Tread carefully this winter when dealing with a lawn

The green, green grass of home is an essential part of the British garden, but there are times when that old saying, “look, don’t touch”, should apply.

Frost on grass means the lawn is vulnerable to damage
Frost on grass means the lawn is vulnerable to damage

Because when frost coats the leaves of grass you can be sure that the stems are literally frozen through, even if the soil isn’t quite that cold. This means that the lawn is vulnerable to physical damage if you walk over the area – so keep off and encourage all the family to do the same.

Unfortunately, walking or running over the grass will crush the leaves and they will turn brown when they warm up, so you could have brown footprints marking the lawn for weeks. But if the weather remains wet and puddles form on the lawn surface, you should go for a walk on the lawn – and take a garden fork with you so you can spike the wet areas down to a depth of at least 15cm (6ins).

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The holes created will improve drainage slightly and should help the sitting water to drain away. As an added incentive, fill the holes with sharp river sand or fine compost. If puddles are forming it may be worth also adding some riddled soil or compost to level the hollows.

Lawns don’t usually fare badly in wet weather, although they do need extra nutrients throughout the year.

Feeding isn’t recommended during winter but you could look to the January sales to pick up something like EverGreen Cut & Feed to apply when the weather turns milder. It’s not a great idea to mow the lawn during winter, but you can keep it looking reasonably tidy by keeping the edges trimmed.

Use a half-moon edger to cut the lawn back to its original shape. A clean, sharp edge with bare soil below the level of the lawn, provides a handy barrier that can quickly and easily be treated with weedkiller whenever an unwanted plant (or plants) dare to show their leaves.

And finally, clean the mower or get it serviced so it’s fit for purpose in a few weeks’ time.