How to Fix a Waterlogged Lawn for a Healthy Yard

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If your garden turns into a pond after heavy rain or flooding, knowing how to fix a waterlogged lawn can make all the difference. And while the rain may come as a relief after the Heat waveexcess water can do lawns more harm than good.

Typically, a waterlogged lawn contains an excessive amount of water that fails to drain through the soil. This often results in large puddles on the surface or becoming spongy to walk on. This can be caused by a number of factors, including poor drainage, heavy clay soil compaction, flat ground, or low spots on the lawn where water cannot drain.

Too much water will smother your lush lawn and eventually kill grass roots. Additionally, damp grass can encourage algae, moss, dandelions and various other diseases.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent excess water from ruining your lawn. So if you want to maintain a green lawn, here’s how to fix a waterlogged lawn for a healthy yard.

Likewise, knowing how much you should water your lawn will help prevent a waterlogged lawn. While maintaining your lawn, make sure you don’t make any of these seven common lawn care mistakes. And here how to make your lawn greener for a lush lawn.

1. Aerate your lawn

A central aerator used to aerate a lawn

A central aerator used to aerate a lawn (Image credit: Shutterstock)

A common method to improve drainage is to know how to aerate your lawn properly. Aeration basically consists of perforating the soil to allow better air circulation in the soil. “Aerating your garden lawn can help improve drainage and will add air into your soil, which will improve base living conditions,” advises William Mitchell of Sutton Manor Tree Nursery (opens in a new tab). “This can be accomplished by using a hollow tine aerator or by staking the lawn with a garden pitchfork or aerator shoes. This will help the lawn recover faster by keeping the soil loose and wicking away moisture.

Aeration is best during the spring and summer months to help minimize soil compaction. This will then help prevent waterlogging in the fall and winter.

2. Add topsoil and sand

Soil preparation

Soil preparation (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you only have certain areas of your lawn affected, add a thin layer of topsoil, compost or gardening sharp sand along the surface. The idea is to help draw out excess water in the soil to improve drainage and structure. Compost contains beneficial microbes and attracts earthworms which help loosen soil particles and improve drainage. Additionally, top dressing with sand can also combat thatch buildup, cover tree roots, and improve soil level.

3. Use a moss killer and fertilize

A man pushing a spreader and distributing fertilizer

A man pushing a spreader and distributing fertilizer (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Wet grass and soil can promote moss growth, so treat them with a moss killer. In addition, fertilize your lawn in the spring to help the grass roots recover from the previous wet weather. “A waterlogged lawn should be treated with a moss killer to keep it from taking over your garden and allowing the lawn to thrive,” suggests Mitchell, “we suggest using fertilizer at spring to help the grass recover from a wet winter.Using a fertilizer will also help the root system develop into a stronger network, which should make it more able to withstand future waterlogging.

4. Create a “dry” route

Stone path in the garden

Stone path in the garden (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Since the main problem here is the lack of drainage, why not create your own? Choose permeable walkways, patio surfaces and plant borders that allow water to seep through easily. Stone slabs or bark will provide a solid, dry driveway on a wet lawn. Also, plant your favorites in raised beds or planters to prevent them from getting soaked in the ground. Not only will this drain water, but it will add character to your garden.

5. Collect rainwater

Water collector in the garden

Water collector in the garden (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Collecting rainwater from certain areas of your garden will prevent excess water from spilling onto the lawn. A good idea is to place a water barrel or large buckets near sheds or roofs without adequate drainage for the water to drain away. In addition, you can use rainwater to water plants, and save money on your water bills. To prevent your water barrel from overflowing, simply empty it and pour it down the drain to prevent it from soaking the lawn.

6. Overseed your lawn

Holding grass seeds to plant

Holding grass seeds to plant (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Overseeding is simply adding seeds to the lawn to improve and maintain its quality. Knowledge how to plant grass seeds will also help create a thicker lawn and banish moss. The ideal time to seed your lawn is in the spring and summer to prepare for the wet weather ahead. Having a thicker lawn and stronger grass roots will help absorb more water during a heavy downpour. You can overseed both in bare patches and where the grass is thick. Just be sure to choose a grass seed suitable for your region, terrain and weather conditions.

7. Dig a French drain

Man digging a drain in the garden

Man digging a drain in the garden (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your lawn is badly damaged by excess water, you may need to hire professionals to install a French drain. Essentially, a French drain is a pipe laid in the ground that allows water that collects around your yard to drain away from the property. “It will likely involve professionals, heavy machinery and upheaval in the garden.” agrees Mitchell. “By installing a French drain (or any other drainage system), surface water can be diverted away from the problem area. To further improve the results, you may wish to have a new layer of topsoil and sod laid following the installation of your French drain.

What are the signs of a waterlogged lawn?

Waterlogged Grass

Waterlogged Grass (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Your lawn doesn’t have to be completely submerged to be waterlogged. Common signs are a soft, squelchy lawn when walked on, and lots of moss growth. Also, if the blades of grass turn yellow, this indicates that they have been deprived of oxygen and will eventually die out.


If your lawn suffers damage, you may need to know more than how to plant grass seeds how to make your lawn greener and how to lay sod to improve your lawn. You can also learn how to stripe your lawn to make it look bigger.

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