Asked on Feb 24, 2019

What can I use to fill in a large wet area in my yard?

Cheryl Ann
by Cheryl Ann

I have a walk way of my yard that Is a never ending mud hole. What else can I use to make this an accessible walkway. I've tried EVERYTHING

I built the small sidewalk last year and the only thing I haven't tried is dirt. Theres a fire pit on the other side of this for our family

  22 answers
  • Ellis Ellis on Feb 25, 2019

    I can't tell from the picture how long the walkway is, or where it goes, so my idea may not be useful. How about a concrete walk, or perhaps a wooden boardwalk, like an on-grade narrow deck, made of pressure treated wood? A relative has a ramp from their home for a wheelchair, but the last part of the ramp is flat and on-grade to get them over dirt to a paved area.

    Another possibility is to slightly regrade the area adjacent to your walkway, so it is less sloping, or to intensively plant things that can stand wet ground.

  • If you can determine where the water is coming from (how it's draining down) then you could try to solve that problem first by diverting the water or putting in a french drain.

    • Lisa Lisa on Feb 25, 2019

      I agree. First solve water issue. High water table? Or just run off? I would either divert water or perhaps a French drain that will divert water away.

  • Willie R. Bristol Jr. Willie R. Bristol Jr. on Feb 25, 2019

    Put rocks. Is the area always wet? Check to see if there is a leaking pipe.

  • Tim Tim on Feb 25, 2019

    A sinkhole

  • Karen Brunck Karen Brunck on Feb 25, 2019

    Hi Cheryl Ann. The easiest would be to add a tall border edging to keep the dirt off the walkway. You could cover the dirt area with mulch or stone also to keep it from travelling across the path.

  • Kristin Kristin on Feb 25, 2019

    I would layer some fill dirt or sand on top of the wet area, the layer either small rocks or some shell. The fill dirt should dry up the area and then the shell or small rocks need to be a thicker layer than the fill dirt in order to make that area easier to walk on and more functional.

  • Kel13229961 Kel13229961 on Feb 25, 2019

    Have you considered planting the hill with a large ornamental grass like pompass grass? This would hold the hill, slow the water drainage and provide an estheticly pleasing low maintenance ground cover.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Feb 25, 2019

    Wish you'd mentioned what you have already tried. If you are just wanting to redirect the water, I would suggest an in-ground French drain (a slotted and sleeved flexible 'pipe' under the ground) or even a runoff channel. Channels are kind of fun because you can make them look like little streams. For a channel, just dig out a shallow (6") trench in the shape and direction you want the water to flow, (use the dirt elsewhere or to help shape and direct the channel). Line it with heavy plastic or rubber and then lay in some stones and pebbles to your liking. You can also plant around it. French drain pipes are set in the same type trench (you can buy them in home stores in 20' sections) and covered with soil or stones. Water will drain into them and flow through the underground pipe to a more appropriate place. Don't forget the cover grate on the open end of the pipe or you may have uninvited guests making homes there. Best of luck!

    • Cheryl Ann Cheryl Ann on Feb 26, 2019

      Thank you for your answer, Your time is greatly appreciated. I've used mulch, small decorative bagged rocks, the ones a bit larger than gravel, I've tried sand, gravel, and then stepping stones. Planting grass worked the first year I lived here then the hill behind the wet spot washed out a bit more. I didnt have a back yard when I moved in this home. There was Kudzu all the way to the back deck. Now that I keep the kudzu dead and the hill cleared off, any rain at all that one spot back there t ends up soggy, sinking nasty wet. I'm beginning to think a whole bunch of fill dirt and leveling it out The back deck and stairs are what the sidewalk leads up to from a concrete driveway. I'll post more pics tom in daylight. sorry Thank you so very much again

  • Molly Molly on Feb 25, 2019

    We used small rocks and/or pea gravel.

  • Helen Warner Helen Warner on Feb 25, 2019

    plant some plants that need alot of water like bannas or cannas

  • Joel Cannaday Joel Cannaday on Feb 25, 2019

    You better be careful. If the EPA sees this, they may declare it a wetland and will forbid you to do anything.

  • Debbie Ann Burtoft Debbie Ann Burtoft on Feb 25, 2019

    I had a similar issue from clay in the soil. I put a lot of mulch and treated the surrounding area with lots of peat moss to absorb water, and planted plants to use some water. The stepping stones went on top of the mulch. Good Luck

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 25, 2019

    put the walk way higher up on slope leveled out of course and let the area water flows/mud be a rain garden you cannot fight Mother Nature so work with her instead.

    • Mary williams Mary williams on Feb 25, 2019

      A combination of rain garden and dry creek bed would work. Read up on rain gardens then use the dry creek bed with rocks to take up any run off from the planted area.

  • Sharlee Osborn Sharlee Osborn on Feb 25, 2019

    check out "images for a dry creek bed" made with rock

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 25, 2019

    Since the water is already collecting there, turn it to your advantage. I put in a short section of drain under my walk to direct the water from the downspout to my wetland/bog garden. My plants get the water they need and no water in my walkway.

  • Sharon Sharon on Feb 25, 2019

    The local feed store told me add lime to soil, it soaks up water (like under asphalt roads), then cover w cedar shavings. Make sure u follow instructions for putting lime in,! If you have good local landscape company or feed store they will know all the details:-)

  • Lynn Lynn on Feb 25, 2019

    We used to have a yard that you would sink up past your knees. Depending on the size of your yard. Add 2 to 3 inches of pea stone gravel. Then top soil and add grass, either roles of sod, or spray grass seed. This worked wonders. Can't believe in 2 weeks our mud hole was gone!

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Feb 27, 2019

    I do not know where you live but I had the entire back section of my prior yard being lower than the lots surrounding me. It would flood every spring and stay wet so long that we had trouble mowing it when we could finally get back there.

    I planted 3 weeping willow trees that literally suck up excess water! They solved the flooding problem once and forever as well as looking wonderful with their golden branches swaying gracefully.

    "Golden weeping willow: (S. alba "Tristis") has golden twigs. It grows in zones 3 through 10 to a height of 50 to 70 feet tall and wide. Its green leaves turn golden in fall, adding autumn interest. Wisconsin weeping willow (S. babylonica x S. pentachdra) grows quickly to 30 to 40 feet tall and wide."

  • Jess Jess on Mar 03, 2019

    Yes maybe plant well spaced water loving trees? Check with county extension service to see what grows best in your area of country. River Birch, Cedar, Weeping Willow, etc.

  • Cheryl Ann Cheryl Ann on Mar 28, 2019

    I filled in the fire pit that was there at the bottom of the hill and am filling all the rest of the area in with dirt I'm digging out of my shed so far it's worked pretty well.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 30, 2023

    Maybe you could Sink a fork in all over the area to improve drainage add sand. Do you have a hgh water table on your land? Do yu have Gutters and water butts under your roof to collect the water? Maybe you have a broken water pipe in that area?

  • Mogie Mogie on May 06, 2023

    You may need to hire a professional to regrade your yard. It is more costly than DIY solutions, but less costly in the long run than a flooded basement or having to relay all of your patio pavers.

    A professional can come in with a small bulldozer and reshape the contours of your landscape so that water flows away from your house and into a drainage ditch or other low area designed to catch overflow. This is needed sometimes in older landscapes after the soil has settled or the roots of large trees have changed the contours in your yard. You will need to reseed and/or replant the area after they are finished regrading.