Lawn Tips for the Rainy Season
April 2017 was the USA’s second-wettest April on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reported. The average national precipitation total for April was 3.43 inches, which is 0.91 inch above average. Only April 1957 was wetter. The rainy season wreaks havoc not only on people’s homes, but also their lawn and outdoor living spaces. Do you need some lawn tips for the rainy season?
This has been a very rainy season for Cincinnati thus far with record rainfall and many severe thunderstorms. There have even been tornadoes in some places. Cincinnati is not the only place with higher than average rainfall. It has been this way all around the U.S.
Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding ripped through the Cincinnati area in March and April. Much damage was done to people’s property during these storms and there was a lot of flooding. Many trees were uprooted because of the major wind and already soggy ground.
Brian Coniglio, a National Weather Service meteorologist stated: “The Ohio River Valley is prone to severe weather because its location on a transition zone between cooler northern temperatures and warmer southern temperatures, which produces strong fronts.”
Here are some good tips for your lawn this rainy season:
1.Try to avoid walking on wet or damp grass, as it is likely to damage it. If a lawn has been waterlogged for several days, wait until water levels have completely subsided and you can walk on it without leaving wet footprints.
If you want to mow the lawn once it has dried out, set the mower blades to the highest possible cutting height. Do not attempt to mow a wet or saturated lawn as you risk compaction and ruts. And obviously do not use an electric lawn mower in damp or wet conditions.
2. If the lawn has been flooded, be aware that any silt left behind may be contaminated, so wear rubber boots, disposable rubber gloves and cover any open wounds before working outside. You should attempt to remove silt, along with any debris from the lawn – either by hosing or raking it off. Unfortunately, if your lawn has been submerged for over a week or if it is covered with more than ¾ inches of silt there is a possibility that it will need to be re-laid, but this along with any major lawn repairs will need to wait until early spring.
3. Lawns that have been very wet will benefit from some serious aeration – either manually using a garden fork or with the help of a powered aerator. Moss is also likely to build up in damp conditions, but remedial treatments like aeration, scarifying, top-dressing or re-seeding bald patches will now need to wait until next spring.
4. Check for any particularly waterlogged or vulnerable areas of the lawn, where heavy rain collects. Make a note of those areas and consider preventative action you could take in the future, either by evening out the ground levels or improving drainage.