Out of ideas for severely wet area. . .

hantraAugust 1, 2013

All:

I won't bore you with the story, but my neighbor built a dam. Now, I have this massive wet spot that's perpetually wet, and so muddy, I cannot possibly drive my tractor in there to mow. So out of spite, I have just let it grow.

I need to find a solution. Is there anything I can plant here that will do well with tons of water? Should I do some sort of raised garden or something? I'm just not sure. I want something low maintenance, since I have high maintenance children at the moment.

I appreciate your ideas. Here are a couple of photos. . .

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yardvaark

But what form? ... Tree? ... Shrubs? ... Groundcover? There's always some plant that will like wet conditions?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 10:09PM
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emmarene

There is a bog forum on GW. I am not telling you to leave just that you might browse old posts.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 1:43AM
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hantra

Tree would probably be preferable. Raised bed for growing veggies would be nice as well. But honestly, anything would be preferable to a mud pit. Also, if it could somehow shoot poison ivy seeds over into my neighbor's yard, even better. ;-)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 10:33AM
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nandina(8b)

It appears that the neighbor has planted a Tulip tree fairly close to the mud hole which will in time cast a shadow creating a shaded area. But you have a number of years to play with your unexpected 'rain garden' before that happens. Some options to consider:

1. Do nothing. Allow grass to grow and see what Mother Nature plants there. You might be surprised at her choices. Weed whack all back in the late fall.

2. At the moment the perennial Swamp mallows (Hibiscus moscheutes) are in full bloom in the Carolinas. As you are out and about look for them along streams and swamps. Hopefully you will spot a clump near the road where you can return and collect seed in September. Germinates easily. Check the Winter Sowing Forum for instructions. Seed can also be purchased from commercial seed houses. Will be covered with Swallow tail butterflies when it blooms. Beautiful sight.

3. Seed of Swamp sunflowers (Helianthus angustifolius) is also available. A tall, agressive fall blooming perennial which may march toward your neighbor's low spot. Easy to germinate using Winter Sowing.

4. Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a deciduous, very tall evergreen that will thrive in that location. Beautiful fall color. By the time your neighbor's tree begins to create shade this tree will have grown above it. You could plant one along with either perennial I have mentioned or just the tree and keep the grass tidy with a weed eater.

5. And, as stated, it would be possible to construct a 2-stepped veggie gardening box around the mud hole. Looks like deer country which could prove to be frustrating unless you use the fence within a fence method (2 fences, 5' high placed 6' apart surrounding the garden area).

Do some searching of the above ideas for pictures and information. Maybe one of them will appeal to you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 3:27PM
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yardvaark

You don't sound happy about the "dam" being created. It it's the case, investigate if it was legally allowable before you move forth with your plan to adapt to it. If that's too much trouble and you just wish to adapt, then that bald cypress suggestion of Nandina's is pretty good since it presents a striking silhouette from a distance. For that big space, would look better as a cluster of 3 or 5 rather than one lone specimen.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 3:45PM
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rosiew

One bald cypress is what I'd recommend. They are beautiful year round because of their handsome shape..........what I mean it, you'll love it when it's leafless also.

Beautiful setting.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 6:26AM
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hantra

Thanks!!! By the way, since my lot is .94 acres, there's no recourse legally. If it were over 1 acre, the state laws would apply to the dam. I've called the city, county, and state, and unfortunately, there's no law against being an a-hole.

I like the cluster of cypress idea a lot. How close together would one plant them? Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 9:23AM
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yardvaark

Triangular arrangement ... a "mini-forest" ... not 3 separate individuals. Mark out on site, appraise from a distance, and adjust according to suit. The picture is a starting point.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 12:21PM
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rosiew

Bald cypress attains a width of 25+ feet. It would have to be a single specimen for this spot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bald Cypress information

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 1:28PM
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agardenstateof_mind

The bald cypress, like Nandina's other suggestions, is a good one, and while they are striking as a single specimen, I've seen them grouped in stands and looking quite healthy.

However, it would be good to let the OP know that in consistently moist conditions, they will grow "knees" (root extensions that stick up from the ground like a bent knee) in order to obtain oxygen. I think those knees are really neat (some get rather gnarly and gnobbly), but anyone planning to trim the area with any kind of tool needs to keep an eye out for them.

With their nice summer shade, bright fall color, and striking form in winter, sounds like a good suggestion.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 7:36PM
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yardvaark

To clarify, it was not my intention that you should grow BC as individual specimens, but like a mini-forest ... a grown-together canopy of cones held aloft by 3 trunks.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:04PM
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