Q. I was wondering if you could help me? Every winter the grass from my lawn disappears and turns completely to mud. I seed it every spring and it always grows well and is lovely during the summer but as the winter goes on it slowly disappears again leaving us with mud at this time of year. Do you have any idea why this happens?
A. Is the ground actually boggy? It may be that the ground was not properly prepared, or if you’re on clay the water takes a long time to drain as the winter sets in. Start by spiking and aerating to greatly improve drainage, using a hollow tine aerator to remove thin plugs of soil. Or you can spike with a garden fork down about 15cm/6” deep. After spiking a few square metres, brush a dressing of sharp sand into the holes and spread a top dressing as well to help the grass root in the spring. Remember to use only sharp sand and never builder’s sand for this.
Worm casts if not brushed away when dry can form a slimy surface across the lawn. Moss and a build-up of thatch can also cause the grass to die back, leaving bare, muddy areas. Overhanging trees causing shade and dead leaves left on the lawn can also be a cause.