A well-maintained yard is a great addition to any house – provided that it is looked after properly. Not looking after your yard can quickly cause it to spiral out of control after a spot of rainy weather.
Once your yard has become muddy and marshy, it is much more difficult to get back into a lovely looking condition.
However, as you’re here on this article, it seems as though it’s too late for you and that you already have a muddy yard that needs fixing.
Well, it’s not going to be an easy job, but we’ll get through it together! Luckily, there are a few different options for fixing your yard so feel free to pick the option that sounds the best for you.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Checking and Unclogging your Drainage
Yards are drained by downspouts that take the rainwater away from the grass and pours it into a drainage pipe.
However, downspouts don’t last forever and your boggy yard might just mean that your downspouts aren’t working properly as they should. Rather than redirecting the water into the drainage pipe, the water will pool and spread throughout the yard.
Make sure that your downspouts are extended to the maximum length to promote getting the water as far away from your yard as possible.
Ensure that they’re not clogged with stray grass or dirt, and try repositioning them to make sure that they are as vertical as possible.
If all else fails, you might need to give up hope and accept the need for a new drainage system. Opting for new downspouts could be a fine option, but might we suggest installing a french drain underneath your lawn?
A french drain consists of a small trench filled with a drainage pipe with rows of holes running down the entire length. The trench is also full of rocks to add another layer of drainage. The rocks allow the water to reach the pipe quicker, getting rid of the water faster.
Ensuring that your yard has sufficient drainage will prevent water from pooling and creating a boggy base. If you’re lucky and have caught the problem in time, your yard will slowly begin to revert back to normal.
However, you might need to do some additional fixing to get it back into fighting shape once more.
Now that you’ve got the drainage sorted in your yard, you might be discouraged to find that the muddy mess isn’t resolving itself. This means that you’ll need to cover it in some way, whether that be with some landscaping or more grass seed.
However, you cannot simply build on marshy ground, so you’re going to need to wait out the rainy weather so that you can attend to the dried mud.
Mulch is a biodegradable matter that offers plenty of minerals and nutrients into the soil, and you can even make it from your own kitchen scraps. Add a thick layer of mulch onto the yard so that the mud doesn’t spread or move while you’re waiting for the perfect time to replant your grass.
Once you’re ready to move onto the next step, don’t worry about getting all of the mulch back up again. Simply rake it through the soil so that the new grass seed can benefit from the rotting mulch.
Your grass will be much healthier because of it! Another plus of raking mulch through your soil is that it actually improves the aeration of the soil as it decomposes.
Aeration is Key
Aerating your yard will keep the soil from becoming too compact. Compact soil prevents water from passing through it, meaning that the water won’t reach the drainage system. Instead, it will pool on top of the compacted soil and create the dreaded muddy yard.
To prevent this from happening, you should aim to aerate your soil thoroughly. You’ll often only have to do this every three years, but if your grass if having trouble growing you might need to do it more often.
We can say with certainty that you’ll need to aerate your lawn properly before you lay the new grass seed down to give it the easiest time of acclimating and sprouting. If you’ve followed the above steps as well, you shouldn’t have any issues with leaving three years in between aerating it again.
Reseeding the Yard
When choosing the grass seed to use in your yard, you should first determine which type would be the best suited. Grass seed isn’t one size fits all, and there are distinct differences between the types of grass available. For example, some are better suited for bright sunshine and others can handle a lot of shade.
If your yard is muddy, we’re going to presume that you need a grass that can withstand some shade and cloud. St. Augustine and Creeping Red Fescue are just two of the grass seed that you can choose from to cater to your shaded yard.
Sprinkle your chosen grass seed over the yard evenly. The manufacturer will often offer advice on how many pounds of grass seed to use over a specific area, so make sure to follow this so that you’re not left with a patchy or sparse yard.
Cover the seed with a thin layer of soil and water it thoroughly to ensure that the soil remains in place. Don’t worry, your drainage and aeration will prevent the water from pooling again!
Keeping up with Maintenance
Make sure that you research the type of grass you’re growing to prevent it from suffering or dying. This will make your lawn look patchy and won’t give you the desired outcome that you want.
However, even maintained yards suffer from dead grass and roots covering it from time to time. Not only does this, called thatch, look unappealing but it also prevents the soil from absorbing the rainwater.
So, instead of the water making its way through the soil to the drainage system, it will pool on top of the soil and cause muddy patches. Before you know it, you’ll be back at square one. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you’re raking the yard frequently to prevent a build-up of thatch from occurring.
If All Else Fails…
Sometimes it’s best just to let go and accept that your yard is a muddy mess that needs a complete do-over. There are a few methods of doing this, such as covering the mud to starting afresh.
Covering the Mud
If you’re not too bothered about the look of your yard and just need to be able to walk over it without worrying about getting stuck in the mud or ruining every pair of your shoes, you can cover the mud with a number of materials.
Straw is inexpensive and easy to lay, but it might take your yard longer to dry out because of the moisture-holding straw. Gravel is very simple and quick to spread over the mud; however, you’ll need to add a thick layer to avoid it all sinking into the mud.
Finally, shingles are strong and allow cars to drive over mud without worrying about bursting a tire. Having said that, laying shingles is bad for the grass and will definitely kill the last remaining strands, giving you a larger job if you wanted to reseed in the future.
If there is nothing more to do for your lawn, you might have to accept the possibility of having to remove the yard and regrading it all together.
Regrading your lawn so that it slopes down slightly towards the drainage will help to prevent water from pooling. Dig the mud and grass up, aerate the soil, layer some mulch down, and reseed the entire yard.
This is an expensive and time-consuming process, so you might want to call in a professional to help. However, sometimes this is the only resolution to a muddy yard.
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