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How To Level An Existing Lawn

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Final Finish To The Leveling

Lawn Leveling project. What’s next? lawn leveling, sprinkler repair, overseed

In the final process of leveling the yard, you will need to add the finishing touches to the final surface of the yard. In this case, you can use, spades, snow shovels and rakes. Though using a rake is patience-testing, it makes the slope as even as possible and the leveling itself becomes very even. You may also add thin layer of organically rich soil while doing the final leveling.

You will need to use the Inclinometer constantly for conforming the elevation. Also, make sure that the leveling is foolproof as once you plant and set the turf, you cannot re-do the surface, you will need to uproot the entire turf again. Hence, make it a point to take your time and keep on adding the finishing touches till you are satisfied and then proceed to plant the turf. Some people also bring in a road-roller for a couple of days to make sure that the yard is finished properly.

Leveling An Existing Yard Heres How To Level A Yard Easily

Many people believe that leveling a yard is a very difficult task, and often end up procrastinating on the task or calling experts and wasting a substantial amount of money. In reality, leveling an existing yard is not that difficult a job.

Many people believe that leveling a yard is a very difficult task, and often end up procrastinating on the task or calling experts and wasting a substantial amount of money. In reality, leveling an existing yard is not that difficult a job.

A yard is usually a piece of land that is attached to a house or a building. A yard has variable uses, like at times, it is used as a front porch or sometimes, animals like horses are let loose into the yard. Most of the yards are grass yards and are located outside that building. However, some like the courtyards, are located within the house. The courtyard is usually located at the midpoint of the house and is surrounded from all sides by the different wings of the house. The courtyard of almost all the houses will have a solid flooring and is rarely made up of grass or soil. The yards that are made up of soil are rarely seen, except in tropical and sub tropical regions, where they usually adjoin the houses.

Check The Ph Level Of Your Lawn

If you are planning to level your lawn with topsoil or compost, you really should check the pH level of your lawn as any time you add new content into the soil it can change the pH level.

Most grass types prefer a pH level that is close to neutral and most specialist lawn topsoils or composts will be designed with this in mind.

You should check the pH of your soil any time you are going to carry out any major work on it as you really dont want to alter the pH level too much as this could have a severely detrimental effect on the health of your lawn.

Recommended Reading: Repair Dead Grass Patches

Is Your Yard Lumpy And Bumpy Learn How To Even Out Your Propertyand Potentially Prevent Water Damage To Your Homes Foundation Or Basement In The Process

By Jennifer Noonan and Teresa Odle and Bob Vila | Updated Nov 22, 2021 7:36 PM

A yard with lumps and bumps is not only unattractive but also a potential safety hazard with ample opportunity to cause trips, falls, and sprained ankles. Many events can cause an uneven yardincluding drainage issues, leaks in pipes lying beneath the surface, and lawn pests like grubs or moles disturbing the root structure of the turfbut none need to derail your landscaping efforts altogether.

Improper grading also can lead to problems with a homes foundation or basement. Before you start working to level your lawns surface, troubleshoot the underlying problem so it doesnt reoccur in the future. Then tackle these steps for how to level a yard to turn your lawn into the smooth, lush, green landscape youve always wanted.

The Supplies You Will Need

Leveling an Existing Yard

Before you get started, you will need to make sure you have all the equipment and supplies you need ahead of time.

You will need:

  • Straight hard rake and other screed tools,

  • Buckets or a wheelbarrow,

  • Sand and compost mixture,

  • Topsoil.

  • How much material will you need? Check out our article on measuring mulch, the calculation method is similar.

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    Q How Do You Fix An Uneven Lawn

    Once you know how to level ground, it is a fairly straightforward process. First, mow the lawn and then identify dips. Fill them with a mix of compost, sand, and topsoil. Dig sod up in high spots and remove some of the soil before adding a thin layer of the same mix and replacing the sod. Top-dress the entire lawn with a ¼- to ½-inch layer of topsoil, and then water. You might have to top-dress again after the soil settles.

    Q How Much Does It Cost To Level A Yard

    Fixing lumps and bumps caused by foot traffic, digging, plantings, or thatchy grass should cost no more than a few tools and materials. Most tools, such as a shovel and bow rake, probably reside in your shed already. If you dont have a dethatcher, renting one can run up to $80 a day. Purchasing a manual thatch rake typically runs $40 to $50.

    When leveling a yard, sometimes you can move soil from high spots to low areas, but in other circumstances you might need to purchase topsoil and sand to complete the project. A 40-pound bag of topsoil is usually under $10.

