What to do with that nagging wet spot in your yard?

Are you sick of mowing through that soggy spot in your yard and rutting up the ground? Does your mowing tractor keep getting stuck? Does it look like some high school punk just turfed your yard? We have the solution for you! Why keep dealing with this year after year or spend a ton of money with a short term fix? It’s time to act like water and take the path of least resistance. You need a soggy Garden!

Soggy gardens are low maintenance gardens that use native plants and wildflowers that can handle being inundated with water during the wet months but also handle drought conditions during the dry months. First you need to decide what kind of garden you want. Do you want Trees, shrubs or flowers? If you want trees than you will want to pick Swamp White Oak, Red Maple, River Birch, American Elm, Green Ash, Black Willow, American Sycamore or some other wet soil loving tree. How about complementing those trees with an under story of some shrubs or ferns? Then you would want to look at Serviceberry, Red Bud, Spicebush, Witch Hazel, Ninebark, Buttonbush, Elderberry, Silky Dogwood, Cinnamon Fern, Royal Fern, Ostrich Fern or Sensitive Fern.

If you want a flowering soggy garden then you’ll need partial to full sun. These flowers range from 2 feet to 6 feet tall. You’ll want the shorter to flowers to the front or edges and taller flowers planted to the back or center. You’ll want to consider colors and time of bloom when picking out your flowers. Here are some flowers that can survive this wet area: Cardinal flower, Great Blue Lobelia, obedient Plant, Blazing Star, New England or Shining Aster, Wild Columbine, Swamp Milkweed, False Blue Indigo, Joe-Pye Weed, Ox-eye Sunflower, Alumroot, Queen of the prairie, Foxglove beardtongue, Blue flag Iris, coneflowers or some other wet soil loving flower. Many of these flowers will also attract pollinators, butterflies and birds by their nectar or seeds.

Finally you will want to lay your garden out at the same contour around the wet spot. Remove the sod and plant your garden. Or during the fall, you can lay down about 10 layers of newspaper covering your intended garden with about 6 inches of mulch and then you can plant in the spring. You will want to use shredded hardwood mulch no matter which garden you choose. Shredded hardwood mulch is less likely to float or wash away.

Now it time to grab that lemonade and sit back. Put that hose away from rinsing the tractor off and put the rake and shovel down, no need to fix those ruts. Your life just got easier and you freed up more time.

Brian Prunty

Prunty's CornerFor more articles by Brian visit:
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