You know how everyone who lives outside the UK thinks that it always rains in the UK, well, they’re pretty much bang on the money. We get a few sunny months weeks but, for the rest of the century, it rains almost nonstop, which equates to, like, ten months of the year (did I say ten? I meant 13!) and, right now, we’re into some seriously hardcore showers.
The question is: how the heck are you meant to protect your lawn from all this rain?
Whether you have a massive lawn or a smallish garden, your little slice of the great outdoors is incredibly susceptible to damage from a) heavy rains, b) rain that just keeps pouring for days on end, or c) all of the above. That’s the frustrating part, and it is frustrating because you’ve probably put it a ton of effort to keep your lawn looking lush and green, and now these downpours are threatening that. When rain falls, the ground is quickly become saturated with water, and these pooling puddles can actually drown your grass. That’s the bad news.
The good news is: these problems are not inevitable. There are certain things you can be doing to protect your lawn from another typical English autumn. In that spirit, here are some things you can do to prevent and aid your lawn this rainy season:
1. Aeration Is A Must
Why prevent or aid when you can do both? Yup, feeding your lawn a nice warm bowl of aeration is the best way to give your lawn all the support it needs when the rain comes. Here’s the deal: over time, the soil beneath your lawn gets more and more compacted, meaning there are fewer escape routes and air pockets in your soil when it rains. That’s what aeration remedies — and it can be as simple as stabbing your turf with a pitch fork or as effective as calling Joe’s to do a professional job. Either way, making holes throughout your lawn will improve your lawn’s drainage, and that’s what you want when dealing with monsoons.
But aeration isn’t just a preventative move. It’s also great at lessening the damage after you’ve been battered by heavy rains. A gentle stabbing session around any pools or puddles will help the water drain a little quicker, and that can be the difference between survival and, well, you know, the opposite of survival.
2. Keep Off The Lawn
What is the worst thing you can do after it has chucked it down? Keep the heck off your lawn. Okay, so that’s not always entirely possible because your man cave might be at the end of the garden, or you might have a dog that needs walking or a child that needs punishing, but try not to organise any five-a-side matches in your garden right after a downpour. Why? Because the more you step on your wet lawn, the more you will compact the soil and stop the water draining away. That said, if you must walk across your poor grass, try laying down some wooden boards to distribute your weight and limit the damage you cause. And if you have a really bad memory for that sort of thing, why not pretend you’re a school teacher and pop a “kindly keep off the grass” sign to jog your memory.
3. Go Through Your Gutters
Now, you’re probably thinking, “what the heck have gutters got to do with lawns?” And I get it. But think about this one for a sec. The more your gutters are clogged with fallen leaves, twigs and bits of unidentifiable debris, the more water will spill over the sides and into your garden instead of flowing freely down your drains. And on that note, your drains are also worth cleaning at this time of year so that water escapes your premises instead of spilling onto it.
4. Check Your Water Collectors
In case you’ve been living under a rock without any access to 4G over the past 100 years, the world is not in a good way. The climate is changing and the earth is sweating, which is why more and more amazing humans are trying to reduce their carbon footprint, and part of that is collecting rainwater in barrels. Cool, huh? Well, it is until these barrels start to overflow and all that water runs onto your lawn, adding to your water problem. Urgh. So, here’s how to stop that happening: disconnect any downspouts leading into an already-full barrel and either a) point it toward your drain or b) slide a new barrel beneath it. Easy.
5. Rain Gardens Are Epic
You know that patch of lawn that always seems to collect rainwater? Well that pesky area is perfect for a rain garden (translation: a specially designed garden or flower bed that is designed to soak up excess rainfall). Now, this could be done by digging in a bunch of water loving plants, or you might want to replace your current soil with a special soil mix that is high in sand to improve drainage. Either way, adopting a water garden is a super-groovy (and all-natural) way to collect excess water and then use it, while making sure the rest of your lovely lawn is protected.