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Can I Use Sand To Level My Lawn

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Decide Whether You Are Going To Overseed

SAND LEVELING Your Lawn – What You NEED To Know!

If you are going to the trouble of leveling your lawn that is already laid you obviously have some pride in the appearance of your lawn.

Why would you not take this opportunity to add some grass seed as it will definitely improve the look of your lawn?

If I am adding topsoil to my lawn I always overseed with some new grass seeds to take full advantage of the unique opportunity to improve lawn health during this process. If you want your lawn to be beautiful and lush green like mines I would highly recommend you do overseed your lawn.

Tools For Leveling A Lawn With Topsoil

There are professional tools available on the market for leveling a lawn such as a lawn leveling rake which does make it really simple to evenly spread the topsoil over your lawn and it can also be used for spreading soil evenly in your flowerbed or vegetable patch.

If you are spreading topsoil to level your lawn as a one of then you really dont have to go to the expense of buying expensive specialist equipment.

All you need is a tool to spread the soil so you could easily improvise and use a tool you already have such as the flat backside of a rake or a brush.

Simple Tips For Leveling A Lawn That Is Already Laid

So you are looking for information on leveling a lawn that is already laid, let me tell you that you have arrived at the right place as I have personally leveled many lawns myself.

I will give you some tips and some things to consider when you are going to carry out this task so you can do it right and learn from my mistakes as its always better to learn from someone elses mistakes rather than make them yourself.

Leveling a lawn that is already laid really doesnt have to be that difficult and it can massively improve the look and health of your lawn.

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Should You Level A Lawn Using Sand

Sand is oftentimes used to level lawns, but putting sand on lawns can cause problems. You should never use pure sand to level a lawn. Most lawns contain a lot of clay, which already makes growing grass difficult. However, adding pure sand on top of the clay only creates further problems by turning the soil into a nearly hardened cement-like consistency, as drainage abilities are worsened.

Sand also dries out rapidly in summer, causing any grass that may be growing to suffer in the heat. Grass growing in the sand is also more susceptible to drought and cold injury.

Avoid putting sand on a lawn by itself. Using a dry topsoil and sand mix is much better for leveling uneven areas than putting sand on a lawn without mixing.

About Top Dressing With Sand

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According to the Institute of Food and Agriculture at the University of Florida, top dressing home lawns with sand is more harmful than helpful. Experts agree that sand should only be used on a lawn to level low areas, cover exposed tree roots, and to fix heavy thatch build up. Even in those cases, it is recommended that you top dress with a rich, fine compost instead of sand.

Sand particles cannot retain any nutrients, so applying a layer of sand year after year to lawns actually causes lawns to lose their fertility. Golf courses are built on sandy soil and specialized turf grasses that can thrive in sandy conditions used on the greens. The grass seed or sod that most people have in their lawn is not the same as the grass on golf courses.

Golf courses also generally receive more maintenance than the common lawn, such as fertilizing and watering, which ultimately helps correct deficiencies created by the addition of sand.

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Why Is My Lawn Uneven

Soil is amazing! Within the relatively small area of a domestic lawn there can be several areas with different soil types. Maybe theres a mineral seam running through the lawn, or an old river bed. Perhaps parts of the lawn have been used for different things in the past. One of my customers has grassed over her old vegetable garden but in certain weather conditions you can still see where they were.

If youve ever watched the TV program Time Team youll know that the soil in a garden can give us clues as to what was there hundreds of years ago. So maybe the dips in your lawn are a hint that theres treasure beneath ityou never know!

What Causes An Uneven Lawn

You have an uneven lawn and you want to know how to get it level again so the first thing you have to do is figure out what has made your lawn become uneven.

There are many things that can cause your lawn to become uneven and some of them are as follows:

  • Animals animals can be a nightmare if you want a perfect lawn. Whether it is foxes that have dug a hole looking for food and its then grown in or moles that not only create molehills but when the tunnels the moles create collapse it leads to an uneven lawn.
  • Water Damage If your lawn becomes waterlogged during the winter this can lead to your lawn becoming uneven. If your lawn does become waterlogged you really ought to get that problem sorted before you set about leveling your lawn.
  • Soil Settlement In soil settlement, I would count this as anything that happens under the surface of your lawn that is beyond your control. It depends on what is under your lawn whether it is pipes, rocks or debris from when your house was built. If the composition under your lawn is changing or eroding that would cause an uneven lawn.

