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How To Fix Lawn Depressions

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How Do I Bring My Lawn Back To Life

How to repair a low spot in the lawn

If your entire lawn is riddled with brown patches and bald spots, it might be in need of a complete overhaul. This is done by adding new grass seed, or overseeding your lawn.

Any underlying causes of dead spots should be addressed before overseeding your lawn. Many of these steps can also be used on individual damaged spots by starting at step 4 just ignore the instruction to spread the seeds over your entire lawn.

The best time of year for this project is spring or fall when temperatures are mild and the grass seed is most likely to successfully establish itself. When youre ready, take the following steps to reinvigorate your lawn:

Sunken Lawn Repair Timing

Correcting low spots at an appropriate time permits rapid recovery and avoids the potential for inadvertent injury to the grass. If possible, plan to address low spots when the grass is growing most vigorously or at least when it is actively growing. Topdress or otherwise fix low lawn spots during late spring for warm-season turf and early fall for cool-season grass.

Sinkholes Near Outside Walls Or Under Stairs

Sinkholes occurring near outside walls or under outdoor staircases usually develop because the soil along the structure was poorly compacted. Over several years, the soil settles and causes a depression or hole.

Tips for Filling in the Sinkhole

  • Clean the area. Remove any trash, grass or other debris from the depression.
  • Try to determine the extent of the hole by careful excavation and probing
  • Incrementally fill the depression with fill soil that has a high amount of clay and low amount of sand. Do not use gravel or rock as a fill material. If you do, water will trickle through the gaps in the gravel and create an even deeper cavity underneath. Shovel a few inches of the fill soil into the bottom of the depression and compact it thoroughly with a soil tamper.
  • Continue this process until the depression is flush with the ground. You may want to overfill the hole since the fill soil may compact and settle over time. Remember to make sure the land slopes away from the foundation so that water does not pool next to foundation walls. Ground should slope away from foundation walls, ideally with a grade of 5% over a length of 10 feet. Allow the area to sit for a month or two to ensure that a new sinkhole does not form.
  • Before planting, you may want to lay down a few inches of topsoil or potting soil above the filled area. Topsoil can help you establish vegetation.
  • Plant seeds or use your choice of landscaping.

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Filling Big Dips In Your Lumpy Lawn

For holes in the lawn, my advice would be to use a sharp knife of a lawn edger to remove the turf. Make sure you have a good 2-3 cm of soil on the back of your turf and set it to one side. Fill the hole with soil from elsewhere in the garden. If you use imported topsoil youll find that the grass will always look different where youve made the repair. Be sure to press the new topsoil down firmly. You dont want it to settle and sink in the next few weeks!

Replace the turf carefully, ensuring that it is nice and level. Keep it well watered for 3-4 weeks while the grasses regrow their roots.

Filling In A Sunken Spot In The Lawn

Yard Depression Repair St. Louis

/The Patriot-NewsQ: I have an area in my front yard where the underground drain lines from the rain gutters flow, and the ground has settled 3 to 5 inches. It is grass covered, but I want to fill in the dip to make it level with the rest of the lawn. Can I just overfill with topsoil and grass seed or do I need to till the existing grass first?

A: Some people have sunken gardens. Sounds like you’ve got a sunken lawn. If this is settling from the original installation, a one-time fix should do the trick. If it keeps sinking, you might have a crack or two in the underground line.

Either way, you’ve got two options on how to fix the dip and replace the grass. The one I prefer is first stripping off the grass in the section to be repaired. Get underneath it with a shovel and loosen up strips that are about 2 to 4 inches thick. If you have to remove strips that are more than a foot wide, you might want to cut it down the middle. Strips this size are easy to roll up – kind of like a piece of carpet.

The other option is the one you describe. You could just spread topsoil over the dip – grass and all. But that amount of soil will smother the underlying grass, meaning you’ll have to add new grass seed on top. The old grass will decompose underneath , but it’ll take a few weeks for the new grass to come up and start to fill in.

