How to Dry Up a Wet Yard: Fix Your Soggy Lawn

A muddy wet yard is a total bummer. Talk about a messy and inconvenient nuisance.

Other than the grass getting damaged from sitting under the water for long, stagnant water is a haven for breeding mosquitoes and bringing other critters into your yard.

You also shouldn’t mow a wet lawn, so that’s another issue.

The good news is that you can learn how to dry up a wet yard and solve the soggy problems permanently.

How to dry up a wet lawn fast

When it comes to drying up your wet lawn the potential solutions include:

  • Filling the low spots
  • Building a dry creek bed(s)
  • Pumping out the water 
  • Adding underground drainage pipes 

You can also take more drastic measures such as replacing the compact clay soil in your yard with a more porous soil such as sand, which will allow water to pass through easily. 

A lot can be done to dry a wet yard that doesn’t require hiring a professional. You can attempt some of the most effective DIY methods yourself, which we are sharing below.

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Best Ways to Dry Up a Wet Yard

Having a water logged lawn can be super frustrating, but do you know what’s more frustrating?

Not knowing how to get rid of the water permanently.

Luckily for you, your lawn doesn’t have to be the next Atlantis, as we have several solutions to help you deal with wet areas in your yard.

Some of these tested and proven methods are so simple that you can implement them on your own, and they are effective enough to get rid of a soggy yard for good: 

Fill the Low Spots

Low spots exist when your lawn is not properly leveled.

If this is the case at your house, the flooding problem might have a solution as simple as filling in the low areas.

It can be hard to notice low spots in your yard until water starts to collect there. However, once there is standing water in your lawn it’s easy to identify the wet spots and start to fill them in.

There are two methods you can use to fill low spots in your yard:

  • A mixture of dry topsoil and sand: Take equal measures of dry topsoil and sand and spread 1.5 inches of this mixture on the low, wet area. The grass will slowly begin to grow through as the soil and sand provide a new substrate that fills in the hole. Repeat the process every 4 weeks as needed until your lawn is nice and level.
  • Use Compost: Besides enriching the soil, compost helps to aerate the soil and create spaces between soil particles as it decomposes. As a result, you get a lawn that is porous enough to allow water to pass through, hence eliminating flooding and low spots altogether. 

Construct a Creek Bed

Dry creek bed landscaping for draining water in yard

A dry creek bed requires more work than mixing sand and dry topsoil, but can provide lasting results and help to increase curb appeal at the same time.

When constructed correctly, a dry creek bed helps channel water away from low spots into a rain garden or a dry well, where the water percolates into the soil.

A creek bed is often shallow, with its surface lined with gravel and stones. Boulders and native plants are used to line the sidewall, giving it an aesthetic appeal.  

Besides being an effective drainage system, a creek bed is also a form of landscaping you can use to beautify your yard.

Once constructed, a creek bed requires very little maintenance and provides a long-term drainage solution. 

Dig a Trench Drain

Installing drain pipe to remove excess water from lawn.

It might be a bit more work, but trench drains are very effective drainage systems that offer a long-term solution to soggy yards. 

Often confused with a French Drain, a Trench Drain uses an underground pipe to remove surface water before it has a chance to saturate the soil. This is different from a French Drain which is designed to get rid of groundwater from beneath the surface of the soil.

To install a trench drain in your wet lawn first you will need to determine the best location depending on where the water is coming from or where it is pooling.

One common location that many homeowners end up installing a trench drain is at the end of their downspouts.

Then follow the steps below:

  • You need to dig an 18-inch-deep and 12-inch-wide trench, slopping at least one inch after every 10 feet. Ensure the trench starts near a downspout outlet or at a flooded area to direct excess water away from your home’s foundation toward the outside of your property.
  • Line the base of the trench with at least 3 inches of gravel to help with water absorption.
  • Run the drainage pipe from the source of the water through your trench to the determined end point.
  • Cover the drainage pipe with more gravel and use the landscaping fabric to cover the gravel before adding top soil and grass seed. 

The drainage trench can direct water to a dry well or a local storm sewer where it can percolate in the soil.

A rain garden is also a great place to direct excess water, but only if you include a bedrock towards the end of the tube to minimize soil erosion. 

NOTE: It’s illegal to direct water from your yard into your neighbor’s yard. Check with the local authorities to know the best methods you can use to drain water from your property if there is not an on site solution. 

