How to level a lumpy lawn

Lawn Care Tips | Posted on December 10, 2019 at 9:39 am by

You’ve got the lawnmower ready, you fire it up, and off you go. Within minutes you’ve hit a bump and churned the grassy turf into an ugly bare patch. Is there anything more frustrating?

There are so many reasons for an uneven lawn; after all, nothing can remain perfect forever. From pesky animals, peskier kids, heavy rain and soil settlement, there’s a million and one reasons why your once-perfect lawn is now a bumpy one.

So what to do? Well, if you’re after a half-hour of mowing that doesn’t involve going up and down miniature mountain ranges, we’d recommend levelling your lawn.

We recommend levelling your garden either in springtime or early autumn. It’s generally warm enough for seed to grow and you’ll be guaranteed rain, which will help the soil to settle.

Here’s how…

Preparation 

A wise person always prepares. Before you do anything, you’ll need to determine just how bad your lawn is and the amount of levelling required. Uneven ground can be an indication of deeper-lying drainage issues or perhaps damaged water pipes.

Drainage issues

If there are dips in your lawn above water pipes, it’s always best to seek professional help. If these types of problems are causing the declines, we’d recommend re-grading as well as levelling the grass.

You could, of course, install an underground drainage system. Laying gravel or flexible drainpipes will help alleviate pooling.

Levelling shallow spots

If your lawn only has a few shallow spots, then breathe a sigh of relief. To achieve a perfectly level lawn won’t be as difficult to achieve as perhaps you feared!

Generally, we’d say that if you’ve got areas that are 1-2cm lower than the rest of the soil, you could apply a topsoil bringing it level with the rest of your lawn. You’ll need to firm this application up, before watering it and leaving it to settle for a few days. After it’s settled in, apply the grass seed and water on a mist setting around four times a day – kids love to help with this part!

If there’s more than one low lying area, it’s a case of rinse and repeat!

Levelling mountains

Sometimes it can seem like your lawn is like the Pennines in miniature form, it’s that bumpy. The best way to level a lawn like this is tackling each bump individually.

Start by cutting into the middle of the rise with a shovel. If you cut in a cross shape, you’ll be able to lift the sections of turf away from the soil underneath. You’ll need to keep your shovel as flat as possible when lifting to ensure these pieces of turf don’t break. You’ll need them again.

The bump of excess soil now needs removing until the area is level with the rest of the lawn. Tread this down gently and fill with a good topsoil mixture until it’s nearly level with the surrounding area. Rake it and then fold the edges of the outer turf back over.

You’re nearly there, we promise. Starting from the outside of your excavated cross shape, carefully relay the lifted turf beginning from the outside, working inwards. Any gaps can be filled with topsoil and lawn seed, and you must water regularly.

Before you congratulate yourself, remember if your lawn is particularly bad, you’ll need to do this for every bump! You can do it, we believe in you!

If you think your lump lawn is too far gone to save, you can always start over fresh with a new flat lawn professionally laid.