How to renew your lawn without digging up

lawn mower
lawn mower

Your lawn is just a patch of moss and weeds? No problem: With these tips you can easily renew the lawn in one weekend – without digging up!

Renewing an unkempt lawn is imagined by many amateur gardeners as a tedious and extremely sweaty job. The good news is: the spade can stay in the tool shed, because renewing a lawn and establishing a lawn can be done without digging.

To prepare for the renewal, you should first mow your old lawn to normal stalk length, i.e. around three to four cm (1.2 to 1.6 in) high, and then apply a lawn fertilizer. Provided that it is warm and humid enough, the green carpet will be in full juice just two weeks later and you can start renewing your green carpet.

How to renew a lawn without digging?

  • Mow the lawn as short as possible
  • Thoroughly verticut the lawn
  • Spread seed mixture for lawn renewal
  • Water lawn with sprinkler

Mow down old lawn deeply

First, mow the turf as short as possible: to do this, set your lawn mower to the lowest setting. If you only have a small electric mower, you should rent a powerful gasoline lawn mower, as the power requirements are significantly higher than for normal lawn mowing.

Verticut the lawn

For renewal, the lawn that has been cut short must be verticut: Unlike conventional verticutting, set the machine low enough so that the rotating blades cut the ground a few millimeters deep. After you have verticut the old lawn once in longitudinal tracks, go over it once more crosswise to the original direction in order to remove weeds and moss from the lawn in the best possible way. If there are still larger weed pockets in the lawn after the first verticut, it is recommended that you repeat this step one or two more times. Afterwards, everything that the scarifier has scraped out of the turf is thoroughly removed from the lawn.

You can level out slight unevenness in the lawn after verticutting by applying a thin layer of sandy topsoil, spread with a lawn squeegee. The layer should not be higher than 10 cm (4 in).

Sowing with the spreader

Now apply a special seed mixture for lawn renovation. If you are inexperienced in hand seeding, it is best to use a spreader for this purpose, because it is especially important when renovating a lawn that the seed is distributed evenly and without gaps over the entire area. Following the sowing, a special starter lawn fertilizer is now applied to the area. It has a high phosphorus content and the nitrogen is partly bound in a fast-acting urea compound.

To prevent the seeds from drying out, cover them with a thin layer of humus. For this purpose, you can use conventional planting or potting soil. It is spread over the surface with a shovel and best distributed evenly with a broom so that the top layer is about 5 millimeters thick everywhere.

Finally, water the lawn thoroughly

The last step is to water the renovated lawn thoroughly with a sprinkler, so that the lawn seeds get a good grip on the soil and germinate quickly. If you have a lawn roller, you can lightly compact the area beforehand, but this is not absolutely necessary when renovating a lawn using the method presented here. Make sure that the lawn never dries out in the coming weeks. As soon as the planting soil turns light brown on the surface, you need to water again. If the weather is favorable, your lawn will look like new again after just two months.

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