Grass that is greener than green coupled with perfectly manicured shrubs set the tone for impressive curb appeal. Creating such landscapes requires hard work, and while doing such work, homeowners may find they have to contend with certain issues that are adversely affecting their lawns and gardens.

Wetness in a landscape is one problem many homeowners encounter. Wet areas in a lawn not only become muddy and messy, but they also can cause permanent damage to the grass. Puddles can kill the roots, while wet spots can freeze and damage the lawn. Particularly problematic spots can remain soggy for days, while some people find their yards are seemingly always wet. 

Wet spots can be caused by various factors. Compacted soil may prohibit adequate drainage, as can heavy clay or less porous soil materials. Landscape grading issues may be another concern. Neighbours who have home downspouts that extend into their yards may be pushing roof water into other areas, contributing to puddles and problems. Understanding what is causing the issue makes it easier to treat.

Heavy, compacted soil can be aerated and amended with sand and compost. Tilling the soil and mixing in these soil additions may help prevent further drainage issues.

Homeowners may need to have their property professionally re-graded to alleviate wet issues. Otherwise, the installation of a drainage system may be necessary. An underground trench or pipe can redirect water from wet areas to sewers. (Check with your local municipality about the legality of draining water properly.) Another potential solution is to build up low-lying areas that collect water with soil.

According to Landscape Ontario, garden sites that remain wet throughout the year demand the use of moisture-tolerant or even moisture-dependant species. Plant material that enjoy wet soil include shade trees such as Pin oak and Red maple, shrubs including Chokeberry, Pussy willow and Witherod. Many varieties of ferns will thrive in boggy soil and some hardy perennials, such as Monkshood, Lady’s mantle and Goat’s beard are all moisture tolerant and provide greater choice for poolside or boggy plantings.

Water issues in a landscape can be a tough nut to crack. But, identifying the problem can help homeowners resolve soggy lawns and landscapes.