Yards Need Time and Attention after a Flood
Recent weather, such as flooding, has been anything but normal. And the results probably aren't anything you're used to. Lawns are in shock, covered in silt, and planting beds are gutted. Bringing your lawn back after a flood can be a big challenge. Learn some steps to help you get your lawn back to normal.
First of All, Be Patient
Once the floodwater recedes, give your yard a chance to dry out. This could take several weeks. Walking around on soggy soil can damage your lawn even further. Once the ground firms up, clean up any debris you find and assess the damage.
Floods wash away nutrients in the soil, which can put even more stress on your lawn. By feeding your grass with Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Fertilizer, you'll restore nutrients to your lawn's soil. And that will help your grass recuperate more easily.
What to Do about Silt
Floodwater carries sediment that it picks up on its way to your yard. When the water stops moving, the sediment sinks. If the silt in your yard is less than 1 inch, rake it evenly over your lawn; it will serve as a top dressing. If your silt is so thick that it buries your grass, it may be time for establishing a new lawn. If that's the case, till the silt and mix it up with your sod and native soil. After that, you're ready to plant. Find out how to start a new lawn here.
You May Need to Aerate
Grass needs air at the roots. It can survive a few days of flooding, but soil can become compacted after being under water. And compaction doesn't allow air to reach the roots. If your soil is compacted from flooding, aerate it 3 times with a core aerator, followed by reseeding. Be prepared to aerate the following year, too.
Reseed Thin Areas, or the Entire Lawn
If your grass has died or washed away, it's time to reseed. Use a starter fertilizer to help the grass seed get established a little sooner. Once the new grass matures, feed it again about 6 weeks after the first mowing. Find out about reseeding techniques here.
Watch for Weeds
Weed seeds spread far and wide during floods. If you see some sprouting in your lawn, apply a post-emergent weed control. Control weeds in your beds by mulching. Also, if the grass leaves start turning yellowish, you may need a fungus-control product.
Another Problem: Pests and Insects
Floods bring other problems besides ruined lawns. Mosquitoes, fire ants, mice, and rats suddenly seem to be everywhere.
Mosquitoes: These insects breed in still, stagnant water. You can help control their population by emptying anything that contains water. Toys, tire swings, canopies, and tin cans hold enough water for mosquitoes' needs. Find out more about controlling mosquitoes here.
Fire Ants: These nasty insects are serious pests, as you may know if you've had them in your yard. Flooding brings them to the surface. You can sometimes see whole nests floating along on floodwater until they reach dry land. That's why you may suddenly find new nests in your yard after flooding. Find out how to control fire ants here.
Rats and Mice: Flooding does control rat and mice populations. However, survivors are out looking for food and shelter, so you may see them around your house. Get more information on controlling rats and mice.
Scotts is here to help
Scotts is here to help with whatever you need, from seed to soil. Call us. Scotts Help Center experts are available toll-free at 1-888-270-3714.