October 28, 2021

Ann Arbor has earned her title as the Best City in America To Live. Lovely parks, green spaces, and swathes of rich, lush lawns along the hills rising from the river.

And sheets of dense, muddy, slippery clay soil lie beneath it all. Clay that leaves neighborhood yards pockmarked with stagnant, boggy puddles and soggy patches full of sticky mud that never seem to dry up. It causes dead patches in lawns and drowns ornamental plants. The drainage and moisture problems it creates can even damage the foundations of our homes.

It’s hard to even get a shovel into and is even harder to amend. But there are solutions to the challenges clay creates and the messes it leaves behind.

Foundation house wall damage from wetness. Foundation walls without waterproofing. Cracked foundation wall corner.

Poor Drainage is a Cause for Concern

It’s important that your property drains well so water doesn’t sit next to the foundation of your house. If your lawn is heavy with clay, chances are good that your lawn is wet a fair amount of the time. When this wet soil presses into your foundation, it could stress the structural integrity of your home over time. The best way to fix foundation problems caused by poor drainage is to stop the problem before it starts. If you suspect your lawn is wet for long periods of time near your foundation, it’s smart to reach out to an expert for recommendations on how to fix the issue.

Turn Your Backyard Disaster Into a Showpiece

Since it’s nearly impossible to fully amend clay soil, experienced landscape contractors familiar with the area will know how to work with and around it to make your outdoor spaces functional. Your drainage contractor will do a careful assessment of your property, the soil, the drainage, and the grade of your property. As trained professionals, they can easily envision ways to not only resolve your clay soil problem, but turn them into an asset.

Changing the slope of your lawn to drain the water away may create opportunities for new seating areas or hidden garden spaces. Installing stone-filled trenches to direct the water can be designed as dry creek beds lined with lush plantings. Directing excess water into a rain garden turns a constantly wet area into a native, easy-care garden that not only looks lovely. It also attracts wildlife and hosts beneficial insects and butterflies.

Your Clay Soil Isn’t a Lost Cause

Clay soil isn’t all bad. Its ability to hold moisture and nutrients can make a great environment for plants that need a lot of water and nutrients. But changing your soil and garden beds from hardpan clay to soft, plant-able loam requires a great deal of effort and expertise.

Your drainage contractor will work hand in hand with a landscape contractor to find the best solutions for your soil, turning your soggy clay eyesores into lovely landscapes and lawns.

Not all clay soils are alike, even in the same neighborhood. Your soil will be professionally tested and your site will be assessed to determine the best solution to your drainage problem.  Once your drainage contractor has done their magic and reclaimed your lawn, your newly rehabilitated property will be lush, inviting, and free from mucky spots and standing water.

The professionals at Twin Oaks Landscape have over 20 years’ experience dealing with Ann Arbor’s clay soil, turning soggy lawns into showplaces. They know what to expect and can resolve your drainage problems.  Contact Twin Oaks Landscape today!