RHS advises on lawn maintenance

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has advised gardeners to prepare their lawns before they retire to the greenhouse for the winter.

It suggests that gardeners rake up any old leaves, dead grass stems, dead moss and other debris to allow water and fertiliser to penetrate to the roots.

Raking should be done vigorously but not so hard that it damages the turf.
"Compacted lawns benefit from spiking to deter summer drought and winter waterlogging," the RHS website suggests.

"For an average lawn, aeration every two to three years should be adequate. Concentrate on areas that receive the most wear."

A garden fork should suffice for spiking smaller areas, it says, but a hollow-tine aerator may be necessary for clay or waterlogged soils.

A top dressing of compost and sand should help level out the surface, while an edging iron should be used to flatten it down.

Doing this now should help the lawn survive the winter and look its best when the better weather comes around.