How To Level A Bumpy Lawn
Over the years my lawn became progressively bumpier, to the point where scalping the lawn while mowing was a common occurrence, and our two year old would frequently trip when running over bumps or low spots. I began doing research on lawn leveling and after watching a few You Tube videos on professional lawn leveling, I was officially obsessed. This article will outline the results of my research, my results to date, and my plans going forward. Im not planning on getting all the way to putting green standards, but the principles hold true no matter how serious you are. Keeping your lawn level is an ongoing process, but with some simple steps its really quite easy and can make a huge difference to the quality of your lawn.
Why is it Important to Have a Level Lawn?
A smooth, even lawn, without bumps or depressions, is important as it provides a much more usable surface to walk on. Any activity will be made safer and more enjoyable from soccer, croquet, bocce ball to just running around. For kids and adults alike.
What Causes a Lawn to be Bumpy?
A sprinkler system is a common culprit for erosion since the water lines are prone to damage and the whole system requires regular maintenance. To investigate, check that the spray heads and rotors are working correctly and popping up to their full height, that the nozzles are not clogged or damaged, and that the heads are not leaking.
Lawn Leveling Equipment
Steps to Leveling your Lawn
Can You Rototill Over Grass
rototiller canOneovergrassyou can
Removing a Lawn by Digging It UpYou can dig up a lawn with several types of power equipment. A tiller will make the work easier, but you’ll need a heavy-duty, rear-tine model. You can remove grass manually with a shovel, but the process is very labor intensive and best for a small plot of grass.
should I remove grass before tilling? You cold use herbicides to kill the existing grass before tilling the earth, but completely removing the turf eliminates the chance of new plants growing from tubers and seeds left behind. Till the garden bed to a depth of 8 to 12 inches to completely break up the soil.
In respect to this, how do I hand till my lawn?
Hand TillingTo double-dig, you begin by spreading compost over the soil. Then, dig a trench 10 inches deep and the width of your spade, depositing the shovelfuls of soil onto the ground next to the ditch. Dig a second ditch alongside the first, moving the shovelfuls of soil into the first ditch.
How do I get rid of my lawn full of weeds?
How to Get Rid of a Lawn Full of Weeds
Do You Need To Rototill Before Laying Sod
It is not always necessary to till before you lay sod. If you have healthy soil with high quantities of sand or loam, your lawn likely doesnt need tilling before sod install. In this case, simply remove your existing lawn with a sod cutter, grade your yard, and add a few inches of topsoil in low areas. Then, you can install sod and fertilizer.
Tilling before you lay sod churns the soil, bringing long-buried weed seeds to the surface. If you till before sodding, you may encourage an abundance of weeds to sprout up through your new sod. Not only that, but tilled soil may settle unevenly beneath your sod, resulting in an uneven lawn with bumps and dips. If you dont have compacted soil, it may be best not to till before you install sod.
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Be Realistic About The Work Involved
It takes quite a bit of money, time, and sweat equity to kill a lawn so that you can begin anew.
You should also be aware that certain methods can negatively impact the environment, so keep this in mind when making your decisions and be mindful about how you proceed.
Make sure to find out whether your homeowners association or local environmental agency has any rules with regard to this process.
Also its wise to check-in with your neighbors. Im a big believer that following proper lawn care etiquette and being respectful of the people you live near is worth the time and energy.
You will need to strike a balance between all the competing factors and requirements. This wont be a perfect process, and you cant make everyone happy, but making the effort to do things the right way and to be respectful of your neighbors and the environment is worth doing.
Be aware that you can use a variety of methods when killing a lawn and starting over, and that you use different approaches on different parts of your lawn, depending on your needs and preferences.
Homeowners who have an underground irrigation system should know where all their pipe and sprinkler heads are on the lawn, in order to try to prevent damage during the digging and tilling processes.
What Is The Cost To Buy A Rototiller
The price to buy a rototiller varies quite a bit, depending on machine size and power.; It will generally cost at least $100 for even the smallest, low-horsepower rototillers.
Prices can easily cross $1000 for a larger rototiller with higher horsepower.
Some considerations when choosing a rototiller include:
You can also opt for a rototiller with an electric start option. That way, you can avoid pulling a cord repeatedly, which can hurt your arms, shoulders, or back.
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How To Rototill Your Lawn
Rototilling lawns require a bit of work. Whether you’re planning on rejuvenating an old farm or installing a new one, rototillers can help level the ground as it begins to turn to soil. Tilling is a helpful practice whether you’re trying to remove old grass to plant new, healthier grass.
