Uneven lawn

Once the underlying issue has been addressed, many homeowners can handle the task of leveling an uneven yard on their own.

Many things can cause a yard to be uneven. Drainage problems, leaky pipes beneath the grass and pests can wreak havoc on a yard, resulting in uneven turf that can be both unsightly and unsafe.

Addressing an uneven yard might be homeowners’ ultimate goal, but the home experts at BobVila.com note that homeowners should first figure out what’s causing the problem and make fixing that their first task. Fixing uneven ground above leaky pipes will only be a temporary fix if the leaks themselves are not addressed.

Professional contractors might be necessary depending on what’s causing the problem. However, once the underlying issue has been addressed, many homeowners can handle the task of leveling an uneven yard on their own.

• Get the right tools and materials. Leveling an uneven yard may require various tools. Thatch will likely need to be removed from the lawn before it can be leveled out, so homeowners will need a thatch rake or dethatching machine to get this task started.

Dethatching machines are generally necessary for especially large lawns, and these can typically be rented from home improvement retailers. A shovel, bow rake and push broom are other tools homeowners will likely need. Materials such as topsoil, compost and sand will be necessary as well, and these are typically sold at local garden centers.

• Fill in areas beneath the grass. Areas beneath the grass can be filled in with a mixture of sand, topsoil and compost. The experts at BobVila.com advise using two parts sand, two parts topsoil and one part compost.

Each of these components plays its own role in restoring the yard to full health. Sand helps the ground stay level, while the topsoil and compost provide the grass with valuable nutrients. If the low spots are not especially deep, this mixture can be applied without removing the grass.

However, before filling in holes when addressing spots that are deeper than two or three inches, remove the grass then place it back in place once the hole has been filled. To dig up the grass, put the blade of the shovel at the outside of the low spot before sliding it under about two or three inches so you do not upset the grass roots.

• Spread the top dressing. Once the holes have been filled and the grass has been placed back on the ground (if it was removed), spread the top dressing mix with a shovel. The mix should be spread evenly with the back of the bow rake at a depth of no more than half an inch.

Make sure the mix is worked into the low spots and that it’s not completely covering the grass, as that will suffocate the lawn. If necessary, use the push broom to work the mix into the soil.

• Water the lawn. Finally, water the lawn to help the top dressing settle into the grass. If necessary, repeat the process of applying top dressing and watering until the lawn is even and has returned to full strength.

An uneven lawn is an eyesore and potentially harmful. But fixing an uneven lawn is simple once homeowners discover and address what’s behind the issue.

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