How to Restore an Overwatered Lawn?

Stuart Wellbert
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Most homeowners don’t realize that overwatering a lawn could mean causing a major decline in your grass lawn health. When a lawn is overwatered, the soil becomes too wet, which prevents the deeper grass roots from breathing.

The grass roots will die off, and this stops grass from absorbing nutrients found in fertilizer. The grass withers and dies. In these cases, a lawn needs to be over-seeded with a new grass seed blend. If the lawn has drought-stressed grass, then it needs to be over-seeded with a drought tolerant grass seed blend.

Over-seeding restores new grass to the lawn and removes the dead grass. Over-seeding is a tried and true method of addressing lawn problems. Over-seeding works best if it is immediately followed by an irrigation system that slowly wets the new grass seed and helps it germinate. By correcting the watering problem and providing water once new lawn seed germinates, you can help ensure the best results.

To prevent overwatering and lawn problems such as fungus in the lawn and increased soil pH, avoid overwatering by being mindful of water requirements. When watering, water lightly and infrequently. Give the lawn approximately 1-inch of water per week. Make sure the lawn gets a good soak, but then wait for at least a few hours before watering it again.

What is Overwatering?

Overwatering is the most common and costly problem home owners encounter when it comes to maintaining their lawns and landscaped plants. One recent study of homeowners with lawns in Fairbanks, Alaska found a direct correlation between the amount of lawn care conducted and the amount spent on water.

Because of this, it is especially important to effectively identify and correct problems with overwatering of lawns and landscaped areas. Other considerations include the condition of the soil prior to overwatering and the potential impacts on the environment.

Watering your lawn to the point of saturation is defined as overwatering. Technically, there is no such thing as…underwatering”, which sometimes confuses new homeowners. When a lawn has been overwatered, it generally will be darker green than it normally is, and the leaves may start to droop or wilt. The actual cause of these symptoms is the roots being unable to absorb the water due to the high volume and over saturation of the soil. The root zones become waterlogged, killing and suffocating the grass roots.

To avoid overwatering a lawn, try the following possibilities:

What About not Watering Enough?

These days, excessive watering makes for a high-maintenance lawn. You can avoid this by using your own native know-how to decide when your lawn needs more water.

Step 1: When they need more water, they cry. A few hours after watering, pull one foot back on your hose and place it down at ground level. Watch the grass and listen for the sound the excess water makes as it leaks from the root system back into the soil. When the drip refills the soil quickly, you have just enough moisture for your soil to hold.

Step 2: Watch for "sunburn." To check this temperature, take a golf tee and place it on the ground. Wait one minute, pick it up, and then see if the ground next to it is dry. If so, the ground is starting to dry out.

Step 3: Check soil moisture. Take a small garden trowel and dig down to the top 12 inches. If the soil is dry at this level, it will be dry 6 inches down. Do a light watering.

Step 4: Count the number of fertilizer symbols on your fertilizer bag. Water enough for one-fourth of them to dissolve. This gives you the right amount of fertilizer for the amount of water you've provided.

Sprinkler Systems and Overwatering

Draining your lawn properly and then watering it sparingly is the best way to keep it in its best condition. There are many benefits to overwatering your lawn, which you may not realize. Long periods of rain and a sprinkler system that is turned off too early will slowly and gradually cause water to go to the surface of the lawn where it stays after drying. The ground then becomes hard.

Overwatered lawns have been reported to have problems with compaction and crusting and excess water can cause certain grasses to grow bluish green. Once you add nitrogen fertilizer to the mix, the damage is catastrophic.

A lawn which is damaged by overwatering becomes difficult to repair and takes a much longer time to turn green. The only solution is to aerate the lawn and then wait until the fall to use a dormant lawn food.

The Problems of Overwatering

Too much water becomes a problem as the roots suffocate. This happens when the water near the soil surface is lost to evaporation or you�ve been watering too often. This becomes an environmental issue because it is robbing the plants and the soil of the good oxygen that normally would be found in the top few inches of soil.

Too much alcohol is not healthy for the soil microbes; they need oxygen to do their work. Add to this the fact that water-logged soil usually lacks oxygen and sunlight, and you are bound for a dead area where your soil life cannot thrive.

Shrubs and trees suffering from the effects of overwatering are not the only victims. Overwatering your lawn can be just as disastrous.

When you water your lawn too often, it doesn’t give time for the water to soak in before you’re applying more. This robs the thirsty grass plants of the deep watering they need. The excessive water can also spread out into the soil and create a water log that saturates the root zone, causing the roots to suffocate and die.

The best way to save your lawn from the effects of overwatering is to find the cause and correct it. The cause behind overwatering is almost always simple and easy to fix.

How to tell if your Lawn is Overwatered?

It is not always easy to tell if your lawn is overwatered. The most common symptom is the lawn will become very brown and even feel crispy. So, if you are worried that your lawn may be overwatered, here are some common symptoms to inspect:

{1}. The grass blades look droopy and dry.
{2}. Dark spots or large dark circles form in the lawn. This is a sure sign that your lawn is overwatered.
{3}. Grass turns brown, even in shady areas.

How to fix An Overwatered Lawn?

Once you identify that you have an overwatered lawn, the next step is to determine the cause. Then you’ll know what steps to take to fix it. Here are common reasons why your lawn may be overwatered.

Under watering

If you under water, your lawn can become water stressed and develop an excess of thatch. This may result in your lawn drying out and being overwatered.

Over watering

Excess amounts of water affect your lawns ability to tolerate drought. If your lawn becomes overwatered for an extended period of time, your lawn will be more susceptible to weeds.

ÌCut your grass frequently at a high level which opens up the stomata which allows the lawn to remain healthier and less susceptible to drought. Try to avoid the temptation of watering your yard too often.

How to Restore an Overwatered lawn?

If it’s been some time since you’ve watered your lawn, and there is still too much water, then you need to take some steps to help your lawn recover.

Be careful when trying to fix an over watered lawn because, depending on the conditions and severity of the overwatering, there are several different things that you can do.

Step 1: Remove Unwanted Grass

The first thing to do when trying to fix a lawn that’s been overwatered is to remove any grass that didn’t die. Now that you have removed all of the grass, you need to get rid of it, or just leave it there to rot.

Step 2: Loosen the Soil

After you get rid of the grass and any other excess debris, you will want to loosen your soil. Loosen your soil while it’s wet so you have a better chance of doing so without damaging your lawn.

Step 3: Add Fertilizer

If your lawn is just slightly over watered, then you may be able to fix it without adding any fertilizer. The problem is, if you don’t add any fertilizer, then your lawn will not be able to fully repair itself. You may need to add fertilizer to your lawn, depending on the severity of the overwatering.