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For many garden owners, a well-groomed, green lawn is simply part of it. In this article you will find out how best to renew a diseased or unsightly looking lawn and which steps are necessary.

If the lawn is in a very bad condition, it should be removed and reseeded

Table of Contents

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  1. The best time
  2. Preparatory work
  3. Preparation without digging
  4. Renew lawn
  5. reasons
  6. frequently asked Questions
  7. The best time

    When is the best time to renew the lawn depends on whether or not you need to clear and dig the area first. If a new planting without digging is sufficient, it is best to carry out the necessary work during the growth period between May and September. The project works best in spring or early autumn, as the area can regenerate best during this time. In the summer months, on the other hand, it is often too hot, which in turn leads to renewed damage, for example due to drought.

    If, on the other hand, the lawn has to be removed and dug up before reseeding, carry out the preparatory work in autumn if possible. Leave the area fallow so that the frost crumbles the coarse crumbs of earth and refines the soil structure. You can also fold in compost, which will decompose over the winter and increase the humus content of the soil.

    Preparation - step by step

    It is not always enough to simply sow lawn seeds on an area or lay turf and hope for the best. As the following article shows very clearly, sometimes the area has to be completely removed, leveled and optimally prepared - in these cases you have to dig up, otherwise the project is doomed to fail from the start.


    Removal of the old lawn

    Before digging up, however, the area must first be freed from old growth. For small areas, use a spade to simply cut off the sod. Larger areas, on the other hand, can hardly be processed in this way, which is why it makes sense to use a rotary tiller or tiller. Make sure not only to pull out the plants superficially, but to pull them out together with their roots. To make this easier to do, you can mow the area first before working - the less you have to rake off afterwards.

    Leave the vegetation that has been torn out for a day, because dried plants are easier to remove than plants that are still wet. Now take a simple garden rake and use it to remove all the plants. In the end, all that should be left is the bare, chopped-through soil.

    Leveling and compacting of the soil

    First, the old lawn is removed and the ground leveled

    Many new lawns are characterized by bumps. Over time, small hills and holes have formed, which later make mowing and other work difficult. It therefore makes sense to level the surface so that it does not slope down to any side. To do this, for example, apply a topsoil-sand mixture (mixing ratio 1:1) to the future lawn and distribute it with the help of a spreader

    • shovel
    • garden rake
    • as well as cord and spirit level.

    Lawns located on slopes are an exception, because the natural slope cannot be eliminated so easily here. Instead, just smooth out the bumps in the form of holes and bumps.

    Then compact and smooth the surface, using a roller. Once this work is done, loosen the soil slightly again with a rake. Now he is perfectly prepared for sowing the new lawn.


    Which is why it is better not to work on wet ground

    Complete all preparatory work on dry days. Not only is it more difficult to work a wet and heavy soil, you also destroy the small cavities and pores in the soil structure. These are immensely important for soil aeration and therefore also influence the later health of the lawn.

    Preparation without digging

    "When reseeding lawns, there is always a higher demand for fertilizer, especially nitrogen and potassium."

    It is not always necessary to remove the old lawn

    Of course, such a complex renewal of the lawn is not necessary if the existing and otherwise healthy area only needs to be reseeded or repaired once. In such cases, you don't need to rip everything out and dig it up, but instead use the steps outlined in this section.

    • cut the lawn: Mow the lawn as deep as possible by setting the lawn mower to the lowest setting.
    • scarify the lawn: Now remove the lawn thatch as well as moss and weeds with a motorized scarifier (84.00€) or manually with a rake, with which you thoroughly comb the lawn lengthways and across.
    • Lime and fertilize: liming. Water the lawn when needed (preferably in early spring) and fertilize after about four more weeks. A previous soil analysis will show you which measures make sense.


    Scarifying not only removes thatch but also combats rosette-forming weeds. These often adapt to a growth form close to the ground by mowing, but are weakened in this way by the mechanical damage and can even disappear completely.

    Renew lawn

    Once the ground has been prepared, the new lawn can now be sown. If you don't want to wait so long for the seeds to sprout by themselves, lay ready-made turf.


