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What to do about Waterlogged lawns

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Waterlogged lawns occur after excessive rainfall, the water will sit on the surface and drain slowly or not at all. 
Simply, the soil is tightly packed and has no room for water to drain through it – ultimately if air and water can not reach the roots of the grass, it will starve the grass of oxygen and eventually destroy it. 


Certainly not what we want for our lawns! 


Is my lawn waterlogged? 


It’s obvious to notice a waterlogged lawn. There should be large pools of water over the grass and will be squelchy and muddy to walk on.
If your lawn is waterlogged, avoid walking on it as much as possible! Once the water has cleared you can assess the damage; If draining only takes a couple of days, your grass should be repairable. 


What causes a waterlogged lawn? 


A waterlogged lawn is more likely to be a problem on compacted, clay soils or a poor root system. 
•    Compacted soil – usually caused by excessive foot traffic. 
•    Clay soil – Unfortunately, a soil that is rich in clay is prone to flooding. The soil is denser and doesn’t allow the air and water to flow as easily. 
•    Poor root system – you need a thick, developed root system to be able to absorb the rainwater. 


Can I avoid my lawn becoming waterlogged? 


Aeration… regularly! Preferably, Hollow tine Aeration. 
Hollow-tine Aeration is an effective way to thin-out sub-surface thatch in a lawn. It does this by mechanically removing thousands of cores from the lawn allowing essential water, air, and nutrients access to the root zone.


How to fix a waterlogged lawn


Once the water has evaporated and the soil is moist, create holes in the lawn using a garden fork. Aerating the lawn will remove further compaction and allow the water to drain through. Make sure to remove any plugs of soil on the surface. 
It’s best to then continue feeding your lawn.


However, if your lawn is laid on heavy clay you will struggle with drainage every year. You should consider replacing it. 


Problems of a waterlogged lawn


If your lawn is suspect to flooding, it can be followed by a number of problems… 
•    Moss – moss loves damp conditions, especially if it’s shady too! 
•    Lichens and Liverworts – waterlogging increases the rate of growth of unwanted plants. If not dealt with, they will eventually overtake the lawn and kill the turf. 


If your lawn is waterlogged and you need further advice, please contact your local GreenThumb branch. They’ll be more than happy to help – www.greenthumb.co.uk/branch 


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