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Lawn is often the heart of the garden. Accordingly, he should of course look healthy and well-groomed. However, it is usually heavily used and has to endure a lot. In order to withstand the stresses, there are a few things to consider when laying out a new lawn, but also when reseeding. This applies to the quality of the seed, the timing of sowing and, in particular, good soil preparation. The soil is the basis for a healthy, fresh green lawn. How to properly sow the lawn and loosen the soil.
Sow the lawn: soil
The nature of the soil plays an important role in the creation of a lawn. If it is prepared accordingly, this not only promotes healthy development of the grass. The seed germinates better and the maintenance of the lawn is much easier. In general, lawn grasses do not prefer hard, but rather fine, loose and well-aerated soil. Here they can quickly develop a dense root system.
However, it should not only be finely crumbly and fluffy, the pH value is also crucial. It should be between 5.5 and 7. If it is more than seven, it is advisable to work bark humus into the upper soil layers. On the other hand, if it is lower than five, it is advisable to lime the soil about two months before sowing. The garden soil is often relatively hard, so that if left untreated, it is not suitable for creating a lawn. Then it's a matter of loosening it up accordingly.
tip: The current pH value can be easily determined with appropriate test strips from the hardware store.
Dig up the earth spade-deep
Any area on which a lush green lawn is to grow later must first be dug up to a depth of at least 15 cm. This is best done a few months before sowing the lawn, ideally in the fall when the soil is well dried and crumbly. Loosening is particularly quick and effective with a power tiller. Of course, a digging fork or a conventional spade will suffice, it just takes a little longer. Meanwhile, all weeds as well as root remains, stones and other foreign objects are removed.
As a rule, it can also be dug up at other times of the year. It is particularly important that there is sufficient time between loosening and sowing so that the soil can settle again. However, this only works in conjunction with sufficient moisture. If there is no rain, the area must be watered intensively at least once a day.
Loosen up heavy and sandy soil
It is best to start preparing the soil one to two weeks before the lawn is laid. If the soil is loamy, clayey and hard, rainwater has difficulty seeping away and the soil compacts relatively quickly. You can remedy this by working in a layer of green waste compost about 1 cm thick and a layer of sand about 3 cm thick to a depth of about 10 cm.
In order to loosen soils that are heavily compacted and hard, green manure, for example, made of radish and lupins, which is spread on the area in question in early summer, is a good idea. In the coming winter, the plants die and decompose in the soil until the lawn is sown in the following September. Emerging weeds in summer should be removed.
The situation is similar with light, sandy soils. They can also be upgraded or loosened with green waste compost or generally with plenty of compost (about 10-15 liters per square meter). On the one hand, compost enriches the soil with nutrients and also promotes the formation of humus. Work it into the top 10-20 cm.
settling and recompression
It is important to settle the soil after loosening it so that there are no bumps or sags in the lawn later on. As already mentioned, this process can take several weeks. By stepping on the floor you can test to what extent it has already settled.
- It is best to wear shoes with flat heels
- Heel should not sink more than 1 cm
- Promptly remove vegetation that comes up during weaning
- Level the top two to three centimeters of the back-compacted soil
- Level out any unevenness with a wide wooden rake
- Break up or remove larger clods of earth
- Soil should have a finely crumbly structure
- Fine enough if nothing gets caught in the tines of the rake
tip: Many hobby gardeners use rollers to speed up the weaning process, but this can impair the growth of the grass. If you still want to dare, you should make sure that the ground is dry during this time.
Sow the lawn: timing
- Sowing possible from spring to autumn
- Both new planting and reseeding
- Preferably in spring, around April and in autumn
- Grass needs a minimum soil temperature of 8 °C to germinate
- Temperatures are optimal from mid-April to early May
- Heat waves occurring at the beginning of June can damage grasses
- Therefore make sure there is sufficient moisture after sowing
- There should be no more frost during germination
- Temperatures ideally between 10 °C and 25 °C
- Even at night no longer below 10 °C
- Day of sowing should be dry
- Reported rainfall favorable for the next few days
Once the earth has finally settled and been leveled, it can be sown. This can be done by hand or with a special spreader, which you can borrow for a small fee from some hardware stores. If you sow by hand, the seeds are usually not distributed as evenly as with a spreader. Both too dense and too thin a seed density can lead to an uneven lawn appearance.