    Special repair or regeneration mixtures are very well suited for carrying out repair work without first digging up the soil. The grasses contained in it germinate quickly and ensure rapid soil coverage through the formation of clumps. These mixtures usually consist of types of grass that grow at different speeds and are specially tailored to the different types of lawn. While the fast-germinating and growing varieties prevent weeds and other unwanted growth from settling, the slow-growing grasses complete the overall picture. On the packaging you will find area-specific quantities, which are usually between 20 and 30 grams of lawn seed per square meter.

    The sowing takes place as described:

    1. only sow on dry, windless days
    2. Mix the seeds vigorously
    3. Mix in sand or sawdust
    4. Divide the lawn into strips
    5. Scatter the seeds by hand
    6. Distribute first lengthwise and then crosswise
    7. alternatively use a spreader
    8. then go over the surface with a roller
    9. Keep seed moist
    10. Do not step on the lawn for the next few weeks

    Grass seeds germinate in the light and should therefore not be pressed deeper than a maximum of 0.5 centimeters into the soil.


    Rolled turf is practical and easy to lay

    Rolled or ready-made turf has a number of advantages over sowing. Such a lawn offers a beautiful, dense turf immediately after laying, and this area is also free of weeds and damaged areas. In addition, the lawn area can be used fairly quickly, in moderation after about two to three weeks. This saves up to three months compared to sowing. The turf is laid as described:

    • Rolled turf can be laid from a ground temperature of five degrees Celsius.
    • The best time is early spring or autumn.
    • Lay the turf with staggered joints.
    • Wear footboards when unrolling to protect the already deployed sod.
    • Lay the individual parts butt together, i.e. without gaps.
    • Fill any gaps with a mixture of sand and topsoil.
    • Start in a central spot, such as along a path or patio.
    • Lay long strips or rectangular pieces without cutting them.
    • Where you must work with smaller fragments, work last.
    • Always lay turf on slopes from bottom to top.
    • Roll the turf after laying to improve ground contact.
    • Thoroughly water the area.

    The lawn should be firmly established after about ten to 14 days. At this point you can also mow for the first time.


    Pre-treated seeds protect against diseases

    Some new seedlings show the first signs of illness after a short time. This means that germination is slow, the turf remains patchy and root growth is sparse. A common reason is fungal diseases that affect the young plants shortly after sowing. Seeds that have been pretreated with special bacteria, which are intended to protect the seedlings from fungi and other pathogens, protect against these diseases.

    When and why is resurfacing necessary?

    Moss or weeds in the lawn can be a reason for renewal

    There are many reasons why a lawn should be completely renewed and not just repaired or regenerated. An important point in answering this question is the size of the existing problem areas: If these are quite small and the rest of the lawn looks healthy, a touch-up is sufficient. However, if the problems lie in the turf base layer or in the subsoil and cannot be remedied despite intensive care, a complete renewal often makes more sense. The same also applies if the lawn shows massive signs of disease, which indicate, for example, an infection caused by fungi or bacteria. However, even if your lawn is healthy and you take good care of it, damage caused by animals may require replanting. This is the case when the lawn has been destroyed by dog urine, wild boars have ransacked the area in search of food or moles or voles have done their work.

    frequently asked Questions

    What will it cost me to renew the lawn?

    The cost of renewing the lawn depends on many factors: the time-consuming removal and renovation of an old area is significantly more expensive than simply having to mow and scarify it. Furthermore, seed in the required quantity is a lot cheaper than ready-made lawn - the latter can be four times as expensive as simply sowing the lawn.

    I only want to touch up small bald spots, what do I have to do?

    It is sufficient to simply prepare the bald spots as described (without digging!) and sow them again. Alternatively, you can also cut grass sods of the right size in another (less conspicuous) place and lay them in the desired place.

    How can I prevent moles from destroying the new lawn?

    Since moles are protected, you can only drive them away, not catch or kill them. There are many home remedies for this. Strong-smelling materials such as mothballs or rags soaked in turpentine placed in the aisles can drive the animals away. Moles are also quite sensitive to noise, which is why some gardeners drive the animals away with bottles buried in the ground above the aisles. The sounds that are generated by the wind blowing over it are said to encourage the animals to migrate.


    Using chemicals such as glyphosate to prepare an area for a new lawn is not a good idea. Agents containing glyphosate in particular are considered carcinogenic and poison the soil for a very long time: after all, not only the lawn suffers from this, but also the soil life.

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