Helping your lawn to recover after heavy, continuous rain or flooding

lawn care after floodingYour lawn may not be of the highest priority directly after a lot of rain or flood but take note of these tips and you’ll give your lawn a much better chance of recovery.

When your lawn floods or receives a very high amount of rainfall the oxygen that is essential for root respiration and the soil microbes is eliminated from the soil with as little as 24 hours of immersion. This can compromise the health of the roots and the lawn plants above the ground.  Typically, most lawn varieties that grow in tropical north Queensland can handle up to four days of submersion but all flooded lawns will require some form of extra attention.

Lawn recovery top tips:

  • Reduce all traffic to limit soil compaction
  • Allow the soil to drain naturally
  • Wait until soil is dry before conducting any repair work to reduce the risk of long term damage and compaction
  • Gently hose down any leaves that are covered with mud, debris or silt to allow them to function efficiently and effectively
  • Cover any exposed turf roots and replace any lost soil to create a more stable growing environment
  • If there is up to 20mms of sediment or silt left behind this can be raked and spread gently over the lawn
  • If there is over 20mms of sediment or silt left behind the excess will need to be removed before a crust forms on the surface with will limit air movement
  • To replace lost nutrients and encourage repair and regrowth, apply a light fertiliser
  • Complete a pH soil test to see if the flooding/heavy rain has led to the soil becoming acidic.
  • If acidic (refer to the reading instructions), a lime or seaweed formula application could be effective when applied every 2 – 4 weeks until such time as the soil acidity levels have stabilised
  • Watch out for signs of stress such as drooping, browning or yellowing leaves
  • Watch out to any bacterial or fungal diseases which can occur after flooding
  • If your lawn doesn’t show signs of regeneration within a few weeks then you should consider re-establishing the lawn

Prior to installing a new lawn it’s extremely important that all of the dead layer of lawn is removed, tilled and incorporating the surrounding soil to aid in new root growth and sufficient water, nutrient and air movement. Installing a new lawn as soon as possible will protect against additional soil loss in any more upcoming bad weather. For more advice on installing a new lawn, contact the Harden Park Lawns team.

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