Boggy Garden Trouble

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by Ashley Cini, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Ashley Cini

    Ashley Cini

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    Good Afternoon

    Hopefully somebody can shed some advise on what i can do with a really boggy waterlogged garden. I have recently moved into my house and become an owner of a boggy garden it looks like drainage is a huge problem. I have been looking at soakaways and french drains but i was wondering if there is anything slightly easier i could do myself?

    Thanks in advance

    Ash

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    Ashley Cini, Mar 7, 2018
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  2. Ashley Cini

    Daren

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    Its not Easy. It Maybe easier Working with it than trying to Shift it. You Could Mark where the water ( boggy land is now & wait till the Trees Start to grow Then they will Drain it for you. once summer is here and the bog gone Maybe build a Razed Path above the water line also there could be a Place For a Small Natural Pond that If Designed correctly could help the rest of the Garden Drain. You Could Plant A few more Tees like Willow or Dogwoods, Bamboo, evergreens or Anything that Drinks a lot of water
     
    Daren, Mar 8, 2018
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  3. Ashley Cini

    Ashley Cini

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    Thank you for the reply Daren

    I have been reading about spreading lime free grit or sharp sand through forked holes roughly 6 inches deep? do you think that could possibly help or just add to the mess?
     
    Ashley Cini, Mar 9, 2018
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  4. Ashley Cini

    Becky Administrator

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    Welcome to the forum @Ashley Cini :)

    I agree with Daren that it is far easier to work with nature than against it (assuming there is a natural reason for the waterlogged area). A bog garden could look beautiful!
     
    Becky, Mar 9, 2018
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  5. Ashley Cini

    DirtMechanic

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    Not gonna work as you intend. The non percolating soil underneath will ensure it. It would be the same to dig a hole in that same soil horizon. I see it as a place where the leaf debris could be composted and dug in, spread out each year so that the area creates it's own soil mound for free. There seems to be a lot given by the trees.
     
    DirtMechanic, Mar 9, 2018
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  6. Ashley Cini

    marlingardener

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    Ashley, welcome, and you have received great replies.
    I'd like to add a suggestion--a dry river bed. Here in Texas, as well as much of the southwest, when we get rain we get RAIN! The soil doesn't drain well, and we end up with standing water in yards and gardens. If the ground naturally slopes, a fake river bed can be made at the bottom of the slope using river rock or large gravel. If you don't have a natural slope, water runs downhill and the river bed will be lower than the other soil and fill up. Here is a site that pictures what I'm trying to describe:
    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=dry+river+bed+designs&qpvt=dry+river+bed+designs&FORM=IGRE

    During the dry season the river bed is attractive in the garden, and during the wet season it functions to drain the garden. You have to have someplace for the water in the river bed to go--most folks around here sink a 55 gal. barrel with holes in the bottom and sides, cover it with a heavy metal grating, and use it as a catch pond. It slowly releases water over a period of days.

    The work involved is digging out the river bed (if you don't have a slope), hauling rock or gravel and raking it smooth, and finding someplace for the bed to drain. It is a permanent solution, so the effort might be worth it to you.
     
    marlingardener, Mar 9, 2018
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  7. Ashley Cini

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

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    Keep it. Plant native species that make sense for it. I'm jealous!
     
    JBtheExplorer, Mar 10, 2018
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  8. Ashley Cini

    Ashley Cini

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    Thank you for all the information and help, the dry river bed actually looks really nice.

    Would you put the river bed straight through the boggy part of the garden where the water is currently gathering or dig the bed slightly away from the bog to allow it to soak down? Luckily there is a tiny stream right at the very end of my garden (deep down not touching) which the water could hopefully drop down to.

    Thanks again for all the help this has really give me a good alternative.

    Ash
     
    Ashley Cini, Mar 26, 2018
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  9. Ashley Cini

    marlingardener

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    Ashley, I'm glad you like the looks of a dry river bed. With your stream at the very end of the garden, you won't have a problem with draining excess water from the dry river.
    I'd dig the bed right through the boggy part--that is where water is accumulating and water goes where water wants to go!
    As you see from the pictures, the river beds are curved. That helps during a downpour to weaken the water flow and protect from overflow and erosion.
     
    marlingardener, Mar 26, 2018
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  10. Ashley Cini

    Mike Allen

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    Hi Ash. Well certainly no shortage of replies and advice. The photos indicate that the boggy area is quite well shaped. This makes me wonder. Might there have been a pond of sorts there in the past, and perhaps due to the trees when in full season restricting the natural sunlight etc. Perhaps it is a pond now filled in.
    The surrounding area appears reasonably flat, perhaps suggesting a sump or soakaway. Where is the feeder supply? could be underground springs. Have a prod around the edges and see if there is some kind of retainer. If all else fails, then land drainage can be installed. Please keep us informed. All the best.
     
