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Easy Tips On How To Level A Yard By Yourself

Admit it, a bumpy yard is just as unpleasant as a bumpy ride in the car. This is why you have to know how to level a yard so that the discomfort won’t be there anymore. When it comes to an uneven yard, we are talking about obstacles like boulders, roots, and many other things. These are what you have to deal with, and there are easy steps to tickle all the mess. You can easily follow the steps if there are a few spots that you have to clear. It is frugal, and it is just like an extra exercise at home to unload the boredom. Knowing basic tricks on how to level a yard will be useful sooner or later. The final results will be satisfying, and you can get to say “I did all these by myself!”.

Tips On How To Level A Yard

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Tip 1: Check

Before doing anything, you have to check the severity and define the uneven spots in your yard first. See if there are just depressions and small holes that you can easily deal with or something more serious. For smaller bumps, you can use simple methods like topdressing or filling the small holes then re-seed them. In case the problems are too severe to rescue with simple methods, then you will need a larger approach like re-grading.

Tip 2: Level Out Slight Bumps

We begin by dealing with the slightest bumps that are less than 1 inch first. Bumps of this size are more likely to flatten down when you step on them when the ground is soft. To ensure that they won’t appear again, you can also use a water-filled roller to level the yard. It is okay to repeat this method until the yard levels nicely, but don’t overdo it. Rolling will compact the soil which leads to other problems that you don’t want to have.

Tip 3: Topdressing

This is a solution that works nicely for leveling uneven areas in the lawn or yard. Topdressing is a material such as compost or sand that people use over the grass to top-dress soil. To achieve a successful result, there are some basic steps that you have to follow:

  • First, mow the lawn at the lowest setting possible one day before applying the top dressing. Make sure to rake up and remove any debris so that the nutrients can effectively penetrate the soil.
  • Then de-thatch the lawn by using a de-thatcher or a garden rake.
  • Mix a batch of leveling mix in a container or wheelbarrow, compost-based mix is highly recommended.
  • Use a shovel to apply scoops of your mixture to low areas of your lawn or yard. If the area is deeper than 12mms, you need to apply 2 layers to ensure that it fills the holes properly.
  • After that, rake the topdressing to spread it out evenly. Make sure to not apply over ½ inches of the mixture because it can smother the grass.
  • Then use a leveling rake or push-broom to work the soil mixture into the grass as thoroughly as possible. Once you complete this step, you should see mainly grass in the lawn or yard.
  • Finally, water the grass to further stabilize it.


Don’t forget to monitor the progress of the area that you leveled. If the grass recovers and you still see that it is uneven, repeat the above steps until it levels evenly. In case there are depressions and small low spots, you can correct them by sprinkling top dressing over them.

Tip 4: Sod Removal

If your lawn or yard has really low spots that are an inch or deeper, topdressing is not the approach. By removing the sod, you will be able to correct the cause of sinking and study further in the area. After the removal, fill the spots with new soil then put back the sod in place. According to DIY Lawn Expert, there are 5 simple steps in the process:

  • Remove the sod from the low spots in your lawn or yard. If the area is bigger than 1-foot square, he recommends cutting out multiple chunks so that removal is easier. Also, you should gently pull the sods when you remove them to separate the roots from the soil. Then roll up the strips and keep them under the shade to keep them moist.
  • Shovel topsoil into the hole to make the area even for when you replace the sod.
  • Add water to settle the soil and remove air pockets in the soil as you shovel it into the holes. This is also to ensure that the area will remain even after you finish the process.
  • Replace the sod if it is in good condition, or you can replace it with new sod or seed. In case you want to start fresh, using a new seed or sod is a good idea.
  • In the final step, water the grass thoroughly so that the seed or sod gets to absorb for regrowth. Based on his recommendation, you should not do this tip after heavy rain. This is because the soil will be damp and thick which is difficult to handle.

Tip 5: Level A Severely Uneven Lawn

None of the methods will work if your lawn or yard is in any severe conditions. A lawn or yard is severity uneven when a major part is too steep to use or walk on. The only possible option that is going to work is to regrade the area and create a new lawn. Simply put, start things fresh. In this case, hiring a professional to do the job for you will be easier and faster.

What Cause A Yard To Be Bumpy?

