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How To Fill Uneven Lawn

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Soil Compaction With Leveling Sand

Lawn Care Tips : How to Level Uneven Spots in a Lawn

The problem with using sand is that success and failure are wholly dependent on the particular context.

The use of pure sand alone is almost always a bad idea, especially if your lawn is in heavy clay soil already. The sand will only add weight to the soil and watering will make things even worse. Wet sand will pack the clay down further and worsen drainage.

Minor Bumps And Irregularities In Your Yard

The first thing that you need to do is mow the lawn.

But, before you get started, be sure to lower the blades to as close as they can get to the ground.

You want to give your grass a good, close shave, which will make the detaching process much easier, along with the filling.

You can either dethatch your lawn throughout or just dethatch the areas youre focused on repairing.

Some sites will advise you to just dethatch the areas that are problematic and need fill, however, its a good idea to just do the whole thing, as it can create more problems in the future.

For minor bumps throughout the yard, all you need to do is fill them in as necessary. The best material to do this with is topsoil.

The problem is, that you need to go with the right kind of topsoil, which is what matches your existing soil the closest.

Its also advisable to aerate the lawn before you start placing fill as well. This will help your lawn to breathe and it will help it repair itself, specifically in the areas that you are going to add fill.

Move Around the Lawn Filling all of the depressions with your matching topsoil .

Reseed the areas that you filled in after your rake, smooth, and tamp them down. Be sure to water the area when you are finished.

Leveling Deep Low Spots

You can level recessed areas that are more than 2 cm deep by evenly slicing into the bumpy and hollow sections on your yard. It is best if you water the area to prevent the sliced pieces from crumbling. After ensuring the area is level, lay back the sliced pieces without breaking them.

Contact us for professional advice on how to level your uneven lawn and have a beautiful lawn.

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Why Is My Lawn Bumpy

There are many potential reasons for a lawn becoming bumpy, and it is important to understand the cause before undertaking treatment. Sometimes an underlying problem can be so fundamental that a long-term solution must be found, otherwise the condition will only deteriorate over time.

Ground subsidence, damaged underground pipes , Frost Heave, buried objects or even pest infestation can be causes of gradual or sudden unevenness in a lawn, or maybe it was not laid very well in the first place, so understanding the root cause is imperative before attempting a remedy. At this point, expert advice is invaluable. When it comes to leveling lawns with surface imperfections we carry out our SOS Lawn Makeover of scarification, aeration, top dressing and over-seeding, or alternatively for very uneven lawns which require leveling with top soil or re-regrading and seeding our landscaping company Hewlett Turf & Landscapes are the specialists .

Regrading A Severely Uneven Lawn

How To Level a Bumpy Lawn (Causes and Fixes)

Sometimes spot-correcting just isnt enough. If your lawn has large slopes or deep, wide pits, regrading the whole area is the only way to get an even surface. This will cover your existing grass, so youll need to resod or reseed.

Creating a slope that ensures good drainage and easy mowing takes some planning. Your lawn should slope downward away from your house to prevent it from funneling water toward your foundation. A slope of around 6 inches every 10 feet is ideal, but anywhere between 2.5 to 12 inches every 10 feet is acceptable.

If youre unsure about calculating or creating an optimal slope, its worth hiring an experienced landscaper. This is especially true if you have a large lawn. A landscaper can bring in equipment, such as a site level and backhoe, to get the job done quickly and correctly.

First, establish your lawns slope by calculating its run and rise. This tells you the difference in height from the high point near the foundation to the low point near the storm sewer or gutter.

Place a stake at the highest and the lowest points of your lawn. Tie a rope between the stakes and hang line levels on the rope to ensure its perfectly level. Measure the full length of the rope to find your lawns run. Then go to the stake at the lowest point and measure the distance from the rope to the ground. This is the lawns rise. If the run is 100 feet long, there should be a rise of between 25 inches to 10 feet.

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Guide To Levelling An Uneven Lawn Or Garden

In order to flatten an uneven surface, you need to determine which of the 2 methods would be most effective. If your area has only a small amount of dips and mounts, then Method one may work best for you.

If the problems are more serious than that then its likely you will need to use Method 2. It also practically guarantees good results whereas Method 1 can sometimes have disappointing outcomes.

Want a great way to make your garden more functional? If youre having trouble with poor drainage, levelling the ground can be an excellent opportunity to solve this problem.

S For Leveling A Lawn

Before you address your uneven lawn, mow your entire lawn just like when performing routine lawn care. You dont want to mow it too short just perform a fresh mow so that you can easily identify all the low spots. That way, you can attend to them all in one day. Plus, cutting the grass blades too short can dry them out.

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How To Level A Lumpy Lawn

Over time, the soil beneath your lawn will move and settle, leaving you with hills, hollows and undulations. Here are my tips on how to level a lumpy lawn.

