An uneven and bumpy lawn can not only be difficult to manage, but it can also become a bit of an eyesore on our usually insta-worthy lawns! A lawn that is uneven across the surface can cause problems when it comes to maintenance, mowing and even growing.
Learning how to level your lawn will help improve drainage for your grass seed to grow and, more importantly, allow you to create the perfect outdoor space that is ready for spring, relaxing summer family gatherings and so you can still enjoy your garden in autumn.
What you need to level your lawn
Like most lawn care jobs that you do, there are a few tools you will need to help you along the way. Not to worry, most of these will hopefully be kicking around somewhere in your shed; it might just take some rummaging if it’s been a while! Before you start to level your lawn, you should check for the following tools:
- A rake
- A shovel (preferably flat)
- Grass seed
- Water supply
How you should level your lawn
Similar to all other jobs in the garden, every home will be different, and not every lump and bump will be the same from garden to garden. Some lawns will only need a small amount of work to even out their surface, while others might require more effort! To make things easy, we have outlined our top tips on levelling out smaller bumps and larger ones separately.
Levelling smaller dips in your lawn
If you have some shallow dips in your lawn, these can be quick and easy to get sorted. You will need to add topsoil to the dipped area directly. It is important that you add topsoil and not compost, as compost will break down over time and leave your lawn unlevel again. Once you have added enough topsoil to level the dip, make sure that it is level with the rest of your soil surface. Depending on the size, you can use a garden fork or the back of a rake to do this.
Now that it is level, firm your topsoil down by foot to ensure the surface is compact. The next step is to water the topsoil and allow it to settle for a few days. If at this time, the topsoil has reduced and fallen below the soil surface, keep adding topsoil and repeating this process until it is perfectly level. Once it has settled and it is level with your lawn, you can now start to add your grass seed. Make sure to use our guide on how to sow a new lawn to make sure you get it right first time! With the right amount of water, air, and sun, you should see growth and have a nice thick, level lawn in 6-8 weeks time!
Levelling larger dips in your lawn
If you have deeper and more hollow dips in your lawn, these will require a bit more attention to detail. Before you start trying to level off a hollow dip, always make sure that your soil is quite moist; this will make the whole process much easier. Take your shovel (ideally, this will be square on top) and cut through the soil surface to create an X mark. With your square shovel, push it beneath the surface of the soil and begin to lift back each section of the cross. If your lawn is dipped in this area, you will need to add topsoil under the sections that you have peeled back.
Remember to press down topsoil if you're adding any
Always ensure the new topsoil is pressed down to ensure it won’t dip again. If your lawn is raised, you must remove the soil under the cross-section. Once you have added or removed topsoil, place the original sections back on top and flatten them down. You might need to overseed these sections, so to do that, just follow our steps on how to overseed a lawn.
Top tip – If you are sowing new lawn seed or overseeding after you have levelled your lawn, make sure that you are using a lawn seed that is fit for purpose. Find out what lawn seed you need with our guide on choosing the best lawn seed.
Why you might need to level your lawn
Levelling off your lawn can seem like a laborious task – so why should you bother? If you want your lawn to look the part this summer, a level lawn is one of the ways to do that. Having the right lawn seed will certainly start that process, but if your lawn is scattered with lumps and bumps, it can take away from the overall look. An even lawn will also help with your mowing schedule. Mowing an even surface is much easier than manoeuvring up, down and around any bumps that were previously there!
Levelling your lawn also helps with drainage
Aside from the overall aesthetic of your lawn, levelling will help with so much more. It will massively improve the drainage of your lawn and stop water from pooling up after any significant rainfall. Having a soggy lawn that collects water after rainfall can cause a long list of problems for your grass. Not only will the water kill off and/or yellow your grass, but it also creates a perfect breeding ground for garden grass pests and common lawn diseases. A well-drained lawn will keep those problems at bay and keep your lawn looking perfect year-round!