If you don’t own a roto tiller, rent one at your local garden center or rental agency. If possible, find a rototiller with tines located behind the wheels since they are more easier to operate. Here are some steps to help you rototill your lawn:
Planting A Lawn With A Tiller
Your tiller is good for more than gardening. Think about it: what else grows in soil around your yard besides herbs and vegetables?
Whether youre considering planting a new lawn or reseeding an existing lawn, proper preparation of the soil beforehand is essential. A garden tiller or cultivator is just the tool you need to make sure the soil in your yard is in top condition.
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Great Reasons To Never Use A Rototiller In Your Garden
In spite of popular belief, you can and will have a better garden without ever owning or using a rototiller. In fact, in the long run, you will save time, have less weeds, better soil, and, well, the list can go on and on!
Its sort of a running joke among my family and friends about my lack of love for the rototiller. Its not that I have anything personal against the machine.
A rototiller is actually great for certain tasks. Its perfect for creating smooth soil for planting grass. And yes, it can certainly be helpful in creating your first garden space from a grass covered lot.
But beyond that, a rototiller truly does more harm than good in a garden. And hopefully todays article can shed some light on exactly how and why.
But even more, it can show how gardening without one can make more than half of your typical garden work disappear.
Tilling a large garden space can be a lot of work. And unfortunately, cause even more work for you down the road!
We have been no-rototiller gardening for going on 11 years now. And the advantages, beyond the obvious less weeds and work, are simply mind blowing. So lets take a look now at exactly why that rototiller needs to stay out of your garden!
Is It Better To Till Wet Or Dry
The soil should neither be too wet nor too dry when you are tilling it.
While wet soil is easy to till, it causes soil particles to squeeze together. In the end, the soil hardens and inhibits the growth of seedlings and the germination of seeds.
On the other hand, it is quite hard to till dry soil. But beyond that, when you do till dry soil, the particles are broken into fine dust.
The implication of this is that the soil would be more prone to erosion whether by water or by wind.
Overall, it is best to till the soil when its moisture content is in-between. Not too wet or too dry, just moist enough to preserve soil health while allowing easy tilling.
You may pack some soil into your hands and try to crumble it before tilling. If it has a crumbly texture, you may get on with tilling it.
However, if the soil is sticky or if it resists crumbling, it is still wet. Wait a few days to allow it to dry a bit.
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How Do I Turn Soil
Its best to not turn soil often. Most soils develop over years, forming layers that are home to a variety of animals needed to grow healthy gardens. When we move soil in the double-digging approach to tilling, we add aeration and organic matter while disturbing natural soil ecology as little as possible.
Put On Protective Equipment
As youre working with a tool and it even has rotating blades underneath, you must put on safety garments. Put on safety glasses, a pair of gloves, closed-toed shoes, full-length pants, and put on a jacket. Ensure you know how to operate the tiller before you start and operate it with the manufacturers instructions. Never leave the tiller machine unattended while its running; shut it down if you have to rest. Dont go too fast or too slow; you have to work on the tillers speed, not yours.
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Misconceptions About Lawn Renovation
My next-door neighbor Dan is a do-it yourselfer and for years hes been trying to fix his lawn with small changes, but nothing seemed to work. Hes tried weed control. Hes tried seeding. Every time his lawn would look better for a little while, but at the end of the season his weeds would be back, theyd choke out his turfgrass and hed be right back where he started.
Hes finally ready to end the frustration. He wants to completely renovate and transform his yard and get the plush and healthy lawn hes always wanted.
Before we get started he had a lot of preconceived notions that I needed to dispel and a lot of questions about lawn renovation that I needed to answer. After our conversation, I thought there are probably a lot of other homeowners in the area with the same misconceptions and questions. I hope this article answers them for you and you can proceed with your lawn renovation feeling informed and confident.
Should I Fertilize Before Tilling
Tilling ensures that any fertilizer you apply to the soil is well-absorbed. However, it is best to apply fertilizer after tilling, not before.
If you apply fertilizer before tilling, then there is a chance that some of the nutrients will be too deep for the plants to reach and they will just leach away.
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Spread Mulch And Fertilizer
Right before you till the ground, use a rake to cover the surface with composted mulch or fertilizer. In most cases, youll want to add 2 inches of coverage. As you till, the machine will work the material into the ground. There, the compost or fertilizer will enhance the health of the soil and help address any preexisting damage to the area. Spreading compost or fertilizer will also help the sod or other new growth thrive.
