How To Absorb Water In Backyard (Easy Way)

Water is a precious resource, and it’s important to learn how to manage it. The more water you can retain, the better off your garden will be especially in dry times, when rain won’t necessarily come until after you’ve already had to water. 

Managing water runoff from your yard is crucial for keeping plants healthy and also reducing flooding. 

Fortunately, there are lots of approaches that work well for absorbing water into the soil instead of allowing it to run over hard surfaces like cement or pavement into storm drains or downspouts

How to Get Rid of Standing Water In Your Yard
Check for signs of water accumulation in your backyard such as standing water and waterlogged soil.
Water accumulation can damage structures, attract pests, and create unpleasant odors in your backyard.
Proper drainage, adding organic matter, and planting vegetation can prevent water accumulation in your yard.
Soak up water in your backyard using methods such as creating a soakaway pit or using permeable pavers.
A wet/dry vacuum can be effective in removing standing water but may not be practical for large areas.

A French Drain

A French drain is a trench filled with gravel that’s placed around the perimeter of your home. Water running down from the roof gets directed into this trench, where it will filter through the gravel and eventually evaporate. 

This prevents water from pooling around your foundation and causing erosion.

If you are dealing with backyard drainage issues due to water accumulation, you may need to install a French drain. To learn more about how to add a drainage system to your backyard, you can read our easy-fix guide on how to add backyard drainage.

Build a Swale

You can also build a swale. Swales are ditches that collect water and direct it into the soil. They can be dug into the ground or constructed out of stone, wood or plastic. 

Swales can be used to control erosion and prevent flooding.

A swale should have a gentle slope from the house down toward where you want the water to drain away from your lawn or garden area. 

The steeper this slope is, the faster water will run off of it when there’s heavy rain (and if you have any kind of slope in your yard).

Create a Rain Garden

To absorb water in your yard, you can create a rain garden. A rain garden is a depression in the ground designed to catch water, and they are a great way to help treat stormwater runoff. 

Rain gardens are usually filled with plants that love water and can thrive even during periods of drought.

There are several benefits of creating a rain garden for your home:

You’ll save money on watering bills! When you install this feature on your property, it will capture stormwater runoff from roofs and hard surfaces like driveways before it goes into sewers or storm drains. That means less pressure on city resources and lower costs for everyone involved!

You’ll reduce pollution from runoff by keeping pollutants out of local waterways! By capturing this excess water before it enters the sewer system, you’re preventing toxins from being released into lakes, rivers and streams where they could contaminate wildlife habitats or even worse!

If there is standing water in your yard after rainfall, it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and cause unpleasant odors. Check out our guide on how to absorb standing water in yard to know how to avoid these problems by using simple and effective techniques.

Grow More Plants

A backyard full of lush plants is a great way to absorb water, but there are other benefits as well. Planting trees and shrubs in your yard can also help reduce erosion, flooding and runoff.

 If you have a flat yard that gets a lot of rain during the year (water table high), planting trees will help prevent the water from flooding onto neighboring properties or eroding the land around your home.

If you live in an area with sandy soil and lots of wind (such as South Florida), try planting native plants like sea oats (where I live) or saw palmetto in your backyards instead of exotic tropical flowers that require watering all day long! 

These native species not only provide beautiful blooms throughout springtime but also retain moisture better than other types

Mulch Your Garden

Mulch your garden. Mulch helps to retain water in the soil, which means less watering is needed. It also reduces weed growth and erosion and provides a physical barrier against insect pests, fungal diseases and other predators of vegetable plants. 

One important thing to note is that if you are using wood chips or bark mulch, make sure it doesn’t come from a source that treated with chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides because these chemicals can leach into your vegetable garden.

Achieving a proper yard drainage is important to avoid water damage to your house foundation and basement, as well as other structures in your property. Our guide on how to achieve better yard drainage provides expert advice and tips to prevent water accumulation in your property.

Use a Rain Barrel or Cistern

Rain barrels are another great way to capture and store water for later use. Rain barrels can be used to water plants, wash your car or even fill up your bathtub if you live in a place that gets lots of rain. 

A rain barrel takes advantage of the time when it rains and allows you to use this free resource instead of letting it go down the drain.

Rain barrels are simple to install and come in all shapes and sizes (including one with a cute frog on top). 

