How to deal with a waterlogged lawn
The result of a very wet autumn and winter is playing havoc in gardens across the country with lawns resembling muddy puddles, rather than well-kept gardens. Managing a waterlogged lawn is essential to the health of the turf and the soil below, so find out how to deal with a waterlogged lawn with advice from Essex turf and topsoil supplier, Paynes Turf.
Problems with compaction
Grass requires a good supply of oxygen, as well as water and light, in order to grow healthily. Lawns that have become compacted will not grow well because the grass will be affected by the lack of oxygen to its roots. Another consequence of lawn compaction is water saturation.
Lawns, whether new or old, could suffer from compaction simply due to the amount of footfall. In older lawns, many years of constant use will compact the turf and the soil below, and this condition will be made worse if the lawn is walked upon when wet. Always try to keep off the lawn when it is wet to avoid compacting the soil, as a compacted lawn will not allow water to drain away freely. If you do need to walk across your lawn in order to carry out gardening tasks, consider installing stepping-stones in your lawn to avoid directly walking on it.
Compaction in new lawns
It’s easy to unknowingly compact a newly laid lawn – the soil below the turf is unstable and therefore susceptible to damage; the ground would have been dug over and a layer of fresh topsoil may have been applied before the turf was laid. Walking on a newly laid lawn can be disastrous, resulting in an uneven surface and severe compaction. Never walk on a new lawn until the roots of the turf have established and firmly attached into the soil below. If you do need to walk across the lawn, always use a board to walk on.
Aerate your lawn
To avoid problems with water saturation, aerate your lawn. This can be done once a year or once every two years, depending upon the severity of the problem. All you need to carry out the job is a garden fork. Simply poke the fork into the turf (to a depth of about 10cm) 10cm apart, over the entire lawn. This will allow water to drain away from the surface of the lawn and into the soil below. To help further with drainage problems you could also brush sand into the holes; this will improve the structure of the soil at the surface, which will ultimately keep the lawn drier and less susceptible to saturation.
The consequences of a waterlogged lawn
A saturated lawn could encourage the growth of algae, liverworts and dog lichen. Although not serious, these problems will affect the appearance of your lawn and could make it slippery.