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Repeat Process As Necessary

There is a chance that youll have to repeat the process of applying the top dressing more than once to completely level the surface of your yard. If your lawn doesnt appear to be completely level after the first adjustment, you should apply a second layer of the top dressing mix when you see the grass beginning to grow through the first layer, repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 to cover your lawn with a thin secondary layer of top dressing. Keep repeating this process as the grass grows in until youre satisfied with the level of your yard.

Replace And/or Sow Grass

After filling in the rut with the soil mixture, replant the grass you dug out if it is still intact. If the grass has been damaged, youll need to sow new grass seeds. Make sure to use the same seed as whats already been sown in the lawn to ensure theres not a patch of strange-looking grass in your customers lawn.

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Why Is Your Lawn Lumpy

There are several common reasons why your lawn is lumpy. These include heavy foot traffic in certain areas , damage from tires and heavy equipment, lumps from tools, toys, pet waste, and other organic matter getting buried in the lawn, and even improper mowing. The good news is that correcting this issue and leveling your lawn can be done in a weekend.

Lets take a look at more potential causes for your uneven lawn below. Then Ill tell you how to fix it.

When Is The Best Time To Water My Lawn


Take it from the lawn experts at LawnSavers, the best time to water your lawn is in the early morning. The 2nd best time is RIGHT NOW! Watering in the morning is best because this allows the water to soak deep into the soil and allows the leaves of the grass plant to dry before the water evaporates as it gets warmer in the day. If you cant water in the morning, evenings are OK, just try to do it earlier! .

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When Is The Best Time To Level A Yard

The ideal time to level a yard is during your grass period of most vigorous growth, which varies depending on what grass species you have. For warm-season grasses, this is during the warmer months of spring and summer, and for cool-season grasses, during the cooler months. As a rule of thumb, you should absolutely avoid leveling your yard during your grass types dormant months. Its also important that the yard is leveled during a dry spell, as doing so during a rainy period can lead to more soil erosion, which is likely what caused the uneven surface in the first place.

How To Fix Lawn After Construction

During construction, chances are you may need to use heavy machinery or equipment, which end up causing damage to the ground by creating ruts. Other than ruts, there may be heaps of soil and wastes of construction piled up in some parts of the ground.

To fix your lawn after construction, clear the ground so that it is even throughout the eye level by removing all heaps and any construction wastes which may later decompose and form depressions.

Any indent is probably a rut. You will need to fix it using the guide above. However, it is possible that the ground does not already have grass. In this case, you need to put grass seeds into part of the compostmixture, which will be at the very top, and then water down.

The lawn should be all right in a few weeks.

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Leveling Out An Uneven Lawn

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Areas of a lawn can become uneven over time, due to settling, drainage issues, and various natural and unnatural causes. In the least extreme cases, you can solve the problem by topdressing with a thin layer of leveling mix . This is a good solution for widespread unevenness that does not run too deep. More extensive variation in level may require multiple applications of topdressing or, in more extreme cases, filling in deep depressions with soil and reseeding over the filled areas. If unevenness appears near water pipes, along with drainage issues, consult a professionalyou might have a damaged pipe causing the issues.

One trick for leveling small depressions or holes covered with healthy grass is to cut out a patch of the turf and add the soil mix underneath it, then lay the patch back down. Known as sweeping under the carpet, this is a handy technique for leveling localized depressions without having the unsightliness of exposed soil on the grass, which happens with the other methods.

Whichever method you choose, spring is the best time to level your lawn, as the conditions are mild, giving the lawn a chance to recuperate before summer’s heat arrives.

Why Level Your Yard

Landscaping and Hardscaping

To start, a smooth, level lawn thats devoid of mounds and dips is far more aesthetically pleasing than an uneven one. Level yards tend to be healthier and are significantly more easy to maintain, as the flat surface means that the grass can be mowed without the lawn mower jumping up and down over every irregular spot. When a lawn mower is run over an uneven lawn, any areas of depression cause the mowers blades to drop lower, which in turn causes the mower to cut the grass too low when it passes over the higher areas of the yard. A level yard prevents this from happening and results in a better quality cut, as well as making the actual process of mowing much less physically taxing.

