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Is your lawn waterlogged? Here’s how to fix it

What used to be a magnet for mosquitoes in my back yard is now an actual pond.
What used to be a magnet for mosquitoes in my back yard is now an actual pond. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With more than 5 inches of rain in the last few days here at Casa de Loco -- the Nunn residence -- my yard is a bog. Maybe yours is, too. Here is what I have done or will be doing to help keep water moving.

The first step is to see if the natural flow of rainwater is blocked. Grates and drains can get clogged by leaves and road debris. How about your plants? Is the vegetation keeping water from flowing? Natural compost and thatch can build over time and act as a dam or a sponge, stopping or absorbing the flow of water.

The common theme here is an easy fix: Simply remove the thatch with a rake or by hand, and the same goes for blocked drains and grates.

Up next is to level of the land. Do you have low spots? Undulations in your yard will allow water to collect and stand, causing prolonged puddles and eventually mold and fungus. Another simple fix: if the depression is due to a commonly walked path or pets, fill the hole. If a swale or berm has formed and the area around the depression is level or lower, remove the impediment and direct to a lower area if possible.

While our local topography may be nearly identical, what sits under it is as diverse as our population. From limestone to sandy loam, dirt to clay, our soil varies. Correcting standing water in each of these substrates is different and could require a professional’s help. Take Clay, for instance — it can be at least partially corrected by mixing clean sand through the top 6 to 10 inches.

Is the area chronically wet and the low spot of the yard or property? In some cases, planting water-tolerant or absorbent vegetation can help. If the problem is beyond thirsty plants, you may have to embrace it. We did.

Our boggy, muddy mosquito breeding haven for so many years is now a pond. We added a waterfall to keep the water aerated and to keep ‘skeeter population down. A spillway was added to ensure when heavy rain arrives the excess will be diverted far away from our foundation.

And if it gets really bad, like tropical-storm bad, we have a diverter on the waterfall pump to help assist the spillway. In the end, it’s no longer an overgrown, buzzing, biting eyesore.

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What used to be a magnet for mosquitoes in my back yard is now an actual pond.

This was not a weekend project. It took long enough that we had T-shirts made.

If you are having soggy-yard water problems, I hope the fix is as easy as clearing some leaves. If the issue is beyond a broom and a rake, then I hope this helps point you in the right direction.


About the Author:

The Morning Show forecaster, comic foil, culinary expert, home improvement expert and beer connoisseur.