Monday, April 15, 2024

How To Fix Lawn Depressions

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Causes For A Lumpy Bumpy Lawn

How to repair a low spot in the lawn
  • In Spring, bumps often appear as frozen, dense clay soil thaws unevenly. It heaves and buckles like a bunched-up carpet.
  • Animals, both wild and pets sometimes dig holes in lawns.
  • Children at play can also dig holes causing your lawn to become lumpy.
  • Depressions can be created if people or animals walk on lawns that are too soft .
  • Some home gardening equipment can leave holes as well if misused.

If part of the lawn sinks and creates a depression the first thing to do is determine why. Removing the cause before correcting the effect is crucial. For any depression an inch or deeper, repair should involve removing the sod, correcting the cause of the sinking, and then backfilling with new soil with enough extra to allow for settling. The removed sod can be put back in place if it is still in good shape, or replaced with new sod or seed. A shallow depression in a lumpy bumpy lawn less than an inch deep can be corrected gradually by sprinkling top dressing over it. Compost-based mixes are good for this.

Bumps and rises also need to be diagnosed before correction. If caused by an object, it will need to be removed. If a bump is from burrowing animals, they will have to be removed before the area can be smoothed. It may be possible to flatten smaller bumps by stepping on them.

Leveling Deeply Sunken Lawn Areas

If you have depressions, troughs, or holes that are deeper than 1 or 2 inches, you’re usually better off filling them with a good soil mix and starting over with new grass seed. Bringing up deeply sunken areas with topdressing takes too many applications, and you’ll spend more time trying to keep the grass alive than you will getting new grass to grow.

The trick to filling deep holes is to compact the soil gently and give it some water to settle it as you fill up the hole. If you simply pile on some loose dirt and plant your seed, the soil will settle, and you’ll be left with sunken area covered with nice, new grass. Walking on the soil is enough to compact it. Don’t compact the top-most soil where you will sow the grass seed. Prepare the soil and seed the area following the seed product instructions.

Lawn Disease Dogs And Foot Traffic

Anything that kills off a section of your lawn can lead to a bumpy, uneven surface. Whether the perpetrator is a fungus, a dog that likes to relieve itself on the lawn, or even your own feet, the result is the same, bare earth.

Over time, rainfall, wind, and foot traffic will erode these bare spots, eventually forming depressions, ruining the pristine topography of your yard boo!

The good news is that if it was a lawn disease that killed off your grass, its probably long gone by now, but stay vigilant. If you notice another flare-up elsewhere, youll need to identify and treat it as soon as possible.

If animals are the problem, its best to keep them off your lawn from here on out, and if foot traffic is the issue, you should consider an alternative path.

Should there be no other way to navigate your yard, why not invest in some stepping stones, so you can get from A to B without disturbing your lawn?

Alternatively, you may need to overseed with a more robust species of grass that can handle the heavy foot traffic, which brings me to my next point.

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How To Fix Ruts In A Yard After Construction

Remember that moment when you realized you just ruined a part of your customers yard by using heavy equipment that left ruts in their lawn?

Lawn and landscape damage, unfortunately, isnt uncommon during roof replacements and construction projects. However, its something that a professional contractor will want to learn to avoid for several reasons.

For one, using large equipment associated with construction and roofing that leaves ruts might mean frustrated homeowners who end up giving your company bad reviews. It also costs you time and money to make the repairs necessary to fix the relationship between you and your customer.

Nevertheless, ruts happen. In this article, well cover how to fix ruts in a yard and how you can avoid leaving ruts in the future.

Fixing Deep Indentations In Lawns

Yard Depression Repair St. Louis

Deeper depressions in the lawns surface will require a different method of levelling. This is because if a large amount of soil was placed on top of a lawn it may create further problems for the turf, both immediate and long term.

Putting large amounts of soil on top of grass may kill the lawn in the area treated. Or, if it does repair, a layering effect may occur which can create a layer of new lawn and thatch on top of a soil filling which then sits on top of the dead layer of lawn and thatch. This often creates either a water repellent effect under the lawn, of a water trap. Either way it leaves your lawn subject to poor health and potential problems in the future.

The lift and fill method of repairing uneven lawns is for repairing deep depressions. The lawn in the affected area is cut into a strip shape using a spade. The spade is then used to dig underneath and lift out the affected area to a depth of around 4 5 cm in the soil.

Clean fill or sand is then added to the soil and the lawn is replaced on top increasing its height and bringing the lawn close to a level surface again. Frequent watering should be kept up to the repaired area for the first few weeks until the roots are re-established. Any slight unevenness remaining can be fixed with some light top dressing.

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Repairing Patches And Dead Spots

Bare patches in your lawn can be caused by any number of things: from common lawn pests, lawn disease and drought to wear and tear from boisterous kids and pets.

Regardless of why they appeared, these spots offer an open invitation to weeds which will cause an even bigger problem if theyre allowed to take hold.

Early to late summer is the best time to repair bare patches because thats when the new lawn will establish quickest.

Patches in your lawn can be repaired with new turf or seed, depending on which type of grass you want to use.

Either way, youll need to prepare the patch by removing all dead lawn or weeds and gently digging into the soil to loosen it up. This will give new plants the best chance of establishment.

