Overwatered Lawn: 5 Signs and Fixes

Afraid that you’re overwatering your lawn? Watering your lawn enriches the soil, discourages weed growth, and provides a beautiful playground. However, overwatering the lawn causes more harm than good. So, how can you tell the signs of an overwatered lawn and how do you fix this issue?

Signs that you’ve been overwatering your lawn include rapid weed growth, thatch patches, an increase in bugs, fungus growth, and significant runoffs. You could recover your overwatered yard by reducing the watering, dethatching, and eradicating bugs and fungus.

Herein we discuss signs of over watered grass and give expert suggestions for fixing this problem.

Can Grass Be Overwatered?

You can overwater grass. Your lawn’s water requirements differ based on geographic location, shade intensity, grass species, season, and general lawn maintenance. The chances of overwatering your grass are high if you don’t alter your watering schedule to fit these aspects.

Aside from watering, grass can get wet from rain and humidity, enhancing the likelihood of overwatering. That’s why you should monitor the grass closely to identify when it needs watering and when it doesn’t.

Below are signs that your grass requires watering.

  • Blue-grayish color – Wilted grass changes its color from green to a faint blue-gray tint.
  • Footprinting – Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that footprints remain conspicuous for a while after being made.
  • Curled grass blades – Folded grass is a clear indication that the grass is drought-stricken, as it’s an adaptation to reduce the amount of water lost into the atmosphere.

What Does an Overwatered Lawn Look Like?

Here are common lawn overwatering signs.

Rapid Weed Growth

Weeds growing uncontrollably in your lawn signify you may be overwatering. Although excess water isn’t good for the grass, it creates a perfect condition for the rapid growth of certain weeds like nutsedge and crabgrass.

Overwatering your lawn for multiple seasons worsens this situation. Therefore, take the initiative to fix this problem at first sight.

Thatch Patches

An increase in thatch patches could signal lawn overwatering. Thatch is a tight layer of compounded living and dead leaves, stems, and roots. A slight amount of thatch benefits grass, acting as natural manure after decomposition. However, too much of it can cause stagnant growth. 

An overwatered lawn prevents thatch from breaking down. The thatch build-up thickens with time, hindering the grassroots from receiving enough sunlight and nutrients.

Overwatering also prevents grass roots from growing deep into the soil, as they get all the water required at the surface. Consequently, contributing to the thatch build-up.

Bug Boom

An increase in bugs in your lawn is another sign you’ve been overwatering. A thick layer of thatch, resulting from overwatering, provides the ideal environment for pests and parasites to hide and thrive.

The thick layer of compounded leaves, stems, and leaves protects bugs from harsh sunlight, pesticides, and predators. Thatch also provides a fertile breeding spot, encouraging insects to multiply and spread fast.

Parasites can create havoc on your lawn. For instance, cutworms and armyworms cut and chew through grass bases creating several bare patches in your yard.

Fungus Growth

Fungus flourishes in moist environments. An abrupt boom of these organisms indicates that you’ve overwatered your lawn. Common fungi in overwatered lawns include moss, rust, Anthracnose, and mushrooms. These spread out on your entire landscape, including flowerbeds.

A surge in fungus growth is mainly accompanied by musty-odored soil, making it a sign of overwatering.

Significant Runoffs and Spongy Feel

A spongy lawn and runoffs on the sides show that the soil is over-saturated and thus can’t take any more water.

How To Fix Overwatered Lawn

Fixing a lawn can be hectic if you’ve been overwatering it for an extended period. The lawn may show some stress signs but will flourish after adjusting to the new watering system. Below are tips for fixing an overwatered yard.

Adjust the Watering Frequency

Although stopping watering your lawn abruptly may seem like the best way of saving the grass, it may cause more harm than good. This is because the grass’s roots require nurturing to adapt to the new watering system.

The most efficient way to recover the lawn is watering more deeply, about half to one inch. Then, keep reducing the frequency every one to three weeks. Watering the yard a few times but thoroughly allows the roots to grow deeper while doing it daily promotes fungus growth.

Dethatch Your Lawn

Dethatching is another effective way of saving overwatered grass. Thatch build-up makes it difficult for the lawn to drain the excess water, which worsens the situation. Removing the thick layer of plant material relieves the lawn’s stress.

If you have a small lawn, you could dethatch manually using a hand rake or a power rake for stronger grass.

Consider using a vertical mower for larger lawns and thicker thatches. Ensure you rake the loose thatch off the yard to reduce the risk of compacting and promote aeration.

Eliminate Bugs

After removing the thatch, it’s advisable to eradicate the bugs to prevent further destruction on the lawn. However, you should first identify the type of pests you are dealing with for a more efficient eradication process. For instance, fall armyworms have developed resistance to various pesticides. Thus, require rigorous attention.

Eradicate Fungus

Fungus invasion is the cause of nearly all grass-lawn diseases. There’s no point in dethatching and eliminating bugs if you don’t eradicate the fungus.

You could use natural or store-bought fungicides to kill fungus. When using the store-bought variety, ensure you read the instructions before applying them, as they come in different types. Some treat all fungus types, while others treat specific fungi.

Final Thoughts

An overwatered lawn is a common problem in most homes. Fortunately, reversing this problem is easy, and you don’t have to hire landscape professionals. Follow the tips discussed above to get a happy and beautiful lawn.