I have never been a natural gardener. For years, I struggled to keep basic houseplants alive, only to kill them at the first opportunity. It was difficult and stressful to buy a home with a yard, but I knew that I might be able to learn what I was doing wrong and correct the problem. To start off, I focused heavily on the lawn, and tried hard to keep it trimmed and well-maintained. Next, I cleaned up the flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but I knew that it would pay off in the end. When I was done, my front yard was gorgeous, and guess what--it even stayed alive. This blog is all about loving your little landscape.
One of the most common landscaping issues that homeowners face is an uneven lawn that puddles a lot. Low spots can be formed by natural forces and time, but most can be fixed with a little sun and a free weekend. You may even be able to make an invisible fix. So, how do you do it? Here's a handy guide to leveling your lawn without destroying it.
Look for Uneven Areas
Some uneven areas may be highly visible whether it's sunny or rainy. Low spots are often obvious in wet weather or when watering due to the puddling. It's a good idea to mark with stakes and twine or some spray paint the extent of puddles as they form. High spots may be less noticeable.
You can ferret out minor changes in terrain by using a wooden stake and some twine. Plant a stake in the yard, then string out the twine to another location in the yard, making sure it's taut. With this simple measuring tool, you can soon see clearly where the lawn rises and falls.
Cut Open Problem Spots
The best tool for leveling existing grass is a half-moon cutter. This spade-like tool can be used to slice open the problem area while leaving much of the grass intact. Cut a cross shape across (and a little larger than) a hollow or bump in the lawn. Water the area if it's dry. Then use a spade to dig about 2 inches deep and lift the grass section up to fold it back. When you've done this with all four sections of the cross shape, you should have access to the dirt underneath.
Fix Highs and Lows
If the open area is a bump, simply remove excess dirt from the exposed soil. Replace the folded-over lawn segments and check the area with a carpenter's level or some taut twine. Repeat this process until you have reached the appropriate level.
If the area is a hollow, prepare the existing dirt by loosening and mixing it. Remove all stones, then compact it again to form a solid base. Bring in more good topsoil that's been freed of clumps or debris. Add a little pre-seeder fertilizer to the new soil to encourage the grass to regrow.
Whichever fix you made, finish by folding the grass segments back over the area and tamping down the grass sections with a rake. Sprinkle on some top dressing material (such as a mixture of loam, sand and peat) to protect the cuts. You can also add fresh grass seed in the sliced areas to help restore the spot quickly.
Whether it's high or low spots, you can correct the problem and reduce water waste, unsightliness, and difficulties with lawn maintenance. If you're unsure of how to remove unevenness or if your lawn has larger problem areas, it may be wise to consult with a professional lawn care service, like 5 Star Lawnscaping, for help. The result will be a lawn you can be proud of for years to come.Share