If you're like most homeowners, you take good care of your lawn. After all, lawns offer a variety of benefits, from adding curb appeal to homes to providing a soft surface for little ones as they play outdoors. And who doesn't love the feeling of bare feet against a well-tended, velvety-soft emerald green lawn? However, sometimes soil and site conditions exist that create serious problems for those trying to keep their lawns healthy and attractive. Overly damp and/or downright watery conditions, for instance, create a hostile environment that makes it very difficult to get a lawn established — and if your soil suffers from too much moisture, it's likely you're struggling with keeping your lawn thriving.
Fortunately, there are turf management strategies available designed to create an optimal growing environment for lawn grass. The following are three popular ways to get the excess moisture in your lawn under control so that you can have that thick, emerald green lawn of your dreams.
Amend Your Soil With Sand and Organic Matter
One of the major reasons why soil becomes soggy is that the soil is composed primarily of very fine particles that retain moisture better than their larger counterparts. These soils contain substantial amounts of clay — you can easily tell a soil that has too much clay by taking a small amount in your hands and squeezing it together. The more the soil sticks together, the more clay it contains. Clay will also have a reddish color. Amending clay soils with sand and organic matter such as mushroom compost adds the kind of structure soils need to prevent them from retaining too much water.
Aerate Your Lawn on a Regular Basis
Lawns with heavy clay content benefit greatly from regular aeration. Depending on the amount of clay in your soil, your lawn should be aerated once or twice per year. As its name implies, aeration is a process that minimizes soil compaction and allows more oxygen to reach the roots of your lawn grass, and oxygen is essential for healthy lawns. Most lawns can be aerated using special spikes designed for this purpose placed about 10 feet away from each other. In cases where the soil is severely compacted, however, you may need the assistance of a professional turf management service.
Install a French Drain
French drains are trenches on the edges of a lawn filled with gravel that hold a perforated pipe designed to allow excess water to drain away from the yard. These are ideally placed on the downward slope, and although some industrious homeowners install these themselves, most find that they have better results with this project if it's in the hands of professionals.