How to Dry Out a Wet Lawn

Drying up your lawn may initially seem like a daunting task, especially if you have a muddy yard with stagnant water. A wet lawn can cause a myriad of problems such as dying plants, grass, insect infestations, mosquito breeding and other issues with pests. To avoid all of these difficulties, learning how to dry out a wet lawn is crucial.

In rainy seasons and days with consecutive rainfall, it is normal for your lawn to have more moisture than usual. However, it shouldn’t stay like this long. Let’s take a look at the best ways to handle this issue and tips to make the process easier.

Draining System

When the soil in your yard is impervious, draining will be an issue. For example, if your soil is too compacted, rocky or incapable of absorbing water, you will find accumulations of water throughout the grass. Another cause of poor drainage is the incline of your lawn. For example, if your lawn slants downwards in the center, you will find large accumulations of water there.

In a properly drained lawn, the water should be carried to the drainage system. To rectify these issues, speak with a landscaping engineer (also sometimes called a green engineer).

Leaks

Another culprit of a wet lawn could be various leaks. Whether it’s a leak in the sewer line or water pipe, it is important to check and verify everything is working the way it’s supposed to. You may need to call a plumber to evaluate the situation because you may not be able to detect the leak yourself.

Leaks can occur in the pipe from the meter to your home. Furthermore, if you’ve noticed an increase in your water bill, a leaking pipe may be the reason. Leaks can show up anywhere including the faucet, garden hose, fountain or irrigation system. Make sure to cover all your bases and investigate thoroughly.

In the case of a sewer line leak, the situation is a bit more serious. This will cause a bad odor near your lawn and a slow collection of water. Not only will this damage your lawn, but can also affect your health. Sewer line leaks are a health hazard and should be addressed right away.

How to Rectify the Problem

  • If the problem is a leak, contact a plumber or municipal body immediately to fix it.
  • If the problem is a slant in your lawn, contact a green engineer.

Now, what if neither of these are the cause? In that case, read on. Let’s take a look at the soil in your yard. The easiest way to do this is by finding out the type of soil in your area. There are various types of soil, each with their own pros and cons. For example, if you have clay soil that is made up of fine particles such as minerals, the absorption of water will be poor. This term is known as percolation.

Percolation is the process by which liquid passes through porous materials. Sticky soil also has poor percolation. Furthermore, if your lawn has hard soil, it will be even more difficult for the water to drain properly. You can test your lawn’s soil in a few different ways.

  • Dig a hole that is approximately 1-foot deep and 4-inches wide. Fill this hole with water and pay close attention to how it drains. The longer the water takes to drain, the less porous your soil is. The best way to correct this is by adding sand and compost to your lawn. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the exact methods to use.

Sand

Adding sand is a quick and affordable way to fix the drainage issue. When you add sand, any standing water will be absorbed and you can rest assured your lawn will stay dry. The best time to apply sand to your lawn is during fall or spring. Consider the type of soil you have before using this method. For example, if you have clay soil, the sand will mix with the clay and form a concrete-like substance.

Don’t panic if you have clay composition soil, you can still use this method but you’ll need to use other materials first. You will need to add compost, manure, leaves, potting soil or similar organic materials to open the pores of your clay soil. This will allow water and air to flow through the particles. This process may take some time to complete, as the materials need time to break down and begin working.

Aeration

Lawn experts agree that you should aerate your lawn before applying any form of topdressing. Using an aeration tool by creating holes on the surface of your soil, your lawn will be better able to absorb water. There are a few options when aerating your lawn.

You can use a manual aerator or a tow aerator. It will all depend on the size of your property. By coring holes into your lawn, you open the soil up and allow nutrients, water and oxygen to make their way deep into the soil. This helps water drainage and enhances the nourishment of your soil.

Dethatching

Lawns go through stages and sometimes the old grass dies and forms thatch. Thatch is a layer of grass stems, rhizomes and stolons. A rake can be used to dethatch your lawn. Start by pushing the rake deep into the grass and work to remove the dead grass layer.

As with aeration, the size of your lawn will play a role in which tool you select. For more power, you can opt to use a power rake. Power rakes have rotating tines that dig into your soil’s thatch layer and take it out. The power rake is pushed similarly to a lawnmower. If you need something even more aggressive, a vertical mower is the most effective (and forceful) tool.

Summing It All Up

Drying out your lawn is very important for the health of your soil and prevention of pest issues. The last thing you want is to create a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other unfavorable conditions for your plants/garden. Take control of the situation and investigate the root cause of your wet lawn while applying these tips to remedy the issue.