‘Avoid walking on it!’: How to repair a waterlogged lawn – ‘leaves turf yellow and patchy’

Gardening tips: How to repair and maintain your lawn

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Lawn care in winter has made gardening at this time so much harder with cold and wet weather always in sight. Heavy rainfalls can cause lawns to become waterlogged, which can lead to grass blades turning yellow and cause them to die. Luckily, lawn care specialists are on hand to share their top tips on rescuing waterlogged grass.

A lawn becomes waterlogged if it is either partly or fully covered by water.

However, gardeners might come across a lawn which isn’t currently saturated, so it is not immediately obvious that their lawn is prone to waterlogging. 

Lawn experts at Turf online have shared how to cope with a waterlogged lawn, whilst also explaining how to correctly drain them.

They said: “Rain, rain and yet more rain – that’s exactly what many parts of the UK see oh so regularly. 

“Although the British population may be used to the almost constant deluge, our lawns may not. 

“Sadly, one of the most common problems caused by excess rain is waterlogged lawns. 

“To drain your waterlogged lawn quickly begin pricking or slitting the surface. 

“We recommend using a pricking or slitting tool designed to leave holes 10-15cm deep.”

Although grass can cope with wet conditions better in winter than summer, water sitting on the surface of a lawn will cause problems at all times of the year. 

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The experts said: “Compaction stifles airflow and water flow to the roots of the grass. 

“This will ultimately drown and kill the plants, leaving turf yellow and patchy.”

Waterlogging also increases the rate of growth of unwanted plants like lichens and liverwort. 

Not only do they look unpleasant, but these plants can eventually cover wide areas of the lawn. 

They will stifle grass growth and kill the turf. 

It is therefore of utmost importance that you deal with a waterlogged lawn as soon as possible.

The lawn experts have shared how to repair grass in just three steps.

Let the rain drain

The gardening experts said: “Avoid walking on it or treating it in any way until most of the water has finally drained from your lawn – smaller patches can be swept towards areas of the garden that drain more easily. 

“If draining only takes a couple of days, your turf is repairable.”

Grass that has been waterlogged for over a week is likely a lost cause and will need to be replaced or reseeded.

Aerate roots

This can either be done with a manual hollow tine aerator which makes small holes all over the garden, or a powered hollow tine aerator which will leave plugs of soil on the surface – be sure to remove them. 

Holes can then be filled with topdressing soil or sand to improve future drainage.

Feed it

As winter turns to spring and temperatures begin to warm up, gardeners should begin to feed their lawn with fertiliser.

As it grows, they’ll be able to pinpoint areas where the turf has been killed and they can begin to reseed or replace them.

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