leveling a bumpy yard

doublejMay 6, 2008

My yard is undergoing a transformation. I have begun an organic routine. It's been 2 months and I can already see a huge difference in the quality of the soil. I used to not be able to push a knife more than 1" into the soil. Now, I can push my finger in that far and a bamboo stake in about 3 inches. The problem I have is that my yard resembles a 4x4 test track. There are divots and small bumps everywhere. My 6 year old has had 2 sprained ankles and I have twisted mine mowing the lawn.

Is there a way to level out this lawn without bringing in yards of topsoil and shoveling it all over?

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

You sound like the poster child for people recovering from rototiller preparation of the original turf. This is exactly what happens when you rototill first. The soil settles unevenly into what you have.

If you want to do it yourself, yards of dirt and a shovel are the way. You could bring in yards of topsoil and spoon it in only where the low spots are. If your yard is several thousand square feet that might not be what you want to do.

A preferred way would be to hire a landscaper to bring in a tractor and box blade. They can regrade an acre in an hour if it is pretty close to grade. Your area is probably much smaller. Let him decide if he needs more (or less) topsoil. Then you can reseed immediately when he leaves.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 4:32PM
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doublej

No tilling, just inherited a crappy turf.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 5:19PM
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billhill(z5 MI - KBG)

Below is a link to a FAQ that may help. For small areas, you may try top dressing with 1/4 inch contractors sand and raking it into the depressions with a lawn rake. Repeat a few times a year.
Bill Hill

Here is a link that might be useful: FAQ - How do I level my yard?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 12:17PM
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fescue_planter

Anyone familiar with having a bumpy yard and seeing what happens to it say after 10 years or so? I'd like to know if an organic system (earthworms) will move things around enough in 10 years to level things out.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 1:36PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Hey!?!? I wrote a FAQ on leveling a lawn? Wow! The things I have forgotten about sometimes startle me.

After reading on the Lawns Forum how a guy did it with his bermuda, I would like to tune up that FAQ. While the steps in that FAQ will probably work fine, I think I would put the fertilizer down below the topsoil. The guy with the bermuda also used a sand, level, roll, water, repeat cycle that I think would improve the FAQ. Keep this in mind when leveling: the top surface of your project will be the new ground level. If it is not perfect flat, or rolling smoothly, keep at it until you're happy.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 7:17PM
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buzzsaw8

"Anyone familiar with having a bumpy yard and seeing what happens to it say after 10 years or so? I'd like to know if an organic system (earthworms) will move things around enough in 10 years to level things out."

FP - funny you mention that. I started a lawn from scratch two years ago and tilled the soil before laying the sod (hadn't found this site yet). It was REALLY bumpy. But I was just noticing this week as I pulled weeds that it seems to have leveled out a little bit. Earthworms rule!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:46PM
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