How to fill in a back yard?

My backyard is low so every time it rains I have standing water. Right now there is about 3 inches. My dogs have a difficult time out there so say the least, the mud and water on their feet make it impossible to keep my floors clean not to mention I live in the Texas where the mosquitos are killers! I can't afford 5 yards of dirt or sand. Any ideas?

  6 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 15, 2018
    Hi Andrea I would suggest a drain. I owned a home in Oklahoma (terrible clay soil that would NOT drain) and our backyard was a swimming pool every time it rained. This is what I did, I dug a 2 foot deep trench from one end of the yard to the street on the other side and filled it with rocks then covered the last couple of inches back up with soil. It worked perfectly! And the soil grew grass within two years you couldn't even tell it was there!

  • Shoshana Shoshana on Feb 15, 2018
    You might want to look into getting a french drain. A ditch is made about a foot deep. A perforated pipe is then run in the area and to an area that run-off is OK with you. Then all the dirt is removed and gavel is placed around and on to the top of the pipe. And it does look nice as a dry river bed if you like.

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 15, 2018
    Or, you can go on a site like and ask for clean fill dirt. Everything is free on Freecycle. Sometimes when people are digging out an area for a swimming pool or a new house, they will give away fill dirt. Ask for 'clean' fill dirt so that you don't get rocks, logs, etc. Check with the city, they may have some! You may have to haul it, and if you don't have a truck, you can rent one from Home Depot or someplace like that, and maybe hire some high school boys to do the hauling and spreading. Whatever you do, it's going to be a big job. Good luck!

  • Rozmund Rozmund on Feb 16, 2018
    If you have people that have wood - any kind - collect and rent a chipper - and fill starting as far away from the slope will take time - the rewards are many - first, the chips will in time break down and actually produce the best soil nature can provide ..think forest floor - get your neighbours aand frinds into it...even if it is spongy for a few months - the dogs will not get dirty Roz

  • Debbie Brasher Debbie Brasher on Feb 16, 2018
    We had this problem and had a drain pipe put in the length of our backyard. Cost was $600. A lot cheaper than filling it in causing more mud problems. You just have to keep the grass from growing over the drains.

  • Andrea Bethel Andrea Bethel on Feb 16, 2018
    Wonderful idea. I might be able to put a pump tooo. Thanks