Hardly any other garden area gives hobby gardeners as much headache as the lawn. Because many areas become more and more gaps over time and are penetrated by weeds or moss, it is not that difficult to create and maintain a well-tended lawn. You have to know which points are really important when it comes to installation and maintenance – and of course, you have to be prepared to invest a little time in them.
Good soil preparation is essential
Many property owners underestimate the importance of thorough preparation of the soil when creating a new lawn. For example, when building sports fields, the existing soil is often removed and replaced by layers of soil with precisely defined grain sizes. The lawn can grow optimally and regenerate as quickly as possible after a football game, for example. Of course, you don’t have to be that exact in the home garden, but a very loamy, heavy soil should be improved here before you sow the lawn. At least the top 10 to 15 centimeters must be loose enough for the lawn to root through – otherwise, moss infestation will inevitably occur on moist soils, and gaps will gradually appear in dry soils Weeds spread.
After removing the old sward, first, apply a layer of coarse construction sand. Depending on the nature of the soil, it can be five to ten centimeters thick. Level the sand and then work it into the topsoil with a power hoe. In preparation for sowing, it is also useful to sprinkle a so-called soil activator. This special humus preparation with a high vegetable charcoal content improves the soil structure and makes the soil more fertile. After working in the construction sand and roughly pre-leveling the area, spread around 500 grams of soil activator per square meter and work it in the flat with a rake. Only then do you level the area thoroughly and sow the new lawn.
Use real brand seeds
Despite the best care, if your lawn doesn’t want to get tight, the “Berlin Tiergarten” could be to blame. Under the apparent brand name, hardware stores and garden centers usually offer cheap lawn mixtures made from forage grasses. Since the grass varieties were not bred specifically for lawns but mainly for high yields, they are very vigorous and do not form a dense sward. It is therefore strongly recommended that you spend a little more money. 20 to 30 euros per 100 square meters for high-quality lawn seeds are a manageable investment given the fact that this will save you a lot of lawn problems later. By the way: The renewal of an existing lawn with quality seeds is also possible afterward without digging. You only have to mow the old lawn very briefly, Lawn seeds out. It is only important that you sprinkle it with a thin layer of lawn soil and roll it on well.
Fertilize every spring
Most lawn problems arise because the grasses are starving. Suppose they are not optimally supplied with nutrients. In that case, gradually larger gaps will appear in the sward where moss and weeds can gain a foothold. So supply your lawn with a special lawn fertilizer every spring, such as “Bio lawn fertilizer” from Naturen or “Azet lawn fertilizer” from Neudorff. These are purely organic lawn fertilizers that make ecological sense and reduce the thatch in the sward with their active microorganisms. Like any organic fertilizer, they release their nutrients in small amounts over a longer period so that you only have to re-fertilize after two to three months.
Mow the lawn at least once a week
The main reason why many lawns look neglected is that they are not mowed enough. The regular cut keeps the grass compact and ensures good “tillering” – the plants form more runners and thus a denser sward if they are pruned frequently. Therefore, Lawn experts recommend mowing the lawn at least once a week from the beginning of spring until November. In May and June – the two months with the strongest growth – even two cuts per week make sense. Because: In principle, you should not remove more than a third of the leaf mass with each cut in order not to weaken the grass unnecessarily.
While petrol and electric mowers used to be in demand, the market shares of robotic lawnmowers and cordless lawnmowers have been increasing for some years. Those who decide against a robotic lawnmower nowadays very often turn to a battery-operated push mower. For a good reason: Modern devices are handier and require less maintenance than gasoline mowers, and are much more user-friendly than conventional electric mowers, as they do not need a power cable. The lithium-ion batteries can also store more and more energy and, at the same time, become cheaper. Many models are now so powerful that you can mow a lawn in an average home garden “in one go.”
Check the pH now and then
Like all soils, lawns also tend to acidify over the years. The rain slowly washes out the lime contained in the soil and the humic acids, which are formed when the mowing residues decompose in the sward, do the rest. To prevent the pH value from falling below the critical limits, you should occasionally check it with a test set from a specialist retailer. It is best to measure every two years and make the time intervals accordingly larger if it has not changed at all or only very slightly within this time. To measure the pH value, take small soil samples up to ten centimeters deep from various places in the lawn, mix them thoroughly in a clean container, and pour the sample with distilled water. Then measure the pH with a test strip; if it is less than 6 in loamy soil and less than 5 in sandy soil, Scatter lime on the lawn. It is sufficient if you increase the pH value by 0.5 pH levels.