Troubleshooting Wet Areas in Your Lawn

Rain. Rain. It’s ok.

Here’s what happens in a traditional yard when it rains…a lot.

  1. Thunder. Lightning. Torrents of rain come running down your roof and downspouts.
  2. Your grass lawn becomes the backyard pool you’ve always wanted…ok, not really.
  3. Water courses down your pathway, sidewalk into the gutter, sewer, then on to our lakes and rivers.
  4. Along for the ride are any pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers you or your neighbors have used. Yuck!
  5. That polluted water harms our aquatic ecosystem – the plants and animals that live in the water. And, because it’s a closed system, ultimately that tainted water comes back to us in the water we drink, bathe and swim in.


Here are 8 things you can do to help minimize flooding in your garden (or make better use of that water) and decrease storm water runoff.

  1. Rain barrels. Install as many as you can use. Save all that beautiful water for a non-rainy day.
  2. Downspout extenders. During a major storm, rain barrels will fill quickly. Divert the water further from your house and garden, but also away from pavement or non-permeable areas. Skip to #6 and #7 to find out where best to divert this water.
  3. Soak it up. Replace concrete, especially driveways and walkways, with permeable pavers, now more readily available for landscaping. In addition to an array of stylish pavers, you can always use good old gravel or wood chips which draw water to the ground instead of to the sewers.
  4. Plant trees. A hearty canopy decreases the amount of water reaching the ground, and strong, thirsty roots help absorb extra water.
  5. Build dry creek beds. We can help you figure out where your yard slopes and then establish small trenches filled with permeable substances to help slow the flow and add an aesthetic touch to a problem area.
  6. Lose the lawn (or part of it) and replace with native plants. These fair and foul weather friends have complex root systems that hold water, and because they are tough cookies, they are more drought-tolerant too.
  7. Make a rain garden. Taking advantage of natural depressions in your yard, a rain garden combines form and function. By incorporating gravel and/or rock below the ground and establishing plants that don’t mind a good dousing, rain is gradually absorbed into the soil and your garden looks gorgeous.
  8. Berm, baby, berm. A berm is a bump. When strategically combined a swale (which is a ditch), you rein in the rain. It’s not difficult to create, and makes a significant difference in how much storm water reaches the sewer. Let us show you how!