If you have room for one on your property then putting one up is worth considering! In addition, rain barrels can easily be moved around so they’re not wasted space if they don’t fit well into your lawn design plan at first blush.

Till Your Soil

Tilling your soil will help you plant new seeds, plants and bushes. You will also be able to plant new trees in your backyard.

Tilling helps keep the soil aerated so that it can absorb water from the rain and irrigation system more efficiently. 

It’s important to till your soil before planting anything in a garden bed because it loosens up compacted layers that may prevent water from reaching plant roots

Too much water in your yard can result in excess mud and make it challenging to walk around or maintain. Our guide on how to absorb excess water in yard shares helpful tips on how to absorb excess water and prevent potential damage to your property.

Drip Irrigation is the Way to Go

Drip irrigation is a great way to water your plants. It can reduce the risk of runoff and evaporation, and it allows you to use less water. You can also use drip irrigation in conjunction with mulch to help retain moisture.

Help the Earth Worms Along

Earthworms are good for the soil. They help break down organic matter and their castings are excellent fertilizer. 

Earthworm castings also improve soil structure, aerate the soil, and reduce erosion by increasing water infiltration into the ground. 

They do all this by making tunnels that help hold water in place on bare spots and prevent run-off during rainstorms.

How to Help Earthworms Improve Soil Quality

Avoid using pesticides or chemicals that can harm earthworms.
Use organic mulches such as leaves or straw which provide food for earthworms.
Avoid tilling or digging too deep, which can damage earthworm tunnels and burrows.
Add organic matter such as compost or aged manure to the soil to encourage earthworm activity.
Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, as earthworms need damp soil to survive.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race Here With Drip Irrigation and Mulch

You’ve probably heard a lot about drip irrigation, and it’s not just because of its cute little name. This type of watering system does exactly what you want: it reduces water runoff. 

In fact, mulch is an excellent way to reduce water runoff as well. And when both are combined with each other, the results are even better!

If you’re planning on building a new garden or expanding an existing one in your backyard, consider consulting with a professional landscaper who can help guide you through the process of designing and building your perfect outdoor space.

Adding shade to your backyard can prevent both water accumulation and scorching heat, making it a more pleasant and functional space for you and your family. Our guide on how to add shade to backyard shares creative and easy ways to add shade to your outdoor space.

Top Dress Garden Beds with Compost and Manure.

If you want to boost your garden’s water-holding capacity, top-dressing it with compost and manure is a great way to do it! 

Compost contains organic matter that holds on to water while also releasing nutrients into the soil as it breaks down. Manure also adds organic matter, but in addition can provide nutrients including nitrogen.

If you have access to manure from livestock or chickens, this is an easy way to add fertility and improve your soil’s overall health at the same time. 

You can use this method in any garden bed or raised bed by digging out some of the existing soil and mixing in about 1/4″ of compost for every square foot of surface area. Then simply replace what you’ve taken out with fresh topsoil.

Benefits of Top Dressing Garden Beds with Compost and Manure

Improves soil quality by providing nutrients and organic matter.
Enhances soil’s ability to retain moisture and resist erosion.
Increases microbial activity and biodiversity in the soil.
Helps suppress weeds and prevent soil-borne diseases.
Enhances plant growth and yields.

Make Sure You Know How To Reduce Water Runoff

You can also use rain barrels, which are small reservoirs that collect rainwater from your roof. When it rains and fills the barrel, you can use it for watering plants or for other purposes. 

You can even buy a unit that automatically releases water into your hose when it gets too full.

Another option is to create a swale in your yard. A swale is like a ditch but has grass growing on both sides of the ditch at all times. 

This allows water to flow through the ditch while still providing shade and nutrients to plants on either side of it and because there’s no dirt along with this area, runoff will be minimal!

If you have access to enough space in your backyard, consider building a French drain or drip irrigation system (DIY below). Both of these systems will help prevent runoff by taking advantage of gravity and redirecting excess rainwater directly down into the ground where it belongs!


Well, there you have it. Water retention is an important topic to cover at any time of the year, but it’s especially important when you live in a place that gets plenty of rain.

If you follow these tips and tricks for reducing runoff and keeping your plants happy, then you’ll be able to keep your yard looking great all year long.