Pooing Bugs, Pools of water and the Health of your lawn

With the summer heat and then heat storms you may be starting to notice puddles forming on your lawn. And you maybe thinking that this is because of there is not enough light getting in.

Well…..this is not the main cause of pooling water. Beware as sometimes water can be just as detrimental to your lawn as it  can be helpful.

We all know all living things need water to survive, its the Sesame Street song that I definitely grew up with. And we know from swimming  that submersing yourself in too much water, head under, can cause you to drown. Well the same thing can happen to your lawn.

Taking a little step back, your lawn grows from the leaf getting enough sun to absorb food and light and air. And it also desperately NEEDS space for its roots to grow and absorb food and Air. “WHAT? Your silly Sarah.” I hear you all saying. But its true.

The soil is little particles all sitting on top of each other. And these particles of they have room between them allowing access for micro organisms to move through. These micro organisms leave a trail behind them (Poo. Yep icky bug poo) which the newly developing roots of the plant follow.  When you are installing turf, especially over what was a previous lawn, it is so important to make sure the first 4cm of soil is quite loose. This allows the thin baby roots to work their way into the soil and then as they thicken, hold onto the soil, and establish really well for you. Our turf slabs come with soil surrounding the root stock with some great little micro bugs already there to help roots establishment. So if your soil is loose, it will let them all in for a party. If the soil is rick hard, then the roots cannot penetrate, and your turf will not establish.

So what makes the soil rock hard? Well funny enough, too much water can! Remember those little particles and the space between them, well if that area is so full of water long term, then the little micro organisms cannot move through. Although they attended swimming lessons they had little success in areas where they cannot get any air to breath. So to begin with the flooding of an area with water, severely depletes your microorganisms, taking away your roots food source. Then water has a tendency to move down. And as the water moves down through the soil, it pulls the soil particles down with it. This takes away the spaces between the particles, leaving no air for the micro organisms to breath, and space for them to move through. And roots just aren’t always strong enough on their own to push between the particles.  Some lawns after they have been over watered, mostly through the best intentions, often look like the lawn is mulching itself down.

When water pools on your lawn because it cannot penetrate the soil because it has no more spaces to down through, or because the area between the particles is already full of water, the water sits in these pools sometimes in the sun or just in the warm weather and starts to heat up. Think back to when you were a kid and used to love running through puddles after a storm. The warm puddles were always nicer than the muddy cool ones. (Well they were on my toes.) These puddles can warm up so much that they almost “Boil” the grass surrounding it. Leaving dead patches and unhealthy lawns.

“AHHH. So What do I do If I have water pooling on my lawn! I have killed off the micro pooing bugs, and squished my lawns roots and boiled alive my beautiful lawn!!!AHHH!” Well don’t panic. I’ll let you know when its time to panic. There is a really simple solution to this. Get a garden fork, and stab the ground. Get out your frustrations for the week, and stab your fork down into the lawn, take a step and stab again. Focus on the pooling areas, or the areas that look like they are mulching themselves down. Then move onto the rest of your lawn. Depending upon the area of your lawn, you may choose instead to invest in some spiked areovating shoes. Or have a cocktail party and insist that everyone wears spiked high heels (yep everyone!) and have them walk all over your lawn.

So in the immortal words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the Movie, not the Tv series. Although both were pretty good) “How loose is your Goose? Our Goose is totally loose”. Make sure your soil is loose and will allow the roots and micro bugs through, and your lawn will stay green fluffy and beautiful.

Best rule of green thumb for a thick lush amazing lawn is less water more often. So 5-10 minutes of irrigation, up to three times a day is perfect. Dampen your lawn, do not drown it. And most importantly Enjoy your lawn. Its there to create you happiness.

Chat soon

Sare

 

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