- The day of sowing should be dry and as windless as possible
- First measure the seed required for the lawn area
- Then spread it over the surface with a slight swing
- If necessary, mix the seeds with some potting soil beforehand
- distribution more evenly
- When sowing the lawn, proceed square meter by square meter
- Spread seed lengthwise and crosswise
- Work a maximum of 1 cm deep into the soil
- About 25-50 g of seed per square meter of lawn is recommended
In order to create good contact with the soil after rolling, the rake is used to rake the soil lengthwise and crosswise. In the same way you then go over the surface with the roller. If there is no rain, the whole thing has to be watered about four times a day. The germination period is one to three weeks, depending on the weather and the type of seed.
tip: Regular and sufficient watering is particularly important during and immediately after germination, because that is when the grasses are most sensitive.
With the gritter
The main advantage of sowing a lawn with a spreader is that the right amount of seed is evenly distributed over the entire area. This prevents both overdosing and underdosing. An overdose leads to the grasses being too dense and hindering each other's growth. It also makes the lawn more susceptible to fungal diseases. If, on the other hand, too little seed is sown, no closed turf can form, gaps and bare spots appear.
To counteract this, you should stick to the application rates recommended by the manufacturer. The quality of the lawn seed plays a major role here, because the qualities of lawn seed in particular are sometimes very high. In order to sow, the spreader is driven lengthways and crossways again. After sowing, the area is raked, rolled and watered or irrigated.
First lawn cut
In the first few weeks after sowing, there is a risk that lawn weeds such as clover, plantain or dandelion that are still in the ground or fly in will settle on the area. However, as soon as a dense turf has formed, this danger decreases more and more. When the grass has reached a height of eight to ten centimetres, it can be mowed for the first time. The cutting height should be five to six centimetres. As a result, the grass begins to branch out and can form a dense turf. The lawn is usually resilient at the earliest eight weeks after sowing.
Sow bare spots in the lawn
Lawns are exposed to more or less heavy loads over the course of the year. So it's not surprising if one or the other bald spot comes to light at some point. To close these gaps, you can overseed in late summer or autumn. September is the best time because the soil is still warm enough for the seeds to germinate easily. If you leave these gaps in the lawn, unwanted and sometimes stubborn lawn weeds can quickly settle.
- Before sowing, mow the lawn as deep as possible
- Then completely remove the lawn clippings
- After mowing, roughen up affected areas
- Preferably with the scarifier
- Floor surface is lightly scratched
- Then remove the last remains of moss and dead plants and roots
- Loosen bad soil and ensure better water drainage
- For sandy ones, mixing in powdered clay is recommended
- Loosen heavy, loamy soils by working in sand
- If necessary, level again afterwards
- Fill in depressions with sandy topsoil, remove elevations
overseed the lawn
To overseed, fill a container with the lawn seed and mix it well. Then the seeds are distributed evenly in the longitudinal and transverse directions and worked into the turf. Immediately after sowing and in the first few weeks thereafter, it must be watered regularly, usually several times a day. The soil should be constantly moist. Drought, even for a short time, causes the seedlings to die off quickly. After about two weeks, the seeds have sprout across the board. However, that does not mean that watering is no longer necessary, because constant watering is still essential until the first lawn cut.
Pay attention to high-quality lawn seed
The best soil is useless if the lawn seed is of inferior quality. Choosing the right seed is all about the right type of lawn. The seed mixtures vary depending on later use. The grasses of a play and utility lawn have to withstand significantly more stress than, for example, an ornamental lawn, which is much more maintenance-intensive.
Shaded lawns are best for darker areas under trees and shrubs.
In general, a significantly higher quantity is required for inferior seeds than for high-quality mixtures. Cheap mixtures usually germinate faster than high-quality ones. However, the latter form an even and, above all, denser turf. Even if quality seeds are a bit more expensive, you need significantly fewer seeds per square meter, which justifies the higher price. It is recommended to always use a so-called regular seed mixture. It guarantees a good mixing ratio of the grass species and quality in terms of germination.