Gardening courses 2024

Wet soggy lawns!

 High humidity and buckets of rain are making this September more of an Amazonian than Indian Summer. The lawn is growing at a rate of knots, and frustratingly it's often too damp to mow.

The longer the grass grows, the longer it takes to dry out and so the harder it is to find the right time to give it a chop. It's a vicious circle and one that needs breaking before you end up with a meadow to stare at over the winter months.

Lawns have to deal with a lot of foot traffic, which causes the soil beneath the grass to become compacted and solid. This is especially true on clay soils where after prolonged rain, you get puddles forming.

One of the ways to improve lawn drainage is to get more air into the lawn - a process called aeration.

Aeration involves creating lots of open channels in the lawn. You can do this this with a garden fork or you can buy hollow-tine aerator, which is designed specifically to do this job.


The aim is to perforate the surface to 8-10cm deep, over the whole lawn area. The open channels created, help rain water to drain away. This reduces dampness, and the tendency for puddles to form.

Aerating is a bit of a labour of love and if you have a large lawn you may be better off buying a mechanical aerator. I sent my son out with a pack of lawn darts, which did the job quite nicely!