Why is my yard so wet? It’s the question that comes to mind every time you walk down your front steps into the muddy mess that is your garden. Splashing in puddles all of the way down the driveway, you wonder why your yard is overflowing while others in the neighborhood seem to be relatively dry. While a wet garden can be lush and green in the driest times of the year, a yard that’s overly soggy can cause damage to your garden plants, outdoor structures, and even your home’s foundation. Here are some reasons why your yard may look like a candidate for the world’s biggest puddle.
1. Your Soil Doesn’t Drain
One of the biggest reasons you have wet soil is that your soil is poorly-drained. Soil that’s made out of a lot of clay and very little sand or organic material tends to have puddles instead of allowing the water to drain through it. Soil on pathways is also poorly-drained, because over time, feet press on it and compact it, making it hard for water to soak in.
While it’s difficult to change what’s underneath your yard without tearing out all of your soil, you can add to the top of your soil to change your garden’s drainage. Mulching with straw or wood chips adds organic material to your garden. It makes the top of your soil more complex and gives it lots of air pockets. The water moves into those pockets and slowly soaks in, instead of moving quickly across a compacted or clay soil.
2. Your Garden Has a Strong Slope
What happens at the bottom of a slope? In nature, that’s where you find rivers and lakes. The same thing happens in your garden. If you have a gully or a dip in the ground where water pools, it’s just doing what comes naturally. If you want to change it, can add soil to the dips or embrace them by adding a rain garden with wetland plants. If you have an unplanned lake in part of your garden, consider re-contouring your slope so that the water drains into the places that work well for you and your garden plants.
3. You’ve Changed the Drainage Patterns
Remember that gorgeous gazebo you built last summer? It could be contributing to your drainage woes. If you change the large-scale structures in your garden, you may change the way your water flows. A large garden bed surrounded by wood or rock can cause water to pool near the wood or rock. A big, concrete slab such as a driveway causes water to run around it, leading to drainage changes around the slab. Every time you add a new structure to your garden, plan for the changes that it could make in your drainage patterns, or you could have more puddles in your future.
4. You’re Adding Water
Want instant water? Just add water. If your garden is really damp, examine how all of that water has ended up in your yard. You could be experiencing trouble with your gutters. If a gutter is clogged, water can cascade off the gutter and into your garden, moving down slopes and creating puddles as it goes. If your gutters or drains are sloped or broken, you can also experience problems with water accumulation. These puddles are particularly dangerous to your home as the water often pools near your home and can damage the foundation. Repair and clean your gutters, and add a gutter guard to remedy this problem.
As you work on your garden drainage, look at your home to see if changing your home drainage systems could help. With Harry Helmet’s gutter guard products, you can ensure that your gutters run clean and clear all year round. Contact us today to learn more about gutter guards.