How to Fix a Muddy Yard

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For those of us with a large backyard there’s times when things get a little out of hand with the mud situation. I’m talking about those bare patches of ground where water just seems to keep piling up and creating an unsightly and messy stretch of mud on your lawn. Depending on how serious it is, and whether or not your yard has flooded, you might want to consult someone. But, if you’re looking to deal with a few patches around your yard, we’ve got you covered! Read on for our guide on how to fix a muddy yard, with times on how to make it less messy, and a lot easier to look at. 

How to Fix a Muddy Yard: Tips for Stopping the Mud 

Muddy yards plague homeowners all across the globe, but here in North America we’re particularly used to this occurrence. Between rainfall and typically large front and back yards, we’re prone to muddy patches here and there. Sometimes it’s due to something as simple as elevation, in other cases it could be related to the water table, or even an irrigation problem on your property. Nonetheless, we’ll share some of our favorite methods for dealing with mud around your property should the need arise! 

Is your yard looking more like a mud bowl, or a piglet’s paradise than it is a backyard oasis? For a small to medium sized lawn that tends to fill up a bit in the rain, we’ll provide some helpful tips that you can try to use in order to reduce the amount of water, or provide more adequate drainage to help with the mud buildup. 

Why Does My Yard Get so Muddy?

Basically, the first step for us here is going to be to figure out why it is that your yard is experiencing so much mud and or flooding in the first place. The simplest reason why is a fairly obvious one: lots of rainfall. Rainfall, as well as snowmelt in the spring, can cause a lot of unpleasant mud on many people’s yards. If you’re seeing lots of mud outside of periods of rainfall or in the early spring, you’re going to want to do some more investigation. 

Poor irrigation/underground pipes 

Does the water/mud pool in one spot in your yard for days at a time? If the sun isn’t doing enough to be able to dry it up, you could possibly be looking at poor irrigation or even a burst pipe. In this case, seek professional help. Look for uneven places across your yard such as divots or slopes that may be the cause of water and mud buildup. 

Overly compact soil

A patchy yard isn’t just grating to look at, it may also be the cause of some of the mud buildup on your property. Soil that’s bare in a lawn full of grass may be too compact, or in an area of slightly lower elevation that makes it difficult for the grass to grow. Both of these factors contribute to a lawn that’s less appealing to look at, but also more prone to developing patches of mud, especially when there’s more water present. In this case, the goal is to loosen up the soil, attempt to plant grass seed and as a last resort, incorporate something like gravel into the space. 

One option to loosen things up a bit is to use a short hard rake to aerate the soil, this will help with drainage but also prep the soil for grass seed. Grass will help soil drain naturally, as well as soak up water for itself, decreasing the likelihood of mud developing. 

  • Choose a grass seed that’s resilient, and well-suited to difficult to grow areas. Kentucky blue grass is one example of a popular seed people use to patch areas with. 
  • Use a hard rake to break up compact and solid soil where mud is forming to aerate the ground and improve irrigation.  

Shaded Areas 

Tree cover is another likely culprit, although it would take a considerable amount of shade to create a sizable mud patch when it rains. That being said, the mud should only be present around rainfall, but if it does persist, there are a couple of options you can try. 

  • Clear up some of the tree cover by means of trimming a pruning, or removing trees outright if they create too much shade. Some trees can also discourage grass growth and create a lot of pines which may cause soil to be bare for long periods of time. 

Mud Around House Foundation 

The first thing you’re going to want to look for is bald spots around your home and surrounding flower beds. They may also include what looks to be dry, or even damp cracked-pattern dirt. This is a good indication that water is collecting there, and causing the ground to often become muddy. There’s of course several issues you could run into here. 

Your foundation is at risk if water pools next to it frequently enough. Since concrete is porous, water presents a risk to its structural integrity. 

  • Start by cleaning out your gutters, it is possible that it’s simply a problem caused by clogged drains. Next, look into extending your downspouts so they carry rainwater further away from the foundation of your home. Lastly, see whether or not you need to level certain parts of your yard. Does a downwards slope or grade bring rainfall towards your foundation? This could likely be the cause of the mud patches around your house. 

Large Mud Bowl in Yard 

If you feel like you’re seriously out of options, and you know that the mud patch isn’t the cause of a burst or damaged pipe, you can move forward with some final resorts. After trying the above, your best bet is to look into gravelling the space. Some people create rain gardens and/or rock gardens out of these spaces, and they can sometimes be a welcome addition to your property depending on where the mud occurs. Do not use sand to try and remedy this problem, since it will actually cause the soil to become even more clogged as it becomes wet. 

  • Determine how much gravel you will need for the area, and then fill it in and rake it sufficiently to level it on the space and create a little bit of an edge where it meets the rest of your lawn. If you use enough, it should be effective in preventing the mud from occurring as long as it isn’t disturbed. You may need to reapply over time, perhaps biannually. 

Did you find these tips for how to fix a muddy yard useful? With any luck, using the method that best suits your type of situation can drastically improve the state of your yard and make it more enjoyable for yourself and your family! 

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