John Elliott wrote:Brandon, just because you live in the "Low Country" doesn't mean you have to have 3 pieces of it in the back yard. I'm afraid the only way those 3 low spots are going to stay dry is if you build the grade up a foot or so --maybe like put a hugelbed on top of them. It's either that or plant some bald cypress there and let the back yard revert to swampland.
Since you have a French drain, that is at least keeping the groundwater moving, or else your backyard wet spots would stay muddy a lot longer. Is your house a slab-on-grade, or do you have a crawl space? If it's the latter, you ought to check the crawl space after a heavy rain to see that the French drain is doing its job.
As to the "dry" spot in the front, it can't really be that dry with all the groundwater movement you have going on. Does it have lots of sand showing through the grass, with the grass looking like it is just hanging on and trying its hardest to spread and fill in? I'm thinking that your soil is either very sandy, or very little organic matter on top of compacted clay. In the case of the former, the water drains away too fast and the plant roots are high and dry; in the latter case, once the hot weather arrives, the clay becomes as hard as concrete and again, the plant roots are high and dry. The solution to both is hugelkultur -- lots of organic matter, as it will sit in that groundwater flow and wick it up to the roots.
There is only one reason that "nothing seems to stay hydrated without watering" in our climate: lack of soil organic matter. Everything you do to increase soil carbon, from building hugelmounds to adding biochar to tilling in wood chips is going to pay off for you.
Brandon Jensen wrote:
My house is built on a slab.....But I think I might need a little more planning for the south side of my lot. There is just so much water.