If you suspect your lawn is uneven because of any of these problems you really should address the problem and get that sorted before you set about leveling your lawn. Otherwise, you will level your lawn and it may well deteriorate into a state of unevenness again.

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Whats So Controversial About Putting Sand On Grass

The big debate about using sand on grass is due to the fact that this process could be detrimental to your lawn if its not done properly. The hype about putting sand on grass comes from its use in high-activity areas, such as golf courses.

It is important to remember that golf courses are known as commercial lawns and cannot be treated the same way as residential lawns. Golf courses are quite literally built on sand, which is why sand is so compatible. The opposite can be true for domestic lawns.

One of the main arguments about using sand on grass rests on the fact that sand has very poor nutritional value and its also unable to retain any nutrients. If you put sand on grass often , it can result in the grass losing its fertility.

Once your grass loses its fertility, it can be quite difficult to restore. Prevention is better than cure!

Putting sand on grass regularly is a major no-no. You should ideally only do it once a year, and only if you really need to. Regular use of sand on grass can result in really bad drainage issues and dry pockets in the soil.

Using sand to top-dress should not, in my opinion, be used for any other reason other than to cover up or even out your lawn. Using it for greater issues such as to improve drainage is definitely not a good idea. As with any garden practice, it is important to weigh the pros and cons to figure out whether this is something your garden needs to flourish.

Make Sure You Have Enough Compost Or Topsoil

How to Topdress & Level Your Lawn Using Sand or TopSoil? Beginners DIY Guide

When you are leveling your lawn it is important you have enough material to get the job done and get it done correctly. The nightmare scenario is being halfway through leveling your lawn and realizing you have nowhere near enough material to cover the whole area that needs covering.

The best way to calculate exactly how much material you will need is to use a topsoil calculator like the one at Mcgill compost and remember when you are ordering that it is better to order too much than not enough.

If you have any leftover you can always use it for any other purpose but if you dont have enough it can leave you in an awkward situation.

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How To Top Dress

Topdressing should only be applied at no more than 5-10mm in thickness at a time. The sand or sandy loam should be rubbed in evenly using a lawn level bar, working the sand down into the turf thatch layer.

Preparing your turf for topdressing if possible, apply a general-purpose fertiliser, wetting agent and water in well a couple of days prior. This will give your turf the growth required to surge through the topdressing sand.

For more information on top dressing .

Mow Your Lawn Before Leveling It

It is definitely a good idea to mow your lawn before you level it.

When you mow your lawn it enables you to actually see what the ground is like under the grass and this is always an advantage when you are going to carry out vital leveling or any work on your lawn. When you mow your lawn it actually encourages growth and your lawn will need to grow and repair itself after you level it.

If you level your already laid lawn with topsoil you wont be able to mow for a while so the only real option is to mow your lawn before you level it.

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What Causes A Lawn To Be Uneven

There are a number of ways that your lawn can become bumpy or uneven. Here are some of the main culprits:


From your neighbourhood cats, to pesky foxes looking for food. Animals are a main cause of uneven lawns as they will happily stray into your garden in the months where your lawn is at its most vulnerable. There are steps you can take to prevent these critters from ruining your lawn.

The other animals

If kids are playing in the garden in when the soil is soft it can put a large amount of pressure on the lawn. This is of course not only bad for the health of the grass but will cause long term issues for the surface.


These giant earth worms can be a real nuisance when trying to perfect your lawn. These little insects can shift between 20 and 25 tons of soil per acre to the surface every year. A great tip to prevent this from becoming a problem is to keep the pH level of your soil low.


In the winter months the weather can play a big part in causing lumps and bumps in your lawn. If surface water is allowed to sit on your lawn it can cause long term damage, which is why getting your drainage right is so important.

Soil settlement

Things that occur beneath the soil such as rocks, piping and other debris can affect the composition of your lawn. The best course of action to resolve this is excavate the affected areas to break up the rubble underneath.

Is River Sand Good For Lawns

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Sand is used because people think it will improve air space, water infiltration and drainage. These are important goals, but topdressing a lawn with sand doesn’t help achieve them. No matter what your soil is composed of, putting sand on top can actually cause drainage problems and dry pockets in the soil.

