibility.
Fill Low Spots
If your muddy yard is caused by water collecting in low spots, then a good solution is to fill in these areas to improve drainage. If done correctly, a filled low spot will help water drain and distribute it underground, rather than just cause the water to pool elsewhere. To fill a low spot in your yard:
- Lay 1–2 inches of gravel or sand in low area.
- Cover gravel with topsoil.
- Tamp down soil.
- Add more soil as necessary until low spot is level with surrounding area.
The bed of gravel or sand allows water to drain into the soil, rather than just run off. In areas with clay soil, adding gravel or sand can be a huge benefit and dry out a yard fast.
Dig a Drainage Trench
Most wet yards are caused by poor drainage. Water that isn’t directed away from your home and yard properly creates a muddy mess that contributes to erosion and property damage. Often, runoff from downspouts is the culprit.
In order to improve drainage, dig a drainage trench leading away from the wet area or a flood-causing downspout. A french drain is ideal for this situation. This type of drainage trench contains a perforated drainage pipe covered in gravel. It distributes water underground over a wide area. This will dry out your yard and stop erosion.
Compacted soil will not absorb moisture effectively. This leads to standing water in your yard. In order to allow your soil to take in water, which will reduce flooding and feed your plants and grass, aerate your yard.
Rent a spike or core aerator from your local hardware store and aerate your yard. You will decompact soil, allowing water to penetrate, where it can be used by growing plants. You can significantly reduce the amount of standing water in your yard by aerating.
Add Grass Seed
If you want water out of your yard, growing more and thicker grass can be the answer. Grass takes in a lot of water as it grows. A thick lawn can consume upwards of 1.5 inches of water each week.
Thin grass or a bare yard will contribute to muddy conditions simply because there are no plants to use up that water. By establishing a thicker, healthier lawn, you’ll dry out your yard and replace the mud with green grass in no time.
Create a Rain Garden
A rain garden makes use of the rainwater that floods your yard and redirects it to single area planted with water-loving plants. It’s a beautiful and functional way to fix a wet lawn, especially in areas where clay soil makes other solutions difficult. In order to build a rain garden:
- Dig one or more drainage ditches that direct water toward a low spot in your yard.
- Excavate desired area of garden bed to a depth of 4–8 inches to hold water.
- Put a rock border in place around the garden.
- Plant water loving species, such as lilies, irises, sedges, and coneflowers.
Once completed, a rain garden is a combination pond and garden. By redirecting your water runoff there, you can dry out the rest of your yard and grow attractive plants in the process.
A concrete patio or other outdoor space, properly elevated and drained, will shed water and end your battle with a wet yard. Map out a design for a patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen that will convert the trouble spots in your yard into a functional outdoor space.
Although this can be a more expensive option than other solutions, converting portions of your yard to hardscaped areas can end your wet yard problems overnight.
Benefits of Soaking Up Water from Your Lawn
It’s important to drain standing water from your yard to preserve the health and safety of your yard. The benefits of drying out your yard are:
- Eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitos and other insects.
- Prevent drowning death of grass and garden plants.
- Reduce chance of plant and grass diseases and fungus.
- Prevent soil erosion.
- Stop leaks from infiltrating your home and other structures.
By taking steps to dry up a wet yard, you will preserve a healthy and beautiful yard. Not to mention, a dry yard is easier to maintain, harder to damage, and you won’t have to worry about pets and family members tracking mud into your home.
Don’t Leave Standing Water
Standing water in your yard is a health risk, as mosquitos and other disease-carrying insects breed in stagnant water. Additionally, if standing water or muddy ground is caused by a broken sewer line, disease-harboring waste could be collecting in your yard.
Not only is it important to make sure your lawn is dry in order to have a more attractive and functional outdoor space, a dry lawn is also a safer lawn.
How to Dry Out a Wet Lawn
Drying out a wet lawn is best accomplished by determining the cause of the standing water and taking the right measures to get rid of it. The best way to dry out a wet yard is to:
- Find the cause of wet conditions (rainfall, downspouts, etc.).
- If you suspect lawn flooding is caused by a broken line underground, contact a professional.
- Fill any low spots in the yard with a gravel/topsoil mix.
- Dig a drainage ditch to direct water away from wet areas.
- Aerate your yard.
- Seed your lawn with additional grass.
- Hardscape chronically wet areas.
By following one or more of these tips, you can dry out a wet yard quickly and easily. Your grass and garden will flourish and you’ll have a usable outdoor space year-round.