So you are looking for information on leveling a lawn that is already laid, let me tell you that you have arrived at the right place as I have personally leveled many lawns myself.
I will give you some tips and some things to consider when you are going to carry out this task so you can do it right and learn from my mistakes as it’s always better to learn from someone else’s mistakes rather than make them yourself.
Leveling a lawn that is already laid really doesn’t have to be that difficult and it can massively improve the look and health of your lawn.
Table Of Contents
- 1 1. Assess Your Lawn To Figure Out Why It Is Uneven
- 2 2. Fix Any Underlying Problems Causing Your Uneven Lawn
- 3 3. Mow Your Lawn Before Leveling It
- 4 4. Aerate Your Lawn Before Leveling It
- 5 5. Check The pH Level Of Your Lawn
- 6 6. Is Your Lawn Only Slightly Uneven
- 7 7. Is Your Lawn Massively Uneven
- 8 8. Decide What Sort Of Compost Or Topsoil You Are Going To Use
- 9 9. Make Sure You Have Enough Compost Or Topsoil
- 10 10. Do You Have The Correct Tools For The Job
- 11 11. It’s Better To Use Too Little Than Too Much Topsoil
- 12 12. Work The Soil Down To The Thatch Level
- 13 13. Decide Whether You Are Going To Overseed
- 14 14. Water Your Lawn When You Have Leveled It
- 15 15. Stay Off Your Lawn
1. Assess Your Lawn To Figure Out Why It Is Uneven
When you are going to level your lawn that is already laid you really should assess it to see if you can figure out why it is uneven. If your lawn has an ongoing problem and you level it there is a chance it will slowly become uneven again which means your hard work leveling it will have been a waste of time.
If you cannot see a reason or figure out why your lawn is uneven you may want to call in an expert to assess your uneven lawn and advise you on what steps you can take to fix the problems and level your lawn.
2. Fix Any Underlying Problems Causing Your Uneven Lawn
When you have assessed your lawn and have managed to figure out the reason your lawn is uneven and needs to be leveled you really should sort out the problem before you take action to level your lawn.
Some issues that may cause your lawn to become uneven could be animals – if animals such as moles are making your lawn uneven you really need to stop them before leveling your lawn. Soil erosion – if the soil is eroding under your lawn you may have a drainage problem that you could fix to prevent further erosion and lawn unevenness.
There are so many things that could cause your lawn to become uneven so you do have to fix the cause before you come up with the solution.
3. Mow Your Lawn Before Leveling It
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 won’t be able to mow for a while so the only real option is to mow your lawn before you level it.
4. 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 don’t have access. This will definitely improve the general health of your lawn.
5. 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 don’t want to alter the pH level too much as this could have a severely detrimental effect on the health of your lawn.
6. Is Your Lawn Only Slightly Uneven
If your lawn is only slightly uneven then it is simple enough to fix it but it will still take some effort.
If your lawn only has patches that are maybe 2-3 cm deep then that is what I would call slightly uneven and to fix this the best and easiest option is to add a thin layer of topsoil or compost.
When you are adding topsoil to a lawn that is already laid you can only add a thin layer that is around 2cm thick. If your lawn is only slightly more uneven than 2 cm you may want to do this process every year until it is leveled out.
7. Is Your Lawn Massively Uneven
If your lawn is massively uneven you should use a different tactic when leveling it out.
When your lawn has massive deep craters then you don’t want to add topsoil you should carry out a procedure that is more like surgery on your lawn.
If your lawn is already laid and you want to level out massive craters the best tactic is to cut down into the turf and peel it back, put compost or topsoil under your lawn in the craters to level it out and then put the turf back in place and you should have a level lawn.
8. Decide What Sort Of Compost Or Topsoil You Are Going To Use
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 doesn’t 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 that’s what lawns prefer.
Try and choose one with a high organic material content as adding organic material to your lawn is a good thing.
9. Make Sure You Have Enough Compost Or Topsoil
When you are leveling your lawn it is important you have enough material to get the job done and get it done correctly. The nightmare scenario is being halfway through leveling your lawn and realizing you have nowhere near enough material to cover the whole area that needs covering.
The best way to calculate exactly how much material you will need is to use a topsoil calculator like the one at Mcgill compost and remember when you are ordering that it is better to order too much than not enough.
If you have any leftover you can always use it for any other purpose but if you don’t have enough it can leave you in an awkward situation.
10. Do You Have The Correct Tools For The Job
Depending on what method you are using to level your lawn that is already laid you will need to use different tools for the job.
This is actually a process you don’t exactly need the correct professional tools it is possible to improvise.
If you are spreading topsoil then the pro tool for the job would be a lawn lute this is a kind of specialized rake for evenly spreading soil. If you don’t have a lute you could simply use the flat side of a rake or brush to evenly spread the soil over your lawn.
11. It’s Better To Use Too Little Than Too Much Topsoil
When you are adding topsoil to level a lawn that is already laid it is important you don’t add too much to your lawn at the one time.
If you add far too much soil and spread it you will basically bury your lawn under it. If you bury your lawn under a pile of soil the obvious outcome is that your lawn will die due to lack of light.
When you add soil and discover you haven’t added enough you can always add more whereas if you add too much it can be an absolute nightmare to remove it again.
12. Work The Soil Down To The Thatch Level
When you add soil or compost to your lawn to level it out it is not a case of dumping it on your lawn then leaving it, it will take some effort to do it right.
You basically have to brush over the soil so that it works its way down to the thatch level.
You don’t want the soil to be sitting on top of the grass you want it to be down to the thatch level so the nutrients can be absorbed by the roots. It will take some effort but it is worth it to level your lawn and make it healthy.
13. Decide Whether You Are Going To Overseed
If you are going to the trouble of leveling your lawn that is already laid you obviously have some pride in the appearance of your lawn.
Why would you not take this opportunity to add some grass seed as it will definitely improve the look of your lawn?
If I am adding topsoil to my lawn I always overseed with some new grass seeds to take full advantage of the unique opportunity to improve lawn health during this process. If you want your lawn to be beautiful and lush green like mines I would highly recommend you do overseed your lawn.
14. Water Your Lawn When You Have Leveled It
So you have gone through the process of leveling your lawn and whether you choose to overseed or not it is a good idea to give it a good drink of water.
When you water your lawn after you have leveled it I feel there are a couple of advantages to doing this.
It will help work the soil down to the thatch level even more than you have already and grass just likes water so why not give it some.
15. Stay Off Your Lawn
When you have completed the whole process I think it is a good idea to stay off the lawn for a while and keep the kids off the lawn.
You really have to be the judge of this, when your lawn starts to grow and you see improvement I think that is a sign it has recovered and you can start to use it again.
You really don’t want to be using your lawn too much after you level it as you will end up trailing mud all over your house, its best to give it time to settle after the process.