Compare And Test The Similar Types Of Soil
After that we need to test and compare the topsoil that we want to use in our selected area. Because soil properties vary with location, so you have to dress the weak spot with topsoil that closely matches the existing soil. According to the University of Tennessee Extension, topdressing will only be successful if the topsoil corresponds or closely match the existing soil.
Leveling Deeply Sunken Lawn Areas
If you have depressions, troughs, or holes that are deeper than 1 or 2 inches, you’re usually better off filling them with a good soil mix and starting over with new grass seed. Bringing up deeply sunken areas with topdressing takes too many applications, and you’ll spend more time trying to keep the grass alive than you will getting new grass to grow.
The trick to filling deep holes is to compact the soil gently and give it some water to settle it as you fill up the hole. If you simply pile on some loose dirt and plant your seed, the soil will settle, and you’ll be left with sunken area covered with nice, new grass. Walking on the soil is enough to compact it. Don’t compact the top-most soil where you will sow the grass seed. Prepare the soil and seed the area following the seed product instructions.
Whats The Best Type Of Topsoil For Leveling A Lawn
If you are going to level your lawn with topsoil there are a few options when it comes to what material you can consider for using to level your lawn. I will now go over what materials different people say you should use or not use to level your lawn and look at the advantages and disadvantages of all the available options.
- Sand Sand can be used to level lawns and some people like it because it is very fine I texture so it is easy to work it down to the soil. Using sand can cause problems especially if you have soil with a high clay content under your lawn. When sand and clay mix it can turn into a near concrete mixture and that will cause all sorts of drainage problems later on.
- Sand/ Topsoil Mix Using a sand and topsoil mix is a much better option than using sand on its own. Using this method has the advantage of the sand making it easy yo work through the grass and down to the thatch level whilst the soil makes sure there is still good drainage. The topsoil will also add some nutrients back into your lawn.
- Topsoil If you use a high-quality topsoil mix for leveling your lawn it will have all sorts of benefits as apart from leveling your lawn it will add organic matter back into your lawn. When you add a blend like this onto your lawn all the nutrients will work their way down to the soil and back into your lawn. Adding quality topsoil to your lawn will have the same effect as using fertilizer on it.
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Tools For Levelling A Bumpy Lawn
Tools can range from very expensive and professionally made to inexpensive home-made options. So, lets go through the options.
Tool: Professional Compost & Topsoil Roller
This does exactly what it says on the tin . It rolls compost or top soil into the lawn as a thin layer, making it much easier to screed it and brush it.
Its not cheap though! One of these will set you back around £200. Meaning it could be worth looking around for a second hand one instead.
Whats more, even if you have a roller like this, you still need to level the lawn with a leveller or a brush. Bringing me on to the next tool options keep reading.
Tool: A Lawn Leveller
A lawn leveller is another cool tool thats been specifically manufactured for the lawn care professionals. Its basically made up of flat metal rods which rub agains the lawn, operated using the long connected handle.
This is a great way for getting your mixture right into the troughs without creating too many bumps in the meantime.
A lawn leveller costs between £80 and £150. However, I managed to pick mine up for £50 off eBay and was very happy with the construction.
Tool: A Stiff Brush or Broom
This is a super cheap way of spreading your levelling mixture. In fact you probably already have a stiff brush and if you dont, youll find theyre really cheap at almost any hardware store.
You must make sure the bristles are stiff though because if you buy a soft broom the bristles will just go over the mix and it wont spread properly.
Level Out Larger Areas
To level out larger sunken areas you will need a different approach. Mow the lawn and dethatch as outlined above. For any larger patches, you can remove the turf patch by cutting along the sunken area with a flat spade or lawn edger, taking care to protect the roots. Spread a layer of topsoil into the hole, watering slightly as you build it up to the lawn level and then replace the turf patch, pressing the grass back into place with your hand or foot.
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Identify The Concerned Areas
Usually, topsoil is needed in areas with sunken earth owing to tree roots, animal digging, and climatic factors like rain, soil erosion or flood. Another underlying cause of sunken earth is an overgrown thick lawn that has over shadowed the ground floor.The first thing to do is to locate these areas and mark them for topdressing or topsoiling. You can use wooden sticks or pegs to distinguish them from the rest of the lawn.
