No one wants a lumpy lawn. It feels like stepping in potholes and often leads to twisted ankles. How do you level a lawn? The size of your yard and how many bumps you have decides the method to use. And if you’re not the dig-in-the-dirt type, it’s best left to professionals for a job done properly.
Fill in Holes by Topdressing
Image via Flickr by Mike McCune
If your lawn only has a few uneven spots, then topdressing is the best solution. Mix a batch of topsoil, sand, and compost in a large container. A wheelbarrow works best. Apply a half inch of this mixture to low areas of your yard. Don’t apply more; this is a gradual approach, and applying more than a half inch smothers your grass. Then rake the area to spread the mixture evenly. If possible, use a push-broom to thoroughly spread the mixture among the grass. Watch for grass growth, and repeat this method until the spot is level.
Adding Dirt Under Grass
If your lawn has several very low places, then topdressing takes too much time. You might try sweeping dirt under the grass instead. Cut a small area of sod, no bigger than one square foot. If the dip is a large area, break it into smaller sections. The one-square foot rule keeps the sod from breaking up.
Next, shovel enough topsoil into the hole so the area will be even with the rest of the yard once you replace the sod. As you shovel, remove any air pockets by watering lightly so the soil does not settle after you’re done and create the problem all over again. Once you finish, give the lawn a good watering.
Rolling Away the Bumps
If your lawn is very bumpy, then you need a more drastic effort. Consider re-grading the lawn and reseeding or laying sod. You need a lawn roller, a sort of small steamroller, to push or pull across the ground. For very large yards or playgrounds, renting a drum roller will speed up the process.
To begin, roll the soil so it is level. Next, scatter grass seed and roll again to press the seed into the soil. Rolling also speeds up germination so grass will sprout quickly. If sodding, rolling helps remove air pockets and makes sure the roots are in contact with the soil.
Using a roller on the lawn periodically helps even out spots caused by insects and rodents, or children playing on the grass. But don’t roll the lawn too often because that causes stress to the grass, particularly during dry summer months. Also, never use a lawn roller on soaking wet soil. While you need a little moisture before you roll the lawn, using this method on wet ground compacts the soil too much and decreases aeration, and the grass won’t grow.
Keeping your lawn even and beautiful looking involves more than mowing. And it never hurts to call a professional if the job is too big to handle.