These damp, still days of late autumn, when the lawn is soft and green, are ideal for topdressing, a way of investing in its health after a year of trampling. Spike the lawn all over, then shovel a mixture of sand and shredded compost thinly and evenly over the whole surface. Using the back of a rake, the flat tines of a fork and a broom, work this mixture gradually into the holes and the base of the grass blades. Rain and earthworms, the true measure of a healthy lawn, will do the rest. It’s very good exercise, too.

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