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What Impact Does Poor Drainage Have on Your Lawn? February 11, 2019

Wahiawa, Wahiawa
What Impact Does Poor Drainage Have on Your Lawn?, Wahiawa, Hawaii

Hawaii receives a lot of rain during winter. Although water will hydrate grass, excess moisture will do more harm than good. To determine when it’s time to invest in better drainage solutions, here is a guide on the negative impact waterlogged soil has on the grass and what you can do to improve the situation.  

How to Interpret Signs of Poor Lawn Drainage 

How grass behaves can shed light on whether your lawn has a drainage problem. Beyond water and nutrients, grass needs oxygen to survive. If excess rainwater can’t drain from the lawn, it remains trapped in the soil, making it difficult for air to circulate to roots. As grass suffocates, blades turn dry, brittle, yellow, and eventually die. Because oxygen can’t flow through the soil, carbon dioxide, ethylene, and other gasses build up in the earth. The gasses not only hurt roots, but also give off an unpleasant sulfur smell. 

If soil is sand-based, water could drain too quickly, dissipating before it reaches roots and leaving them dehydrated. If soil is compacted, water can’t filter to roots, which will also cause them to die while leaving the yard covered in puddles. 

How to Preserve the Lawn

Wahiawa-Hawaii-grassIf you notice a stench or dead patches in the lawn, look for ways to direct water away from the landscape. If you already have a drainage system in place, make sure it isn’t blocked with dirt or debris.

Otherwise, install a pit drain to collect water and channel it away from roots. To catch the most water, the drain should be placed at the bottom of a slope.

If soil compaction is causing drainage issues, have a professional aerate the landscape. Air will move through the small holes to reach the root system. If sandy soil is to blame for poor drainage, add compost or topsoil to remedy the issue.


If you want to plant new grass to correct drainage problems, contact Alii Turf. Based in Wahiawa, HI, the locally owned and operated company is the leading source for a wide variety of grasses that will flourish in the islands’ tropical setting. The knowledgeable staff will find the right solution for your yard and share tips to keep the grass healthy. To inquire about the inventory, call (808) 293-8873, or visit the company online for product information. 

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