How to help your turf recover from flooding or waterlogging
The wettest February on record
It’s been a very, very wet winter. It started raining hard back in October, and at some times it felt as though the rain would never stop. Last month was the wettest February on record, with heavy rain and a succession of storms leading to severe flooding in Wales and the West Midlands. Waterlogged ground is a common site in counties from the west country all the way through the midlands and into the north.
The prolonged rainy weather has had a severe impact on the quality of the UK’s grass surfaces. From sports pitches to parks and the humble domestic lawn, greenkeepers and horticulturalists are facing a tough task to get their turf back to its best. Many have been left with dead patches and strong moss growth, leaving the turf and pitches wide open to weed infestation.
A simple turf recovery programme
Even if the sight of your damaged and damp turf is causing you nightmares, it’s important to wait until we are clear of those last, lingering frosts before you undertake renovation work. A simple programme to help restore your grass to its former glory will include the following steps:
- First up, scarify the turf to remove the thatch and moss and any other organic matter from the base of the grass. Make sure you add it all to a compost bin to ensure it doesn’t go to waste! You might need to scarify at least twice to get rid of waterlogged moss and other rotting matter.
- Next, focus on aeration. Aeration improves drainage to help drain excess rain drain away in the future and adds air onto the soil. Using a hollow tine is the best option, but a fork will work perfectly well for small areas. If you decide to hollow tine, ensure you remove the plugs (the soil that is removed) and top dress with quality sand soil mix or preparatory top dressing.
- Now it is time to apply a quality grass seed at between 10 and 20 grams per square metre, depending on how worn or bare your lawn is. Your distributor will advise on the best grass seed mixture for your use.
- The penultimate step is to add a pre-seeding fertiliser at around 40 grams per square metre, or as per manufacturers guide on the bag if it is different.
- Finally, if the weather has truly dried up by the time you have completed the steps above, watering may be required to help dissolve the fertiliser and avoiding scorching of the new seedings. Before you undertake any topping or mowing, ensure the new seedlings are established and growing well.
The best tools for the job
To make the most of your fertiliser and grass seed, DMMP has a range of spreaders that will help you get the job done. From handheld spreaders perfect for residential lawns and compact areas to high quality professional pedestrian and UTV-mounted units to spread both fertiliser and grass seed, our team can help you choose the right spreader for the job. The trusted DMMP dealer network also ensures that no matter where you are in the UK, you can benefit from our tried and tested range of spreaders and sprayers.