How to Create a Level Lawn

Create a level lawn and prevent future problems with this step-by-step landscaping guide to remove bumps and hollows.

Find Bumps and Hollows in Lawn With a Level

Find Bumps and Hollows in Lawn With a Level

© 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

A lawn will need regular attention if it is to be an attractive feature in the garden. It may need repairing for a variety of reasons including wear and tear, mole damage, drought, or if frost lifts the turf. If bumps or hollows appear, follow these steps to keep your lawn level.

Materials Needed:

  • half moon cutter
  • turfing iron or spade
  • gardening fork
  • top-dressing
  • pre-seeder fertilizer
  • broom
  • lawn seed
  • garden hose

1. Regularly check over the lawn, looking for any problems.

Using a half moon cutter, slice a cross shape right through the center of the bump or hollow and beyond its edges, making the cut as even as possible.

Use Half Moon Cutter to Level the Lawn

Use Half Moon Cutter to Level the Lawn

© 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2. Cut under the turf.

Use a turfing iron or a spade, and cut while making a slicing motion. The cut should be about 1-1/2 to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) deep, and the spade should be kept as flat as possible to keep the turf at an even thickness.

Cut Under Turf

Cut Under Turf

© 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

3. Peel back the four flaps of turf.

Be careful not to break them. If the soil is dry, lightly water the grass beforehand. If you are only leveling a bump, dig out the soil until it is level with the surrounding area, and proceed to step six.

4. Fill in all hollows.

Fork over the soil to a depth of 2 inches (5 cm) to break up any compaction or large clods. Remove any large stones. After digging, tread it down lightly, otherwise it will sink again after repairing.

Break Up Clods

Break Up Clods

© 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

5. Choose a good quality top-dressing.

Fill each hollow until it is level with the surrounding soil. Rake it over to break the soil down to a fine tilth, and then add more if necessary. Add a pre-seeder fertilizer to the soil.

Quick Sod Repair

Quick Sod Repair

© 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

6. Gently fold back the flaps of turf.

Firm each one down by tamping it with the back of a rake. Start at the edges of the square and work your way into the center. Do a final check to ensure that the ground is now level.

Sod Firmation

Sod Firmation

© 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover, © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

7. Brush good, quality top-dressing into the cracks.

This will prevent the edges of the turf from drying out. Lawn seed can be sprinkled into the gaps to fill them. The lawn should then be watered to help it establish.

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