Garden lawn care: Crucial steps to fix a waterlogged lawn as ‘uncertain’ weather continues

Good Morning Britain: Richard Madeley shows his brown lawn

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Outbreaks of heavy rain will continue to fall across the UK this week with “more uncertainty than usual” in the weather, according to the Met Office. While longer spells of rain are welcomed by gardeners facing hosepipe bans in parts of the country, sudden downpours will leave many lawns waterlogged, and entire gardens drenched in excess water. Though it may seem impossible to stop grass and soil being damaged by the rain, one expert explained that there are a few simple ways to remove extra water lurking in your garden.

Rainfall is a welcome sight during a drought and is often enough to help your lawn recover from the heat in a matter of weeks.

However, flash flooding and sudden downpours can be problematic for garden grass if the water is unable to drain away quickly enough.

Waterlogging occurs when water sits on the surface of the soil for too long, leaving it soft and even sticky in places.

It’s not just lawns that can suffer from being waterlogged either, in fact, any area with soil or plants is at risk.

William Mitchell of Sutton Manor Nursery said: “In the event of long periods of heavy rain, the water table in your garden will rise, preventing it from draining away, and within no time at all, you’ve got big puddles in your garden drowning your plants.

“This can cause a number of problems for your garden including an increased chance of unwanted plants like lichens and liverwort.”

Damp, moss and a fungal condition known as dry patch are the most common long-term consequences of waterlogging, but there are ways to prevent them from running your lawn for good.

How to fix a waterlogged lawn

Getting rid of excess water is essential before more rain drenches your garden, and it’s easier than you may think.

Aerate your lawn

Aerating you lawn is the most effective way to improve drainage and air flow at the same time, by allowing extra water to move away from the surface of the grass.

William said: “This can be accomplished by using a hollow tine aerator or spiking the lawn with a garden fork or aerator shoes.

“This will help the lawn to recover more quickly by keeping the soil loose and drawing out moisture.”

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Apply moss treatment

Moss is a common sight where conditions are damp and is often unavoidable in periods of heavy rainfall.

Luckily it is easy to treat before it becomes a bigger problem by stopping the grass from getting the water and nutrients it needs to grow.

According to William, the best way to treat moss is to apply a moss-killer and fertiliser to ensure the lawn thrives, instead of the compact green deposits.

He added: “By using a fertiliser, the grass root system will also develop into a stronger network, which should make it more capable of withstanding future waterlogging.”

Dig a “French drain”

Draining the water away is easy to do by making a physical drain for the water to run into.

A French drain will need to be installed by a professional as it involves some heavy machinery and a considerable amount of “upheaval” in the garden, according to William.

He explained that this method is best used on lawns that are very badly damaged by excess water and can’t be fixed through other methods.

William added: “By installing a French drain (or any drainage system), surface water can be diverted away from the problem area.

“To further improve the results, you may want to have new top soil and turf laid following the installation of your French drain.”

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