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How to cover up mud in the backyard: 15+ Great Ways!

Ack, we had a muddy yard the first year in our new house, and we couldn’t wait to get rid of the muddy mess. It’s one thing to have a muddy lawn or a few muddy spots, but when your whole yard is mud, you need to take action. Here is how to cover up mud in the backyard, and you can use some or all of these items depending on how much space you need to cover up. 

If you’re feeling like your muddy backyard is looking a little unkempt, it’s time to bring it back to life!

how to cover up mud in a back yard

Why is my yard muddy?

Whether you have to build a custom home, built a spec house, you’ve moved into a house in a new area, or if the house you’re in just has never been landscaped, a muddy backyard can make for a messy house quickly with kids and pets. Poor drainage, lack of landscaping, or just muddy soil conditions can be attributed to a backyard having a lot of wet mud. Luckily there are easy ways to fix a muddy yard.


Install a french drain

french drain

If you have poor drainage, then you will want to look into some type of drainage system. So if you don’t mind the dirt but want it to dry out, you can install a french drain. Grab a shovel, get some pea gravel and trench out some pipe so that the water seeps through and drains off much more quickly. Add a few plants you want to keep, and this may become an excellent spot for a garden!


Lay down grass seed

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Whether it’s one muddy spot or you have dead grass and need something to soak up the excess water, adding grass is a great way to go.

By adding grass you have a way of adding vegetation that will naturally soak up water in your yard. The best and most affordable way to cover up your muddy backyard is to lay down grass seed. It can take a little longer than sod (see next point), but it’s a more cost effective way of helping remove excess moisture in your backyard.

In my experience as a homeowner, this is the best cost-effective backyard solution as it lets you salvage as much of your existing landscaping as possible before laying down the new seed.


Lay down sod

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Sod is best used to create a space that can be enjoyed immediately.

If your budget allows you can use sod to cover up the muddy yard. Since the grass will grow in sheets this is a way to create a brand new yard but in much less time than using seed.

This type of backyard solution also allows you to salvage older plants that may have been displaced from your last planting project, just be sure they get enough sunlight for them to properly grow. 


Lay down mulch

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Mulch is a wood chippings from cut down trees, it adds a nice look to the yard and can serve as an eye-pleasing way to cover up the mud in your backyard. There are many types of mulches that you can use including pine straw, hardwood chips, or cypress mulch.

Mulch covers up all of the ugliness and looks more aesthetically pleasing than just mud everywhere. You can buy mulch from Walmart, Home Depot, or any other home store.

To avoid needing to weed in the future, some preparation is necessary. Get some landscape fabric and you just simply put down some mulch and you’re all set!


Lay down a tarp or sheets

If you really wanted to, you could always just cover up the muddy yard with large landscaping fabric. You would just have to adjust your landscaping around it and most likely move some of it somewhere else.

Then you will want to put something on top of the tarp or sheet that will look nice and prevent mud from getting everywhere. You can use stones to cover up the tarp until you are ready to remove it, or you could use mulch as well.


Put down some decorative rocks

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You could also just put down some decorative landscape rock around your plants so it looks like there is a patio there instead of just mud. This will cover up the ugliness and give it a different look altogether.

Mud in your backyard isn’t something that you need to get rid of right away, but it doesn’t mean that it has to stay either. Adding rocks are some easy ways that you can cover up dirt or mud in your backyard and turn it into something that doesn’t look like a mess anymore. This can be a more costly option if you are covering a large area but it looks amazing when done right. 


Find a landscaper here. 

Cover with gravel

Gravel is slightly different from decorative rock and a lot cheaper. You can buy a bag of gravel and pour it out wherever you want to cover up mud. It will still give your yard a new look and isn’t as expensive as adding custom stonework throughout the entire backyard. We got the same company that brought our gravel for our driveway to also bring some river rock in as a decorative area. It was affordable and fast. 


Cover with paving stones

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Whether you just want to get around your yard without getting your feet all dirty, or you want to make it look like there is a patio where the mud was before, paving blocks are the way to go.

