Standing water in Yard + How to Soak it up

Standing water in yard is a leading source of mosquitoes and other backyard pests. Further it undermines the stability of any foundation, be it a house or patio. Water collecting in backyard comes with soggy mud that pets and kids will truck into your home. Let us look at the reasons for standing water in yard and how to soak up water in backyard.

Standing water in Yard Causes and Fix

Water pooling in yard is one of the bad news to a homeowner. In addition to damaging the stability of a foundation, unsightly stagnant water will stop your backyard enjoyments, gatherings and parties. If not mosquitoes, the smell of decomposing twigs and leaves in the water will typically keep you away from your patio or garden.

standing water in yard

Water puddles on your patio will attract mold and mildews and gradually the concrete or pavers will start breaking down. This typically undermines the original purpose of improving your garden and if no action is taken, this is money going down the drain.

To permanently get rid of standing water in yard, begin by deducing the primary cause of the menace.

Water will pool in your yard due to a number of reasons including the following:

1. Improper Grading

Improper grading (sloping) of patios, lawns and landscape will lead to water collecting in your yard faster than it is draining. Before growing grass, laying pavers on dirt or pouring that concrete, the slope should trend away from the house and direct surface run-off down towards an alley or storm sewer. When installing the base layer, introduce a gradual slope of approximately ¼ inch per foot into the patio.

2. Improper drainage

Poor drainage in your landscape is one of the reasons for water draining towards your house. Adding some drainage will help in resolving the problem. Find a drain pipe at a local hardware store and install a French drain around the edges of your patio and run a drainage line from there to a nearby storm drain.

A French drain is a gravel-filled trench or a perforated drain pipe that moves water from a low spot to an exit point usually a drain a storm drain or dry well. It is not wise to direct a French drain into a neighbor’s property or a nearby street. This will land you in trouble with authorities or your neighbor.

3. Thatch buildup

If water is standing on your lawn, be sure to inspect the thatch level. Thatch is a thick layer of organic matter that forms under the turf grasses. Apart from preventing proper flow of runoff, thatch also prevent important nutrients and air from reaching the roots of the grass. That is why you no longer see that thick green lush grass in your lawn.

Removing the excess layer of thatch from your lawn will help in draining water into the soil. There are special tools for dethatching you can use for the job or hire the service from a professional lawn care experts.

4. Compacted soil

Soil should have some spaces that allows water and air to flow freely. Heavy clay soil or too hard soil as a result of heavy traffic can put a stop to a free flow of water. After a heavy down pour or running a sprinkler overnight, compacted soil gets saturated faster and water starts pooling.

Soil aeration and working organic matter into the soil helps in loosening up the particles for proper water drainage. Sandy and loamy soils drains better than clay soil and they should be used for landscaping in areas with poorly draining soils.

5. Low spots

If your home or property is located in low spots or areas with high water table, water will be a frequent guest in your backyard. High water table areas saturate faster and once the soil cannot hold any more, the water starts collecting. Correcting the landscape grading and use of French drains can help in leading water away from your home.

How to Soak up Water in Backyard

Surface runoff or rainwater collecting in your backyard can be soaked up in a number of ways:

1. Create a Rain Garden

A rain garden is a sunken area in the landscape that collects surface runoff and rain water from a roof, driveway, sidewalks or patio and allows it to soak into the ground before flooding the yard. The area is usually planted with grasses and flowering perennials that also help in absorbing water.

To build a rain garden, dig the soil to a depth of at least 2 feet and add 5 parts sand and 3 parts compost mature to 2 parts topsoil. Add some native thirsty plants with a deep root system. The rain garden should be slanted towards the center and located some distance away from your house.

2. Grow Thirsty Plants

There are plenty of moisture-loving plants, shrubs, or flowers that easily soaking up water in a yard. Planting thirsty plants is also a way of adding greenery to your landscape. Examples of such plants include daylily, purple coneflower, bee balm, globeflower, golden club, violet, primrose, astilbe, cardinal flower, sedge, rose mallow, summersweet and hibiscus among others.

3. Redesign the landscape

Replace concrete and other impermeable surfaces with pavers, stepping stones or porous concrete. Additionally, replace garden beds with ground cover plants that absorb water and prevent surface runoff. To increase water infiltration at points where water collects, remove the topsoil and break up the subsoil, further, dig in gravel to improve drainage before replacing the topsoil in the low spot areas.


Standing water in your yard should not mark the end to your outdoor living and entertainment. It is just a reminder that something was not done correctly during landscaping. We have looked at a number of ways for getting rid of flooding water in your home. If you cannot handle the situation on your own, hire a professional landscape designer for further help.

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