Have you stepped outside hours after the rain, and found yourself trudging through puddles and mud? Perhaps your lawn squishes beneath your feet like a water-soaked sponge or is turning yellow after heavy rains.
This is caused by waterlogged soil and lawn. It occurs when the soil has too much moisture from flooding that the pore spaces in the soil close not allowing enough oxygen through. But how can we prevent this from happening and potentially destroying our garden in the process?
Waterlogged soil or lawn can be caused by a few different things:
- Poor drainage – There is nowhere for the water to go, so it stays where it is.
- Too much clay in soil – Clay is a water-resistant component found in soil and when there is too much present, water has a hard time being absorbed.
- Excess rain – If you live in an area where it rains a lot, then you would know that often the soil doesn’t have enough time to evaporate or drain away the water from the previous rain before the next rains come.
- Overwatering – If you overwater your plants by not giving your plants/soil enough time between waterings to dry.
- Location – If there are shady spots in your garden where the water doesn’t evaporate effectively via the sun.
- Lack of Oxygen – Now while plants do need water to survive, they also need oxygen. When water doesn’t drain away from the root systems properly it can cause them to get sick, rot and eventually die.
- Root rot
- Muddy areas
- Yellowing or spongy lawn
- Spiking – By manually aerating the soil/lawn with a garden fork or aeration shoes. This will allow water to penetrate further into the earth, rather than just having it sit on the top layer of soil. The depth of the spiking will depend on the severity of the waterlogging, generally go down to a depth where the soil is dry.
- Dethatching – If your lawn has started to die from waterlogging then it’s a great idea to use a dethatching machine or gardening rake with thin prongs, to drag over the lawn and remove any dead grass or materials without damaging the healthy lawn below. Combine this with spiking to give your lawn the best chance to recover.
- Overseeding your lawn – Will help to prevent waterlogging of your lawn during the rainy season.
- Backyard drain – You can always build a backyard drain, that will allow for water to have a place to drain. You could hire someone to do it for you or you could DIY.
- Fixing the soil – You may have to start again if you have poor quality soils. This is done by removing the current soil and replacing it with a better graded topsoil and compost.
- Plants – Buy plants that thrive in these conditions. Ask our team about the best plants suited to these areas of your garden.
- Build raised garden beds – If you have issues with drainage then your solution may be to build raised garden beds. By doing so, you bypass the main issue and are in control of all aspects of the soil used and can lay a great foundation for your plants to grow.
If you have any further questions, come in store and talk to our friendly team for the best advice for our local area.
Happy Gardening!From Nicholas and the Team at Capalaba Produce