Leveling Shallow Spots In Your Lawn
If there are areas with shallow spots, apply topsoil directly. You do not need to remove the grass. Spread the soil using a garden rake.
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Why The 5th Step Is Worth The Extra Work
While it may take a while to level your lawn in these five stages. It is the best way to make sure that you will not have to redo your work a few weeks down the line when the soil begins to settle.
Also, the layering technique of compost, sand, and topsoil that is high quality help to speed the growth process. It will ultimately make your lawn grow faster and healthier. Therefore, it is better to put more time in now so that you can end up with a beautiful lawn.
What Causes Lawn To Be Uneven
Now you know the best lawn leveling soil, its important you know the causes of unevenness in your yard.
Even though maintaining a level lawn is a continuous process, the idea of what causes it can help put a permanent solution to it.
A level lawn isnt just easy to maintain but offers kids the enabling environment to have fun. Thats why every home owner desires to have level lawn soil.
Some of the major causes of low and higher spots areas in the yard include:
- High foot or motorized traffic.
- New fences
- Animals digging
- Lack of proper lawn care such as lawn mower-scalping
Sometimes, bumps and depressions can be the result of drainage problems. Broken water or irrigation pipes also cause bumps or rough lawns.
Uneven lawns can also be as a result of natural and unnatural cases of settling in an area. Over time, settling causes depression, though this might be unavoidable.
Bumps or unevenness can also be as a result of buried objects like wood debris. Remove the wood debris and level the location that is all for this type of unevenness.
People also cause unevenness of lawns, by walking on soft lawn most especially in the early spring or immediately after heavy rains. Even animals use their legs to cause unlevel lawn as well.
Constant checking on animals will help to prevent unlevel lawn soil. Keep a watch on your animals to prevent them from creating unevenness in your yard.
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Examine The Condition Of The Lawn
This is the step where you determine the real cause of the bumps on your lawn. Additionally, you get to evaluate the amount of thatch to determine whether dethatching is needed.
Thatch accumulation can prevent the grass from getting adequate water and air. If the thatch is about Â½ an inch thick, it is advisable to remove it before you start leveling your yard.
How Do I Know If There Is A Landscape Grading Problem
The most simple way to look if you have yard leveling problems is to look for standing water. If you dont have proper drainage, you know that you have a problem.
If you want to be more precise with your landscape grading, you can measure your yards slope. To do this you will need the following tools:
The ground around your home should slope away approximately 1/4-inch down for every foot away from your home. This comes to around 2 ft. per 100 ft. So at 100 feet from your house, the ground should be 2 ft. lower than at the base of your home.
To accurately measure the slope of your yards landscape grading grab a 3 ft. long wood stake. Drive it 1 ft. deep in the dirt at the bottom of your house. Then measure a 100 ft distance away from your house. At that spot drive a second 3 ft. long stake into the soil.
At ground level on the stake by the house attach a string. Run the string to the second stake. Attach it to the stake with the string level. Use a carpenters level to achieve this.
With the string attached to both stakes, measure the distance from the ground to the string on the far stake.
If you measure a drop from 3 inches to 2 feet, you may be able to do the leveling yourself. However, if the drop is greater than that, or it slopes upward, it is recommended that you hire a professional to grade the yard.
For very steep slopes you may consider planting ground covers or building terraces.
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The Importance Of Yard Leveling
If you are looking for information on how to level a yard you probably know it is instrumental in keeping your landscape aesthetically pleasing. A level yard provides stability to your outdoor landscape. It also allows you to avoid serious damage and costly repairs to your foundation.
Your lawn must slope away from your home gradually to allow rainwater to drain away slowly from your foundation. If rainwater runs toward your home, the water will accumulate around the foundation walls. This will cause moisture to build up. Weakening your foundation. It may even become more serious. Seeping through foundation walls and filling your basement with water.
If your home does not have a basement or is built on a slab, moisture can seep into the wooden floor joists. The water will rot the joists. Threatening your homes structural integrity.
The problems dont end there though. Poor leveling will also damage your gardens, trees, and landscaping.
