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Repairing a Flooded Lawn After a Natural Disaster
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Floods not only affect homes and businesses, but they can also cause serious damage to the grounds on which these structures sit. Your lawn is only capable of absorbing so much water, and anything after that will turn into flooding conditions that may prove serious. Your lawn and yard property may suffer its own kind of water damage as the result of oversaturation and as with any case of water damage, prompt, effective treatment is the key to preventing long term problems from developing.
Patience is often described as a virtue, but it is also absolutely essential when it comes to the repair and restoration of your flooded lawn. There isnít anything you can do until the flood waters have receded and the ground at least begins to dry up a bit. If your feet still sink into the mud when you try walking across your lawn, then it is still too wet to do anything with, so wait until the lawn is stable enough to walk on unimpeded. If you insist on trying to walk through a soaked lawn, you may end up inadvertently damaging root structures and causing additional soil compaction, neither of which are healthy for the grounds.
Where to Begin with Yard Cleanup
Once the lawn is accessible, look around and clean up any debris that may have washed into the area. Flood waters are notorious for turning up almost anything, so try not to be surprised at what you find. Cleaning up debris will prevent damage to lawn equipment. Also, silt is commonly left over following a flood event and should be washed away before any lawn treatments begin.
Whether the problem resulted from rain or standing water, in cases of flooding the soil has been compacted making it even more difficult for the ground to absorb water. The lawn will need to be aerated in order to allow water to flow deeper into the ground, providing grass and roots with vital nutrients.
Soil erosion typically occurs as the result of a flood, meaning that the topsoil on your lawn will need replacing. Failure to do so will have a less than desirable impact on the root structure of the grass. Top soil should be replaced with a mixture of soil and organic matter such as compost or manure.
In many cases where the lawn is seriously damaged, it may become necessary to grow what is known as a temporary lawn. This involved planting a temporary ground cover in order to prevent further erosion. Ryegrass is a fast growing cover that may be able to withstand a broad range of environmental conditions. Temporary lawns may be reseeded with warm season grass around May or June as temperatures begin warming up.