How to Level a Lawn with Topsoil

How to Level a Lawn with Topsoil – Tips to Level a Bumpy Lawn or Yard

Over time, some areas of your lawn will become uneven. An Uneven lawn is difficult to mow and can cause dangers since one can triple and fall when walking on it. Is this a new problem for you? If you have not experienced this before, here is a step by step guide to help you on how to level your lawn using topsoil.

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What makes lawn uneven?

1. Freezing and thawing of the soil

Frequent freezing and thawing of the soil lift it, making the surface to become bumpy.

2. Waterlogging

If surface water sits on your lawn for too long, it might make some of the areas in your lawn to get bumpy. Get your drainage right to prevent the damages.

3. Trampling

Children playing in a soggy lawn may cause depressions mostly on lawns with saturated spring soils.

Some animals, such as dogs, will stray into your lawn and start digging it, especially when it is vulnerable and make it uneven. Earthworms can also be a nuisance. To prevent them from invading your garden, keep your soil pH low.

Selecting the best topsoil to level your lawn

For your lawn to look even better and healthier, it is important to use the best tip soil for leveling. Below are some of the characteristic of good topsoil

1. The soil should contain no weeds

Although it will almost be impossible for the soil to have no weeds, they should be very few. If you use soil with a lot of weeds, your lawn will be full of them after some time.

2. The texture of the soil

Texture refers to the percentage of silt, clay, and sand in the soil. The texture of the soil determines its water retention capacity, aeration, compaction, and nutrients holding capacity. Good topsoil should have a medium texture.

3. Organic matter in the soil

Organic matter in soil improves its water retention capacity and aeration. It also provides nutrients useful to the plants.

Preparing to level your lawn

Before leveling your lawn, there are some things you should do these include:

1. Check for drainage issues

If you notice low spots around drainage systems, it may be that your system is having issues. Fix the drainage issues before leveling the lawn, as they will still cause problems in the future when ignored.

2. Water your lawn

Apply water on your lawn so that the soil will not be dry during the leveling. Be careful not to over water the soil, as it will be challenging to work on.


Process of leveling the lawn

1. Tools and items you need

  • Topsoil
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Rake
  • Watering can
  • Shovel

2. Leveling shallow spots in your lawn

If there are areas with shallow spots, apply topsoil directly. You do not need to remove the grass. Spread the soil using a garden rake.

  1. Fill the spots completely until they become level. Compact the soil using the flat side of the rake and step on it severally
  2. Add some water to the soil and leave it to settle. In the next 48 hours, add more water to the soil. Avoid over watering as excess water may carry away the topsoil.
  3. Brush the grass using a push broom, to level, and to lift it. If wholly covered with soil, the grass will not thrive.
    Monitor your lawn carefully. After some time, you should be able to see the grass sprout.

How to level an entire lawn

To level an entire lawn, you have to remove existing grass. You may dig it up using a shovel, or kill it using chemical herbicides.

  1. Put some topsoil in a wheelbarrow
  2. Use a squared-off shovel to scoop some soil from the wheelbarrow and spread it all over the lawn. Spread the soil evenly using a rake.
  3. Compact the soil using the flat side of the rake. Still, you can step on the soil to make it more compact.
  4. Grow new grass. If you had to remove all the grass in your lawn, you would have to grow new grass from seeds.
  5. Buy approved seeds from reliable dealers. Spread the seeds evenly over the leveled area using your hands and use peat moss to cover it, so that it can retain moisture.
  6. If your lawn is large, use a lawn use a mechanical seeder or lawn spreader to distribute your seeds.
  7. Do not step on the lawn a few weeks after planting the grass. Trampling on your lawn can uproot the grass and prevent proper growth. If you can’t avoid heavy traffic on your lawn, consider planting hardy grass varieties such as Kentucky bluegrass.
  8. Apply water on the lawn daily, but do not over water it.

Success Tips on leveling a lawn

When you succeed in leveling your lawn, you want to make sure that it does not get bumpy again. Below are some of the tips to guide you.

  1. Avoid leveling your lawn in late fall or winter. During these periods, the grass may be frozen, which makes it challenging to work on.
  2. Add fertilizer to your lawn. To maintain the health and vibrancy of your lawn, fertilize it every year. Still, thatch your lawn and aerate it.
  3. Always be on the lookout for weeds and insects and get rid of them.
  4. Aerate your lawn at least once a year. Use a lawn aerator to remove soil plugs to improve its aeration.
  5. Prevent surface runoff. Runoff water may carry away soils from some areas of the lawn and deposit it to other areas, making your lawn bumpy, especially when the grass is not fully established. This occasionally happens in clay soils.
  6. Improve the drainage of your lawn. A lawn with poor drainage will become waterlogged after some time and will start getting bumpy. The main factors that affect the drainage of your lawn include:
    1. Soil permeability – Generally, soils with a smooth texture such as clay absorb water very slowly, that is why it is important to use suitable topsoil.
    2. Garden topography – When leveling a lawn, create a slope to enhance water drainage. This will require some planning. The lawn should slope downwards away from the house. If it slopes towards your house, it will funnel water towards the house foundation. The lawn should slope at a minimum of 3 inches for every ten feet. The slope should not exceed 12 inches for every 4 feet. Use a transit level to measure the slope of your lawn. To get the measurements, you will need two people to assist you.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of lawn aeration?

Aerating your lawn comes with many benefits such as increased root activity, reduced soil compaction, and increased water infiltration.

Which is the best soil type to use on a lawn?

The best topsoil should be a combination of clay, loam, and silt. It should also have organic matter.

When should I water my lawn?

Generally, water your lawn deeply at least two times a week. During hot spells, you will need to water it more frequently

How long does grass take to germinate?

It depends on the type of grass. Many varieties will germinate 5-21 days after planting.

Should I cover my lawn after planting grass seeds?

You can cover your seeds using a thin layer of mulch. The mulch will preserve moisture and keep birds away.

It is easy to make your lawn leveled – doing it yourself (diy). It will make it more appealing and remove all the dangers associated with uneven lawns. It will also make mowing less difficult.


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