Recent heavy rains and widespread flooding in many parts of Victoria and southern NSW have caused extensive damage to homes, businesses and to our outdoor living spaces.
It’s been a heartbreaking time for so many, and the most important thing right now is the health and safety of your families and communities, so take care and look after one another in the weeks ahead.
The biggest challenge for our lawns during these flooding events is the damage caused by water logging for extended periods. In addition, once the water levels drop, the soil and sediment left behind can smother lawns and create a significant barrier for recovery.
If your lawn has been impacted by the recent rains or flooding events, please use this step-by-step guide designed by our lawncare specialists to help support your turf to recover.
Make sure your lawn is safe
If rain is still falling excessively and flowing water is still present, please hold off on taking any immediate action. Also keep an eye out for any hazards so you don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
Drain away excess water as best you can
The best way to encourage water absorption and to drain away water is natural sunlight, but you can help speed up the process by aerating your lawn with a garden fork after a few days, diverting water away from the lawn where possible, and removing all debris that may restrict direct sunlight to the grass.
is really important for alleviating the moisture and allowing oxygen down into the waterlogged roots of the lawn.
Remove mud and silt from grass
In many flood-affected communities, when the water starts to recede, you may find lots of mud and river silt smothering the grass. Remove what you can by hand wearing gloves. You can also try using a high-pressure hose to blast as much of the sediment off the lawn so the grass blades are unobstructed (we know using more water sounds counterintuitive, but it works).
Another way to remove mud, silt and debris easily is to use an old rotary mower with a catcher if you have one, as these are great at picking up debris on a lawn.
If moss or algae are present, this too will need addressing.
Hold off on fertilising or topdressing
If you are experiencing extensive rain, or flooding in your area, resist the temptation to apply lawn care products or undertake any activities that could lead to additional stress for your lawn. Dethatching
, fertilising and topdressing are best left alone until conditions are drier and you are seeing signs of growth in your lawn.
Keep any eye out for weeds
You can hand weed, or spot treat any weeds that have popped up in your turf, as it’s likely weeds will have infiltrated the soil. It’s important to address this so they don’t get out of control.
Watch for disease
When there is excessive moisture combined with humidity, it’s common for turf disease to develop. Aeration will significantly help with this, but if disease symptoms persist, consider trying a fungicide application to help improve turf grass health moving forwards.
Look for signs of your lawn being hydrophobic
If you notice water being repelled by the soil and pooling rather than absorbing quickly, a wetting agent application will help. Try a product like Wettasoil
or Lawn Soaker.
As soon as it’s dry enough to do so without making a mess, mow
the lawn at your normal mowing height. If the lawn is quite long, it may be necessary to bring the stem of the grass down to a lower height first. You can do this by taking the mower down a notch or two lower than normal before bringing it back up to the normal height. Getting back to regular mowing as soon as possible will be a big part in promoting healthy lateral growth for recovery.
Once the lawn is showing significant signs of recovery, you can fertilise
the lawn and target any emerging weeds more aggressively. This is also a good time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Oxa-Fert
that can help prevent the emergence of some of the weed seeds that may have been washed in.
Seek Professional Help
If you need further advice or support to get your turf back on track, be sure to give our lawn care specialists a call on 1800 736 326
. You can also purchase from our aftercare product range
and we can deliver direct to your door. We know this is a challenging time for so many in our community, and we are committed to assisting our customers in any way that we can.