Benefits Of Tilling Garden Soil
When you sheet mulch in fall and double-dig in spring, it prepares a planting area that is ready to grow a fabulous garden while working with nature. Soil is habitat for microbes and animals like worms that do much of the work of maintaining healthy soil. When we double-dig instead of using a machine like a rototiller, we till in such a way that is least destructive to soil health while adding aeration and organic matter.
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Do’s And Don’ts Of Tilling
Spring at last! Winter has passed, and now it’s finally time for you to get back to your garden. But before you start to plant, your soil may need some TLC to get back to prime condition, as plants need an extra boost of nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorous, to recover from winter. Tilling is one simple garden chore that can add these nutrients and loosen the soil to promote healthy plant growth. Cultivating on an annual or semi-annual basis not only eliminates weeds, it also loosens and aerates the soil for better moisture absorption and faster plant growth.
Once I Remove These Weeds They Will Never Come Back
We wish this were true! Weeds are opportunists, and will rapidly colonize any thin or bare areas. Commonly overlooked ways that weed seeds move into yards are by birds, animals, and vehicle tires.
Birds have a very interesting way of spreading seeds, and it is not always intentional. Birds like to eat weed seed while they are out on their natural migration routes or in backyard bird feeders. They then deposit the seeds where ever they go by either excreting them as waste or through droppings below tree branches, fence lines, gutter roofs etcetera which creates new weeds that will grow near these areas for years to come!
Dandelions can be found in your lawn as birds may drop seeds while moving into and out of their nests. Additionally, crabgrass or other weed seeds are picked up on the road and sprout within pavement cracks where they routinely thrive. These weeds soon make their way back to you lawn by means of tire tracks from which it washes during rainstorms onto edges near buildings that border residential areas.
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Does Rototilling Get Rid Of Weeds Or Cause More Weeds
Will Rototilling Kill Weeds?; So the big discussion today was Should You Rototill Your Weeds Before Planting?; I tried telling someone that rototilling the weeds back into the soil was not a good idea, but nooooooo did they listen to me? Case in point, as you can see by this picture those dirty little suckers just grew back and twofold.;
So to him and anyone else who thinks rototilling the large weeds back into the soil IS the better way to go, all you have to do is show them this picture.; This picture was taken in the fall and these weeds have already gone to seed, many of which have already fallen and settled into the soil.; And when theyre tilled into the ground during the fall, so are any remaining seeds.; Fast forward to spring when its time to plant, if you again rototill your soil all youre doing is bringing up and waking up all those dormant seeds the ones that were just waiting for some light to grow.; And once again you will be growing weeds in the garden.
And so my advice is to just get down and dirty and pull those puppies by hand, roots and all.; I know its going to be a bit tedious and time consuming to do it the old fashioned way. But trust me as the growing season moves on, it will be so much easier to control any new weeds that may appear, especially when your starting off with a clean slate.
Do I have proof to back up my claim?; Why yes I do.; According to the good folks at Fine Gardening; tilling is supposed to kill weeds however
How To Tear Up A Lawn And Reseed It
Now that it is clear to you that you should regularly rototill your land, we should also make it clear that good results are only after a correctly performed task.
In other words, if you rototill your land mediocrely without paying much attention, then regrets will surely befall you.; Did you visit us to scare you?
Not at all!
On the contrary, we aim to ensure you rototill your lawn effectively. Without further ado, lets get it done!
- Take Preparation
Before you get into action, you need to wear protective gear. The safety gear consists of eye protection to prevent the debris and soil particles from getting into your eyes.;
Also, you should have protective shoes to prevent your legs from sharp blades.
- Prepare The Lawn And Choose The Route
Ideally, you should identify the longest route in your garden to cover more area, which helps minimize the amount of time spent.
Also, the rototillers blades are very sharp to cut through debris and rocks, which may blunt it. Thus, it would be best to collect all the debris and large stones lying on the ground.
- Check The Moisture
When using a rototiller on dry ground, it causes it to clamp. Likewise, the machine will get muddy if the soil is too wet, significantly decreasing its efficiency.
Thus, the ground should be moderately moisturized, making it easier for the blades to cut through and have more effortless wheel rotations on the lawn.
- Distribute Mulch And Fertilizer
- Get The Rototiller Ready
- Rototill The Land
- Finish Up!
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