This is how you clear the ground for sowing lawn seeds
Sensitive lawn seeds are challenging to the external conditions. In order to motivate the seeds to germinate, careful preparation of the soil is required. Ideally, you should tackle the necessary work in the autumn of the previous year as follows:
- Loosen the soil with a milling cutter or dig up with a spade
- After a new construction, distribute the topsoil of the excavation on the intended lawn area
- Optimize sandy soil with ripe compost, leaf soil, granulated cattle dung (€ 17.80 on Amazon *) or horn meal
- Enrich loamy soil with fine-grain sand and peat
- Finally, smooth the surface with the rake and let it rest until spring
- Create a new lawn - this is how it works with seeds and turf
- Create real lawn on the balcony
- Which is better: rolling lawn or sowing it yourself?
The quiet winter months are ideal for commissioning a professional soil analysis. This gives you important information about the level of nutrients and the pH value in the soil. In particular, the soil should not be too acidic. Lawn does not thrive well in a pH below 5.5. This shortcoming is ironed out in no time with a dose of garden lime (€ 9.46 at Amazon *).
The best time to sow - now it starts
At the end of April / beginning of May, temperatures settle at 10 degrees and higher, the best time to sow a new lawn begins. If you missed the autumn deadline for soil preparation, make the rough level 2-3 weeks before sowing so that the soil can settle. On the selected day itself, dry, mild weather should prevail in order to go to work in this sequence:
- Weed weeds meticulously and work the surface finely
- Mix the seeds vigorously and pour them into the spreader or hand spreader
- Spread the seed lengthways and crossways
- Thinly sieved with peat, sand or vermiculite without the light germs lying completely in the dark
- Roll the seedbed and sprinkle it with a fine jet of water
Adequate moisture is of fundamental importance for germination. You should therefore water the newly laid lawn regularly over the next 3 weeks if the natural rainfall is insufficient. Careful hobby gardeners cordon off the area so that it is clearly visible so that it is not accidentally entered. Only to position the lawn sprinkler (€ 27.94 at Amazon *) should you set foot on the seedbed.
Second chance - sowing the lawn in autumn
A second time window for planting new lawns by sowing opens in September. In the sun-warm soil, the seeds will germinate quickly and take root quickly. This time of year is also advantageous for sowing, as the natural rainfall increases and the additional irrigation is reduced. The sowing should be done by the beginning of October, due to the falling temperatures.
So that the young lawn can get through the winter well, the first dose of fertilizer should focus on the potassium content. This nutrient strengthens the frost resistance of the plant cells so that they do not tear when there are fluctuations from frost to thaw.
So that freshly sown lawn seeds are not picked up by hungry birds right away, choose seeds with a green color. Birds do not recognize this color as prey and ignore the seedbed. Against other pests with growling stomachs, protect the seeds with a close-meshed protective net.
Prepare new building site for turf - this is how it works
Planting a new lawn with seeds puts the gardener's patience to the test over several weeks. If you want to give your new home a dignified setting in the shortest possible time, you should choose the turf method. Within a day, a dreary new plot of land is transformed into a velvety, green carpet. However, you will not get away with it completely without preparation, because the best ready-made lawn will not grow without a substructure. How to do it right:
- Create the rough subgrade, as for sowing lawn seeds
- Then apply a special starter fertilizer for turf and water it
- Then spread out a stable mole net and fix it on the sides with ground anchors
Now give the soil 3 weeks to sit down. During this phase the mole net grows so firmly that it offers robust protection against the busy tunnel builders. The lawn edge can later be designed so that the fastening anchors underneath become invisible.
When is the best time to lay turf?
The spring and summer months are ideal for creating a new lawn with the help of turf. Choose a dry, overcast day between late March and mid-September. During a summer drought the laying of turf is theoretically possible, but requires special precautions for the water supply. Under extreme conditions, the rolls of lawn have to be watered while they are being laid.
How to lay turf with skill
On the day of delivery, the turf must be completely laid, because with the harvest in the lawn school, the withering begins. For longer transport routes, the suppliers cool the rolls of grass down to 3 degrees Celsius. However, this pre-cool process does not last as long as ready-made turf can be stored for a few days. It is therefore an advantage to have helping hands on the day of installation. This is how it goes step-by-step:
- Lay the first roll of lawn along a straight edge
- Lay the following strips butt-to-butt and offset, as for bricklaying
- Avoid gaps and cross joints as well as overlaps
- Do not step on the substructure during the laying work
In parallel to the progress of the work, lay out wooden slats on the finished lawn. From here you lay the next sheets so that there is no point loading. In a newly created lawn, depressions and bumps can no longer be ironed out afterwards. Cut off rolls that are too long with a sharp knife. These leftover pieces are ideally suited for shooting small corners and gaps.
Turf care begins on the day it is laid
Once all lawn rolls have been laid accurately, the lawn roller is used in the first step of maintenance. In this way you create a good connection to the sub-structure so that the sod will quickly take root. The important irrigation begins on the evening of the laying, without which no ready-made lawn can gain a foothold. That's what matters:
- Newly laid lawns sprinkle with 15-20 liters of water per square meter
- Continue this for 2 weeks every day to two days, depending on the weather
- Do not water the lawn under the blazing midday sun
To determine the amount of irrigation water, simply place a measuring cup in the area of the sprinkler. Alternatively, use a screwdriver or other pointed stick to check whether the turf is moistened to a depth of 7 centimeters.
Maintain newly laid lawns professionally - this is how it works
So that you will enjoy your lawn for many years after it has been newly laid out, maintenance focuses on a balanced supply of water and nutrients combined with regular lawn mowing. The central aspects of these three supporting pillars in the cultivation of green spaces are examined in more detail below:
Watering when dry
If the newly laid lawn is well rooted, the natural rainfall in autumn and winter covers the water requirement. In spring and summer, however, up to 25 liters of water per square meter evaporate under the sun every day. As soon as the lawn leaves no longer straighten up after being stepped on, the lawn sprinkler is used. If you irrigate your new lawn thoroughly twice a week on average, the lush green will remain.
Fertilize in a balanced way
A thick carpet of grass removes an abundance of nutrients from the soil. This loss is compensated for by regular fertilization during the growing season. Ideally, use an organic or mineral-organic fertilizer, which is administered in March / April and July / August. Heavily used sports turf receives an additional portion in May. Repeated watering is compulsory in the following days until no fertilizer grains can be seen
A newly created lawn is mowed for the first time from a stalk height of 8 centimeters. Then the noble grass should be cut by a third every 7 days. It is important to note that lawns should not be mowed when it is wet or in direct sunlight. A healthy cutting height of 4 centimeters has proven to be ideal for ornamental and utility lawns. Shadow lawn should stand a little higher at 6-7 centimeters.
If a new lawn is properly cared for, moss and weeds cannot be seen. Therefore do not confront the green unnecessarily with strenuous scarifying and ventilation. If anything, this drastic intervention comes into consideration at the earliest in the third year after sowing seeds or laying turf.