Water logged lawn - water remains on surface for days-weeks

Asked June 8, 2018, 5:24 AM EDT

Low lying rear lawn. Suspect wet weather springs and high water table and assume heavy clay soil. There is a creek on the neighbors property lower than the lawn area by perhaps 5 feet. Surface pitch of lawn seems adequate to drain normally, however, lawn area is still waterlogged for a long time after a rain even in the summer months. Spring is the worse and after the last Ellicott City storm. However this problem has be persistent over time. There are three properties or more with the same issue. Can't find an engineer to help. Assume the area needs subsurface drainage to bleed of the ground water. But what type, what spacing and getting permission to exit drainage system into the neighbors creek. Called and emailed lots of folks but not help so far. Any suggestion of where to find help. Assume someone with farmland drainage experise would be the best source. Any help would be appreciated.

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

We do not have expertise in drainage issues. You could try contact your local Extension office and speak with the Ag agent. For that, see the Staff Directory at the bottom of our homepage.
You and your neighbors have the perfect spot for a natural rain garden. Rain gardens, in this context, are simply beds filled with plants that love "wet feet."
Here are some super native plants that would look good for you if your wet areas are in the shade:
Ferns, especially Ostrich fern
Shrubs: clethra/summersweet (flowers in summer, attracts butterflies)
Itea virginica/sweetspire (flowers, great fall color, mid-height)
ilex verticillata/winterberrry (covered with bright red berries in winter/birds)
Ninebark (flowers)
Native azaleas (highly fragrant and bloom later than the usual ones)
Pussy willow (this is a big plant)

Look at the online publication, "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed". It has color photos and an easy chart with conditions for each plant, including Herbaceous Plants (flowers). You'll see plenty that like wet shade, but also plenty that like sun or partial shade. Also, at the end are lists, including wetlands and bogs.

Also you can search 'rain gardens' on our website for more about this method of catching storm water--though you have plenty already.
You could have fun with this.