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    How To Determine If You Have Drainage Issues

    If you are noticing a lot of low spots in your lawn, especially around any water pipes, youll want to have it assessed by a professional drainage system plumber. If they determine you do in fact have a drainage issue, youll need to re-grade the lawn along with levelling it, so your surface slopes away from the property. This helps to avoid flooding. Another option can be the installation of an underground drainage system with gravel or flexible drainpipes.

    It is important to note that drainage may not be the only cause of bumps and hollows in your lawn. Over time, simple wear and tear, drought and a range of other issues will disrupt the level of your lawn.

    What Else Can Be Used To Build A Leveling Drag

    How To Level & OverSeed A Lawn : TimeLapse

    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.

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    Aerate Your Lawn Before Leveling It

    Aerating your lawn is a good idea and I would recommend you carry out this process on a regular basis as part of your annual lawn maintenance routine.

    Aerating your lawn before you level it will make the whole process easier and will make your lawn healthier for the long term.

    When you are planning on adding topsoil to level your lawn the holes the aeration will cause are ideal for some of the fresh topsoil to go down and this allows nutrients to get down the holes to where they normally dont have access. This will definitely improve the general health of your lawn.

    What Causes An Uneven Lawn

    Plenty of factors can make your lawn uneven. These factors include:

    Animals: From your lovely dog to neighborhood cats, animals will make your lawn bumpy. Animals will damage your lawn in two ways: digging and compaction.

    The animals can scrape the grass or sink ankle-turning holes. Moles are often the main culprits when it comes to digging, but dogs, cats, or even squirrels will dig up your lawn to store food, bury their droppings, hunt, or simply for fun.

    While you can prevent your pet dog from digging by providing an alternative form of entertainment and sectioning the garden areas that you are less worried about getting damaged, its almost impossible to prevent the local wild animals from running amok on your lawn.

    A great way to control the damage is to inspect your lawn every day and pat back into place any areas of your lawn that the animals have scraped.

    If there are large holes in your lawn, fill them to level the lawn. If soil is redistributed across the rest of the grass, rake it back to refill the cavity.

    After filing the hole, pat the grass back into place, but plant new grass if extensive damage.

    Animals will also compact your yard, especially if they use the same path as they move around your property.

    If there are hedgehogs in your area, you are bound to have compacted soil as the animals are territorial and fairly rigid in how they enter and exit your yard.

    The beauty is that compaction is reversible as all you need to do is to aerate the lawn.

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    Why You Shouldnt Do It

    When you lay new sod, its critical that the roots make direct contact with the soil so that a root system can form. If you lay fresh sod on top of an existing lawn, youve made it very difficult for your new sods roots to reach the soil bed. Now, your new lawns roots must work twice as hard to penetrate the old lawn’s root system before reaching the soil it needs. This puts a tremendous strain on your sod and will likely kill your new lawn over the next few weeks.

    Once your new sod has died on top of your previous lawn, you’ll now have to remove two layers of sod to get any new grass to take root. At this point, youll notice that the underlying layer of sod, instead of decomposing, turned into a matted slimy mess instead of composted nutrients.

    Patch Up the Lawn with Sod01:00

    Decide What Sort Of Compost Or Topsoil You Are Going To Use

    How to Create a Level Lawn The EASY Way

    Whichever method you are going to use for leveling your lawn you will have to add either compost or topsoil.

    There are so many different varieties and variations it can be quite confusing when deciding what material to use.

    It doesnt actually matter too much and you will see an improvement in the health of your lawn whatever material you use, I would only recommend you use a material that has a relatively neutral pH as thats what lawns prefer.

    Try and choose one with a high organic material content as adding organic material to your lawn is a good thing.

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    Preparing To Level Your Lawn

    So if your lawn is looking uneven with a few too many dips, help is at hand. Before starting, the lawn will need to be checked thoroughly in advance to determine how much will require levelling and if there are any existing drainage problems. At times, uneven ground can be caused as a result of drainage problems or even damaged water pipes.

    Check for low spots and drainage issues

    If low spots are occurring in locations around water pipes seek professional advice before continuing. If drainage issues are discovered, it is recommended to re-grade the lawn as well as levelling, creating a surface that slopes away from the property to aid drainage and avoid flooding.

    Alternatively an underground drainage system can be fitted using either gravel or flexible drainpipes. Other causes for bumps and hollows can be due to wear and tear, mole damage, drought or frost.

    There are two main methods for levelling a lawn depending on the extent of damage to the area. All low spots across the garden should be checked for depth to help decide which method will work best. Both methods will require the same mixture used when top dressing a lawn.

    This will consist of two parts sand, two parts topsoil and one part compost. These combined will fill out the desired areas whilst improving drainage, with the compost allowing for a nutrient rich soil to be formed.

