Post-flood Lawn Recovery

Posted on March 11, 2022 by Greg Pelka

As floods become more common, so has the chore of recovering from their damage. With the recent floods sweeping across the Sunshine Coast, many homeowners are left to either salvage or replace their lawns.

Below we have compiled a list of helpful hints that you can use to try and salvage your lawn after a flood.

Common lawn issues from flooding

After a flood, two types of damage can occur to your lawn. These are:

Direct Damage

When floodwater submerges your lawn for an extended period of time your lawn runs the risk of dying due to a lack of oxygen. When grass has been submerged for more than six days it has a very low chance of survival or recovery.

Secondary Damage

Due to silt and sediment buildup from the flood your lawn could also be subject to fungal diseases, algae, moss growth, and weeds.

How to care for your lawn after a flood?

Assess the damage

Take note of where the most flooded areas of your lawn are. This will help you to work out where the weak spots are in your drainage, as well as areas that will need more attention. Common reasons for puddling or pools of water in your lawn are:

  • Bad or blocked drainage.
  • Incorrect sloping of your lawn.
  • Downspouts misguiding the floodwater.

Minimise Traffic

Whilst your lawn is recovering from a flood try to avoid walking on it as much as possible. Walking on flooded grass can damage the roots of the grass within the soil. Not to mention causing the muddy soil to push up to the surface of the grass. If you absolutely have to walk on it, ensure that you minimise your steps.

Remove Debris

Floodwater can produce all kinds of debris onto your lawn such as tree branches, leaves, glass, and other forms of trash and debris. You should remove all debris from your lawn as soon as you are able to walk on it. This will give your lawn the best chance of revival. If your lawn is still heavily wet it is best to try to remove the debris with a rake to avoid stepping on it.

Remove Soil and Silt Deposits

Once the flood has started to die down scrape off any soil and silt deposits from your lawn. You shouldn’t rake it into your lawn as the silt and muck brought in by floods do not have the organic material needed to help your lawn grow or repair.

Aerate your lawn

Once your lawn has started to dry out and you can start to see new growth through the soil you can begin to aerate it. It is recommended that you go over your entire lawn three to four times with an aerator. This will help relieve the compacted soil left behind from the flood as well as improve the levels of oxygen within the soil.

Once aerated you can apply fertiliser to your lawn to help keep the weeds and other potential diseases from sprouting across your lawn.

Assess whether to replace or start over

Watch the growth of your lawn for the next several weeks to assess the amount of damage that was incurred by the flood. By this time you will be able to work out whether you will need all new turf or whether certain areas will need to be replaced.

As a rule of thumb if 60 percent or more of your lawn is recovering then it is highly possible your lawn will make a recovery after a few areas have been replaced. However, if only 40 percent or less is recovering then it is best to replace all of your lawn with new turf.

If you need to replace your entire lawn with new turf you can till your dead grass into the soil as deep as possible. Ensure to get your soil tested so you know what is needed to bring it back to health and avoid future grass death from bad soil.

How to be proactive?

After you've made it through one flooded lawn, you will want to avoid future problems. You may need to look at raising your lawn. Once the floodwater has subsided, you can cut the grass where the water was pooling loosen the soil. You can then raise the lawn by adding screened topsoil and relaying new turf in the area.

This will help push the water somewhere else; however, ensure it doesn't just go to another spot on your lawn. If so, you may need to look at upgrading or installing a proper drainage system.

Rosemount Turf

For more information or whether you would like a quote on new turf please don't hesitate to contact our friendly staff on 07 5448 6398 or alternatively via email using our online contact form.

Resources:

SPS Online
What to do about flooded lawn and landscape
Lawn Starter
Tips Help Lawns Recover Flood Damage
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Greg Pelka

We are a local, Sunshine Coast turf grass company with a committed team to providing a quality lawn. Like any small business it's the people who make it great. Above are the friendly staff you'll meet and deal with when ordering turf from Rosemount Turf.

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