My back garden is very boggy ground and it is located in the midlands in Ireland, so this is common. I tried planting trees to take the excess water and that seemed to help for nearly a year, but in Ireland we get lots of rain.

Are there any easy solutions to my problem without having to do a lot of work?

Picture one

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  • Adding photos of the area would be helpful... are you on low lying land compared to the surrounding area?
    – Bamboo
    Dec 14, 2017 at 14:42
  • @Bamboo I will take photos and upload later, thank you for your reply, the are is pretty level to surrounding areas Dec 14, 2017 at 14:46
  • Is there anyway you could sketch a plan of your property, doesn't have to be to scale, just write the length of property lines, North/South. Designate neighbors, fences and off site depressions. If you could borrow or rent a transit and on your map and find at least 3 elevations at 3 spots on your property. At each of those elevations write the lengths of distances to establish that spot such as from the corner of your house to one spot and then for the same spot the distance to the fence line the lines perpendicular to each other. Use property corners, property lines anything established
    – stormy
    Dec 14, 2017 at 20:49
  • Mark on your map where you remember water forming puddles during a rain. Level sites are sometimes trickier to drain that sloped sites. There are lots of options but I need to know what you've got going in much more detail. Are you familiar with maps and construction plans, how to read them and use them?
    – stormy
    Dec 14, 2017 at 20:58
  • 1
    If it's only a drainage issue, I've heard that acidifying soil can increase the drainage. I'm not sure how difficult that would be for you. Dec 16, 2017 at 5:41

3 Answers 3


There are different reasons why your ground could be so wet, I don't know the situation in Ireland, but here in the Netherlands we can have boggy ground as well.

Different reasons are:

  • High percentage of clay, or fine sand
  • Hard layer because of not maintaining the soil properly
  • Natural hard layer to prevent drainage of water
  • Ground water level

It depends on the cause to find the right solution.

If it is clay ground you have that is causing the problem, one easy way to deal with it is to add organic matter to your soil. This will soak up water.

If your soil is not tended for a while, you can dig or plough the soil.

For the third reason, you'll need to make vertical drainage holes that reach the ground water level, and fill these holes with something that will drain well (shells, lava rocks, etc.).

The last reason (ground water level), is not something to easily change, unless you want to build dykes, just as we do in the Netherlands...

So the easiest solution in my opinion is to add organic matter to the soil, in order to soak up much of the water in the soil. For organic matter, think of compost or peat.

  • Thank you I will try adding some organic matter today, very helpful answer. Dec 16, 2017 at 12:43

Adding Organic matter is not a permanent solution, I would advice adding some fine material like sand might help air out the ground it worked for me....Also try adding more shrubs to try draw up the extra moisture


There are a few things you could do that would work; one would be a 'dry well' that collects the water to slowly be dispersed into the ground without creating mud out of the surface. This is pretty easy; dig a big trench in the middle of that lawn 10'X 2', install landscape fabric, fill with rounded cobble or 1 1/2" drain rock. Cover with landscape fabric and then more cobble. The water has a place to go, collect and still be allowed to filter through to the ground water system.

A little more expensive but not much would be turning this area into a graveled surface, 4" deep, using landscape fabric below the gravel. Rent a sod cutter, take out all of the sod (use that soil, mud and grass for creating plant beds), dig down another 2" use that soil on top of the piles of sod you've made into plant beds, use pt 2X4's secured with stakes where you need a clean edge, lay the landscape fabric down, install the gravel (5/8 or 3/8 minus crushed gravel no larger), use a compactor that you can rent and you'll have a nice new clean and usable outdoor room. gravel and cobble aren't boring

a dry well to drain a front yard that used to be a mucky mess

removed entire lawn elk were constantly ruining and put in gravel

  • wow, this is very nice work @stormy, this would be a little bit too much work for somebody with my skill set, Dec 18, 2017 at 14:14
  • You are seeing too much then. You most certainly could fix this area correctly. Sorry, hate to say this, organic will not absorb moisture and fix this problem. If you spill something and throw paper towels on it and leave it there has the problem been fixed? A dry well is the cheapest yet very very effective way to solve your problem. I've got lots more pictures, almost all projects had drainage issues to fix top priority. Gravel is great. Dry wells are great. Organic matter will only make a stickier soup. Find out how much gravel is, LS fabric, rental of a sod cutter, compactor costs
    – stormy
    Dec 19, 2017 at 7:02
  • 1
    What is that area? I don't do well with metric, sigh, but it looks like 25 feet by 12 feet? That is 300 sq. ft.? Divide by 81. That gives you cubic yards to order for gravel. That is 3 and 1/2 yards of gravel for 4" depth. Easier to have it delivered and then either chuted or dumped then wheel barreled onto the prepared area over landscape fabric, edged with 2X4's or not. The sod cutter would be a huge labor savor but yeah, there is a bit of labor here. There is no other way to make an easier solution that I can see. Forget the compactor? So worth it including the value of your home
    – stormy
    Dec 19, 2017 at 7:12
  • And I am worried about the siding on your home! It looks very wet. Is it in contact with the soil?
    – stormy
    Dec 19, 2017 at 7:16
  • 1
    I totally agree with you and it is getting worse as the seasons go by, I will take your advice and make this proposal to my landlord, I could start the work come spring, thank you for such a detailed response as always Dec 19, 2017 at 9:27

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