To get that perfect bowling-green look, the surface of your lawn must be smooth. Doesnt matter if it slopes slightly to help with drainage, but it must be free from lumps and bumps.

Youll find too, that a lumpy lawn can lead to all sorts of problems with mowing. The hillocks are more likely to be scalped by the mower. Not only will this blunt your blades, it opens up the sward to let in weeds and diseases.

In contrast, dips in the lawn become obvious when the grass within them is slightly longer than the rest of the lawn. Theres a noticeable difference in colour.

Apply Leveling Sand The Right Way

How To Level Uneven Spots In Your Lawn (DIY Lawn Care)

However, with a proper understanding of your environment as well as careful application, sand can be an effective lawn leveler if you cannot access topsoil.

Our recommendation is light and frequent application of sand rather than heavy and infrequent application. Adding too much at once will increase soil heaviness and stress the grass. Light application is a better choice because it gives your lawn time to adapt while allowing you to monitor how it copes with the change.

Another thing is that applying light layers of sand will minimize the number of grass blades blocked out from the sun. Cool-season grasses, like your fescues and bluegrasses, need every last bit of sunlight. They simply cannot afford to be covered up for extended periods and will suffer great stress if they are.

Many lawn care experts have their preferences but the following guidelines are sure to work for you:


The frequency of application depends on several factors, including:

  • How low the grass is cut
  • The developmental stage the grass is in
  • Water availability
  • Weather and time of the year

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How To Level A Bumpy And Uneven Lawn

Alex K.Affiliate Disclaimer: My content may contain links to products I use and love. As an Amazon Associate and participant in various other affiliate programs, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products I personally vetted!

Besides tripping us over from time to time and giving our neighbors a good laugh, the odd bump in our lawns here and there may seem rather benign, but they can actually lead to some pretty severe problems.

The issue we face is how to address these lumps and bumps. Its not exactly something everyone knows how to deal with, and lets be honest, altering a landscape is no mean feat, even over a small area.

Not to worry though, my fellow green thumbs, having dealt with plenty of lawn lumps myself, I know exactly what needs to be done to rekindle that putting green aesthetic. Consider this article your comprehensive bump abolishing guide.

Well be discussing why a level lawn is important, what causes these earthy growths and depressions, and, of course, how to remove them. Sound good? Excellent lets get started!

Correcting A Severely Uneven Yard

If it looks like your yard was caught up in a WWII bombing, then you have two choices.

The first is to call in a professional.

At the very least, you can pick their brains and find out how they would approach the problem and try to correct it.

The second is to regrade the lawn yourself.

For something severe, you will probably need to rent a bobcat with a front-end loader and excavator attachments.

You will also need a transit level, which is relatively cheap to rent:

  • You want the ground to slope away from your house for drainage purposes
  • Establish your slop with a second person using the transit level
  • Use the bobcat to scrape away your high points
  • Use the soil from the scraped high points to fill your low points
  • Try to add layers to low points in two-inch increments
  • Use whatever hand tools you have handy to till each additional 2 layer into the layer below it

Depending on how bad your yard is, you may not need the bobcat but if you dont want to use one, its all about the hand tools, which will make for some back-breaking work.

Remember, its best to fix uneven lawns in the spring, so it should be nice and cool outside for some hands-on work.

A bobcat is a lifesaver, however, and they are very easy to operate, even with dual attachments mounted on them.

They arent brutally expensive to rent but you will want to make sure that everything is prepped so that you can rent it, do the job, and get it back in a single day.

The fact is, you can do most of the work yourself:

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Levelling Deep Low Spots On Your Lawn

For the areas that have sunk more than 2cm deep a different method to level your lawn will be required. For this you will need a squared-off shovel. Using the shovel slice into the centre and beyond the edges of the bump or hollow in a cross shape. Try to keep the cut as even as possible to make it easier to lift without breaking.

Cut to about 4-5cm deep then slide the shovel underneath to cut each section of the cross horizontally, keeping the shovel as flat as possible to maintain an even thickness of soil. This is where it is essential that the soil is not too dry as it will crumble when moved. Gently peel back the edges of the turf until you can lay them flat without breaking.

To level a bump in the lawn dig out the excess soil until level with the surrounding area, tread down and fold the flaps of turf back over.

To fill a hollow use a garden fork to turn over the soil to about 5cm deep, removing any large stones and breaking down any large clumps. Tread down to compact the soil to reduce the chance of further sinking afterwards.

Fill the hole with your top dressing mixture until level with the surrounding area, then rake over to break the soil down before folding the flaps of turf back over.

Once you have completed all the areas required, a wooden 2×4 and a spirit level can be used to check the grade and level of the lawn. So for those of you that thought it could only be done by a professional, follow these easy steps and you could have your own perfectly level lawn!

