How Do I Start A New Lawn?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:35 pm

For many, a dense, green lawn is part of a garden. If you are planting a new lawn, the first thing you need to do is prepare the soil properly. Depending on the location, it then depends on the appropriate seed.

April and May as well as September and October are the best months to lay a new lawn. Grass grows fastest when there is sufficient sunlight and and the soil temperature is permanently above ten degrees – even at night. In addition, young lawn needs permanent moisture for vigorous growth.

How Do I Start A New Lawn?

Remove weeds and stones from the soil down to the deepest layers.
The first step is to prepare the future lawn. Carefully prepared soil is half the battle for a long-lasting and robust lawn. For overgrown areas, this means digging or tilling out – to a depth of 10 to 15 centimeters. Weeds and stones must be removed so that the seed can grow well.

Use a garden tiller for large areas

How Do I Start A New Lawn?

For small areas, a sturdy spade is sufficient for digging. However, if the soil is hard and compacted or the area is quite large, a garden tiller can help. This device works on the top layer of the soil after it has been cleared of stones and long grass with a rake. There are garden tillers for rent, for example, in hardware stores. Such a device costs about 50 euros a day, but saves a lot of work.

Even with a garden tiller, the processing is laborious, because with one pass it is not done. To properly turn the soil and crush all plant debris, the area must be worked at least three to five times with the tiller.

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Optimize garden soil for lawn seeding

Lawn seeds grow best in a slightly sandy soil. Those with a more loamy garden soil can work sand into the top layer. For areas that are very wet, it may be worthwhile to lay drainage. This work is better done by professionals such as landscapers or civil engineers.

Levelling and grading the soil

How Do I Start A New Lawn?

The next step is the “fine subgrade”. This is the term for a surface that is as fine-crumbled and level as possible for seeding. The area is leveled with a wide, large rake with the tines pointing upwards or a board and thus smoothed out. If you put in a lot of effort now, you’ll have less work later when you mow. Last stones and weeds have to come out, of course. If the soil is still too loose, another small roller is used – for recompaction. Then the preparation of the soil is finished. Before sowing, it is best to let the soil rest for a few more days.

The right lawn seed

The great advantage of the standard seed mixture is that the ratio of grass varieties is always the same. If you buy the ornamental lawn 2.1 and want to reseed after three years, you can do it without any problems. The result is always the same. The only important thing is not to mix the grass varieties.

Good lawn seed may quietly cost a little more. While simple lawn seed mixtures are available for a few euros per kilogram, regular seed mixtures cost from about six to seven euros per kilogram. Some are significantly higher. In the case of inexpensive seed mixtures, it is often the case that fodder turf is included. The forage turf looks great quickly, but doesn’t tolerate mowing as well. At the end of the year, the lawn becomes quite holey – and wild weeds grow there. Do not keep leftover lawn seed for long, it will remain germinable for a maximum of four years.

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Sowing the lawn correctly

When it comes to sowing the new lawn, the weather plays a decisive role. The ideal time is a dry day with as little wind as possible. The grass seeds are very light. Wind or gusts can blow them away as they are spread or when they are on the ground, resulting in uneven results.

The amount of seed should be precisely balanced: 25 to 30 grams per square meter is ideal. A lot does not necessarily help a lot when sowing: if the seed is too dense, only the strong varieties will prevail and the lawn will become bushy. In addition, fungal diseases can then develop more quickly.

Mix the seed before sowing

Mix the seed well before sowing. The grains of the lawn mixture vary in weight and could separate due to shaking during transport. When sowing, it is best to run the future lawn once lengthwise and once crosswise and always toss the seed loosely. This way the lawn will be nice and even.

How Do I Start A New Lawn?

Alternatively, you can take a small spreader for sowing. This helps with the perfect dosage. Finally, rake the lawn seed crosswise once very lightly. This way, the seed gets a good grip on the soil and does not become bird food. Then roll the area.

Water the new lawn regularly

It can easily take two weeks for the first lawn seeds to germinate. In the commercial seed mixtures are different types of grass, which do not all sprout at the same time. Therefore, it can take up to four weeks until all seeds have germinated completely.

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Especially in the first growth phase, when the root systems are not yet fully developed, a regular water supply is important. However, the same applies here: Much does not help much. Too much water causes waterlogging, which tends to harm the young roots. In dry conditions, the area should be watered two to three times a day for 5 to 10 minutes.

Tip: The most important nutrient after sowing is phosphorus. It ensures dense and green growth. Special starter fertilizers for lawn seeding therefore have an increased phosphorus content.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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