Dry creek beds add interest, focal points in a yard and can serve a valuable purpose.
There are two main reasons for a dry creek bed. One is filling in an unwanted pond and the second is to catch run off. Some people just add a dry creek for fun but I have one and it’s for run off.
To fill in an unwanted pond
Sometimes a pond becomes a burden or just becomes too much to maintain so the owner may want to fill it in. Here are the steps to do so.
- Empty your pond by removing the water with a pump. Remove dead plants or debris. If the pond had a filter, fountain or pump make sure to remove that to.Use a mixture of gravel and soil to fill the newly emptied pond. Its wise to use a compactor to ensure that the new fill will not sink or sag or collapse when the heavy rain comes. You will also need to make sure the area slopes down a little so that when it rains the water will flow down. The easiest way to do this is to picture a running creek and try to make a path like a creek would follow.
- Make sure to create the slope opening towards a ditch or a source of drainage. You can also install a draining system underneath before pouring the soil and gravel.
- Use a liner or tarp to prevent weed growth.
Now comes the fun part. Add different sizes of rocks. Place them strategically to mimic Mother Nature. Place the big boulders on the sides and corners. Keep smaller to medium rocks at the center.
Add assorted ornamental grasses and plants to the surrounding areas to soften and add color to the landscape. A properly planned a filled in pond adds a relaxing area to the yard.
To help drain a wet area in your yard
I have one area in my yard that I struggled with for years. It was suggested that I add drains and let the area dry out but I decided a dry creek would be more fun and decorative.
The area used to be soggy and almost a bog in the spring and fall. In the summer it could be dry or semi wet. It created problems so when I saw directions for a dry creek this seemed the perfect solution.
The dry creek is set up pretty much the same as the directions for filling in a pond. You just don’t need to add fill. I used a liner for most of the dry creek to help prevent weeds and placed rocks in the creek bed and plants along the bank. I left the top area without a liner so that it would be a little wetter. This gave me a place for a locus plant and elephant ear plants.
The creek is dry lost of the time been in the spring if it wet or a heavy rain I will get a small running creek. It drains under the ground to the larger creek.
This area has become one of the most relaxing places in the yard. I have night-lights for the evening and during the day you can watch the wildlife in the creek or canoes passing by.
The dry creek made mowing easier and the plants that grow in this area are stunning.
Tags: dry creeks, how to install a dry creek, managing wet areas in your yard, how to fill a pond