Yard Drainage Problems From Heavy Rainfall

excess water from rain collecting in low spots

At times yard drainage problems come from rain and winds that come with it, but often the true problems happen when the rain hits the ground and needs a place to go.

Water will seek the lowest level and run down. When water collects in large “instant ponds” even with a good landscape design plan, many trees, shrubs, flowers and grass die or go through a period of severe stress.

When combined with previous years of drought conditions plants can face stress for years.

Water Logged Soils Lead to Stress

One of the first and major problems plants in the landscape face from extended rains and inadequate surface water drainage can be found in the soil.

The soil stays saturated with water not allowing root systems to get oxygen. Roots require some air space to stay healthy.

Without some breathing time root hairs become damaged or die resulting in a lack of water and nutrient uptake. Plus damaged and/or rotting roots make for an open invitation for fungus, pests and other diseases.

On the flip side a strong plant with a developed root system can or may handle this unwanted “stress of nature” relatively well.

Plants in the landscape already weakened from other climatic trauma such as hurricanes or tornadoes may show signs of excess water stress faster.

Greater Insect Activity

Typically after heavy periods of rain you will find increased activity of insects, lawn grubs and millipedes borrowing their way out of the ground in search for dryer conditions.

Also red fire ants mounds surface and other home-invading ants look for new territory.

Disease Increase

Turf diseases like Pythium and root rot can gain a footing and spread rapidly in even the healthiest of lawns. In general root rot and other root diseases can hammer a landscape.

Additional Plant Problems

Some plants are not tolerant of wet feet at all and heavy rains, coupled with inadequate rainwater drainage can severely stress their survival. Those plants already dealing with stress of being unhealthy usually show the first signs of problems.

Laural oaks for example seem less able to handle periods of saturated soil over other tree species.

Plants are wonderful communicators and drop leaves to make up for the lack support from the root system for the foliage needs above ground. Watch out for nutrient deficiencies in plants as the water has carried or washed away nutrients.

A newly planted landscape may take more time to become established. Make sure the irrigation system is checked and the timer reset as to not continue pouring on more water to an already saturated landscape.

The rains Mother Nature provides are always welcomed… but at times she wants to give us more than our share.

Being prepared to deal with them and understanding the impact on the landscape will help you better prepare for those periods of excess rainfall.

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