As heavy rain batters many parts of Britain, it can start to take its toll on your lawn and garden, causing long term damage to grass and your prized plants. Here are 5 simple tips on how to protect your lawn, plants and property with little effort.
1. Clear the gutters and drains. It sounds obvious, but is often overlooked. Remove any leaves or debris from gutters and drain covers allowing any rainwater to drain away easily and quickly.
2. Move pot plants. Heavy rain can damage delicate plants. The rain can damage the plant stems and flowers, while the roots can rot if water doesn’t drain away sufficiently. The simplest method to protect your pot plants from rain damage is to move them indoors. This isn’t always a practicable option, and if it isn’t try moving them under tall trees to provide them with a little shelter. Also if you haven’t already for the winter, stand the pots on feet to allow the water to drain more easily.
3. Disconnect water butts. During prolonged periods of heavy rain you may find your water butt becomes full and begins to overflow. Disconnect the downpipe of your water butt before this happens to prevent damage to the surrounding area. By disconnecting the downpipe, it will allow water to run down the guttering and into the household drains.
4. Avoid walking on the lawn. The biggest mistake people make is walking on wet, water sodden grass, as it can cause long term damage to your lawn. Not only could you turn your lovely green lawn into a pile of mud, but you increase the risk of squeezing all the air out of the soil and compacting it. Oxygen is essential for healthy grass growth and without it, is unable to survive.
Compaction also leads to another problem - flooding. As the water cannot penetrate the soil it begins to sit on top of the lawn.
If you do need to walk on the grass, try walking on lightweight boards to help spread your weight, reducing the risk of damaging your lawn.
5. Fork the ground. If water is beginning to pool on your lawn, try gently brushing the puddle of water to remove some of the water. Then with an ordinary garden fork, stab it into the ground and wriggle it around a little. Do this every couple of inches around the affected area. This will help relieve any compaction and aid drainage. It’s a good idea to do this across your entire lawn, if you have experienced a large and prolonged downpour, to prevent rain from damaging your lawn. However first let the grass dry if you haven’t had any water pooling on your lawn.