The lawn is not just a well-groomed green area, but an important figurehead of every garden. For many gardeners, lush greenery in a rich color is the highlight of their own green oasis and requires a great deal of care in order to obtain a lawn that is attractive in the neighborhood.
In addition to regular mowing, sanding works as a real miracle cure for a beautiful lawn, as the sand optimizes the soil.
What is lawn sanding?
Sanding the lawn is a method of improving the soil composition of the lawn and thereby stimulating grass growth. This method has been used for decades to prepare soccer fields and golf courses, which get their characteristic character and deep green color from the turf sand.
The granular mineral improves turf and corrects a variety of imperfections that can occur even in a well-manicured lawn.
- loosens compacted soils
- Drainage is generated, thus protecting against waterlogging
- the soil becomes permeable if the soil is too heavy or rich
- ensures effective ventilation
- Unevenness can be leveled out
As you can see, sanding is suitable for many different soil conditions and optimizes them to provide an attractive grass cover. Alongside mowing, fertilizing, and watering, this makes sanding an essential part of lawn care that is all too often overlooked.
Consequences of a lack of sanding can be seen in numerous tracks, soil that is too dry or too moist, and light green that looks as if not enough lawn had been sown.
Lawn sand is also good protection for the lawn if the garden is frequently used by children or pets. The sand acts as a buffer and protective layer for the soil and thus the quality of the lawn.
When to Sand the Lawn
The appropriate time for spreading the sand is either spring or autumn. If you’ve never sanded your lawn before, it’s a good idea to do it in the spring so the grass can grow easily through the spring and summer. In the following year, you can then choose when you carry out the sanding of the lawn.
You don’t need to spread more lawn sand throughout the year as it will sink into the soil and stay there. Even heavy rains won’t wash it out, so you only need to do this once a year.
Which sand to choose?
Before you can start the procedure, you still have to decide on the right sediment, which you will distribute at the end. There are two variants that are extremely well suited for this project and are not even that expensive to buy.
- quartz sand
- play sand
Note: Products that are offered as lawn sand are usually one of these two variants and you should therefore find out which of the two types of sand it is before you buy it. This is often also stated on the packaging of the sand.
Silica sand has an extremely fine structure and consists mostly, if not exclusively, of quartz grains. This makes it a popular variant for sanding, as it is very suitable for optimizing the soil, especially for drainage. If you choose this variant, you should choose a product with the following properties and not just any building sand that is lying around.
- fine-grained from zero to two millimeters in diameter
- low in lime
- round-grain if possible
This quality proves to be extremely effective for sanding, as the quartz sand can immediately penetrate the ground and take effect due to the fine grain size. In addition, large quantities of this can be distributed without being visually noticeable.
Play sand is sand that you will find in the sandbox on a playground. Its diameter of 0.063 to two millimeters is just as effective as the Rhine sand. Another advantage of this sand is the thorough cleaning, where silt and clay have been particularly effectively washed out of the play sand to make it easier for children to shape the sand.
Note: Do not confuse this sand with fall protection sand, which is also used in playgrounds and is mainly found under swings and jungle gyms. With a diameter of eight millimeters, this is far too large and should therefore not be used.
- mow the lawn back to a height of about two to three cm (0.7-1.18 inches)
- make sure to mow the area evenly so that there is not too much use in certain areas
- Scarify the area lengthwise and crosswise
- Scarifying is important for the soil so that it can breathe again and thus supports the growth of the lawn grass
- this removes old moss and mulch from the previous year or summer, making the soil fresher again
- for this step, you will of course need a scarifier
- set the scarifier to a depth of three to five millimeters
- this is enough to remove enough old plant matter to effectively prepare the soil for sand addition
- During this work process, individual parts of the earth become noticeable, the lawn thatch
- You only have to remove it afterwards, preferably with a rake or a leaf rake
- the collector of the scarifier can only hold small amounts of thatch
- Thatch compacts the soil keeps water out and is a breeding ground for all kinds of insects
- therefore, the use of the scarifier is necessary to freshen up the lawn and rid it of pathogens and pests
- In addition, the felt causes waterlogging, which is negative for the growth of the grass
- once the area has been cleaned, you need to pour the sand into a spreader and gradually walk off your lawn
- the device will do the work and distribute the sediment evenly and not too densely
- of course, you can also carry out step 5 manually
- just be careful not to over-sand individual spots and create an imbalance
- then use a rake and distribute the quartz sand again
- take your time and make sure that the entire lawn has been sanded
- after the fresh sanding, the small grains are still clearly visible and so you can use them as a guide
- so you can see where something is still missing or where too much has been distributed
- then you can moisten the lawn a little if it is too dry
- Two weeks after sanding you should fertilize the lawn if you decided to sand in March or April after the last frost
- this ensures good soil conditions and a dense turf cover in the coming weeks
Depending on the condition and nature of the lawn, it may be necessary to aerate it before sanding instead of scarifying. A manual or mechanical aerator is used. These have so-called “spoons,” which pierce five to ten centimeter-deep (2-4 inches) holes in the ground, thereby breaking up the compaction even more effectively. This is particularly important for old lawns that have not been maintained for a long time.
Proceed as follows:
- drive the spoons into the ground at a distance of ten to fifteen centimeters
- This creates continents in the form of cylinders that are caught in the tray on the device
- dispose of these
- after that, you can sand as described above
- be careful not to accidentally kick the soil parts back into the ground if you are using a device without a drip tray
Topdressing – the icing on the cake
If you want to make your lawn even healthier and really encourage it to grow, you should use top dressing. This term refers to a nutrient-rich mixture of sand, organic components, and fertilizers.
For the organic substances are used:
- Compost (sifted into the sediment)
- Soil cones/cylinders collected while aerating
In addition, there is a classic lawn fertilizer that is added to the mixture. The top dressing is a true nutrient cocktail for the noble grasses of the lawn and this creates the best conditions for a lush grass cover that is suitable for relaxing in summer and will inspire with a radiant green. The ingredients are mixed and then sieved to distribute the top dressing well.