Q: I look after a number of sports pitches in the north-west of England. We have had a dismal winter, with snow and rain meaning that many matches have been postponed. There will be a rush to pull games in before the end of the season and I want to know whether there is anything I can do to help the pitches cope with the heavy wear that they are going to get. Winter maintenance has been a bit hit and miss, so the ground is currently saturated. I am keen to get on with aeration as soon as possible because every time it rains it results in standing water on two pitches. But I am worried that the ground is too soft and I will do even more damage if I put a big tractor and machine on it.

A: If there is standing water, it means that the roots are being starved of oxygen. That's not good. You need to get the water away as quickly as possible and introduce some fresh air.

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