The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Lawn Care

Problem Lawn? It might be down to compaction

Lawn compaction is a common problem. If you are experiencing patches on your lawn or an accumulation of moss, weeds or thatch - aeration might be the answer... Read the full story >

Scarifying - the secret to a perfect lawn

Ask lawn experts to give you their 'top tip' for a healthy, green lawn and often they will cite scarification. But what is scarification and why is it necessary? Read the full story >

How to leave stripes on a lawn

Stripes not only look smart, they can also create an illusion of a longer, greener lawn - it’s no wonder that many of us desire the ‘formal’ look for our gardens. The effect is not difficult to attain but does require a little planning... Read the full story >

Try BEFORE You Buy - Why Test Drives are Recommended!

10 things to check during a home demonstration of a lawn tractor or ride on mower... Read the full story >

How to get rid of moss in a lawn

A three step programme for removing moss from your lawn. Read the full story >


  1. How can I protect my stone patchwork garden table from further cracking?

  2. My small lawn is rather patchy with brown dead grass between the healthy grass. What is the likely cause of this and how can I remedy it.

    1. It could be snow mould. (Fusarium patch). In damp conditions you may be able to see threads of white or pale pink fluffyfungal growth. Try scarifying the lawn to remove dead material and carry out spiking or aeration. Avoid nitrogen rich fertiliser in autumn. The standard treatment is carbendazim. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  3. We repaired our lawns with new turf patches in September. It is not doing at all well. There are large areas of no or sparce grass, and brown dead grass also.
    This is occuring in both the front and rear lawns. Can this be something to do with the constant wet weather or is it some imported disease?

  4. cat pee coud be the problem

  5. hi I have just had a drainage system put in garden , can I put tarpaulin down to cover the garden to stop the rain making it worse ...

  6. Hi and good afternoon.

    I have a problem with 2 acres that have died on me. I have about 20 other acres that are all healthy. The two that are effected are under the canopy of a common walnut tree, is this a toxic location for some plants? If so any recommended small ornamental shrubs to replace the acres.

    Thanks for any advice.

    1. Walnut trees (Juglans nigra) emit a substance known as juglone through their roots, buds, leaves and stems. This can cause some sensitive plants to wilt and die. However, the Acer palmatum or Japanese maple is a juglone resistant deciduous tree but it does prefer light to dappled shade and well-drained but moist soil.

      Being under the canopy might have had bearing on their demise. Alternative shrubs that are juglone resistant and will grow under walnuts are Dogwoods, Daphnes, Pachysandra, Forsythia and Viburnam x burkwoodii. You also benefit from their fragrant blossoms.

      If you want larger trees the American or Eastern arbor vitae (Thuja occidentalis) tolerates juglone. Slow-growing this tree can reach heights up to 60 feet with a spread of 15 feet. The Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) can also thrive near a walnut tree, and can grow to between 30 to 40 feet tall with a 20-foot spread.

  7. Hi,

    I look after an elderly neighbours lawn and in the autumn, I applied an autumn feed. I did the first cut about 2 weeks ago putting the mower on a high setting. The grass looked in really good condition and benefited from the autumn feed.

    When I turned up to cut today there was a patch either side of the central path where the grass had yellowed. My neighbour had not spilled anything on the lawn and we are at a loss to understand what has caused this.

    I will be applying some feed weed and moss killer before the next cut.
    Do you have any idea what may have caused this, whether it will spread and how I can treat it?

    1. It’s difficult to know exactly what might have caused this but some of the common reasons would be to suspect the following:

      Sometimes after the first cut areas are revealed that may have an iron deficiency, treatable with a liquid iron supplement. If the area is on a slightly different level where it meets the path the cut might have been too close, as in scalping the grass and it has died back.

      Too much fertiliser can burn the grass causing it to go yellow and brown. Small, isolated areas of yellow can indicate where a dog may have urinated, if not the neighbour’s then possibly one that had access to the lawn.

      After the winter, areas of grass can become subject to attack by fungus. Cold weather and snow can lead to ‘snow mould’ which is similar to ‘fusarium patch’ which strikes in cool weather with constant moisture. Turf with an area of heavier thatch, poor drainage, clay soil or shade can make the grass susceptible to disease. Late application of nitrogen fertiliser, applied more heavily in a particular area can also cause yellowing.

      Dry weather and sun on the grass following mowing can also be a cause. Try aerating the grass with a garden fork, scarify using a rake, check the level of the mower over the area, fertilise in spring following closely the manufacturer’s directions on the pack or bottle. Following this, re-seed the area if the grass has thinned or become bare.