In order to soak up water in backyard areas, we might need to approach the right solution from a more informed point of view.

How To Soak Up Water In Backyard Spaces

Our backyards and front yards are often a source of pride and joy, and a soggy yard is just not pleasing to the eyes.

In this article, we will be going over the various ways you can get rid of standing water in yard areas to keep your spaces clean and beautiful.

How To Soak Up Water in Backyard Spaces

To fix a yard that holds water, we will need to identify the extent of the stagnant water, to get rid of the small patches, use plants to absorb the water, use french drains, and even install cristerns. 

– Get Rid Of Small Patches Of Water In Your Yard

Water pooling in backyard areas can be an unsettling sight for many homeowners. The presence of stagnant water is a very unattractive sight and does not add to the curb appeal of the home. To remove standing water from yard areas, you will need to do the following steps:

Clear the waterlogged areas of leaves, sticks, grass, or plants. If you are intent on saving the grass or plants, dig around them carefully until you reach their roots. Pry the grass or plants out of the ground with a spade.

Remove any debris as well, such as rocks and other materials. Dig out the waterlogged areas with a spade or a similar tool to about six inches deep, with the width covering the entire problem area. Remove all the soil you have dug up from the waterlogged area and set it aside.

Use a rototiller to turn up the soil. Pick high-quality topsoil. Ideally, your topsoil should have a balanced ratio of sand and clay. Mix two parts of this topsoil with two parts construction-grade sand and one part compost.

Fill in the hole with some of the mixed topsoils. Mix the topsoil with the original yard soil using a spade or a rototiller. Add more of the topsoil until the original yard soil is well mixed with the topsoil.

– Slope Your Yard To Dry It Up

A low spot in yard collects water, so it is best to reshape and slope your yard to guide water towards drainage areas.

Green Backyard 1

If waterlogged spots in your areas are clearly lower than the rest of your yard, you may need to fill them up with topsoil and sand. Filling in and flattening low spots can lead to better water absorption.

You can also slope your yard slightly so that water runoffs go toward your drainage areas instead of clogging your yard. A two percent slope is enough to guide water away from your yard. A two percent slope is approximately a quarter of an inch of soil elevation or slope.

The higher your slope, the more easily excess water is redirected.

– Use Plants To Absorb The Water

Another method how to soak up water in backyard spaces is to use plants, especially when the soil is bare. One of the best ways to fix waterlogged spots is to use grass turf, sod, and grass seeds. Adding these is even better when you have just amended your topsoil with a fresh cover of new topsoil with good draining properties.

You can unroll the sod over these bare areas, or spread grass seeds and rake these into the soil. When you sow in your grass seeds, cover these with a quarter-inch of topsoil with another quarter-inch of straw to protect the seeds from birds. Water the sod or grass seeds as necessary until they are well-adjusted to the soil.


– Create Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are sunken areas of the landscape that normally collects surface runoff water, as well as rainwater.

The sloped rain garden will help soak any stagnant water due to water-loving plants with deep root systems. To build a rain garden, you must dig the soil to a depth of around two feet minimum. Add five parts sand, three parts compost manure, and two parts quality topsoil.

These gardens can be populated with plants like arrowwood, blue vervain, elderberry, ferns, goldenrod, phlox, swamp rose, and violets can help dry out waterlogged yards even if the soil has composition and grade issues. Ideally, your rain garden should be sloped towards the center away from your house.

– Add Compost To Help Water-Absorbing Plants Grow Better

You can add compost to the soil of your yard if the soil consistency is an issue. Organic composts like bark chips, leaf mulch, and grass clippings are great choices. If your yard has grass, spread the compost to approximately half an inch thick across the area.

Rake the compost into the soil at least once annually around early spring or late fall. The organic material in the compost helps the soil acquire better draining properties and promotes the growth of plants and grasses. Make sure not to add compost so much that your grasses and plants do not get covered up.

The compost needs time to break down, which can be around a couple of seasons before the soil consistency is visibly amended.

You can also use a rototiller to mix compost, sand, and peat moss into your yard if it is in moderately bad shape. While your lawn might be temporarily disfigured, your soil will have better drainage almost immediately.