Sometimes an even lawn in the yard starts to get bumpy, and knowing how to level it alone is not enough. You should also know the reasons behind the cause of the bumpiness of the lawn or yard. Once you trace the problems down to the root, you will be able to fix them long-term. The most common causes of a bumpy lawn or yard are:

1. Drainage Problems

There may be drainage or water pipes in the low spots around the areas in the yard. So broken water or irrigation pipes can cause erosion which leads to leakage. If you know that there are pipes under the bumpy areas, this can be the cause. In another case, a sprinkler system can also be the cause of a bumpy lawn or yard. You should either investigate or consult an expert so that you can fix the cause first.

2. Ground Setting

One of the common and unavoidable causes of a bumpy yard is the ground setting. This often occurs with a new lawn or yard with work done or large equipment in the area. On top of these, freezing and thawing cycles in winter can provoke the soil to heave then become bumpy or uneven. Even in spring, similar things can happen and create ripples in the lawn or yard.

3. Nightcrawlers

The nightcrawlers are huge earthworms that can move up to 20 tons of soil to the surface each year. Generally, nightcrawlers are beneficial to the gardens because they help to aerate the soil which helps plants to access oxygen and nutrients. The part to worry about is that there are too many of them in your garden or yard. This is when they cause the surface to be uneven which leads to other consequences.

4. Thin Lawn

A thin lawn can be from some disease or insect problems that are weakening an area. Most of the time, it results in patches of bare soil that will continue to erode deeper with rainfall or wind.

5. Others

There are also other sources such as animals, buried objects, mounds, etc. Animals sometimes dig holes in lawns or yards, and it is quite common. If some groundhogs or moles build their burrows in your yard, you have to repel them. Buried objects like wood debris or other things from construction can also cause the yard to be bumpy. Large ant mounds can be a problem also because they cause the surface of the lawn or yard to be uneven.

How To Keep A Lawn & Yard In Good Shape

After your bad experiences with uneven lawn and the fixing, you should how to maintain it in a good shape. Let’s say you already found the cause of the uneven lawn and leveled it up, it is time to take care of it. This is simply to avoid the same things from happening again and keep the area healthy. So even if it might occur again in the future, the damages will be less serious than the first time. Below are some easy and simple tips to maintain the health of your lawn and yard.

Tip #1

Aerate the lawn to ensure that the roots can get enough space to grow and access oxygen and nutrients. You can aerate the lawn by simply creating small holes in the soil to allow the air to easily flow through. Aerating your lawn is important because it provides a lot of benefits to the lawn. Both the lawn and the soil need to breathe and aerating provides air circulation that aid with nutrients for healthy growth. At the same time, it also helps to prevent the grass from drying up in addition to adequate water and fertilizer. You should aerate your lawn from time to time when it also functions as a playground. When people often play or sit on the lawn, the soil gets compacted which prevents the air from reaching deep. This is to ensure a healthy lawn so that it looks great longer.

Tip #2

“Properly” water your lawn through the seasons to ensure its health and growth. All lawn needs sufficient water to thrive, and too much water is likely to kill them then keeping them alive. You know that you over-water your lawn when puddles start to appear. This is why you have to understand how much water your lawn needs in different seasons and temperatures throughout the year. Notice the color of your grass because it will need more water if it turns gray and blue. When the grass blades start to fold in half, this is also a sign that indicates the need for water.

Tip #3

Regularly control weeds in your lawn to avoid invasion and other problems. The most common lawn weeds are garlic and wild onion that tend to grow during cooler seasons. Both of these weeds usually appear in thin lawns, and they are spread around by bulbs and seeds. These two are hard to control, but you can easily remove them by hand pulling them out. Another lawn weed is common purslane, and it grows during the summer months. This is the weed that you will see if you don’t water your lawn well. Just like the 2 above, you can quickly hand-pull them to remove this type of weed. However, makes sure to gather all the stem fragments to prevent them from regrowing. And if your lawn is too moist, hairy bittercress will appear which you can still get rid of by hand pulling.


Most people don’t think about bumpy lawns until they get one, and it is a very common thing. Bumps, dips, holes, and lumps are bound to show up on every lawn sooner or later. These can occur at any time of the year, and they are what you should expect when you have a lawn. The key is to know how to identify them and fix them, then try to prevent them from happening again. I hope my take on a long-term fix and how to level a yard here is helpful and useful for you.

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