very wet yard

brighteyes(7)February 18, 2006

I have been reading all the posts trying to help a coworker who has been trying to plant in her yard. Her yard stays wet all the time. She tried cannas but they rotted. It isnt a bog or a pond but was hoping yall could help with some ideas on what she can plant that will not end up with root rot.


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nativenut(z7B GA)

If her yard is that wet, where does the water come from? Is it poor drainage, high ground water, or low, near a natural water source? Does it have trees already? Sun or shade? How close to her house does this wet soil get?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 9:09AM
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From my understanding it is a low lying area in her yard. I will have to check with her when we go back to work on tuesday and get all the specifics.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 10:05PM
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Ok, I got the specifics. The wet area comes from a large creek in the rear behind her property. The creek leads to a marshy area then her yard. It gets mostly shade. There are times in the spring that is is like a small pool back there from the creek.

She does have trees but they have had to slowly have them cut because they are rotting also, she doesnt know what kind they are. She tried cattails and other grasses but they have rotted also.

It seems that the builder dumped a lot of dirt to build the house so the house sits up high. The front and right side of the house are not as wet.

Any ideas to help her would be appreciated.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 8:58PM
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Given the practices of most builders, one step might need to be stream stabilization and errosion control. If the bottom of the stream doesn't contain rocks and pebbles, or if it appears to be cutting into the soil, then she'll want to fix that soon while it is still possible. Others on this list might have more specific ideas, but one way to do this is to replace the stream substrate, with native river rocks and stream gravel, fix any eroded banks, and plant native stream grasses and sedges. Also, do not mow to the streams edges. There must be a buffer of vegetation, or erosion/polution will result.

As to plants for the wet shady area, skunk cabbage and marsh marigolds are two of my favories. Blue lobelia, virginia bluebell, and (native) jacobs ladder are other possibilities.


Here is a link that might be useful: Lazy S Farm

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 12:47PM
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nativenut(z7B GA)

I would stick with natives because the stream/flooding COULD carry these far away from their planting spots or reseed or "escape." There are actually quite a few plants that would do really well, trees on down to annuals. Erosion is a big concern, that definitely needs to be fixed if the soil is being washed away. Otherwise look for "wet soil" plants or "rain garden" plants. Does she want to block the view? Use evergreens. Find out what she really wants to do with the site first, then plant some "bones." Some good bones are: taxodium disticum, sycamore, nyssa aquatica, lindera benzoin, osmanthus americana, agarista populifolia, myrica pennsylvanica.
Fill in with ferns, impatiens capiensis (jewelweed), Chasmanthium latifolium, aruncus dioicus, and probably the easiest to grow-rocks covered with moss (especially beautiful in the winter when nothing else is green.)
Don't forget hardscaping items like sculpture, paths and bridges.
Hope this helps! NN

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 6:27PM
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sal_mando(z6a SW Ohio)

Is her yard damming the creek?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 10:52PM
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Thanks for all the replies. Every little bit helps!

The yard is not damming the creek. It runs through the back of her neighbors property also. They all seem to be having this problem. She is not trying to block any views she just wants something other than a muddy mess.

She doesnt want to ruin the natural aspects of the land she just wants to be able to enjoy it also.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 7:35PM
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daisy_ny6(z6 NY)

Japanese & Louisiana irises like wet feet. Toad lilies, tricyrtis, have practically clogged up my drainage ditch. Willows of all sorts generally like it wet as do some cypresses. Heucheras don't mind winter wet.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 9:25PM
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Elephant ears LOVE wet feet. Not sure if they will make it thru the winter where you are, zone 7.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 9:19PM
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I had problems with a wet yard and too much water coming into the sump pump area. Since I have put my rain garden in, the yard has really improved!

I dug down 12 inches and removed all dirt and then filled with a loose soil mix before planting. I seldom have standing water in the rain garden.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 8:48PM
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orquidman2004(z8 Coastal Ga.)

Hola- Have you thought of the Carnivorous Plants. There are a lot of beautiful bog plants which would like your place.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:35AM
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ahughes798(z5 IL)

I would try some: Lobelia cardinalis, arrowhead, swamp maple, swamp oak, blueberries, chelone, boneset, jewelweed, spiranthes(if the soil is a bit acidic), sedges, Native cat-tails(not the narrow leafed cat tail)joe-pye weed(look out, it gets very tall!), can't go wrong with ferns...all in all, I agree with nativenut! April

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 9:02PM
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willow trees and any marginal plants she wants. Just look on line for pond plants and wetland plants. There are millions of them. Asparagus, gunnera, joe pye, water chestnuts, watercress, every kind of lily you can imagine, elephant ears..........

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 3:30AM
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I would definitely recommend the cardinal flower. I have one growing by my outside pump and it loves to stay wet and is it ever pretty. The hummers have discovered it and really like it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 8:29AM
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