If the lawn no longer looks healthy, if there are puddles of water everywhere or even bare spots are visible, if it is mossy or weed, then it is a good idea to re-create the lawn. In the meantime you know where the pitfalls of the soil or other conditions lie and, if necessary, you can make improvements that will later benefit the lawn. Even those who suffer a lot from moles and voles are often well advised to simply lay out the lawn again. Before that, of course, you have to drive away the animals.

Requirements for a good lawn

Above all, the soil conditions are important. If this is not the case, the soil must be improved. A well-ventilated soil with a fine crumb is ideal. Loose soil is favorable for soil organisms and this promotes the aeration of the substrate, the decomposition and processing of organic substances. A lot of humus is ideal.

  • The soil must be permeable. Loam and clay soils in particular need to be improved in this regard. They are too heavy and water cannot drain well. It makes a lot of sense to mix sand into the soil. This makes the substrate looser and more permeable. Lawns can breathe better.
  • If there are puddles of water left on the lawn, it is especially important to mix in sand. However, to do this, the soil must be properly plowed, i.e. deeply dug. This will destroy the old sward. The lawn must be completely re-laid.
  • In the case of puddles of water, it can also be useful to install drainage. Here, too, a new creation must be made.
  • Instead of sand, lava or pumice stones can also be used.
  • If, on the other hand, the soils are too light, i.e. too sandy, they have to be made a little more stable. Otherwise, water will drain away too quickly and nutrients will be flushed out much too quickly. As a means of choice, I recommend adding sifted clay to the earth. Depending on the permeability of the soil, a 5 to 20 cm thick layer of sieved clay is sufficient, which is then worked into the upper soil layer.
  • Alternatively, Betonit can be used. However, there is a lot of dust.
  • Green manure is also recommended to improve the soil.

For the lawn to thrive, it is important that the soil has a suitable humus content. This ensures that the soil organisms feel comfortable. A humus content of 3 to 5 percent is ideal for lawns. Humus can be added in a number of ways.

  • Incorporation of compost
  • Green manure

Only teach humus in spring, otherwise the amount of nitrogen in the soil is too great.

Rehabilitate lawn 

When the soil preparation has been completed, the lawn renovation can begin. It is advisable not to work with wet or damp soil. The floor should be well dried. The ideal time for the renovation is in spring. Summer is very unsuitable. Autumn is also a good time for this work. The lawn has a lot of time to regenerate before it comes under stress again in summer.

If you do not rebuild the entire area, but really only renovate it, you should proceed in the following order:

  1. Mow the lawn deeply and remove all clippings.
  2. Thoroughly scarify the lawn. Proceed with the maximum working depth and go at least once lengthways and once across the entire surface. Professional equipment that can be borrowed is ideal for this type of work. The normal scarifier does not have enough power for such work.
  3. In addition to scarifying, pull loose plant parts out of the ground with a rake.
  4. Soil improvement – i.e. when only a thin layer of sand, humus or the like has to be applied, for example to level out uneven ground or to improve the soil.
  5. Smooth the ground, for example with a rake
  6. Fertilize
  7. Sow the lawn. Reseeding mixtures are ideal for this. Although these are often more expensive than mixtures for new sowing, they mainly contain seeds that sprout quickly and fine meadow grasses such as panicle and ostrich grass.
  8. Work in the seeds with the rake and roll the surface smooth.
  9. Water thoroughly, also in the next few days and weeks.

If possible, the renovated area should not be used for 6 to 8 weeks.

Lay out the lawn from scratch

Anyone who has found that the soil needs extensive improvement should do the job and start all over with the lawn. First the old sward is removed. This works best on very dry soil. With a flat spade, the sward is separated horizontally from the ground and removed. Many gardeners simply dig up without removing the lawn. It is quite possible. I wouldn’t do it like that. I would remove the sward and dispose of it. There are always weeds that would pop up again quickly. Only when all of the old lawn is gone, dig it up thoroughly.

  • Digging up – dig really deep with a gardener’s spade or a digging fork. A tiller is also suitable. The clods of earth can be left as coarse for now. Remove stones and coarse root material if available.
  • Improve the soil – as described above
  • Important: Let the soil rest for two to three weeks (at least)!
  • Rip open and crumble the soil. Tillers and rakes are suitable.
  • At soil temperatures above 10 °, better above 12 ° C, you can sow.
  • Even sowing is important, preferably with a spreader.
  • Start fertilization
  • Cover the seeds loosely with peat to prevent bird damage.
  • Water, but without rinsing the seeds straight away.
  • Water regularly in the following weeks. Soil must not dry out.
  • When the stalks are 8 to 20 cm high, you can mow for the first time. Do not cut too short, a height of 5 cm is ideal.

Which lawn seeds are recommended?

When it comes to lawn seeds, there are major differences in quality and price. Of course, you can use the seeds from the discount stores, which are offered annually in spring at the best sowing time. Many even swear by it. But if you want a really good lawn that grows evenly and doesn’t have to be mowed so often, you shouldn’t pay attention to the price first and foremost. As everywhere in life, there are different offers. You don’t have to choose the “luxury class”, but neither do you have to choose cheap offers. It is important that the lawn does not only grow in height, but rather in width. It shouldn’t be long, but it should be dense. The number of shoots per square meter is decisive for this. The offers fluctuate between 20,000 and 100,000 shoots. It is clear that the lawn is denser with 100,000 shoots,

Another important question is how will the lawn be used at some point? Is it just an ornamental lawn that hardly anyone walks over, or is it lawn where children play or do sports?

  • The density, i.e. how many shoots are contained per square meter, should be as high as possible.
  • Anyone who has children or pets who romp around on the lawn should opt for a very hard-wearing lawn.
  • If you have shady spots in your lawn, you should choose shade-friendly varieties. The offers vary from slightly or moderately well-tolerated to particularly well-tolerated.
  • There are also differences in the “weeds” class. I don’t see it that dramatically, because even with a very low-rated lawn, weeds keep colonizing the garden through seeds that get into the garden from the air. That cannot be prevented.
  • Most types of grass should be mowed once a week. Only natural grass “slowly growing” can do with one or two pruning measures per month.
  • There are also differences when it comes to water requirements. Many grasses have a high demand, but there are also drought-tolerant varieties.
  • Even when it comes to fertilization, not all types of lawn are created equal. Many have to be fertilized up to four times a year, but it is also possible to use less fertilizer.

When choosing the grass seed, the criteria just mentioned should be taken into account. If 20,000 shoots per square meter are enough, if you don’t need a really dense lawn and if weeds don’t bother you, the discounter offers are definitely a good solution. If you have higher demands on your lawn, you should pay close attention to the contents of the package and decide on a variety that suits the conditions of the garden. The following are favorable:

  • a high density
  • high durability (when the lawn is used)
  • high shade tolerance (if there are shady areas)
  • little or very little weeds
  • low maintenance (mowing, watering and fertilizing little)

There is no such thing as a lawn that meets all of the criteria. You then have to decide what is not that important. Often with good lawn the water and fertilizer requirements are just as high as with cheap lawn. There are special varieties for lawn renovation. They are designed to grow quickly and are highly recommended.

If you value an even lawn and are bothered by unsightly spots, there is a good alternative to completely re-laying the entire lawn. The lawn can be rehabilitated, to put it simply, it is improved without complicated soil preparation. This works very well when it comes to smaller sections. If larger areas are affected, it makes sense to recreate the entire area again. But you have to realize why the lawn is so bad. The errors must be eliminated. Just digging, sowing and watering will not produce a better lawn. The soil must be upgraded and the right lawn seeds for the area are also crucial. That can be a lot of work.

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