Muddy spots in your lawn are unappealing and harmful to the lawn. Left unattended, the grass in the wet spots dies off. And the water in these spots becomes a breeding ground for disease vectors like mosquitoes.
That is why learning how to dry up muddy yard is critical. The first step in drying out a muddy lawn is identifying the cause of these muddy spots.
Poor drainage is the leading cause of a muddy yard. Drainage issues occur due to compacted soil, too much organic matter in your yard, poor landscape design, poor elevation, a hard pan, or the water table being too close to the surface.
Once you establish the reason, you can identify how to get rid of a muddy yard.
Ways of Drying Up a Muddy Lawn
Here are some helpful ways to fix muddy spot in yard.
- Grade the lawn
- Install a French drain
- Dethatch the lawn
- Plant creeping plants
- Aerate the lawn
- Lay gravel on the muddy patch
- Introduce hardscaping features
Grade Your Lawn
Water pooling in your yard is a telltale sign of a poorly graded lawn. Your yard will forever be wet and muddy if it’s poorly graded.
You should first identify the high and low areas in your yard and mark them with stakes, then tightly attach a string to both stakes. Grading aims to raise the low areas and lower the high points.
The next step is to identify your yard’s run and rise. The run is the horizontal distance between the higher and lower points, while the rise is the vertical distance between the two points.
Next, you want to identify where the utility lines pass through the yard. You can contact your utility company for help.
Map out where you need to raise, dig up some soil, and spread it over the low area. If grading is something you can’t pull off on your own, work with a professional.
Proceed to lay sod or plant grass on the newly leveled ground.
Install a French Drain
If grading sounds too much work, you can install a French drain. Installing a drain still involves a bit of digging. But its effectiveness makes it a popular method of draining your yard.
The French drain redirects surface and groundwater to the desired drainage section through a drainage pipe installed into the ground.
Follow these steps to create a French drain.
- Mark the location of any underground utility lines
- Plan your drain location, including where it starts and where it ends. Generally, the starting point should be at a higher elevation compared to the outlet
- Dig a sloped trench. Make it at least 18 inches deep at the starting end and slope an inch about every ten feet
- Perforate a drainage pipe with ¼-inch holes six inches apart on one side of the tube. Wrap the pipe with landscape fabric
- Install an inlet grate at the beginning of the trench and attach it to one end of the drainage pipe
- Layer the bottom of the trench with pea gravel
- Lay the pipe on the pea gravel with the holes facing down
- Cover the line with another layer, followed by a layer of soil
When using a French drain, ensure the outlet drains water where it won’t create a new problem.
Dethatch Your Lawn
Dethatching is the easiest tip on how to dry up muddy yard. When you mow your lawn, some grass clippings remain in the grass. They decompose over time and add organic matter to your property.
If the decomposition rate is slower than the accumulation of clippings, an impenetrable layer of grass (thatch) will form. The formed thatch will prevent water and nutrients from seeping into the soil.
When you water the lawn (or it rains), the thatch layer will trap water, encouraging mud formation.
If this is the reason your yard is wet and muddy, get a thatching rake and rake your yard to clear the clippings. Repeat this process at least annually to maintain a thatch-free lawn.
Plant Creeping Plants
Creeping plants thrive in moisture-dense soils. So if you are searching for tips on how to dry up muddy yard effortlessly, creeping plants are the way to go. Another advantage of using creepers is that they do not require much maintenance.
Wintercreeper, clover, candytuft, Irish moss, creeping thyme, Blue Star Creeper, English Ivy, and Mini Kenilworth are the best plants for covering muddy yards.
Plants can be a temporary solution to muddy yards. You can eliminate them whenever you want to introduce something new.
Aerate Your Lawn
Your yard could be well-graded, and the lawn thatched. But still, your lawn is muddy. Perhaps, it’s because you overlook the need for air in a well-drained yard.
When soil is poorly aerated, it becomes compacted and unable to drain water, resulting in a muddy yard. You’ll know your yard needs aeration when it starts pooling water where it previously drained well.
Aerating the soil requires the right aeration equipment to remove plugs of soil and introduce capillaries that allow airflow in and out of your yard. You can rent out a lawn aerator to get you started.
Lay Gravel on the Muddy Patch
Perhaps you don’t want the effort of planting creepers, grading your lawn, or installing drain features. You want an instant fix.
So, what can you put on mud to dry it up?
Gravel works well in covering mud, especially in high-traffic areas. In addition to hiding that muddy spot, it helps hold the soil together, preventing erosion.
You must be cautious when dealing with soft mud. Adding gravel to soft mud only creates mud with gravel in it. The solution, in this case, is laying a wheat fabric underneath before laying the gravel.
Introduce Hardscape Features
My yard is always wet and muddy. What should I do? The answer could lie in hardscaping.
Hardscaping is the best alternative if you are looking for tips on how to dry up muddy yard permanently. Fire pits, stone pathways, patios, and creek beds are among the hardscaping features to get rid of a muddy yard.
Hardscaping can serve as a decorative element that raises the curb appeal of your property. You can also use hardscaping for functional areas, for instance, a kid’s play area. Unless you are a handy person, it’s a good idea to consult a professional when installing any hardscaping features.
Knowing how to dry up a muddy yard is a skill every homeowner can use. Whether your yard has poor drainage or gets muddy during the rainy season, you can find temporary or permanent ways to fix a muddy yard. You can lay down gravel, plant creepers, grade your yard, or introduce hardscaping features.
Why has my grass turned to mud?
Poor drainage is the primary reason you have a muddy yard. Poor drainage could result from poor terrain, uneven terrain, or compacted soil.
How do you fix a wet soggy lawn?
The easiest fix for a wet soggy lawn is a mixture of dry organic matter. It could include leaves, animal manure, wood chips, or compost. Pour it on the soggy lawn and leave for a few days as it soaks up the moisture from the soil.
Will sand help a muddy yard?
Sand can help dry up a muddy yard. Adding sand to your yard will soak up excess moisture. Sandy soils drain up more readily, and introducing it in your yard can make a difference. But it would be best to avoid finer sand as it’ll worsen the situation.
How to get grass to grow back on a muddy lawn?
Start by drying the lawn, then apply sod or reseed the yard for new grass growth.
Hello! My name is Chris, and I am the founder of Yard Floor. When I was a toddler, my family had a lush green lawn. I was at the center of caring for and maintaining this lawn and even proceeded to take an associate’s Degree in landscaping. I am here to share my years of experience with you – be it repairing your mower/tractor or caring for your lawn.