– Consider French Drains

French drains efficiently draw water away from yard spaces, this drain is a perforated pipe in the ground that carries away excess water to a lower part of the yard. Identify the waterlogged area, your drainage areas, and any possible plumbing or wiring that may be buried in your yard.

French Drains draw water away

To make a French drain, you must dig a trench that is about two feet wide and at least six feet long. Try to have the trench on a slight slope away from your yard and towards your drainage areas or holes. You can line this trench with some landscape paper and set your perforated pipe on top of the landscape paper.

Cover the pipe with gravel, and then with topsoil. Once excess water reaches the French drain, the water will pass through the landscape fabric. The water then travels through the pipes and into the lower part of your yard where your drainage areas are better equipped to handle the amount of water.

You can buy commercial French drains or you can make your own by poking holes into a regular pipe.

– Use Dry Wells

Dry wells can be ideal options to slowly disperse stagnant water into the soil. Dry wells can be made by digging a hole about ten feet away from any rain runoff. The hole should be six inches wider than the size of the commercial dry well tank you have.

Line the tank with landscape paper and run a PVC pipe from the rain runoff source to the dry tank. The dry tank will store any excess water and gradually release it to keep your yard from becoming waterlogged.

– Install Cisterns

Cisterns are similar to dry wells except that cisterns repurpose rainwater for residential or garden use. This approach can be slightly more complicated, so you will need to consult with a contractor to dig, construct, and install a cistern system in your yard.

You can also have cisterns located above the ground, which can be made of a big barrel just to store rainwater. Rainwater can be repurposed for many uses, such as toilet flushing and garden watering.


What kind of pump do I need to soak up water in a flooded yard?

To soak up water in a flooded yard, you’ll need a sump pump or a submersible pump designed for water removal. Consider the depth and volume of water when choosing the appropriate pump.

How do I redirect water from a landscaped yard?

To redirect water on a landscaped yard, consider installing a French drain or a dry creek bed. Proper grading and gutter maintenance can also help prevent water from pooling in unwanted areas.

Why Is It Important To Make Sure You Have No Stagnant Water Around Your Backyard?

Having a stagnant yard can attract unwanted visitors into our areas aside from being an eyesore. Before we eliminate standing water in yard areas, we should go over some reasons why this condition can be harmful as well.

Mosquitoes congregate around stagnant water because these spots are where they lay their eggs. Aside from becoming a hotspot for larvae, your stagnant water spots can also attract disease-carrying mosquitoes.

No Stagnant Water Around Your Backyard

Animals, such as frogs and snakes, can also be attracted to stagnant spots of water. Stagnant water can breed all kinds of insects that amphibians consider food.

These animals usually identify stagnant water as a source of food, water, and shelter and will readily settle down in these areas. Left unchecked, your stagnant pools of water can eventually turn into a breeding place for unwanted insects and animals.

Prolonged exposure to stagnant water can eventually cause the foundation of your home to deteriorate. The damage may be imperceptible at first but it may eventually lead to more serious conditions if the water stagnation remains unaddressed.


It can be initially daunting to figure out ways to soak up water in backyard spaces, but once you know the various methods, you will feel more confident about resolving the issue.

As a review, we will go over what we have learned on how to soak up water in backyard areas:

  • If your waterlogged areas are small, you can easily resolve them by amending the soil composition of these spots by adding garden sand and quality topsoil.
  • Small waterlogged spots can be covered with turf, sod, or grass seeds to make them more absorbent.
  • If your yard has a tendency to be waterlogged due to elevation issues, you may need to slope your yard so that runoff water is redirected to drainage areas and holes.
  • Plant a rain garden that takes advantage of the slope and elevation of your backyard. This method uses a combined approach of a sloped yard with water-tolerant plants placed in the lower portion of the yard where stagnant water can collect.
  • Use French drains to help redirect stagnant water towards drainage areas and holes. You can implement dry well as effective temporary water storages that slowly disperse water into the ground.

To dry up backyard spaces effectively, we need to learn the various methods to resolve this issue. Once we have the necessary information, we can then begin to formulate the approaches that are available to us.

Now that you know that you have multiple options to choose from, having stagnant water in your garden will now become a thing of the past!

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