JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With more than 5 inches of rain here at Casa de Loco – the Nunn residence – my garden is a bog in the last few days. Maybe it’s yours too. Here is what I did or will do to keep the water moving.
The first step is to determine if the natural flow of rainwater is blocked. Grates and drains can become clogged with leaves and road debris. How about your plants? Does the vegetation keep the water from flowing? Natural compost and straw can build up over time and act as a dam or sponge, stopping or absorbing the flow of water.
The common theme here is a simple solution: just remove the straw with a rake or by hand, and the same goes for clogged drains and grids.
Next is the plain of the land. Do you have deep spots? Ripples in your yard allow water to pool and stand, resulting in longer puddles and eventually mold and fungus. Another simple solution: if the depression was due to a popular trail or pets, fill the hole. When a swallow or berm has formed and the area around the depression is level or lower, remove the obstruction and direct it to a lower area if possible.
While our local topography may be nearly identical, what lies below is as diverse as our population. Our soil varies from limestone to sandy loam, from dirt to clay. Correcting stagnant water in each of these substrates is different and may require the help of one skilled in the art. Take clay, for example – it can be corrected at least partially by mixing clean sand through the top 6-10 inches.
Is the area chronically wet and the bottom of the yard or property? In some cases, planting water-tolerant or absorbent vegetation can help. If the problem is beyond thirsty plants, you may have to embrace it. We made.
Our swampy, muddy mosquito breeding harbor has been a pond for so many years. We added a waterfall to aerate the water and keep the skeeter population down. An overflow has been added to ensure that in the event of heavy rain the excess is drained well away from our foundation.
And when things get really bad, like a tropical storm, we have a diversion on the waterfall pump to support the overflow. In the end, it’s no longer an overgrown, buzzing, biting eyesore.
What used to be a magnet for mosquitoes in my back yard is now a real pond.
This wasn’t a weekend project. It took us long enough to make t-shirts.
If you’re having problems with damp water, I hope the solution is as simple as removing a few leaves. If the problem is beyond a broom and rake, then I hope this helps point you in the right direction.
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