    Pre-water your lawn for levelling

    When to level your lawn

    Step : Dig Up The Grass In Sunken Parts Of The Lawn And Fill With The Soil Mixture

    If you have any low spots or divots deeper than 2 or 3 inches, you should remove the grass on top of them before filling the holes. Dig up the sod by putting the blade of a shovel into it at the outside of a low spot and sliding it down and under about 2 or 3 inches to get under the grass roots. Then pry the grass up with the shovel to expose the dirt beneath. Fill the hole with the top-dressing mix, and put the grass back into place on top of it.

    If some low spots occur near your home, follow a similar process to gently slope the soil away from the foundation. Dig up and rearrange the soil so that it is higher close to the home, but not so high it covers the entire foundation. Then slope it down about 1 inch for every foot away from the house. If the entire yards grade slopes toward the house, you might need help properly grading.

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    How To Level A Lawn Bunnings

    Before you put in a new lawn you need to level and grade the space. Yates lawn seed is specially designed to make it easier to establish new, or rejuvenate existing, lawns from seed.

    Step 3 Next I started to create the outer garden bed wall

    Topdressing To Level A Lawn

    Leveling the Lawn Before Reseeding Part 2

    Use a blend of sand and compost to topdress your yard to create a smooth, even lawn surface, without bumps or depressions. This is called leveling and it’s particularly necessary on new lawns and sports fields.

    The technique is similar to topdressing with compost to add nutrition, but it’s done for a different reason – to make the lawn flatter – and uses a different compost blend.

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    Leveling Deep Low Spots In The Lawn

    If the low spot is more than 2 cm deep, use a sharp blade or edger to cut one or more intact pieces of grass or any other ground cover from the bottom of the low spot.

    Carefully lift the pieces from the spot and set them aside temporarily.

    Follow up by filling the depression with topsoil to level with the rest of the yard. You should then replace the grass or vegetation pieces you had removed earlier and water them.

    If no vegetation is growing in the low spot, fill the low area with topsoil, then reseed or re-sod it.

    Pro tip

    Typical Grass Seed Costs

    The cost for grass seed per pound varies depending on the type of turfgrass and the amount you require. Therefore, it goes to reason that overseeding patchy areas of the lawn versus seeding an entire lawn costs less. Depending on the lawn service you hire and the amount of square feet requiring replanting, cost for the grass seed alone can set you back $500 to $1,500 or more. This doesnt include the costs for labor, which can run you another $500 to $1,000 depending on the size of the job.

    Cost to Seed an Average Lawn
    Grass Type
    *Average yard size of 0.2 acres. Calculated at the midpoint of the price ranges.

    Repairing your now level lawn with new sod offers instant greenery and theres no need to wait for grass seed to germinate and reach a lush appearance. Its also more reliable than sowing grass seed as it takes minimum care for the roots to take hold in the soil and requires less water. However, and depending on the amount of sod required, its generally considered more costly than seeding or overseeding with new grass seed, which includes labor costs to hire a professional.

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    So Let’s Take A Good Look At The Tools You Will Need:

    • A good wheelbarrow to move soil from one spot to another – possibly and electric one
    • A long-handled shovel with a square blade
    • String
    • Measuring tape

    Remember that a landscaping rake should have a head that is approximately 3 feet wide and has heavy duty tines made for dragging large amounts of dirt.

    Mow Your Lawn Before Leveling It

    Leveling an Existing Yard

    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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    How Do I Level An Existing Lawn

    jra posted 20 August 2001 18:11

    My st.Augustine lawn slopes at various areas. How can I level. What kind of dirt do I throw overit to level it off? Will the dirt hurt the grass?

    Jason posted 07 September 2001 19:20

    I have a similar problem. while remodeling my home the roofers drove thru the yard with their truck leaving big tire ruts in the yard. My neighbor suggested I fill the ruts with sand. As a golfer I should have realized this, since every golf course uses sand to fill divots. You can add a little sand at a time so you dont bury the entire blade of grass. Eventually the turf will grow thru and your lawn will level out.

    Ron Poe posted 25 April 2003 18:49

    quote:Originally posted by jra:My st.Augustine lawn slopes at various areas. How can I level. What kind of dirt do I throw overit to level it off? Will the dirt hurt the grass?

    Will-PCB posted 27 April 2003 15:52

    Jason is exactly correct. Sand is your best choice. I, like Jason, recommend you not to try and build it up all at once. Just take some time and patience and level the yard with sand over time and you will get the best results.

    VooMan posted 28 April 2003 09:59

    Hi Will,

    I am trying to level out my yard as well, and sand is a nice option since it would be easy to use


    Will-PCB posted 28 April 2003 15:03

    Man, I am not a big fan of clay because it seems to get really hard after it gets wet.

    Thing is, I never completely cover the grass blades.

    Hope this helps.




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