Likewise, what does sand do for grass? The purpose of applying a layer of sand over grass it to level out the uneven surface, as well as cover tree roots. Besides this, they are also used to address common lawn issues like low spots, compacted soil, bare spots, or depletion of nutrients from neglect, chemical exposure, or leaching.

Similarly, what kind of sand should I use on my lawn?

Fill Dirt is a sandy loam soil and can be used for building construction site pads and house pads. Fill Sand is fine unwashed unscreened sand that is used mainly by cement contractors under concrete construction. It also works well leveling out uneven lawn areas allowing for newly planted grass to grown back quickly.

Can you use sand to level a lawn?

Sand is oftentimes used to level lawns, but putting sand on lawns can cause problems. You should never use pure sand to level a lawn. Using a dry topsoil and sand mix is much better for leveling uneven areas than putting sand on a lawn without mixing.

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The Best Topsoil To Add To Level Low Areas Of The Yard

A typical front or back yard has up to 6 inches of topsoil you may have a mixture of grasses, flowers or trees using this complex soil ecosystem. As time passes, low areas appear across the yard’s level surface from underground items, like sewer pipes or old tree roots decaying. Adding the best topsoil to your yard’s low areas allows you to patch and cultivate plants in that location with excellent results.

Topdressing To Improve Soil Profile

Your lawn needs a firm base that allows water movement downwards and allows for water retention, so the turf roots system can develop and establish. The aim is to promote a healthy root system that will protect the turf from weather conditions such as droughts and winter frost.

A good soil base for most turf varieties should consist of the following:

  • Washed river sand, medium to course particles some % of clay is present which helps to compact and form a base.
  • Some heavier soil is generally added which helps to hold moisture and mixed with the sand creates a free-flowing profile for water movement.
  • A composted material is then added again generally this can be green waste, chicken or animal manure and some natural nutrients to help balance your pH levels.

This is where topsoil or sandy loam topdressing soils are necessary. If your lawn is lacklustre, compacted and lacking in nutrient, then you are best looking at applying a sandy loam. This is recommended for most lawn situations. These top-dressing soils are much the same as the soil or turf underlay that is spread prior to laying turf. These usually consist of a blend of 80% washed sand, combined with 20% black soil or organic material. If you have a sandy soil, a higher proportion of organic material is a good idea.

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What To Use To Level A Lawn

Sand has traditionally been used, but lately landscapers have been mixing their own blends of sand and compost. The compost is used to add nutrition and beneficial microorganisms.

Leveling is a simple process, but the mixing is an obstacle. We created Level Mix to make it even easier to get it done . . . you don’t have to mix the sand and compost yourself.

Using Level Mix will not only give your lawn an even surface, but it will also boost your grass health. Rather than covering your grass with sand alone, use our mix to fertilize your lawn with natural nutrients while providing a smooth, flat structure.

Level Mix Ingredients:

  • 30% Soil³ humus compost made of organic matter for slow-release nutrition
  • 70% medium-textured, quartz, golf course sand for the structure needed to level a lawn

Why Do People Add Sand To Their Lawn


In general, the purpose of spreading sand over established turf is either to level out uneven surfaces, cover tree roots or as a top-dressing. However, it is argued that simply adding sand to the lawn causes drainage and compaction issues, while adding no nutritional value to the soil below. And while this practice may be commonly used in commercial situations , it is not highly recommended for the average domestic lawn.

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What Else Can Be Used To Build A Leveling Drag

If you dont have easy access to lumber or chain link fence, you can use old bed springs, wooden pallets, or even scrap rails once used for railroad maintenance. At this point, youve likely gotten the idea. Simply attach one end of a 10-foot segment of rope to the wooden pallet or old box springs that you will use as your leveling drag.

The other end of the rope attaches to your tractor or is what you grip onto to pull the leveling drag by hand.

How To Build A Leveling Drag From Other Materials

What if you dont have a piece of chain link fence? What if you dont have the muscle power or machine power to drag a long piece of chain link fence, plus the weight you have to put on top of it to keep it flat, back and forth across your lawn or acreage for hours on end?

The solution is to build a smaller drag. For this project, you will need:

  • Two pieces of 6 x 6 lumber at least 2 feet long but not more than 4 feet long.
  • Two pieces of sturdy metal for connecting the pieces of lumber to each other. Unistrut, used for electrical work, is a good choice. The two pieces of unistrut need to be at least 2 feet but no more than 3 feet long, both pieces the same side.
  • Ten feet of rope

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