• Repair bare patchesespecially around lawn edges, using turf cut from other areas of the garden if available.
  • Even out hollows and bumps – cut an H-shape into the turf, peel back the grass and fill the hollow with soil or remove soil from a bump. Re-lay the turf, firm it into place and pinch the cut edges together.            
  • Re-cut lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron or flat-bladed spade, to neaten up the appearance of the garden and save work next season. Also maintain a 7.5cm (3in) ‘gutter’ around the lawn edges to prevent grass spreading into your borders. 
  • Avoid walking on a frosty lawn, as this can damage the blades of grass, which go brittle in the cold. It may even leave brown footprints, which can take ages to disappear.    

New lawns

Problem solving

  • Look out for waterlogging  after winter rain. To improve drainage, spike the lawn with a garden fork or mechanical aerator, then brush a    mix of sharp sand and loam into the holes. See our  guide to  autumn lawn care.
  • Consider laying stepping stones through your lawn if it’s walked over regularly in wet weather, to avoid causing damage and muddy patches. Set the stones level with the soil surface so they don’t interfere with mowing.
  • Algae can appear on lawns with poor drainage or excessive shade, or under the drip-line of trees.
  • Mole activity tends to increase in January and February due to mating and nest (fortress) building. Try to live with the resulting molehills if possible, but if you can’t, then remove the largest ones and re-firm the soil, before re-seeding in spring.     
  • Worm casts are a sign of healthy  soil, but if you don’t like them on  your lawn, brush them off with a  hard broom once they dry out.
  • Yellow or brown patches at this time of year may be caused by the fungal disease fusarium patch, especially in wet weather and in overfed, lush lawns that have been left a bit too long.
  • See all our lawn care advice.

Gardeners' calendar

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Advice from the RHS

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.