Wet Season Concerns for North Queensland Lawns – Waterlogging

Having a lawn in North Queensland comes with its own unique set of concerns our southern cousins will never quite understand – and the main one is related to the annual wet season – waterlogging.


Waterlogging of the soil occurs when the soil’s pores fill with water and leave no room for air/oxygen. Without the oxygen the lawn plants, and particularly the roots, require the turf will not survive. Either the waterlogging will kill the roots and therefore the lawn directly, or the waterlogging will allow the lawn to become vulnerable to disease producers like pythium or phytophthora*.

Signs that your lawn is suffering from waterlogging includes grass plants that are stunted, yellowing, wilted or even developing dark spots on the blades. Prolonged exposure to waterlogging can lead to the loss of blades, the death of root tips or even grass plants. If your lawn plants appear to die within the first days of heat after a period of cooler weather or dry season then previous waterlogging could be the cause. Before any more rain appears is the perfect time to investigate and correct any issues that are leading to the waterlogging.


Waterlogging indicators:

  • Continuous wet surfaces or patches
  • Slimy algae or moss
  • Plants being stunted or killed during the wet season
  • A foul, rotten-egg type smell when you dig up the surface
  • Pockets of water found below the surface


Speak to an irrigation or drainage specialist – while it might be a simple fix like a surface drain filled with gravel, waterlogging could be an indication of a bigger, deeper, more long term problem and require a special drainage system by implemented to suit the natural flow of water on your property.

Waterlogging could also be remedied by enhancing the soil surface – your local nurseries or lawn care specialist can help with advice.

You can keep update on a range of lawn care issues specifically affected those in North Queensland on our website blog page.

*pythium and phytophthora are plant damaging water moulds.

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