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What Causes Grass Bubbles?

Grass bubbles are an eyesore with the power to ruin a perfectly good lawn, but what are they?

What causes them to form in your yard and are they hiding anything dangerous?

And are they going to ruin our grass?

If so, how do you get rid of them and return your lawn to its former, uniformly leveled glory?

We’ve got the answers to all your grass bubble related questions, as well as the solution.

What are Grass Bubbles?

Grass bubbles are cavities of trapped water that form between layers of grass and layers of dirt. In very rare cases, grass bubbles are formed by methane gases from decomposing plants.

(But there’s no need to worry about that. It is highly unlikely that methane has gone and trapped itself in your lawn).

You might even be tempted to lie down on one, for scientific reasons. That’s because grass bubbles are soft, like a waterbed, and soggy. They make a sloshing noise when pressed.

And though their sudden appearance may surprise you, because grass bubbles aren’t something that most people worry about, they’re more common than you would think.

They pop up most often in golf courses, which makes sense if you think of how much water it must take to keep the turf that green.

How Are Grass Bubbles Formed?

The grass bubble phenomenon occurs when excessive rainfall, water from a broken irrigation system, or water from a burst pipe flows under a layer of grass and is unable to drain through the soil because it is overly saturated. Thus, a muddy, water-filled cavity forms between the grass and the dirt, forming a protrusion that looks like a bubble. 

It should be noted that grass bubbles are more common in places where plastic has been laid beneath the turf.

However, if you haven’t placed plastic on your grass, then the cause of your grass bubbles may be grass that has grown too tight or sod that has been laid too thick.

Are Bubbles Bad for Grass?

Unfortunately, grass bubbles are harmful to grass. They separate the grass from the soil, essentially uprooting it. With no ground contact, the grass is then robbed of its only method of obtaining nutrients and, if nothing is done to drain the grass bubble, the grass will eventually die.

That’s why it’s important to get rid of grass bubbles as soon as possible, to prevent them from wrecking any portion of your lawn.

How Do I Get Rid of Bubbles in My Yard?

The solution for getting rid of grass bubbles is simple. All you have to do is drain the water from them.

If there are multiple gas bubbles, it might seem natural to drain them one at a time but doing that can ruin your lawn and, if you would prefer not to turn your lawn into a sodden mess, you should minimize the number of drainage points you’ll need.

Some homeowners might also be tempted to toss more sod or grass on top of the bubble to absorb the extra moisture, but this is only a short-term solution and will not target the source of the bubble, which is underground.

So, to totally and permanently eradicate the bubbles:

  • Determine the source of the extra water and get rid of it. This will ensure your efforts to get rid of the grass bubble aren’t totally useless.

For example, if the cause is a broken pipe, the pipe needs to be fixed before you drain the grass bubbles and save your lawn.

Otherwise, there is nothing stopping future grass bubbles from forming as water continues to flow under the grass and get trapped in the soil.

If it is not a broken pipe and your lawn is always mysteriously wet, there may be a few different culprits.

For one, your soil may be full of too much heavy, organic matter, which retains moisture.

Or perhaps the drains that are supposed to collect the water from your lawn are clogged with leaves or other debris, which is keeping them from functioning properly.

Or maybe landscaping issues are impeding the water’s ability to drain, such as sheds or patios that were built without considering irrigation and are now causing standing water.

Whatever the cause, you will need to figure it out first before trying to get rid of the grass bubbles.

  • Next, you will have to decide where you would like to drain the water. You will need to dig trenches in the chosen areas, with the goal of having as few drainage areas as possible.
  • Lastly, puncture the garden bubble, or bubbles, with a sharp garden tool. When doing this, be careful not to go overboard because multiple or overly large punctures can damage the surrounding grass by drowning it in a sudden flow of dirty water. The water will instead drain into your trenches and, if you’ve determined and addressed the source of the problem, your grass will be dry and bubble-less in no time.

Are Grass Bubbles Dangerous?

Though bad for your lawn or garden, grass bubbles do not represent any sort of safety hazard.

The chances that the grass bubble is filled with methane are slim to none, and those chances drop to zero if the grass bubble makes a sloshing noise when you press it.

You can rest assured that the only thing at risk from a grass bubble is your lawn, which can be saved by getting rid of excessive moisture and draining the water from the grass bubble.

Conclusion

Grass bubbles are soft, sloshy cavities caused by trapped water collected from a variety of sources, such as rainfall, burst pipes or broken irrigation systems, and even poor landscaping.

Though grass bubbles are totally safe for humans and pets, they should be drained as soon as possible to avoid drowning your grass.

Drain them at the same time, if you have multiple grass bubbles, into as few drainage areas as possible, using a sharp garden tool to make small punctures, and you will successfully avoid any future damage to your lawn.

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