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How to Fix A Swampy Yard

A swampy yard is basically when your beautiful little lawn turns into a kid’s pool during the monsoon. It is not a new issue. We have seen this happening time and again with many homeowners. 

But, how do you take care of a swampy yard? Well you can’t live in a swamp now, can you? The easiest way to deal with this is by letting the water drain and then raking the soil and adding a layer of mulch over top.

But of course, that is just a generic solution and there can be many other underlying reasons as to why you have to deal with a swampy yard. In this article, we are going to get to the root of those problems and help you get rid of the swamp once and for all.

Determine The Issue

As always, before jumping to conclusions, determine the issue. Figure out what is going wrong with the lawn in the first place. Is it a drainage issue? Are your gutters too full? Did you clean the pipes last season? Is the soil compressed too tight?

Ask yourself these questions to get to a decision as to what is wrong with your lawn and let’s get to fixing it.

4 Ways to Fix A Swampy Yard

There are many ways of fixing a swampy yard. Some more instant and some more permanent. Depending on how much time and effort you want to spend on your lawn, you can pick a solution for yourself.

Additional Drainage Pipes

If you have a drainage issue (which is the most common cause), the answer is simple – just add more drainage lines. Your existing drainage lines could be lacking in their capacity, maybe they do not take the water away fast enough. 

So, the water clogs up and your lawn becomes a swamp. By adding sufficient drainage lines you can help the rainwater drain faster and help keep your lawn dry and clean.

Aerate the Soil

Another very common cause for swampy yards is the soil. If the soil is too lightly compressed, it can bar the water from passing through. This happens if you don’t rake your garden frequently. The soil slowly becomes denser and denser over time.

Take a rototiller or a garden rake and start working on the ground. Once you loosen up the soil enough, it will be much easier for drainage. Your yard won’t turn into a swamp every time it rains.

Install A New Drywell

A drywell is a drainage pipe hidden beneath mulch and gravel. It is used in gardens where it rains most of the year. It helps guide the rain and stormwater to other areas of the lawn faster. It prevents the water from rising.

Plant more Shrubs and Trees

Trees and flower beds can help with water absorption. But this is a solution that will work for light rain only. It cannot fix a yard that catches water up to the knee. 

But if you only get a slight amount of still water every time it rains, consider adding more shrubberies to your landscape to take care of that.

Level the Ground

One of the major causes of rainwater pooling in your lawn is the unevenness of the ground. The ground is bumpy and sloped gives way to water being held in crevices. These crevices then overflow and cause flooding.

Sometimes they become a habitat to mosquitos and bugs. The quickest way to solve this is by leveling your lawn. You can buy a leveling tool, they come at about $120. Or, you can make your own leveling drag

Once the ground is all one level, you can rake the soil and add mulch or sand to increase water absorption.

Make a Ditch

This is not for everyone. Pooling water in a shallow spot will give way to mosquito infestation. But if you cannot use any of the other methods, but really need a solution to get you through the season, give this a go.

Depending on how big the lawn or garden is, choose the spot that is the lowest. You can do this by observing which part of the lawn gathers the water the fastest. You can also use a level to figure out which part slopes in.

Dig a hole at the shallowest spot and let the water flow into the ditch. This will take most of the water away from the surface and help with aeration. 

More Permanent Solutions for A Swampy Yard

Those were some of the quicker solutions to fixing a swampy yard. Any one of those should get you through the season. But, you might go back to square one next year again. To get rid of the swampy yard permanently, you have to put a little more time and effort into it.

Here are some of our best permanent solutions-

French Drain

A french drain and a drywell are often used interchangeably. But they are two different ways of controlling drainage. A drywell is just a pipe with a hole hidden beneath the gravel. But a french drain is a different sort of mechanism.

A french drain is a perforated pipe dug inside the ground, in a trench, all along the swampy part of the garden. The perforated upper of the pipe helps it collect rainwater fast and efficiently. 

If you have a slope in your garden that might be a good place to dig your trench for the french drain. If your yard catches a lot of water, a french drain would be the best solution for you.

A Rain Garden

A rain garden is a very visually appealing solution to the whole rainwater pooling problem. A rain garden is a depression in the ground. It is sloped on all sides to catch the rainwater and help the water flow.

There are many other benefits to rain gardens as well. They prevent chemical and nutrient runoffs from your lawn. It keeps all the good stuff just where it is supposed to be.

The pooled water drains within three days. This stops the breeding of mosquitoes and prevents the yard from getting swampy.

You will ideally till the ground up to 6-10 inches and prepare the soil with sand, mulch, and other particles to help make it loose and permeable. It allows the water to soak through the ground much faster.

If you have a natural slope, a rain garden is a perfect way to get rid of that problem.

Tips to Avoid A Swampy Garden

So, once you fix up your swampy yard, the next step is to maintain the lawn in its beauty. You do not want to undo all the hard work you just did to try to fix it up. So, here are a few things that you can do to avoid a swampy garden in the future.

  • Clean your pipes every fall and spring
  • Rake the soil in a routine manner
  • Mix sand and mulch with the soil to increase water absorption
  • Think about sloping your lawn away from the house
  • Talk to a professional to figure out a long-term solution

Final Verdict

And there you have it, our tried and tested ways of fixing up a swampy yard. If you put some time and effort into it, you will be able to come out with a dry and healthy-looking lawn space in no time. 

Just wait till most of the water has drained, and then get to work. If you work on too wet soil, you might accidentally pack the soil more. This will hinder the water absorption and that is the last thing you want to do.

We hope this article was helpful. Let us know if you have any more questions and queries. Happy Gardening!


Can I rake a wet lawn?

We do not recommend aerating a wet lawn. You will only get unsightly results. Wait till the lawn is about 90% dry and the ground is just moist to the touch. That is when you should take a rake to it.

How to fix poor drainage?

You can reschedule the watering so that you are not putting too much water on the surface. You can also add a french drain like suggested above.

Why is there standing water in my yard?

The most common reasons include poor drainage and shallow spots on the lawn. You can get around this problem by leveling the lawn and adding more drainage options.

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