How to Fix Wet Areas in the Lawn

Updated November 21, 2016

A lush, green lawn increases your home's curb appeal while providing an area for entertaining and play. One common problem that can be both damaging and not aesthetically pleasing is wet areas on the lawn. In some cases, the ground where the lawn is growing can be uneven. If this is the case, water will settle in lower areas of the lawn. The best way to fix wet areas in a lawn is to install a French drain, a gravel-filled trench with a perforated pipe that carries the water away, preventing it from sitting on the grass.

Locate the site for your French drain trench, along the lowest area of the mushy, wet area of the lawn. The wet area usually is at the bottom of a slope, so the trench should run along the length of this slope to the curb or street.

Dig a trench that is 1 1/2 to 2 feet deep with the shovel. If this area is covered in sod, use the edger and shovel to remove the sod and set it aside for later use, if possible.

Place a strip of landscaping fabric in the trench.

Lay perforated pipe along the length of the trench, on top of the landscaping fabric. Perforated pipe comes in lengths of up to 100 feet. If your trench is longer, you will need several sections of perforated pipe. Connect the sections with couplers.

Pour gravel over the perforated pipe, encapsulating the pipe in a thick layer of gravel. Leave about 6 inches of space above the gravel layer in the trench.

Pour or shovel topsoil over the gravel layer until the trench is filled.

Replace the sod you removed, or plant new grass seed over the filled trench, according to the package's directions. Water the grass seed or sod normally.


Before digging, wait until the weather has been dry for a few days, or weeks if possible.


Call your area's "call before you dig" number to make sure you won't hit any buried utility lines.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Edger
  • Landscape fabric
  • Perforated pipe
  • Couplers (optional)
  • Gravel
  • Topsoil
  • Grass seed (optional)
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