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Standing Water in Yards and Water Runoff

Homeowners often complain of standing water in the yard, especially those who live at the base of a slope. Water runoff from a hillside can flood your lawn and cause you landscaping problems (not to mention drainage problems for your basement). Consult my articles for ideas on diverting water. Alternatively, learn about plants that can sop up excess moisture.

Water Drains: How Do You Drain Water Off Lawns?
And more to the point: Where do you drain it off to? For, in answering how to drain water off lawns, you need to know not only about drains, but also what to do with the water runoff. This piece on dealing with water runoff mentions some of the DO's and DON'T's.

Installing French Drains to Deal With Standing Water
Is your lawn saturated with water? Is moisture starting to compromise your foundation? The answer is to improve yard drainage. Some find French drains an effective solution. The basic idea is simple enough: run a sloping tube underground from the spot with puddling to wherever you wish it to exit. But the devil's in the details.

Building Dry Creek Beds to Control Water Runoff
If you are experiencing water runoff from a slope, one solution is to install a dry creek bed. In fact, difficulties with water runoff or not, you might wish to contemplate building one of these landscape features. They are appealing enough to justify their existence on looks alone.

Top 10 Plants for Wet Areas
Plants will not solve your problem with standing water if it's really serious (as in threatening to seep through your foundation walls). But plant selection has its place in this topic. For example, if water runoff has rendered a portion of your yard so boggy that you cannot grow lawn there, your solution may be to grow plants tolerant of wet areas.

Good Choice to Plant in Wet Ground: Winterberry
Again, one solution for an area with water runoff is to grow moisture-loving plants there. Winterberry's natural habitat is wetlands, so it's a logical choice for areas of the landscape plagued by excess water. This North American native is attractive to boot, scintillating with orangy-red berries in late fall.

Arrowwood Viburnum Shrubs
Arrowwood viburnum is another North American native that grows in wetlands in the wild. That makes this versatile flowering shrub a good choice for wet areas in the landscape. Arrowwood viburnum shrubs are also bird magnets. The nice thing about using plants to deal with the issue of occasional standing water is that they add color to your yard.

Elephant Ear Plants
In the above two entries, I present the option of using two wetland shrubs native to my own region in areas occasionally troubled by pooling water. But you can also shop for an exotic solution for wet areas, such as elephant ear plants. These unusual plants provide large, attractive "jungle" foliage that will turn heads in the neighborhood.

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