Spring rain is easily one of the best things for our lawns, soils, and the natural world to remain in balance. While rain serves so many beneficial purposes, depending on climate, drainage, geographic location, and topography, you can experience a mass influx of water into your lawn. At Sunday, we’re here to help you manage the calm after the storm and get your lawn back on track after a spring flood.
Flooding within your lawn can occur for a multitude of reasons. Some likely culprits for the added moisture on top of your grass include:
The survival of your lawn will ultimately be contingent on a combination of several factors – including some things that are unfortunately out of your control and will take some patience to manage. When your lawn floods, the survival and resiliency of your grass will depend on:
Your Grass Type. Below are the warm- and cool-season Sunday grass types that will have the greatest resiliency to flooding, along with some general estimates on how long they can withstand flooded conditions:
Duration of Submersion. Survival of your lawn will depend on a combo of the grass type and duration of submersion, some turf types are able to withstand submersion for longer.
Depth of Submersion. Increased depth = increased potential for turf injury.
Water Temperature. Essentially, the warmer the water is, the greater the damage. Injury significantly increases between 50-86 degrees F.
Light Intensity: The increase of light or sun will increase water temperature, which will in turn cause increased injury to turf.
Sunday ProTip: Beware of scalding caused by flooding. Scalding happens during the brief period where the grass is submerged in water under very warm temperatures due to a combination of submersion, water temperature and light.
When determining the level of damage from flooding to your lawn, consider the following:
Bioassay Test: Cut a sample from your turf, bring it inside, and see if it will grow.
Smell Test: the simplest of tests is to smell your grass. If it’s dead, it will smell like sulfur due to decomposing plant material and anaerobic soil conditions.
Crown Test: If your grass is dead the crown of the grass (not the leaves of the grass) will be brown and mushy.