You could get a little jealous when you look at the meticulously mowed pitches of Germany's professional footballers. The lush green stalks stand close together, trimmed to a maximum of 2.5 centimetres. Clover, dandelion or other annoying wild herbs usually lose out on well-tended football pitches. It often looks different in the more than 1000 allotment garden associations in this country. Moss peeks through between more or less light-growing stalks. There a dandelion, here a blooming clover. A paradise for bees, butterflies and insects. But if you value a healthy play or ornamental lawn, you should take care of the eagerly growing rivals. True to the motto: The greenkeeper is himself. The following tips will not only save you sweat when caring for your lawn, but sometimes also a lot of time.
Grass from high-quality lawn seeds shoots up about ten centimeters per month on average over the course of the year. So if the stalks were allowed to grow, an adult would be about waist-deep in the grass at the end of a gardening year. For a dense lawn, there is no alternative to mowing the lawn regularly. The more often you mow, the better the stalks branch out at the base. Regular mowing also keeps weeds under control, at least to some extent. It mows faster, but a little less cleanly, with a sickle lawnmower like this model from Bosch. Here the sickle cuts off the stalks at the previously set height. These often fray and the tips turn light brown. Only cylinder lawnmowers can cut cleanly. Here, however, muscle power is required, because these mowers do not need a motor. In return, lawn lovers click their tongues at the result. A good alternative to the sickle lawnmower for smaller lawns and allotment gardeners with a slightly larger time budget.
When and how often to mow the lawn?
If mowing the lawn is the gardener's duty, scarifying the lawn can definitely be described as a freestyle. Anyone who is annoyed by moss and lichen in their own greenery should do something about it. When scarifying, small knives scratch the ground about two millimeters (but maximum five millimeters) and thus loosen the unloved moss and annoying thatch without damaging the lawn or the turf. In addition, the knives loosen the soil with their work, so that the stalks can breathe better and the water can be absorbed better. In addition to electric scarifiers like this one from Hanseatic, this also works with a cutting rake, pendulum scarifier or scarifier roller. The latter cost, that's part of the truth, but significantly more sweat than the electric version.
When and how often to scarify the lawn?
You can read a current scarifier test here.
Like humans, lawn plants need air to breathe and survive. Blades of grass mainly run out of oxygen when they are heavily used and exposed to a lot of rain. This damages the root and weakens the entire plant. Instead of scratching the ground as when scarifying a lawn, holes are made in the ground and filled with quartz sand when aerating the lawn. This ensures that excess backwater can run off better and the lawn roots are better aerated. So-called nailed shoes, which can be strapped under the garden shoes, are suitable for this.
Unfortunately, the good old rainwater is not enough to supply the demanding lawn grasses in such a way that the meadow appears dense and lush green. Additional nutrients are therefore required. They are introduced into the soil via fertilizer. As a rule, gardeners do best with organic slow-release fertilizers. Distributed over the garden year, you can also get a better grip on weeds in the lawn. Because that spreads happily without fertilizer because the grasses are too weak to resist it. Incidentally, regular lawn mowing also uses up the energy reserves of the stalks. The constant regrowth goes to the substance. If you work your lawn with a mulch lawnmower, you need less fertilizer because the clippings that remain on the lawn already contain nutrients that can be reused by the plants.
When and how often to fertilize the lawn?
While some allotment gardeners do not attach too much importance to accurately manicured lawn edges, some tackle the last stubborn blade of grass with nail scissors. As is so often the case, the golden mean is perfectly adequate for most people. Because lawnmowers tend to be slow-moving and not agile enough, especially for raised edges, manual work is required when cutting lawn edges. According to the motto: Get to the lawn shears! Depending on the nature of the lawn edge and how accurate it should look in the end, lawn trimmers or cordless edge cutters can also help with the final touches.
When and how often to cut lawn edges?
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Depending on how mossy and matted the lawn is, unsightly gaps usually appear in the lawn when scarifying. Here you should overseed the lawn to close the bare spots. In addition to light (lawn seeds germinate in the light), a moderate air temperature is important so that the lawn seeds can still sprout and grow. If it is too cold, the seeds will dry up. Autumn is a good time to overseed the lawn. As a rule, this happens by itself after scarifying in autumn. Because the bare areas are usually quite small, a hand spreader or a spreading shovel is usually sufficient to sow the lawn again. If a larger piece of lawn has become limp, it is faster with a spreader.
When and how often to overseed the lawn?
If there is no natural precipitation for a long time, you can see it in nature quite quickly. Lawns also dry out and turn yellowish-brown. To prevent this, you should water your lawn during such dry periods. Sandy soils in particular then need regular watering; in the best case from the bulging rain barrel. Clay soils hold water a little better and need less frequent watering. No matter what type of soil: A watering can is usually not enough, even for smaller lawns. A garden hose with the appropriate attachment or a small lawn sprinkler (here's a Gardena model for sinking into the ground) are the much more efficient means of choice. Here you should only make sure that the sprinkler waters as little pavement or facade as possible.
When and how often to water the lawn?
Water saving tip: The cooler the soil, the less moisture is lost through evaporation. Watering in the early morning or late evening saves a few liters of water. Some potassium fertilizer also stimulates the root growth of the grass and at the same time increases its water absorption capacity.
Sources: rasendoktor.de; gartenjournal.net
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