Lawn Leveling Sand Does Not Add Nutrients To The Soil

Achieve a Gorgeous Green Lawn

Another drawback with pure sand is its lack of nutrients when compared to regular topsoil. Grass requires healthy access to nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, as well as a whole host of micronutrients. As a result, you will have to make use of fertilizers or compost to keep the grass alive.

Ultimately, sands nutrient deficiencies, combined with its tendency to lose water quickly, make it less than ideal for nursing a healthy lawn.

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A Word About Topdressing Materials

If you are trying to level out a lumpy lawn, I always recommend using USGA topdressing sand. Its not cheap but it does a grand job and rarely causes complications. Topdressing with builders sand is a no-no. Its nasty sticky stuff that will stain your clothes and probably leave stones on the surface of the lawn. Itll crucify your mower blades too.

Topdressing with a sand-soil mix is something that needs great care. Youll find it described in many a lawncare book but in reality, its not as practical as they make it sound. Greenkeepers prefer to use an inert substance like the USGA sand Im using in the video. Introducing soil from an unknown source can also bring in weed seeds. If you are planning on re-seeding after topdressing, use a really good quality sand-soil mix from a reputable supplier.

How To Correct Your Uneven Turf

An uneven lawn surface can really let down the entire appearance of a yard. Not only is it unsightly, but it also mows poorly, is prone to scalping and can even be a tripping hazard.

Uneven surfaces can be caused by freezing and thawing , poor soil quality, lack of care or even worms, which leave your bumpy lawn with castings on the surface.

Levelling a lawn can be straightforward, though it requires the right materials and timing. The ideal time to fill gaps or uneven low spots is during vigorous growth, which occurs in spring and summer. Leaving this process to the last minute late results in soil being left on the lawn surface.

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Sweeping The Dirt Under The Carpet

This technique is so named because you are essentially picking up turf and putting dirt under it. It is suitable only for small sunken areas that are covered with healthy grass.

  • Cut through the turf along the edges of the sunken area, using a flat spade, manual lawn edger, or sod cutter. Make clean, vertical cuts to minimize root damage and to form a neat patch of turf.
  • Carefully remove the turf patch, making sure not to damage the roots, and set it aside.
  • Spread a layer of debris-free topsoil or potting soil into the holeenough to bring the turf patch level with the surrounding lawn. As you work, water the soil lightly to remove air pockets this helps to prevent future settling.
  • Replace the turf patch, pressing the grass back into place with your hand or foot.
  • Water the grass.
  • Monitor the patch carefully, and water as needed to keep the grass healthy. It needs extra care to recover from the stress of being removed.
  • How To Fix Deep Ruts

    Uneven Lawn Leveling | Don’t Do It This Way

    Have a big hole to fill? Were talking about one to two inches of hole, or more. Well, there isnt a shortcut for this kind of problem. But there are some detailed steps to take to get your lawn healthy again.

    First, you need to be equipped with the right defense. That means you need to start with a 50/50 mix of soil and sand.

    Start by removing the grass. Then take a shovel fork and loosen the soil.

    Now youll fill in with that 50/50 soil mix. This is an essential step for helping new grass take root.

    From here, you can do one of two things. If the old grass is still intact, you may be able to replant it. If that is not the case, youll need to sow new grass seeds. Try and use seeds of the same variety as already planted so you dont have an aberrant patch of grass.

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    Lawn Repair For Ruts And Small Holes In Yard

    Lawns with lumps, ruts and low spots are not only unpleasant to look at, they are also a safety hazard. Uneven ground underfoot is treacherous for walking, mowing and playing.

    Many situations cause lawns to become uneven some are preventable, others are not. The good news is that you can easily fix these problem areas in lawns. Learn common causes of lumpy lawns and how to make them smooth again.

    Common Causes of Uneven Lawns

    Mowing: If you follow the same pattern every time you mow, eventually you will compact the soil beneath the mower wheels, creating ruts.

    Wet soil: When soil is wet and mushy, add a heavy or rolling object such as children on bikes, a wheelbarrow or a lawnmower and you get ruts. This is one reason it is vital to avoid mowing when soil is wet. You might get away with it in well-drained areas, but in low spots where water gathers, you risk digging permanent ruts.

    Heavy equipment: Maybe you had trees pruned or mulch delivered. The wheels alone wreak havoc with a lawn, forming ruts. If the equipment extends hydraulic platforms for stability, you will also wind up with compacted soil that forms low spots.

    Critters, pets and kids: When holes appear in a lawn and there’s loose soil scattered around the hole, the culprit could be local critters, the family dog or children.

    Tips for Lawn Repair

    Soil mix


    How to Fill Low Spots In Lawn

    Big Holes

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