Now that the mighty Murray River is receding, access to flood affected homes and holiday shacks is becoming a reality. Unfortunately, with this access comes the heartbreak and clean up of damaged land and properties.
Not only has your home suffered, but so has your garden. You might be faced with a lawn that’s not looking its best due to excess water, silt/sediment, debris and weeds. But unlike a lot of things you’ll have to fix, your lawn has a chance to recover on its own. Here’s our top tips to get your lawn back to its best after flooding. We hope you are all safe and wish you the best with the clean up.
The most likely appearance of your lawn is one filled with silt and sediment. This thick layer of mud is inhibiting sunshine, oxygen and nutrients getting to your lawn and therefore removal is essential for recovery. Although it may seem counterintuitive a high-pressure hosing of your lawn can help to clear out any thick sediment that may be smothering your lawn. Ideally, you need the blades of your lawn to be visible for good growth and repair. You can also remove the larger parts by hand (with gloves!) or use an old rotary mower with catcher to help pick up debris on the lawn.
There has been a significant amount of water on your lawn over the past few months and it may take a while for it to drain fully. Water-logged roots can’t access the oxygen and nutrients they need for healthy growth, so it’s essential we try and rectify this. Aerating your lawn with a garden fork will help to alleviate moisture in the area and help oxygen flow more freely to the roots.
Things to look out for
It’s likely weeds have taken this opportunity and done what they do best – grow where we don’t want them to! You can hand-pull or use a selective herbicide to ensure they don’t get out of hand before the cooler weather arrives.
Water-logged turf provides the perfect conditions for turf fungus and disease to grow. Although general care of your lawn and the aforementioned aeration will help, once your lawn has dried out an application of a fungicide may be required to help improve turf health in the future.
If you notice the lawn is showing signs of being hydrophobic where the water is being repelled by the soil and pooling rather than absorbing quickly, then a wetting agent application will help with this. A product like Wettasoil or Lawn Soaker is ideal.
Once your lawn area is clear and you notice re-growth in the area, returning to your normal lawn care regime will be the best way to aid in its recovery.
Regular mowing helps promote strong, healthy, lateral growth which will thicken your lawn up quickly. Once the water has properly soaked in, an application of fertiliser will replenish those much-needed nutrients and encourage faster growth and repair.
Although it won’t happen overnight, your lawn has the ability to re-grow and recover – if you are able to act now, you have plenty of growing season left to help!