In this article we show everything to do with lawn care. From creating and fertilizing to scarifying, all important measures on the subject are explained.
We give you the 5 best tips for a well-kept lawn [Photo: Tatiana Dyuvbanova / Shutterstock.com]
Would you like to create your first lawn or an existing one? Or have you decided that you want to take better care of your lawn and don't know where to start? No matter what you have on your lawn lover's heart, you will find a remedy here. We have summarized all information for you on the correct creation and maintenance of lawns. In addition, we explain when certain measures need to be taken, and our expert instructions show you at a glance how to proceed.
1. Laying out the lawn: tips from the experts
Table of Contents
You are still at the very beginning and are wondering whether you should decide on the cheaper sowing of lawns or the expensive laying of turf? Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. More important than the choice between sowing and turf is the preparation of the soil and the quality of the seed or the turf. Soil preparation should be planned well and as early as possible; after all, there is a whole range of work to be done from the soil, depending on the soil, leveling, draining, milling, allowing to set up to the addition of lime, sand and compost.
Rolled turf is the comfortable alternative to sowing the lawn [Photo: makasana photo / Shutterstock.com]
Those who do not take the ground preparation seriously will run into more and more problems over the years.
For example, poorly drained soil will always be particularly susceptible to moss and weeds. It is therefore worth taking care and taking the time to prepare the ground.
Another factor that should not be underestimated for long-term beautiful and well-growing lawns is the seeds. It should be selected as site-specific as possible, as lawns are sensitive crops that are quickly displaced by moss and weeds. That is why we have to use well-adapted grasses to ensure that the lawn will like it in its future location. There are other grass seed mixtures for play and utility lawns – such as the Plantura play & sports lawns – than for ornamental lawns. In shady or particularly loamy and heavy locations, which are actually not so well suited for lawns, it is worth looking for lawn grasses specially adapted to these conditions. The Plantura shadow lawn, for example, is ideal for particularly shady places. Because it is precisely on these soils that moss and weeds quickly conquer the lawn if it is too weak.
Even if you decide to lay turf, remember to inquire about the composition of the grasses before purchasing the turf sod.
What should you do and consider in front of the lawn?
- Take the time to do a thorough ground preparation or have it done professionally. Consider how long the lawn will last and that the ground preparations can never be made up – unless you want to re-create your lawn.
- Regardless of whether you decide to sow the lawn or to lay turf: pay attention to the composition of the grass types. Check that the grasses are suitable for your location and future use.
Depending on the use and location of the lawn, the right seeds should be selected [Photo: Dean Clarke / Shutterstock.com]
Mending and repairing the lawn
For some, the tips on creating a lawn and preparing the ground may come too late. If you already find bald spots or bumps in the lawn, there are only various options left to repair your lawn. In some places it can even be better to laboriously recreate the lawn with the correct soil preparation than to mend problems for years without tackling their causes.
Tip: Bare lawns with light sward should be reseeded as soon as possible – our Plantura lawn reseeding, for example, is ideal for this. All plants basically compete for space, water, nutrients and light. Free spots in the lawn are therefore a welcome greeting for weeds and moss. By overseeding the lawn in good time, you can keep a lot of problems at bay.
2. Maintaining the lawn: ways to the perfect green lawn
The ideal location for the most beautiful, greenest and healthiest lawn could be described as follows:
- Regular rainfall
- Sandy-loamy soil with good air and water permeability; well drained
- Sunny to a maximum of partial shade
- Soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5
- Without moss and thatch (anyway rarely under the above conditions)
Some of these site conditions (as well as regular mowing) can be influenced very well and with relatively little effort. The pH value can be optimized by liming the lawn, fertilizers and mulch provide sufficient nutrients and the lack of precipitation can be compensated for with irrigation. It becomes more difficult with the type of soil and its permeability. Various lawn care measures such as scarifying, airing and sanding serve to improve poorly drained, heavy soils and thus prevent weeds, moss and lawn thatch from infestation.
Mossy and tangled lawns particularly benefit from scarifying [Photo: Aleksey Korchemkin / Shutterstock.com]
Lawn care: concrete measures
- Scarifying is the top priority and ensures that the lawn is free of moss and thatch. Air and water penetrate better to the soil surface.
- On heavy soils, the lawn is aerated and sanded after scarifying. The purpose of both measures is to improve the permeability of the soil, i.e. to provide the grass roots with a better supply of oxygen and to avoid water stagnation.
- Scarifying removes the moss from the lawn, but not its causes. Although light moss infestation is quite normal on medium-heavy soils, certain factors such as an unfavorable pH value or poorly drained soil can lead to particularly high levels of moss formation.
- It is the same with the weeds in the lawn. With the right choice of seeds and lawn care, there should actually be no problems with weeds. The increased occurrence and composition of weeds in the lawn therefore usually suggest very special causes. Identify the weeds in your lawn and try to combat the causes for their occurrence (lack of nutrients; too deep or too seldom cut, etc.).
3. Fertilize the lawn: nutrients for perfect growth
Fertilizing is an often underestimated measure in the course of lawn care. Lawn grasses are among the plants with a high need for nutrients. A good supply of the grass with nitrogen as well as with potassium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium is important so that the grass stays beautiful, healthy and competitive against moss and weeds in the long term. In turf, nitrogen plays roughly the same role that proteins play in human nutrition. Anyone who decides to mulch the lawn instead of mowing the lawn leads back the nutrients contained in the lawn clippings and therefore has to worry less about nutrient deficiencies. However, mulched lawns are also fertilized in smaller quantities. Find out here when and how much fertilizer your lawn needs.
For a perfect green, lawn fertilization is essential [Photo: photowind / Shutterstock.com]
The lawn liming is also often mistakenly viewed as a fertilizing measure. However, the liming of lawns is by no means to be regarded as a standard maintenance measure and is only necessary in very specific cases. With the application of carbonate calcium carbonate, also called lime, the pH value of the soil is increased. Lawn feels most comfortable at a pH value of 5.5 to 6.5. In this area, all the necessary nutrients (if available in the soil) are easily accessible. If the pH value drops, the lawn tends to be weakened and moss becomes more competitive in the lawn. To prevent this, the lawn is limed at a pH value of 5 or lower.
4. Mow or mulch the lawn
Regardless of whether the lawn is used as a lawn for use, a playground or for ornamental purposes: regular lawn cutting occurs everywhere. Since lawn care is already a complicated and annoying topic for less passionate garden owners, it is hardly surprising that the perfect quick cut also requires special sensitivity. Because not all cuts are the same: there is the option of collecting the clippings in a grass catcher while mowing and then putting them on the compost. Or you can mulch the lawn with a special mulching lawnmower, which shreds the clippings and then spreads them over the lawn. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. In most locations, the lawn benefits from mulching. But there are also regions or soils where mulching is not recommended and therefore classic lawn mowing should be preferred.
When mulching, the cut green is used as fertilizer [Photo: Sergiy1975 / Shutterstock.com]
5. Water the lawn
If you hope for general tips here, you will unfortunately be disappointed. How much water a lawn needs depends, among other things, on the type of soil, the weather and the type of grass. Information such as “water your lawn once a week” is therefore completely out of place. If you irrigate, please do not use homeopathic doses every day. Due to the frequent small amounts of water, the grass does not take root in the deeper layers of the earth and the plants become even more sensitive to drought. In addition, hardly any nutrients can be absorbed from deeper layers of the earth. It is better to water less often and then for it penetratingly.