How to Recover Your Lawn After Flooding: A Comprehensive Guide

With the excessive number of rainy periods we’ve had over the last few years, having to deal with a flooded lawn is becoming a common problem that homeowners are facing.

As the flooding starts to subside, you might be faced with a lawn that’s looking a bit worse for wear. Whether it’s excess water, washed up sediment, debris or an invasion of weeds, flooded lawns are often left with too many issues to allow them to recover on their own.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the immediate steps you should take to help your lawn recover from flooding as well as what to look out for following flood damage.

5 Steps To Help Your Lawn Recover After Flooding

The size of turf refers to the dimensions of the individual rolls or pieces of grass that make up your new lawn. This seemingly minor detail can significantly impact the installation process and the overall appearance of your landscape.

Homeowner using a garden fork to aerate and drain excess water from a flooded lawn

Wait Until Your Lawn Is Safe

Before you start to help your lawn recover, you need to make sure it is safe to do so. If it’s still raining, or if the flood hasn’t subsided yet, you are better to just wait. You want to make sure you aren’t going to slip and hurt yourself or step on hidden debris beneath the water.

Additionally, if you’re still experiencing heavy rain, you should resist trying to apply any lawn care products or perform any lawn care practices as it could be a waste of money or cause unnecessary stress for your lawn.

Dethatching, fertilising, and topdressing are best avoided until your lawn has had a chance to dry out and recover.

Drain Away As Much Excess Water As You Can

While the best method of clearing up flood water on your lawn is for it to drain away or evaporate in the natural sunlight. However, you can speed this up by aerating your lawn. This can be done by sticking the prongs of a garden fork into the ground.

Water-logged roots struggle to access and absorb the oxygen and nutrients they need to thrive. By aerating the wet soil, you alleviate the moisture and allow air to flow more freely to your lawn’s root system.

Remove Sediment and Debris

Once the water has drained away, it’s likely that you’d have some left-over sediment buildup (including mud and river silt) or debris that was washed up during the flooding.

While you need to be careful cleaning up debris, it’s silt and sediment that can be more difficult. This may look like a thick layer of mud covering your lawn. Not only does this look bad but too much sediment can smother the grass, stopping it from absorbing sunlight.

You can remove any large bits of debris or sediment by hand, as long as you’re wearing gloves. Once you’ve removed what you can, the best way to clean up the rest is with a high-pressure hose. While this sounds counter-intuitive,

it’s the best working option. An alternative is to use an old rotary mower but make sure it has a catcher attached.

Homeowner removing debris and aerating a lawn after flooding to promote recovery and healthy grass growth

Mow Once Your Lawn Is Dry

Once your lawn is dry, you can mow your lawn again to its normal mowing height.

However, if the grass blades are quite long, you may need to raise this height slightly, so you aren’t mowing off more than one third at a time.

What’s important is that you get back to your normal mowing habits and lawn care as soon as possible to help with promoting healthy lateral growth.

Fertilise Your Lawn

Once you are seeing signs of growth and recovery in your lawn, it’s a good time to give the grass a boost with fertiliser. A liquid fertiliser, such as Lawn Kelper or

Exceed, will give your lawn the fast-acting boost it needs after a stressful event such as a flood.

However, you may decide to opt for a pre-emergent herbicide like Oxafert as that will not only fertilise your lawn, but it will provide pre-emergent protection from weeds as well.

Caring For Flooded Lawns After Recovery

As well as the initial recovery steps for your lawn, it’s important to keep an eye out for your lawn’s health following the flood.

Here are some things that your lawn is particularly susceptible to after excessive rain.

Fungal Diseases

Waterlogged roots and grass blades provide the ideal conditions for lawn disease, especially fungal disease, to grow.

With damp grass and humidity, the best thing you can do is ensure your lawn gets as much sunlight as possible.

However, if you start to spot dead grass or fungal growth, an application of fungicide may be needed to help your lawn recover.

Lawn Weeds

While its most common for weed seeds to be blown into your yard, it’s also possible for them to be washed in with flowing flood water.

Due to this, you may find new or more weeds start to appear even after your lawn has recovered.

You can hand pull these or use a herbicide, but if you want to get ahead of the weeds and prevent their growth you can use a pre-emergent herbicide (Oxafert).

Hydrophobic Soil

If you notice that the soil in your yard is repelling water (you may notice it pooling on the soil rather than absorbing in quickly), it could be hydrophobic.

Hydrophobic soil has a waxy layer over the top that stops your lawn from getting the water it needs for healthy grass growth.

The best way to fix hydrophobic soil is with a wetting agent application using a product such as Lawn Soaker.

When residential lawns fall victim as part of the flood zone, the biggest challenge to overcome is the damage caused by waterlogging.

However, by following these steps and keeping an eye on your lawn after the excessive moisture is gone, you can restore and maintain your turf grass health.

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