How to Fix Waterlogged Grass

Waterlogged lawns and sodden grassy areas can give visitors to your office or building an immediate negative impression, as well as effecting your grass long-term meaning it will look less than appealing come summertime.

As we move through the autumn and winter seasons, periods of very heavy rain can leave property and business owners wondering how to get rid of a waterlogged lawn. While it is not necessarily easy, there are a few clear steps you can take. Using these expert tips can help to get rid of and prevent waterlogging so that you can protect your grassy spaces and maintain your outside areas all year round.

Why is my grass flooding?

A waterlogged lawn can be caused by a few different issues, which all relate to the water not being able to properly drain through the grass and soil. Soil that is tightly packed will not be able to allow water to drain through; compacted soil tends to happen in areas that see high-activity, like pathways and play areas for children. Aerating the soil (which we’ll get onto soon) can help prevent these issues.

You will also find that a poor root system can create a water logging issue, as thick, well-developed and complex root systems absorb any water on the lawn. You can tackle this specific issue by overseeding in spring or early autumn, which will create a thicker lawn.

Is waterlogging bad for my grass?

There are a variety of problems that can occur when grass is wet for long periods:

  • Damp conditions in your lawn can encourage algae, lichens and liverworts. You will find these in badly-drained lawns, but can also develop when aeration is poor. So if you have well-drained turf but the surface has become compacted it will remain damp after rain and encourage pests and bugs.
  • Moss is common when conditions are damp, especially in shady areas.
  • Patches of dead grass where the soil proves very difficult to re-wet can be caused by a fungal problem: dry patch

How to fix waterlogged grass?

There are a few short term, manageable solutions you can take to improve the condition of your lawn and prevent and solve waterlogged grass.

Identifying where the excess water is coming from is an important first step. If heavy rain is causing flooding from overflowing drains, contact your local council or water company to rectify the problem. You can also remove excess water from hard surfaces nearby to avoid them sitting on your lawn, but try and keep off the soil while it is still wet to avoid compacting the soil worse.

If you’re looking for long term solutions, we would advise:

  • Use cultivation to improve soil structure and encourage better drainage
  • Install drainage where possible near the affected areas
  • Plant trees and plants suited to wetter soils to absorb more of the water
  • Apply fertiliser in the spring to help grass recover from damage and grow root systems better able to withstand flooding
  • Use a lawn feed that’s rich in phosphorus in autumn to promote good root growth
  • Apply moss killer to prevent moss from thriving in wet/dead patches

How to control waterlogged grass?

For long term prevention of waterlogged lawns, we recommend pricking or spiking the surface of your lawn to allow better drainage. Shallow pricking or slitting will help, however, deeper spiking is more effective. At Dependable, we use a tool designed to leave holes 10-15cm deep, and then fill these holes with a free-draining material to allow the water to move from the surface to deeper, less compacted layers of soil.

If your lawn is particularly prone to waterlogging, we would recommend doing this process every few years in autumn to prevent the need for emergency action after wet winters.

We hope this article has helped you better understand how to control and manage your lawn when it becomes waterlogged. If you’re needing some support managing your outside spaces, we have a range of experience in landscape maintenance services. Our professional grounds maintenance team can maintain and improve the outside spaces of your properties on short notice.

Get in contact to understand more about how we can keep your outside spaces looking attractive; we’re here to help.