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How to Level a Bumpy Lawn

Over time, lawns can become uneven and bumpy, turning your garden’s pride and joy into a lumpy, unattractive tripping hazard.

Fortunately, it’s a fairly simple DIY job to level a bumpy lawn – just follow our guide on how to level lawn.

Here’s a helpful guide on the reasons why your lawn has become uneven, how to care for your lawn to help keep it level, and, of course, how to level a bumpy lawn.

how to level a lawn to remove all bumps and dips

Why is it Important to Level Your Lawn?

Besides making your lawn more attractive, evening it out makes it a safe space for any activity, whether it’s your kids throwing a ball and running around, or you working in the garden on the weekend. An unexpected depression in your lawn can make for a nasty fall!

A level lawn is also a healthier lawn! It means you won’t have pools of water that cause grass to rot or make your grass vulnerable to diseases, and everyday yard maintenance like mowing your lawn is made so much easier.

Common Causes for a Bumpy Lawn

how a level lawn can benefit your grass

There are several reasons why your lawn has developed an uneven surface, and knowing what has created this issue can help you prevent it from occurring again in future.

Poor drainage: 

Drainage problems are the most common reason for a lawn to become uneven. It’s also a problem for your lawn health, as waterlogging puts your grass at risk of disease and rot.

You can get better lawn drainage by extending your downspout so that it goes directly into a drain rather than into a flowerbed or onto the lawn.

Creating a French drain to move excess water off your lawn, and changing your landscaping so that your lawn and garden slopes gently away from your house.

Seasonal Freeze-Thaw: 

If you live in an area that gets freezing cold in winter, the freeze-thaw that occurs during the spring can lead to a lumpy lawn.

This is because logs and organic matter in the soil freezes during winter, then breaks down as it decays and thaws, causing a void underground that collapses, leading to a depression in your lawn.

Poor lawn health: 

If your lawn is unhealthy, it can become patchy and diseased, creating areas of erosion that turn into depressions over time.

To keep your lawn even, you need strong, healthy grass. That means choosing the right variety of grass for your climate, watering your lawn properly, and knowing how to fertilize your lawn.

Nightcrawler Earthworms:

Nightcrawler Earth worms can do considerable damage to a lawn

Source: Minnesota University

Nightcrawlers are huge earthworms can move up to 20 tons of soil to the surface each year! They are a beneficial creature to have in your garden, helping to aerate soil to allow plant roots to easily access nutrients and oxygen. 

Even their waste is good for the soil. If you are worried that you have too many of these earthworms, you can try to lower the pH level of your soil.

However, it is usually a good idea to keep these worms for the benefits they provide, even if it means your lawn can get a little lumpy on occasion.

What is the Best Time of Year to Level an Uneven Lawn?

Spring is the best time of year to take on this project, as the soil will be softer and more workable after the winter and it means you can prepare your lawn in order to take advantage of the grass seeds and strong growth the warmer weather brings.

Tools You Will Need to Level an Uneven Lawn

You don’t need a lot of equipment to level your lawn, but you will need:

  • A flat-edged garden spade
  • A lawn levelling rake or garden rake
  • A sprinkler to gently water your lawn
Levelling the Lawns Deep Spots

Levelling Shallow Spots in Your Lawn

Shallow depressions in your lawn that are about an inch or so deep can be fixed with the application of lawn dressing/top dressing from your local garden center.

Here’s how to level lawn with shallow spots:

  1. Buy a quality top dressing mixture.
  2. Pour it into the shallow spot in your lawn. 
  3. Use a garden rake to even it out.
  4. Compact the soil by stepping onto it gently.
  5. Lightly irrigate this spot to further compact the soil and encourage grass growth.
You can also apply some grass seeds by mixing them into the topdressing as you apply it. If you do this, remember to keep the soil moist (not waterlogged) at all times to help the grass seeds grow.

Levelling Deeper Spots in Your Lawn

For deeper depressions, you can use a method that is known as “sweeping the dirt under the carpet” because that’s exactly what you do!

These depressions are too deep for the grass to grow up from under the new top dressing, so it needs to go under the turf itself.

Best Time To Level and Irrigate the Lawn

Here’s how to level a lawn with deep drops:

  1. Cut along the edges of the turf around the depression using a flat-edged garden spade. Make clean, vertical cuts to minimize damage to the roots.
  2. Remove the square of turf and place it gently to one side.
  3. Fill the hole with top dressing to bring it to the same level as the rest of your lawn, evening it out with your rake.
  4. Gently stand on the filled hole to compress the soil and water it lightly.
  5. Replace the turf, pressing it gently into the new soil.
  6. Water the turf lightly to encourage growth, and keep this grass moist for a week or two so that it can recover.
  7. When you start seeing new growth, the grass has recovered and settled in successfully.

Here is a useful video on how to level a bumpy lawn

Keeping Your Lawn in Good Shape

Once you have addressed the underlying cause for your bumpy lawn (especially if it is a drainage issue) and know how to level lawn properly. 

It is important to keep your lawn healthy and thriving if you want to prevent or at least minimize lumps and depressions in your lawn.

This means:

  • Watering your lawn correctly through the seasons. Here is a great guide on how to water your lawn.
  • Aerating your lawn to ensure the roots can get enough space to grow and good access to nutrients and oxygen. Here is an easy guide on how to aerate your lawn.
  • Using a balanced 10 10 10 fertilizer on your lawn to encourage healthy, dense growth. Here is a great guide on how to fertilize your lawn.
  • Quickly and effectively managing lawn weeds, pests and diseases. Here’s an easy guide on how to control lawn weeds. Most lawn diseases and pest can be prevented by choosing the right type of grass for your climate and soil.

Now you know how to level a bumpy lawn!

Concluding How To Level A Bumpy Lawn

As with any other part of your garden, lawns need a bit of attention each season to stay looking beautiful. With some top dressing, a spade and a few hours, you can complete this easy DIY project.

With our guide on how to level lawn and maintain it with fertilizer and the right irrigation technique, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth, attractive and safe lawn every summer!

how to level a bumpy lawn
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About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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