How to deal with a waterlogged lawn

The recent wet weather has caused waterlogging in many gardens throughout the UK, leaving many gardeners scratching their heads and wondering how to drain the excess water away. So what is the best way to deal with a waterlogged lawn? Find out with tips from Paynes Turf.

waterlogged lawn

Here in the UK we’re used to enduring lots of rainfall, however the recent heavy downpours and flooding seem to have taken a severe turn for the worst, especially in the north of the country. Many lawns, not to mention homes, are under water as the ground is unable to cope with the excessive rainfall that Mother Nature has provided. Of course, there’s not much to be done in severely flooded areas – apart from waiting for the waters to subside – but for those of us simply dealing with a waterlogged garden there are things that can be done to help relieve the situation.

One of the biggest problems of a waterlogged lawn is that the roots of the grass plants are starved of oxygen, which is vital to enable growth. The good news is that the grass plants can cope with being waterlogged for much longer during the winter period, because growth is dormant and less oxygen is required. However, the grass will soon begin to show signs of damage during prolonged waterlogging.

What to do with a waterlogged lawn 

  • Don’t walk on the lawn until the water has drained away as this could damage the lawn further.
  • When the grass eventually becomes visible, place wooden planks across the lawn so you can walk across without damaging the lawn, then use a garden fork to spike deep holes in the ground, around 15cm deep. This will help to drain away water much faster.
  • When most of the water has drained off, fill in the holes with horticultural sand – this will help to improve drainage now and in the future.

How to help prevent waterlogging

  • Give your lawn a feed with a suitable fertilizer in the springtime. This will help the grass to recover from damage, and also grow stronger root systems, which will enable the grass to cope better with waterlogging in the future.
  • Feed your lawn in the autumn with a phosphorus rich fertiliser. This will continue to help the roots of the grass plants grow even stronger and better able to deal with waterlogging.
  • Aerate your lawn every year, if necessary, and apply a horticultural dressing.