As well as potential standing water issues. A breeding ground for mosquitos. Which are not only pests but carry disease.
How Much Does It Cost To Level A Yard
Hiring a professional landscaping service to level your yard will range in cost depending on the size of the project. If only a small portion of your lawn needs to be leveled, for example, the cost of the landscaping services will likely fall between $500 and $1,000. A whole yard that has major sloping issues could cost as much as $5,000.
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How To Level Soil Before Laying Turf
Laying turf is, of course, superior to planting grass seeds when it comes to getting an instant lawn. It can be enjoyed and used almost straight away. However, you still need to get ready for some hard work regarding the preliminary ground preparation, as well as learn exactly how to level a garden before turfing.
So, here is how to prepare the ground for turf:
Remove old grass seedlings and any perennial weeds first. Thorough manual weeding always renders the best results but, if you wish, you can apply a standard herbicide. The trick is to allow enough time for the weed-killing product to clear off , especially if its been classed as a residual weed killer.
Dig and till the ground to a good depth. A minimum of 6-7 inches is recommended, but the deeper you rotovate the soil, the better, especially if youve skipped completing the task manually and used the appropriate equipment for the job.
Rotovating the ground properly will most likely result in stones and rocks of various sizes appearing on the surface. You know what to do, right? Remove all of those, as they will prevent you from levelling the soil nicely and effortlessly later on.
We should note here that there are different opinions on how to level the soil before laying turf in the best way. So, lets explore the matter further and see why the physical efforts and hard work described above will pay off at the end.
When Should You Level Your Yard
Like most other gardening practices, leveling your lawn will get you the best results when done at the right time.
Spring is the best season for leveling your yard and other correction practices.
During this season, the grass has adequate time to grow, and the soil has enough moisture to set the top dressing.
However, early spring can be the worst time because of snow-melt. The soil is usually soft and can lead to deeper depressions and low spots.
Therefore, you should wait till mid or late spring to level your yard. During this time, the grass is in its active stage, and the soil is somewhat dry enough to manipulate.
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How Do You Fix Low Spots In Your Yard
The easiest way to rectify any low spots in your yard is by filling the sunken area with topdressing and compacting it to ensure it is firm. Make sure you reach the level of the surrounding areas and add some new grass seed to foster the re-growth of your lawn. After you have filled the low spot to a level point and added the seed, you will need to water generously. This will help the rooting system take effect. In time, the patch will be gone. Youll then have a healthy spot of new lawn to match the areas around it!
Dig Up Sunken Patches And Level Bumps
You will need to dig up some soil if you notice deep spots on your lawn. I recommend digging up the grass on these patches before filling the holes. After this, you need to add the soil mix and place the grass on top.
If the yard has high bumps, then you can use a hoe or garden fork to even out the bumps.
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How To Level Out A Lawn With Shallow Dips
If your lawn looks good on the whole, nice and flat, but has the odd shallow dip here and there, you wont find it hard to level it out. Use a topdressing mixture of your choice and simply fill the low spots. Tamp the levelling material down gently, then sprinkle the area with grass seeds and water them.
Small holes that have been dug out by your naughty labrador, for example, you can fill up with the same soil that has been disturbed, mixed with a bit of compost. Depending on the initial damage, you may want to overseed the area, as described above if you think that the grasss natural ability to spread via its ribosomes wont restore the perfect look of your lawn.
Should I Add Seed Into Top Soil
Adding grass seed will help improve healthy growth. However, before you do, make sure that the topsoil has worked its way into the lawns soil. You could use a rake to do this, so the new soil gets gently blended with the lawns soil. Once this is done, you can sprinkle grass seed over the topdressing. Always make it a point to read the instructions on the package of grass seed, so you will know exactly how much to put. Some grass seeds come with added properties, therefore, make sure you follow any special instructions mentioned on the packet.
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What Time Of Year Should I Level My Yard
I recommend that you level your yard in the early fall, though you can have success leveling and seeding a yard in mid to late spring as well.
Fall is best in my view because the soil is warm enough for quick germination, but your new grass isnt stressed by the heat of summer and is allowed to establish strong roots before winter.