    Mike Allen, Mar 27, 2018
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  11. Ashley Cini

    Ashley Cini

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    Thank you for the reply Mike

    I apologise in advance but i am a real novice with gardening, what do you mean when you say some form of retainer? I dont think there was a pond because in the summer months it does dry up but the ground stays soft. I do think the trees have a huge part to play in blocking out the sun which would help with the drying of the ground but if i was to get a tree surgeon in i think I would be in a catch 22 situation and possible cause more water pooling because the trees would not help soak this up.

    Thanks

    Ash
     
    Ashley Cini, Mar 27, 2018
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  12. Ashley Cini

    Mike Allen

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    No problems Ash. As useful as the internet and forums are, there still lacks the one to one thingy. I have worked in some of GB's ancient woodlands and have marvelled at these mini ponds that suddenly appear. No joke. I have so often gazed into them and seen tiny minnows swimming about, how, why? A few weeks later the water has gone so have the fish. No wonder I'm losing my hair.
    Seriously Ash. Your pics shewed a semi woodland scene, fairly flat etc. Then suddenly you have a pond. This tends to suggest. Natural springs, but these will exist winter and summer. OK you are a newbie to gardening. I was one many years ago. Now I am a retired one of those strange types, called scientists.
    In all honesty. How I would love your garden. To me it's a mini forest.. At the end of the day there has to be an infill of water. I wonder if times past, some form of land drainage has been instaled, constructed.. Ash you are lucky to have such a garden site. Enjoy. Best wishes. Mike.
     
    Mike Allen, Mar 28, 2018
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  13. Ashley Cini

    Ashley Cini

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    Hi, I have been researching the dry river beds and I am wondering if the excess water would reach the dry river bed and stream down this? as you can see from the above pictures the water spreads and pools in a large area. With a dry river bed only being streamlined say 2 foot wide (for example) would the water around the grass drop into the dry river bed or would small amounts drop into the bed and the rest stay pooling on top? I know you have to dig down but because a lot of the area is flat around the bed would the water naturally flow into the dry river bed?

    Apologies if this does not make sense I am slowly trying to get my head around this before I start mapping out a route and begin digging.

    My ideal outcome would be for the grass around the dry river bed to hopefully grow and the water to soak into the bed and stream down to the end of the garden.

    Thanks again
     
    Ashley Cini, Apr 3, 2018
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  14. Ashley Cini

    marlingardener

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    Ashley, water naturally flows downhill. If your dry river bed is dug deeply enough, the water will flow into it. Depending on the type of soil you have (clay, heavy loam, etc.) the drainage will be quick, or take longer, but it will drain.
    We have a man-made pond (called a stock tank here in Texas) and water flows into it from higher ground. We have had heavy rains happen, with flooding on the path around the pond, but within two or three days the paths are drained. Our soil is what is called "black land prairie" and is very heavy. I'm sure your soil is not as heavy and dense as ours, so you should have no problem with drainage.
     

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    marlingardener, Apr 3, 2018
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  15. Ashley Cini

    Ashley Cini

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    Thank you again for the help Marlin, I have managed to get a lower picture of the garden to try and explain what i mean. The garden as a whole is fairly flat and i am wondering if i dig down slightly but left the sides of it fairly flat like the example in the second picture if it would still drain from both sides into the middle dry river creek? or would i have to go as deep as image 3 so both the left and right of the river creek would be higher so it would drian down to the middle?

    Just want to make sure i dont make a mess before i start the digging.

    Thanks

    Ash
     

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    Ashley Cini, Apr 5, 2018
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  16. Ashley Cini

    marlingardener

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    Ash, if you dig as deeply as you can, the drainage will be better. The second photo is doable for you, in my opinion.
    Is there a university near you with a horticultural department, or one that offers courses in landscape architecture? I'm not suggesting you sign up for courses, but you could take photos and perhaps talk to an instructor.
    Also, have plans to dispose of the soil you dig up. You could have some lovely raised beds for flowers or vegetables!
    https://www.hunker.com/13425451/how-to-make-a-dry-riverbed-landscape is a pretty good site with step-by-step instructions.
     
    marlingardener, Apr 5, 2018
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