Our first winter rain - What does it mean for your lawn?
Author: Stefan Palm Date Posted: 30 May 2022
With most of the metro area experiencing a significant drenching this week, it represents an official end to dry lawns and gardens. So what does this mean for your lawn?
Rain on this level will be a welcome addition for lawns in South Australia. It will do wonders as it flushes out impurities and breaks down non-wetting properties. Don't expect it to translate into any growth or turf activity though, because common varieties such as couch, kikuyu and buffalo are in their winter dormant period and have effectively pulled up stumps till September. It's the first rain event we've had like this since February, and since this one coincides with the start of winter, there are some things that are handy to know with regard to your lawn.
If you've noticed water pooling after rain, it can signify drainage issues. Since this is our first winter rain for this season, take this opportunity to observe how the water behaves around your lawn and garden. If it dissipates within an hour or so, don't be too concerned. It is very common for the soil under your lawn to become water repellant after extended dry periods making it hard for water to soak in. Water may hang around on the surface for a while where it hasn't before as a result. Eventually, the water will break down the non-wetting properties of the soil and soak in, which is exactly what you are looking for. If it hangs around for more extended periods, you may have a drainage problem. Waterlogged soils represent a real problem for lawns and will need to be dealt with in order to keep your lawn healthy and happy.
Moss and algae
With these recent rains and more on the way, look out for outbreaks of moss and algae in your lawn. Moss and algae love cold, wet environments and will successfully crowd out your lawn if left untreated. If you notice moss and algae starting to creep in, try Wet and Forget to treat the problem.
Mushrooms and toadstools
Don't be surprised to see mushrooms and toadstools coming up in your lawn. While this usually happens a little later into winter, the rain may trigger things to happen a little earlier this year.
You may see some small piles of dirt appear.
Worms are often active after heavy rain. They come to the top looking for oxygen and will leave a pile of castings on your lawn in the process. Apart from the unsightly castings, worms are good for your lawn and should be left to go about their business of conditioning your soil.
Winter rain is part of the natural trigger for the germination of winter weeds. If you haven't already had a flush this Autumn, you'll probably get one now! Get onto them early as they are much easier to control when they are young.
Winter rain is an essential part of your lawn's yearly growth cycle. The only time you should have concern is when the water can't drain away properly. Aside from that, other associated effects mentioned above can be managed really well. I'll have more to say about each of these over the coming weeks, but if you want to know more sooner, simply use the search bar on our website to find some really helpful information.