Gardening Tips > January > Beautiful lawns are achievable regardless of the rain!

Beautiful lawns are achievable regardless of the rain!

This time of year it’s common for lawns to become waterlogged, especially (if like us) your soil is predominately clay. We have a good range of lawn care products in store and online to help.

But how do you deal with a waterlogged lawn and prevent one in the future? Here are 3 essential tips:

1. Stop! If the lawn is completely waterlogged, with water laying on the surface, leave all alone until excess water has drained away, as walking on the lawn will only cause further compaction and damage.

2. Aerate your lawn. Make holes on the lawn surface, by simply spiking the lawn evenly all over, to a depth of 10-15cm (4-6”).  This can be done using an ordinary garden fork, or to make the job easier, use a pair of aerating shoes. This process will not only improve drainage and prevent waterlogging, but will also increase air flow in the lawn and encourage new root growth.

3. Carry out seasonal lawn care tasks:

  • In spring apply a high nitrogen fertiliser, this will help the lawn to recover from any winter damage and allow the root system to grow and improve
  • In autumn apply a fertiliser high in phosphates and potash to help keep the grass strong over the winter
  • Rake regularly to remove old grass stems, dead moss and other debris. Use a good quality lawn rake or a scarifier to collect the thatch out of the grass.
  • Treat the lawn with moss and weed killer where appropriate.

Avoiding waterlogged lawns

How can you tell if your lawn is waterlogged?

Obviously all lawns will be wet this time of the year, but signs that waterlogging is an issue are:

  • Water sitting on the surface after recent rainfall – a sticky, muddy layer of puddled soil may form near the surface
  • The lawn will be very squelchy when walked on
  • The lawn may start to become patchy, fine lawn grasses will turn yellow and begin to die out

Why is waterlogging a problem for your lawn?

Waterlogging if left untreated can create a number of associated problems:

  • Poor drainage means that water will sit on the surface, starving the ground of oxygen which means grass roots will drown
  • Damp conditions and poor aeration may encourage algae, lichens and liverworts on lawns, and if left untreated, clumps of water plants like rush may seed themselves
  • Unsightly moss will thrive
  • And of course, you have a bog like, unusable lawn!

What caused your lawn to become waterlogged?

Poor drainage due to:

  • Poor preparation of the soil before the lawn was turfed or seeded.
  • Soil type – a clay soil is very sticky and dense so will not drain as well as a sandy soil
  • Compaction – overtime, treading on the lawn will reduce the pore space between soil particles making drainage less effective.
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