My backyard gets extemely muddy and sometimes has puddles after a rainstorm. What can be done to prepare the yard so flowers or vegetables can be grown in it?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It sounds like you may have a clay layer of soil under the topsoil. Heavy clay can act almost like a layer of plastic below the topsoil, not allowing any water to trickle down through the layers. Unfortunately, there are no really easy ways to correct this. One common practice is to build up the yard or improve its drainage. These articles will help with that: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/yard-drainage-problems.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/how-to-improve-clay-soil.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/spaces/creating-and-using-berms-in-the-landscape.htm Your other option is to learn to garden with it. There is a type of gardening style called rain gardens where people actually work to create conditions like what you have in your yard. It uses plants and trees that not only do well in those conditions but also help to suck up excess water. You may be able to turn your yard into a rain garden or even a bog. Otherwise, you could implement raised beds for gardening. Here is more information on those: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/spaces/rain-garden-design.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/spaces/designing-bog-gardens.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/raised-vegetable-gardens.htm