Monday, January 13, 2014

Solutions for Soggy Soil in South Florida

Hi there fellow garden friends, it's been so rainy here lately...
Pompano Beach
that I thought we could explore a situation most people have encountered in their gardens and/or landscapes....soggy soil, wet patches that never dry, mucky ground, boggy bottoms and/or air conditioning unit drip lines.  Many of us live in areas that stay wet most of the year.  Here in Florida, our state is unique in the fact that we have incredibly diverse ecosystems. Even though we are barely above sea level, we have a vast variety of ecological wonders all over the state like the everglades, swamp lands, pine lands, scrub lands, oak forests, coastal dunes, variety of hammocks, coral reefs, islands, sink holes, fresh water springs, rivers, tributaries, tropical forests, underground springs/streamscaverns, sandy beaches, mangroves, salt marshes, freshwater marshes, maritime forests, pine flatlands, dry prairies, rocklands, sloughs, shell mounds, intracoastal waterwayswet flatwoods, sand hills....whew dat's alotta stuff!  Florida is surrounded by water on all sides except for the north end of the state, which theoretically is the only thing attaching us to the mainland or else we would be part of the Caribbean islands, lol.
If your ground is wet then build a deck above ground
with bog plants like papyrus, ferns & colocasia's.
A rain chain & natural stone help disperse water rather
than have a river run through it
Use native bog type plants in areas that remain moist and shady.
Plant a "rain garden"...I saw this picture on Houzz and though I think this is a very creative
idea. Though I would have attached a long perforated pipe to the downspout &
buried the pipe in the ground as a French drain to move the water further from the
house.  This looks like it would create a mess by pushing that beautifully done job
right outta there.  Never underestimate the force of water, lol.
Eco-pavers for your driveway or pathway
This little area was a continual problem for one of our client's.  Their a/c drain line constantly made this area a mucky algae mosquito pit.  We dug about 14" down, regraded the area to slope towards the ferns, layered it with course sand, crushed rock and topped it off with decorative landscape rock.  We also added a few water loving ferns in a mulch bed which will fill in nicely.  There is so much under the ground here like pipes, concrete footers & partial slabs that simple is sometimes the best solution.
Add a dry creek bed sloping water away from the beautiful is this just on it's own!?!
Great job Lisa Wilcox Deyo!
Water features, rain chains and rain barrels are all excellent
solutions to water issues as well.
Some great aquatic plants for wet lands are canna lily, pickerel weed, alocasia's, weeping willow, lots of different types of ferns, cord grass, hyssop, colocasia's, anthurium's, scarlet hibiscus, horsetail, beebalm, spiderwort, wax myrtle, ginger's, rushes, coffee, sedges, lotus, lilies, buttonwoods, cypress trees, cabbage palms, holly's, asters, maple's, oak's, bay trees, water hickory and coreopsis just to name a few.

All you need it a little creativity, some labor on your part and viola...soggy soil solved!  Where ever you may be in this arctic blast, sending you warm tropical wishes from this So'Flo gardening girl!
Happy Gardening Y'all!

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