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Surviving a Flood

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

Too much rain can leave your lawn faced with a whole host of unexpected problems. Over-irrigated plants wilt, yellow, and eventually die.

Flooding can literally drown your lawn. When water saturates your soil, air gaps that normally provide breathing room are filled with water. Grass roots die if they go without air for too long, and a sick root system leads to a sick plant.

Wet conditions also encourage fungus to attack your lawn and cause rot. These diseases create dieback, damage, and even kill plants. Once infection occurs, little can be done to help.
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Stop Lawn Irrigation

One of the best ways to help against flooding is to stop watering your garden. Many homeowners forget or don't bother to switch off their automatic irrigation systems when nature provides ample irrigation. Once you've stopped your lawn irrigation, the best method to keep disease-free is to aerate your lawn as best you can, though if conditions are especially wet, you may have to wait till the ground dries a bit.

Lawn Maintenance after a Flood

Heavy rains will dilute any fertilization you might have organized for your garden. If the rains happen very late in the growing season (August in most regions), then it won't be worth fertilizing again. New growth will quickly meet oncoming fall and winter. If it's early in the season, you may want to fertilize your lawn again, always taking care not to overdo it.

Avoid Lawn Traffic

If the lawn is very wet, avoid foot traffic as much as possible. Wet ground can cause a serious structural damage when you walk on it.

By following these lawn maintenance tips after flooding occurs, you can lessen the negative effects of over-irrigation.

About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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