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How Do I Fix Tire Tracks In My Lawn

For Deep Ruts

  • Cut the grass at the bottom of the tire mark lengthwise with a garden spade.
  • Insert a spade fork underneath the sod on each side of the cut, and press gently on the handle to lift the sod.
  • Fold the sod back on each side of the cut, and use a spade to turn over the dirt in the rut to loosen it.
  • Whats The Difference Between Levelling A Yard And Grading A Yard

    The two terms may seem interchangeable, but there is a distinct difference between what it means to either level a yard or grade a yard.

    Leveling is the process of smoothing out the surface of a yard, leveling the soil so that its even and free of dips and mounds.

    Grading is a landscaping term that refers to the process of sloping a yard, creating a very slight grade so that water is able to drain away from the foundations of nearby buildings and structures.

    While they are two separate activities, they must both be carried out when youre adjusting the surface of your lawn to ensure that youre solving the initial problem of an uneven yard without creating any further problems for yourself in the future to do with drainage and water damage. You should always grade before you level.

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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.

    What Sort Of Topdressing Is Best For Leveling Lawns

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    There are three types of topdressing, each with its own benefits. 100% sand topdressings are the quickest for leveling. Sand has excellent stability and binds well with the clay content in soils.

    Its also fantastic for drainage, as it allows the majority of water to pass straight through however, this can lead to a dearth of accessible moisture for your grass.

    Furthermore, sand offers nothing in the way of nutrition or microbial benefits, which can impart even more unnecessary pressure on your lawn.

    Then there are soil/sand concoctions. These topdressings can be custom mixed, but there should always be more sand than soil were talking roughly a 30/70 split.

    The solid content makes for a much more lawn-friendly leveler, but if you really want to show your grass babies some love, go for a 3-way compost/soil/sand mix.

    Compost stabilizes soil structure and introduces tons of nutrients for your grass to soak up in order to form a healthy and robust lawn. I recommend a ratio of

    • 6 parts sand.

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    Sinkholes Near A Buried Drainage Pipe Water Or Sewer Line

    A sinkhole may occur near a buried stormwater, drinking water, or wastewater line, either because of poorly compacted soil or because of a leaking underground pipe.

    Poorly compacted soil around buried drainage pipes, water or sewer lines. Depressions sometimes develop in utility easements, such as water and sewer lines, or stormwater drainage pipes. This usually occurs when the soil fill over the buried pipes was not properly placed and compacted. The poorly compacted soil settles over several years, causing a hole or shallow, linear trench on the ground surface.

    Use a plat to see if there are easements on your property. The plat of your lot will indicate the presence of any easements on your property. The pipes running through easements generally serve multiple residences. Copies of plats are often included in residential loan closing documents. If you do not have a copy, one can be obtained from the Zoning Permit Review Branch at 703-222-1082, TTY 711. Not all plats are available from the County. If the County does not have a copy of your plat, contact the lending institution from which the mortgage was obtained. The conservation district can also help you determine if you have an easement on your property.

    Regrading A Severely Uneven Lawn

    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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    Tamp The Asphalt Repair Mix

    It is the final step and the most crucial one. Buy the right kind of asphalt mix to repair your driveway.

    You will find two types of asphalt mixtures in the market coarse and fine aggregate. If you are working to fill small holes, use fine aggregate.

    In case of bigger holes, use coarse aggregate. Take the asphalt repair mix and add layers in the sunken area.

    You can use a shovel to give it a smooth finish. Each time, apply two inches of the mixture in the area and tamp it well.

    Do it until the area is filled correctly. After you are done patching the area, it is time to make it smooth. You can use a piece of plywood and place it in the patched area.

    It will help to straighten and flatten the driveway. Dont walk or drive in the area for a few days until it is set correctly.

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