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Special lawn soil makes sense when laying out a new lawn or when filling it up. How much you need and how to calculate the required amount is explained in this article.

In a nutshell

  • Rule of thumb: 10 liters of lawn substrate per square meter
  • The requirement is calculated from the length times the width of the lawn plus the thickness of the substrate layer
  • The substrate layer should ideally be between two and four centimeters thick
  • two centimeters thick for less stressed lawns or lawns on good subsoil
  • three to four centimeters thick for sports and playing turf or less than ideal substrates

Calculate quantity correctly

As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to apply ten liters of lawn substrate - purchased or mixed yourself - per square meter of lawn. The layer should be between two and four centimeters thick. Use this formula to calculate how much lawn substrate you need:

Length x width x depth gives the required quantity in cubic meters

Measure the length and width of the lawn and determine how thick the substrate layer should be. Now you can calculate the amount. Now the amount in liters can also be determined, because one cubic meter corresponds to 1000 liters.


Suppose you want to reseed an area of 20 square meters (five meters long by four meters wide) with grass. They have a thick topsoil layer and rather sandy soil, so the substrate layer only needs to be an inch thick.

  • 20 square meters x 0.02 meters equals 0.4 cubic meters
  • 0.4 cubic meters x 1000 equals 400 liters

For a 20 square meter newly laid lawn you need 400 liters of lawn substrate. Here it is worth either mixing it yourself or buying a pallet right away - that is, for example, 36 bags with 45 liters of soil each, a total of 1620 liters.

Thickness of the substrate layer

The thickness of the substrate layer depends on these conditions:

  • Subsoil (humus, little humus; permeable, little permeable etc.)
  • Soil composition (sandy, humic, loamy etc.)
  • pH value (acidic, neutral or alkaline)
  • Type of lawn (ornamental lawn or hard-wearing lawn)

In principle, the substrate layer should be thicker on problematic soils (heavy, less permeable, loamy) than on light or humus-rich soils. In addition, pure decorative lawns that are rarely walked on require a thinner layer than heavily used sports and play lawns.

Tip: In guidebooks it is sometimes claimed that when laying out a new lawn, you no longer need to apply additional fertilizer. That's wrong, because lawn soil contains pre-fertilization for only six to eight weeks - after that, re-fertilization has to take place.

frequently asked Questions

Are lawn and potting soil the same?

No, lawn soil and potting soil are different substrates. Although both soils consist of similar components, they are composed differently and have different nutrient compositions. Plants with a high nutrient requirement are planted in potting soil; Lawn soil, on the other hand, is optimally tailored to the needs of grasses. For this reason, potting soil is not suitable for a lawn. Lawn soil is a very fine substrate, which is free of coarse components.

Can I mix the lawn substrate myself?

If you want to mix your lawn substrate yourself, use this
- 50 percent mature compost soil
-between 30 and 40 percent humus soil
-between 10 and 20 percent sand
These components are carefully mixed with the help of a shovel and then thoroughly sieved. Make sure that no coarse components such as roots, stones, etc. remain in the soil mixture. Incidentally, green cuttings compost is particularly suitable for lawn soil, as it is loose and has the right pH value.

Where can I get topsoil?

Top soil or topsoil can also be used for the (new) planting of a lawn. The topsoil layer should be at least 15, preferably 20 to 25 centimeters thick so that the grass can root vigorously. The material is available in different qualities (screened/unscreened, with or without compost) from the building materials trade. But you can also inquire about companies in the field of gardening and landscaping or scour the classifieds, sometimes larger quantities are sold cheaply here.

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