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Renew old lawn - this guide shows how to do it!


Small, bare spots in the lawn can be easily repaired. With an extremely matted and mossy lawn, this is unfortunately not enough - renewal is the order of the day.

Finally it starts again, the "true" garden season, because the first warm days of the year immediately lure us outside. Of course there were also tasks to be done in autumn and even in winter. Spring and summer are still the best seasons for every hobby gardener.

However, frost and too many rain showers have also left their mark, which is particularly noticeable on the otherwise so green lawn. Where previously stalks of stalk sprouted, now bald spots are suddenly visible or almost nothing is visible from the lawn because moss and weeds have spread.
Now good advice is expensive because you don't want to leave the lawn like that. First consider whether the "misery" can be remedied by scarifying. If this is not the case, the lawn must be replaced. In the following step-by-step instructions, you will learn what to look for and how to best proceed.

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  • 1 Step 1 - Remove old lawn
  • 2 Step 2 - Clean the area
  • 3 Step 3 - Level and compact the soil
    • 3.1 Straight or not?
    • 3.2 Smoothing the floor - but how?

Step 1 - remove old lawn

Best time: Spring April / May or autumn, at temperatures around 10 degrees.

That sounds like a lot of effort, but it has to be so that the new lawn can develop well again. Which tool you use depends on the size of your lawn. Small, manageable areas can be cut with a spade. In larger areas, this method would take too long and push you to your physical limits. You can do this task more easily and quickly with motor power. It is important that the old tufts of grass, including moss and weeds, are completely lifted out of the ground, i.e. the roots also have to be removed. The best way to do this is with a motor hoe, the blades of which rotate both forwards and backwards.
The 6 HP tiller from boels.de is ideal for this, for example, and can be rented on a daily or weekly basis. Due to the forward and reverse running, particularly hard clods of earth can be “torn open” and thus freed from the old lawn. A positive side effect: the soil is loosened up directly.

Tip: If you mow the old lawn again before this action, you will not have to rake off as much later.

Step 2 - clean the surface

Matted lawn parts, moss and weeds can of course not remain on the chopped floor. They would take up a lot of space and strength for the new lawn and also look unattractive. So now is the time to remove the leftovers. It works best with a normal garden rake.

Tip: Wait a half a day. Dried grass, moss, etc. is easier to remove than damp.

Step 3 - level and compact the soil

If the surface is clean, it must be straightened. This is important so that none later moguls arises. But not only holes and hills should be leveled out, at best the area itself is always the same height, which means that it does not fall to either side. However, if your property or the newly created lawn is on a slope, only the unevenness will be compensated.

Right or not?

It is best to test this with a batter board. Insert small wooden wedges into the earth, to which a long cord is then attached. This is then stretched across the lawn - stay as far as possible on the ground. If this method is not sufficient, you can now use a spirit level to check whether there are serious differences in height. These are then balanced with a rake. Incidentally, larger amounts of soil can be wonderfully distributed with the rake back.

Smoothing the floor - but how?

After the holes and differences in height have been leveled, the ground still needs to be smoothed or compacted. A lawn roller is usually used for this.

The roller is filled with water on site and thus receives the required weight. If you don't want to buy a roller, you can do it differently. Take a large board or wooden pallet and attach a rope to it. Now pull your self-made "smoothing machine" in even paths over the new lawn. The weight is not comparable to that of a roller, but the smoothing effect is almost as good.

Once everything has been compacted, the soil is slightly “loosened” again with a rake. This creates a visually appealing and perfectly prepared soil for the subsequent sowing of the new lawn.