How to Fix A Wet Yard Fast

While the methods mentioned above work well, it may take some time to clear the water from your yard.

If you need to use your yard and cannot afford to wait an extra couple of days, it’s best to incorporate the following methods for fast and maximum results.

By doing so, you’ll cut down the waiting time by half and give your yard enough time to dry up. 

Pump the Water from Your Yard

Electric pumps are the best solution if you’re in a hurry to dry up and use your yard.

However, you need to observe caution and ensure the pump cables don’t come in contact with water to avoid electrocution and property damage. 

When using an electric utility pump you will want to:

  • Place the pump on the low spots in your yard where the water has collected and attach one end of a hose to it. 
  • Put the other end of the hose in a dry well or a storm drain where you want the water to go. 
  • Once you turn on the pump, you’ll notice water flowing, and depending on the size of your yard and the amount of water in it, you should expect it to clear out in a few minutes to hours depending on how much standing water you have.

Alternatively, if you’re uncomfortable using an electric pump, or don’t have one one hand, you could drain water from your yard using a hose alone.

This method will only work well if there is a lot of standing water. If you simply have a soggy or muddy lawn it’s best to use one of the methods above.

Although it might not work as fast as the electric pump, it still gets the job done:

  • Coil the hose and submerge it into the water while covering the other end of the hose tightly with your palm. 
  • You’ll notice the bubbles forming, and when they stop, it means the pipe is filled with water and has a powerful suction. 
  • Head over to the dry well or a storm drain and release the other end you have been covering with your palm, and the water will start flowing. 

This method uses basic physics to create a siphon and will get the job done fast. 

Repair Your Current Drainage System

Blocked downspout near the home's foundation. Will cause flooding in the yard if not cleared before it rains.

One of the fastest ways to fix a mushy yard is to correct any problems that may be occurring with the drainage system you already have.

A visual inspection should be your first step in the process.

Take a walk around your property and see if you find any blocked or clogged drains, spouts or pipes.

Pay careful attention to see if you find any connections that have come apart between pipes, drains and gutters. This is a common place for water to escape the planned drainage system and end up pooled in the yard.

Clear away debris like leaves, grass clippings and mulch that may be blocking the flow of water away from your home and causing the problem.

Install a Dry Well to Collect the Water

A dry well consists of a perforated plastic barrel that is buried at least 4 feet underground.

The barrel is surrounded by stones that allow water to disperse from it and into the ground. A layer of landscape fabric is laid to cover the stones and prevent soil from clogging them. An overflow emitter is often left at the top of the barrel to allow excess water from the storm to escape.

A 4-inch wide PVC pipe is used to direct water from the downspout and into the barrel, leaving your lawn dry. The pipes are laid inside a 1-foot deep trench which slopes at least ¼ inch per foot towards the hole, allowing water to flow freely. 

A dry well is a permanent solution to drying your lawn fast, and the size of your lawn will determine how many of these wells you’ll need.

What Causes Water to Flood Your Yard?

When we talk of flooded yards, the first thing that pops into our minds is heavy rainfall.

However, this might not be the only reason, as many homeowners have come to find out.

Other than a heavy downpour or fast snowmelt, one of the following could be the underlying reason behind your flooded yard (literally) :

High Content of Clay in your Soil

Clay is problematic since it’s compact and has poor drainage.

If the soil in your yard contains a high percentage of clay, you are more likely to experience regular flooding, even during minimal rainfall.

Adding organic matter like compost to the soil will help make it porous, allowing more water to pass through. 

Poor Drainage

As a homeowner, you must make sure your home has a proper drainage system.

If you have improper or damaged drainage, even simple roof runoff during a rain storm could result in a water-logged yard.

Outdated systems and clogged pipes could also be causing your drainage problems which is leading to frequent flooding and a soggy yard. If you can’t clear the problem yourself, talk to a professional to see how you can remedy this problem. 


Soggy yards are unattractive and a total pain to take care of.

You face dangers such as slipping and falling, breeding disease-carrying insects such as mosquitos that love wet environments, and even killing your grass.

The solutions you can use to create a beautiful dry yard include

  • filling low spots
  • constructing a dry creek bed
  • or digging a trench drain.

If you’re in a rush to get things done, you could try pumping water from your yard or install underground drainage pipes.

If you decide to take the DIY route without success, you may need to call in a professional, like a landscape architect to rule out any large-scale problems like grading issues on your property.

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Learn How To Dry Up a Wet Yard