Wet weather lawn care
Heavy rains and recent flooding has left many lawns waterlogged, or worse, covered in silt when flood water recedes. Nature has a wonderful way of recovering from these things, but a few points considered now could give it a helping hand.
Try to avoid walking on wet or damp grass, as it is likely to damage it. If a lawn has been waterlogged for several days, wait until water levels have completely subsided and you can walk on it without leaving wet footprints.
If you want to mow the lawn once it has dried out – just to give it a trim, set the mower blades to the highest possible cutting height. Do not attempt to mow a wet or saturated lawn as you risk compaction and ruts. And obviously do not use an electric lawn mower in damp or wet conditions.
If the lawn has been flooded, be aware that any silt left behind may be contaminated, so wear rubber boots, disposable rubber gloves and cover any open wounds before working outside. You should attempt to remove silt, along with any debris from the lawn – either by hosing or raking it off. Unfortunately, if your lawn has been submerged for over a week or if it is covered with more than 2.5cm of silt there is a possibility that it will need to be re-laid, but this along with any major lawn repairs will need to wait until the lawn has recovered.
Lawns that have been very wet will benefit from some serious aeration – either manually using a garden fork or with the help of a powered aerator. Moss is also likely to build up in damp conditions, but remedial treatments like aeration, scarifying, top-dressing or re-seeding bald patches will now need to wait.
One thing you can do now is check for any particularly waterlogged or vulnerable areas of the lawn, where water collects in heavy rain. Make a note of those areas and consider preventative action you could take in future, either by evening out the ground levels or improving drainage.