These can be an easy way to get around your yard without paving the whole thing or creating a stone patio.

You can buy a few different colors and stack them on top of each other in your backyard to create an area for tables or benches that overlooks the rest of your backyard.


Build a stone patio

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If you have a small muddy area in the backyard why not turn it into a nice stone patio? You can buy the stones and set them in place yourself, or you could hire a contractor to do it for you.

Labor is the biggest cost with this but with a little bit of work and some help from your local hardware store you can create a stone patio in no time.


Build a deck

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A deck is a great way to cover up the mud in your backyard. You can build a deck from scratch or you can buy a kit and have a local contractor come out and assemble it for you.

This is a very cost-effective way to not only cover up the mud but also add value to your home as well. This comes with labor as well as materials, so be prepared to spend a little bit of money.


Add a garage

This is in the expensive category but if you really don’t want to see any more mud in your backyard then why not add a garage.

There are some great garages that can be had for under $10,000 and will cover up the entire area where the mud is. This also can boost your property value and give you more storage space.


Plants flowers

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Flowers are a great way to cover up the mess that is mud. If you want to go even cheaper than just lay down some mulch, you can pick up some flowers at your local nursery and plant them in your backyard where you want to cover up the mud.

Call your local greenhouse and ask which plant species are best for your soil and sun coverage to make sure you get the right kind for your yard.

This will look great if it’s the color scheme of your home or landscaping as well!


Crawling vegetation

There are a ton of creeper plants that you can use to cover a muddy yard if you don’t like the ideas mentioned above. Creeper plants are great because you can put them in the ground and they start to spread out over time in your yard, covering up the mud.

You could plant creeping thyme, clover, or English ivy depending on the look that you are going for in your backyard. This is great if you need to cover up mud but don’t want something permanent.


Find a landscaper here. 

Decorative rocks around plants

If you just want to cover up the mud and give your garden a new look, then decorative rocks around your plants is the way to go.

You can move some rocks around and hide the mud with them. Plus it gives it a whole new look and is very inexpensive.


Cover with Carpet

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If you really want to cover up the mud in your backyard, then you could always just put some cheap outdoor carpet down over it and use it as a patio of sorts. Your kids can play outside on it and it will give your entire yard a brand new look.


Plant a vegetable garden

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Gardens can take up a lot of room and are easy to do when there is mud all over the place. If you want to cover up the ugly and still enjoy fresh vegetables, then a vegetable garden is a great idea.

A water feature would be nice too. If you really want to go cheap and easy then plant flowers around your plants instead of mulch or rocks. This will make your entire backyard look brand new.

Besides covering up mud or using rocks and wood around your plants, you could always add a water feature to the backyard as well. It’s an easy way to make your backyard look new and is very relaxing when you want to go outside and unwind at the end of the day.


Install a pool

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Definitely the most costly one on the list. Though it is a great way to take up a good chunk of the backyard and can be a ton of fun for the family. It covers up the mud, but it also will give you a place to swim and cool off on the hot summer days. .

If your kids are always asking to go swimming then this is definitely one of the best ways to keep them happy.


Build a rain garden

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A rain garden is another way that you can get rid of mud in your yard. This will help with water runoff and drainage, while also giving you an area to put down some plants.

You can plant a rain garden yourself or hire a professional landscaper to do it for you. Either way, this will be a great addition to your backyard and is one of the best ways to cover mud in your yard. Learn more about what is a rain garden here.


Final thoughts on how to cover up mud in your backyard

Knowing how to cover up mud in your backyard is a simple way for you to improve the overall look of your yard and bring it back from the mess that mud can make. There are many ways that you can go about covering up dirt or mud. Some of these methods include laying down seed, mulch, tarp or sheets, decorative rocks, gravel or stones, and plants.

You can choose any one of these methods that best suit your needs especially when you consider the cost involved in each method. There are many ways that you can cover up mud in your backyard and make it look new again.

One last thing! Before you begin, you should also consider interviewing local landscaping contractors before choosing what method to use.

Find a landscaper here. 

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