Help with low, swampy backyard

Desirai(7B)April 14, 2014

I'm not sure if this is a landscaping question... maybe it is. haha.

OK so our house is on a slope. The front yard is high, the backyard is low.

I need help with my backyard.

Because it is low, it is like a swamp. Water sits for days after it rains and it's always muddy and mushy. Not much grass grows back there. Mostly only chickweed and various types of speedwell.

Also, it is mostly shaded due to the house and a 100 yr old oak tree that lives back there. So it maybe gets 2 hours of direct sunlight, if even that.

Is there anything I can plant back there?? Any kind of grass or shrub or anything??

Right now it's raining.. when you walk back there you will sink into the ground and the mud/water will come up to your ankles..

Years ago we had 2 willow trees back there but a tornado ripped them up out of the ground :(

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Oh that is awful. I think the solution has to be to correct the drainage. A contractor or landscape architect might be who to contact. I don't think plantings will really cure that. But there may be a way to divert the water and you could create a rain garden or pond.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 4:59PM
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French drain, pond installation, or reeds. Maybe a combination of all three. You could install a gravel pond bed that would be dry or wet depending on the time of year. Is there a house next door back there that you have to deal with or are you on the edge of the woods or open space. That will affect what you choose to do.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 3:18AM
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I'm on the edge of woods which are 10x more swampy

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:30AM
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I'd check with a nursery and see what plants are compatible in water for your zone. We use papyrus, water grasses, and reeds here in California. And I have papyrus in soil along the house. I have reeds in wet spots. Lookup wetland boardwalks for ideas to create a crossing for the muck and side plant it out with water plants to make a little ecosystem back there. Obviously that's not cheap, but perhaps you could use remnant materials or have a school design crew do it as a volunteer project if that's available in your area. You cannot exactly fix the swamp in the woods but maybe you can do a little something in your spot to reclaim your yard.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:13AM
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