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mrjigger

low spot in yard - what to do??

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I have a low spot in my yard that collects a fair amount of water in the spring when the snow melts. Once the frost gives it very quickly, within a day, soaks into the ground. It does get somewhat close to my house, but I don't think it could ever get into my basement. More of an eyesoar for a couple weeks than anything, but I want to try to fix the problem.

I am not an excavator or grading contractor, but the way I see it, I have a couple options.

1. build a pond in the spot

2. build a drywell in the spot so the water can get below the frost line.

While I can think of some positives and negatives of each option, I would like to get some other opinions and thoughts.

Are there any other options?

thanks

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Maybe you could post a picture of the area to help with the visual of the area and surrounding topography.

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Build a big mound, sloped so it drains into your neighbor's yard? laugh

MuleShack's post was on, it's hard to give ideas without actually seeing the property.

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Sounds like you may have a good yard for a rain garden. It's basically a low spot that contains certain plantings to help with infiltration. A lot of it can depend on soil type, drainage area and how big the low spot is but it might be an option to look into.

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bjjams has a great idea. here's a pic of one in Maplewood.

http://www.beltramiswcd.org/Aquatic%20Biology/Rain%20Garden%20Maplewood%20MN.jpg

MN conservation volunteer has a great article on them too

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteer/mayjun04/raingardens.html

I've installed a couple dozen of these. You can get fancy with calculating the impermeable area draining to your low spot, or you could go ahead and just hand dig out a deeper area - sounds like you have good infiltration.

Dig out an area, till it up, dump in some compost, then mulch 2-3 inches of shredded mulch and plant some natives.

I like bluestem and side oats for grasses, then butterfly weed (bright orange flower), wild strawberries, wild bergamot (also called bee balm), prairie smoke, alum root, coneflower, black eyed susans, yarrow, the list goes on

native plants will be very hardy and weather dry spells and wet spells. they'll look great and attract butterflies, hummingbirds, etc

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So you have a low spot in the yard and you don't want that spot in the yard to be low?

Two possible options:

A) Raise the spot. Now you have created a new low spot, hope it isn't in a worst location than the current low spot.

B) Lower some other ground. Can you remove some earth on the far side of the low spot-away from the house?

Might have better ideas if you can get a pic posted.

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good idea. you can add quite a few flowers that like wet conditions to make it look more attractive. spruce it up with some nice rock edging and it could turn into a nice landscape feature instead of a eyesore.

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thanks for the replies. After reading them I think I may need to post a picture so everyone can get a feel for what I am up against. I live out in the country and have almost a 3 acre lot. Not sure the rain garden idea would be my best solution, because the low area is quite large. I am just guessing since I have never measured it, but when the snow melts, the pond that remains is around 50'x30', and maybe 6" to 8" deep. My lot is all sand, I tell people I basically live in a desert, so once the frost gives it soaks into the soil very quickly.

Right now though, it is beautiful grass in the area. The only time it is a problem is during the spring, otherwise the rest of the year, it is fine. The grass in the area is probably the best and thickest I have in my yard.

I will see if I can get a picture posted.

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We had a similar problem with our lawn when we were building...but we had standing water for a few days after heavy rains as well as a pond when the snow melted.

We are also on sand but the low spot has some heavier soil. We took an earth auger and drilled about 12 holes as deep as we could and filled the holes with river rock.

still get a little pond when snow melts(drains quicker now), but took care of any standing water after heavy rains.

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hotrod,

I have also thought of doing what you did.

Sounds like it would be fairly cheap to do.

Couple questions for you.

Did you line the holes with anything?

What diameter hole did you auger and how deep?

I was thinking of buying some of that 24" plastic culvert to use as a liner.

thanks.

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without seeing the area I'm thinking maybe a guy could trench it away. 4 inch wide gravel covered trench with perf pipe running to daylight.
Lots of great ideas my favorite is the rain gardens.

As for the cheapest and the most effective drain tile would be best as Paul has mentioned.

Digging holes and filling with rock, I call them french drains, works well but are limited to how much rain and run off you get.

If you go that route just line the hole with a thick landscape cloth to keep dirt and sediment out of rock. No need to be fancy with a container you are essentially building a drain field without toilets hooked up to it. That another thing make sure drain field is not there cant be digging into that.

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When we did it, we didn't do to much planning into it being that i was getting ready to seed. A neighbor had a skid loader with an auger attachment...i think it was 12"...and i remember doing this in a couple sand bunkers at the golf course i worked at that held water in. So we just drilled the holes scattered in the area as deep as we could get, about 4 or 5 feet and actually got into some finer sand. We never used anything for a liner (never did on the golf course either) and it still seems to work fine. Maybe with a culvert it would be even better?

When it came time to seed, i just seeded around the rock and as the grass grew, it just grew over the rock.

Actualy, a french drain is when you dig a trench, line with fabric, and fill rock around drain tile.

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Been calling them french drains long time, funny how a term gets in ones head and it sticks.

Been corrected many times over the years but just cant seem to catch on.

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