Helping your lawn survive what winter throws at it

The lawn takes a hammering during winter – heavy rain, heavier snow, frost; it all adds to a sorry patch of very sad greenery.

The biggest problem is usually poor drainage. Over the year, the lawn gets compacted, and even if you scarify it in late autumn to remove all the dead thatch that accumulates with regular mowing, there are usually one or two patches which tend to remain heavy with moisture.

Wet patches should be dealt with as soon as they're notices. It's a pain, but the best way to improve drainage is by aerating – use a hollow-tine device to remove cores of soil, or simply spike the lawn with a garden fork.

Then, before the holes you've created begin to close, and before your back seizes up, brush in some sharp sand (not builder's sand which contains things which will do far more harm than good).

The holes, now packed with sand, will act like miniature drains, removing excess water and letting the grass breathe.

There you are, job done – now quick, back inside to that nice warm fire.

YP MAG 24/12/10