Is your backyard muddy due to uneven ground or poor drainage?
It’s hard to let your kids, pets, or friends enjoy the backyard when mud patches ruin the grass. Unfortunately, tracking mud into your home or onto patios and walkways only adds to the mess, so fixing the problem needs to be a top priority.
That’s why I put the best muddy backyard solutions down below, so you can have a functional yard rain or shine!
7 Ways To Cover Up Mud In Your Backyard
1. Use Gravel To Cover Backyard Mud
A fast and easy solution to cover a muddy area in your yard is to lay down gravel. The stones can be small or big, but all will allow the water to filter through and eventually soak into the soil while keeping the surface dry for walking over.
Gravel isn’t the most attractive solution for some areas unless you edge it and make it into a patio area. Gravel is also not the best choice if the backyard area is a place where kids and pets play.
2. Pour A Cement Pad Over A Low Muddy Area
If a low area in your backyard is continually muddy, you can pour a cement patio that will lift and flatten the walking surface so the space can become useful again.
Prepping the area and paying for cement can get pricey, especially if the area is large, but it will be a permanent fix and an excellent place for bar-b-ques and hanging out without getting messy.
3. Use Mulch To Fill In Muddy Backyard Areas
Laying down a deep layer of mulch over muddy patches is ideal under kids’ playsets where grass has worn away. The mulch can be wood chips or shredded rubber, as both will allow water to drain through. However, rubber mulch will provide a softer landing for accidental falls.
Mulch is also suitable for filling in pathway low spots that collect water so your feet can stay dry. Organic mulch material will decompose over time, so you’ll need to replace it as it wears down, but overall it’s a much cheaper way to cover mud versus gravel or cement.
4. Create A Backyard Rain Garden
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Edge out the muddy area in your backyard with stones or landscape timbers and fill the center with water-loving plants such as:
- Butterfly Weed
- Bee Balm
Fill the area around plants with a woody mulch to absorb excess water and release it to the plants on dry days. A rain garden beautifies your backyard and attracts butterflies, giving your yard a wonderful focal point.
5. Use Ground Cover Alternatives For Backyard Mud Issues
Dogs are notorious for tearing up grass and creating muddy pathways in your backyard. Dog urine is also responsible for ugly brown patches that make using your yard even less appealing.
The best solution for this problem is to switch out the grass for a ground cover that can withstand the constant stream of paws and urine, such as silver carpet, clover, Irish moss, and winter creeper that recover quickly from damage.
You can mow these plants if they grow too tall, and they will spread to form a dense, attractive carpet.
6. Build A Deck to Cover Up Backyard Mud
Building a deck is a clever way to cover up mud in backyard areas. You can build a platform and cover it with decking boards and then place the platform on cement pavers over the muddy area for a fast solution.
Or, for a permanent fix, you can set posts in cement and attach an elevated platform. A deck allows water to flow through the wood slats and into the ground below, so feet stay dry while giving the water a chance to drain away naturally.
Decks improve the look and value of any home, so using them to cover muddy areas is a win-win.
7. Use Pavers To Lift Feet Away From Muddy Backyard Areas
If you need to lift feet away from the muddy ground but don’t like the look of gravel or have the budget to pay for a cement contractor to pour a pad, you can use paver stones to create a patio or pathway.
Wait for some dry days, and then flatten the ground using a shovel and rake and set your pavers. If the area is really low, you may need to fill the depression with a crushed stone paver base to even it out or choose a thicker stone or block, so the tops sit just above the surface of the rest of the yard.
Other Solutions For a Muddy Backyard
If covering the mud isn’t going to work for your backyard, you should consider fixing the reason water accumulates and forms mud.
Regrading the yard can eliminate poor drainage issues.
Sometimes a yard isn’t properly graded, so any water will collect in low spots or run toward the home instead of away. To stop these areas from getting muddy, you’ll need to regrade the backyard soil.
Large areas will probably need a bulldozer and a professional landscaper to get it done right. However, smaller areas can be a DIY project using a rake and a load of topsoil.
Start from the home’s foundation and angle the earth downward to help drain water from gutters and downspouts away from the foundation and out to your property line or a storm drain.
If you only have a spot or two that gets muddy, you can fill the low spots with topsoil until the surface is even with the surrounding lawn and reseed with grass or lay down sod.
Installing a French drain can stop water collection.
If you have areas in your backyard that are constantly soggy, you can install a French drain, which is a trench you line with landscape fabric, fill with a drain pipe and gravel, then cover with grass.
The French drain will collect excess water and move it off to a storm drain or off your property, but it is undetectable, so your backyard looks nice.
Install a dry well in wet backyard areas.
The final solution to keep muddy areas from forming in your backyard is to install a dry well. A dry well is a trench with underground pipes that drain into a rock-filled hole.
The water that drains into the hole will slowly soak into the earth instead of pooling on the surface. Most people use dry wells to handle the water flow from gutter downspouts or sump pumps.
You don’t have to live with a muddy backyard due to wet spots or erosion after rains or from kids and pets wearing holes in the grass. Use the tips above to cover up the mess and transform your backyard into a mud-free place to play, entertain, and relax!