Before we discuss ways to improve the drainage of your lawn, let’s briefly explain why lawn drainage is important. If your lawn doesn’t drain well, you’ll have slippery and soggy soil. And, that’s not aesthetically pleasing. Even worse, it makes walking unpleasant and dirty. Finally, poorly drained soil leads to pest problems, uneven ground, and dead spots due to rotting roots.
So, that’s the bad news. And with this summer’s record rains in New England, you may be experiencing standing water in areas you’ve never seen it before. The good news is that you can follow four easy steps to mitigate soggy soil and improve your lawn drainage. Read on to learn more.
1. Core aerate your soil
The first step to improve your lawn drainage is to ensure you core aerate the soil each spring. Core aeration is a specific type of lawn aeration. You’ll use a lawn aerator machine that removes plugs of soil from the lawn. The removed plugs create tunnels through which water, nutrients, and oxygen can penetrate the soil. Additionally, and most importantly for drainage purposes, this technique reduces soil compaction. Compacted soil repels water and leads to puddles.
2. Topdress your soil with organic matter
Topdressing is a technique where you’ll spread a fresh layer of organic matter directly to the ground. (Organic matter includes: garden compost, manure, grass clippings, leaves, potting soil, etc.) Topdressing with organic matter opens the pores in the soil so water can seep down into the ground, which improves drainage. It also gives your lawn nutrients to help it grow!
3. Develop an optimal mowing schedule
Coming up with an optimal mowing schedule for your lawn isn’t just important so it looks good. It also helps create a vibrant, healthy lawn. How? Mowing on a regular and consistent basis leads to deep root growth, which will support proper drainage. So, what’s the rule of thumb for optimal mowing?
The ideal height for grass is generally two and a half inches. You should only remove the top one-third of the grass blade. So, the best time to mow is when your grass is about three and two-thirds inches tall.
4. Create an optimized irrigation schedule
Similar to developing an optimal mowing schedule, you should ensure your lawn receives the appropriate amount of water. Thus, creating an optimized irrigation schedule is also critical.
Many people mistakenly believe the more water, the better when it comes to their lawn. But that’s not true. Frequent irrigation leads to surface-level roots. Instead, you want deep roots to grow. Why? Because it’s the deep root growth that breaks up the compacted soil. And as we learned previously, compacted soil doesn’t drain well.
Now get outside and follow these four easy steps to improve your lawn. You won’t regret it when your lawn looks beautiful. But if these steps don’t help alleviate lawn drainage issues, you may need more help with your landscape drainage and grading. Contact us to get the help you need.