What To Do If Your Garden Is Waterlogged

If water sits on the surface of your garden and drains slowly, chances are that your garden is waterlogged. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for a waterlogged lawn.

However, there are some steps you can take to help move the process along and to prevent this from happening again. Read on to find out how to identify whether or not your garden is waterlogged, and for advice on what to do if it is.

What is waterlogging?

Gardens become waterlogged when rail sits on the surface of the lawn, after a period of heavy rain, and the rainwater does not drain away so your lawn is underwater. Waterlogging can occur on all grassed areas, but is most common if you have clay-like, dense or compacted soil.

Air needs to get to the grass roots in the soil for the grass to live. If the soil is full of water, air will not be able to get to the roots. Grass is quite hardy and can survive a few days without oxygen, but then it will start yellowing and will eventually die.

Is my garden waterlogged?

If the lawn is partly or fully covered by water, it is likely that it is waterlogged. However, not all waterlogged lawns are visibly underwater.

A lawn that is squelchy to walk on, has a sticky layer of puddled soil near the surface, has a lot of moss growth, or is turning yellow, may also be waterlogged.

How to fix a waterlogged lawn

Aerate the lawn

Improve drainage in the soil by aerating the lawn. Add air into the soil by spiking the lawn with a garden fork or aerator. This will improve the conditions in which the grass roots live, and help them to get the oxygen they need to live.

You should regularly aerate your lawn throughout spring and summer to help minimise the compaction of the soil and the chances of waterlogging occurring in autumn and winter when it is most common.

Treat the lawn

Moss is likely to grow on wet soil and dead patches of grass. To prevent it from taking over the lawn and stopping the lawn from thriving, moss should be treated with a proprietary moss killer.

Use fertiliser on the lawn during spring to help the grass recover after a wet winter, and use a phosphorus-rich lawn feed in autumn.. This will also help the grass roots to grow more extensive systems so that they can better withstand drought and flooding in future.

Seed the lawn

You should seed the lawn in the spring and summer to help prevent moss from bulding up and to help create a thicker lawn with more developed root systems. You should spread grass seed across the entire lawn, where the grass is thick, as well as where it is more bare.

For the best results, choose a grass seed which is resilient against damp roots, and well suited to the conditions of your garden.

Create a ditch or drain

Although not suitable for all gardens, creating or installing a drain, or digging a ditch, at the lowest point of your lawn or garden can be effective.

Having a ditch or drain will help to shift some of the water off your lawn by moving it away from the problem areas, either into a ditch or pond where it cannot create as much damage, or by draining it away completely.

Dig it up and start over

In situations where you cannot get rid of the excess water and there is nowhere for it to go, or if the grass yellows and dies away, then the only solution may be to dig up the lawn and replace it with a new one.

To reduce your chances of your garden becoming waterlogged again in future, use turf laid on a 5cm bed of sharp sand, overlaid with topsoil. Make sure you use sharp sand for gardeners and not builders’ sharp sand.

For professional advice and help in selecting the best grass seed for your garden, please contact our knowledgeable team at Boston Bulbs by calling 01775 769333, or email us at sales@bostonbulbswholesale.co.uk.

The Boston Bulb Company has over 40 years of experience in supplying only the finest quality horticultural products from farmers and growers throughout the UK and Europe.

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