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A healthy, large lawn is the dream of many hobby gardeners. But in reality it often looks different, the grasses grow differently dense and patchy. But what are the causes of an unevenly growing lawn?
In a nutshell
- Lawns need maintenance all year round
- insufficient care can quickly make lawns look diseased
- it grows unevenly, at different densities and speeds, or does not take root
- Inferior lawn seed, non-uniform soil components, unfavorable site conditions as well as fertilizer or irrigation damage can be responsible
Assess uneven growth correctly
Within a lawn area, there may be different growth rates in places or over large areas, both in terms of density and growth rate. It can grow more or less densely and faster in some places than in others. Sometimes it also happens that parts of the lawn are shaded to varying degrees. Shade makes the grasses grow differently. This in turn can lead to color differences. In addition to shade, excessive soil density and/or the nutrient distribution in the soil can also result in uneven growth.
Causes and remedial measures
Mistakes in sowing
The seed often does not sprout properly, the lawn grows sparsely or unevenly. This can be due to inferior seed quality or because it was sown very unevenly or too deep.
- Use a spreader to spread the seed evenly
- Prevailing temperatures are also decisive
- Should be neither too cold nor too warm
- Grasses then grow more slowly and irregularly
- Temperatures between 14 and 25 degrees are optimal
- Ideally, do not start sowing before April
- Choose a windless day for sowing
- Press seeds and do not cover with soil (light germinators)
The seed quantity should be based on the manufacturer's recommendations. Too little can leave gaps in the lawn. If you take too much, the grasses can hinder each other's growth. Don't forget to water after sowing!
A common problem is inferior seed quality. Cheap mixtures like "Berliner Tiergarten" contain grass varieties that are actually intended as forage grasses for grazing animals. They grow very quickly and crowd out the slow-growing lawn grasses. At the end of summer, gaps remain where stubborn lawn weeds can settle. It is therefore better to spend a little more money on high-quality seed and enjoy an even, lush green lawn for many years.
Unfavorable site conditions
An unfavorable location can also inhibit lawn growth, especially if it is completely or partially in the shade. In addition, the soil in shady locations quickly becomes acidic due to falling leaves or pine needles. If shadows are the cause, they should be eliminated if possible. If this is not possible, it is advisable to regularly check the soil quality, cut the grass down to a maximum of five centimeters and ensure regular watering. If necessary, the use of shaded lawns is recommended. But even then, the lawn should not be completely in the shade.
Not every soil is suitable for creating a lawn. The lawn will not find a footing on solid, compacted ground, it will not take root. Or the soil is acidic.Source: Bernd Haynold, Buxbaumia viridis 20140416, cut by Katharina G., CC BY-SA 3.0
- Falling leaves or pine needles cause the soil to become acidic
- Formation of moss is promoted
- Soil test shows if the soil has enough lime
- Test should be conducted approximately every two years
- pH value between 5.5 and 6.5 in the best case
- Lime sandy soils under five and loamy under six
- Loosen the soil with a scarifier, remove moss and thatch
- Nutrient absorption is improved
- Lawn roots for scarifying older than three years
The soil can also vary within a lawn area, so you should include the subsoil in a possible test and where the growth is only moderate, fertilize accordingly.
Tip: On solid ground, rolled turf can be a good alternative, laid on a bed of sand or gravel. This ensures good drainage.
Sufficient soil moisture is the be-all and end-all. Too much, too little or watering is often done at the wrong time, which can promote uneven growth of the lawn. Especially freshly sown seeds need water several times a day, one to three liters per square meter. For older lawn grasses that have already developed roots, watering two to three times a week is usually sufficient. Then it should be five to ten liters per square meter. At best, water in the morning or evening, never at lunchtime. During the day, much of the water would evaporate before reaching the roots. For this reason, it should always be watered in sufficient quantity so that the water can penetrate deep enough into the soil. However, waterlogging should be avoided.
Most mistakes are made when fertilizing. The grass loses important nutrients with every cut, and if there is no fertilization, the lawn suffers. Applying the fertilizer by hand is problematic. It is distributed very irregularly on the lawn, which in turn results in uneven growth. If you have the opportunity, you should use a spreader. In this way, the lawn is evenly supplied with all the important nutrients.
Mowing is one of the most important measures in lawn care. If the lawn grows unevenly, it may be that the lawn was mowed too early, too late, too short or too irregularly.
- Do not mow immediately after the winter break
- Mowed lawn extremely sensitive to frost
- The still short days make regeneration more difficult
- Best time for first mowing in April
- Then mow regularly
- Cutting height for the first cut, about eight centimeters
- From the second cut, four to five centimeters
frequently asked QuestionsWhat should you consider when buying seeds?
When it comes to lawn seed, you should always pay attention to good quality and avoid inferior cheap mixtures. The latter usually contain mainly forage grasses that grow quickly and soon displace the few lawn grasses.Which fertilizer should you use?
Choosing the right fertilizer depends on the soil type. Is it acidic, does it need lime or does it tend to form moss? Organic fertilizers are recommended, also for the sake of the environment. They supply the soil and the organisms living in it with nutrients. They release phosphorus, nitrogen and important trace elements, which the grass can then absorb.How can fertilizer be spread evenly without a spreader?
If no spreader is available, you can divide the lawn into zones and fertilize zone by zone by hand. This enables relatively good fertilizer distribution.