Water new grass regularly in hot, windy or dry weather it might need a drink several times a day to give it the best chance of survival.

Note: Most modern Buffalo grasses wont reproduce from seed. Depending on how big an area needs repairing, you might choose to buy a few rolls or slabs of Buffalo Grass from one of our myhomeTURF suppliers.

If youre trying to save money and are in no rush, you might opt for Buffalo Grass plugs or runners.

Specialist growers sell trays of plugs individual Buffalo Grass plants which can be planted into prepared soil.

Runners also need to be planted out individually in trenches. This must be done as soon as possible after theyve been removed from the original spot to prevent the roots from drying out and dying.

Will The Uneven Areas Remain Level

Answer: Assuming you solved the problem that caused the unevenness to develop in the first place, theres no reason your leveled lawn should not remain that way for many years to come. That being said, unless your installing artificial turf, any type of natural grass is subject to erosion, drought, or disease, which if left untreated could kill the grass. In that event, your likely to face uneven lawn conditions in those areas.

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Should You Level A Lawn Using Sand

Sand is oftentimes used to level lawns, but putting sand on lawns can cause problems. You should never use pure sand to level a lawn. Most lawns contain a lot of clay, which already makes growing grass difficult. However, adding pure sand on top of the clay only creates further problems by turning the soil into a nearly hardened cement-like consistency, as drainage abilities are worsened.

Sand also dries out rapidly in summer, causing any grass that may be growing to suffer in the heat. Grass growing in the sand is also more susceptible to drought and cold injury.

Avoid putting sand on a lawn by itself. Using a dry topsoil and sand mix is much better for leveling uneven areas than putting sand on a lawn without mixing.

Numerous Tire Marks In Grass How Do You Repair The Lawn


Well, it sucks.

The patio builder decided to drive all over the lawn instead of wheel barreling everying. I have tire marks .. some up to 4 inch deep.

What is the best way to repair? I know I will make them repair but I want to make sure they are doing it right.

  • quincy

    14 years ago

    4 inches deep! OMG, your lawn is ruined..! I would insist on rotavating and complete reseeding if it were me. Your soil is heavily compacted and will take a long time to recover. He will probably take the fast route and fill the ruts with top soil and seed them. DONT LET HIM DO IT, your lawn will be patchy and horrible. I had horses run through my lawn 2 years ago. The owner apologised and offered to repair the damage. He simply filled in the divets with soil and reseeded. To this day, i can still see every divet in the lawn, the grass is a different texture and colour. Get him to make good the whole lot, you want it back to the way it was before the jerk drove all over it.

  • Like | 2
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    Determine The Areas That Need To Be Adjusted

    You should now take a look over your lawn to visually determine which areas will need to be raised or lowered. Observe where the mounds and dips are, and assess whether theyre confined to one area of the lawn, or if theyre prevalent throughout the whole area. This will help you to determine the root cause of your uneven lawn if youre still unsure at this point. It also saves you the time and effort wasted on digging up the entire lawn unnecessarily, or on the other hand, digging up one small section to later find out that you wouldve been better off de-turfing the whole lawn.

    How to: Walk around your bare or freshly mown lawn, looking and feeling with your feet for grooves, ridges, bumps, or mounds. As you walk around, mentally divide your lawn up into sections and take note of which sections contain level irregularities. To make the job even easier for yourself later, you can demarcate the problem areas of the soil so that its clear where the soil needs to be adjusted.

    Replace And/or Sow Grass

    After filling in the rut with the soil mixture, replant the grass you dug out if it is still intact. If the grass has been damaged, youll need to sow new grass seeds. Make sure to use the same seed as whats already been sown in the lawn to ensure theres not a patch of strange-looking grass in your customers lawn.

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    Sinkholes From Large Debris In The Yard

    These three scenarios have different causes, but the solutions are the same.

    Buried, rotting debris. Often a sinkhole develops in a large open area of a lawn or garden. A common cause of this is buried brush, stumps or debris from past construction or other activities. Over several years, the brush and debris settle or decompose, leaving an underground void. The ground surface settles into the void, causing a depression on the surface. Remnants of the debris will often be evident with a little digging.

    Tree Stumps Not Removed. Tree stumps that are left in the ground after a tree is cut down can rot and cause a sinkhole to form. Portions of the rotting stump may be found in the hole, or rot patterns on the surface may indicate the presence of an old stump.

    Large Rocks in the Yard Fill. During home construction, when the yard is graded and compacted to its final shape, large rocks may be buried in the soil. Rocks prevent even compaction of the yard. The soil next to the rocks will be shielded from the compacting force of heavy machinery and remain lighter and less dense than the surrounding soil. Over time, this poorly compacted soil can become a preferred conduit for water which can scour out cavities and lead to a depression.

    Tips for Filling in the Sinkhole

    Whats The Difference Between Levelling A Yard And Grading A Yard

    Landscaping and Hardscaping

    The two terms may seem interchangeable, but there is a distinct difference between what it means to either level a yard or grade a yard.

    Leveling is the process of smoothing out the surface of a yard, leveling the soil so that its even and free of dips and mounds.

    Grading is a landscaping term that refers to the process of sloping a yard, creating a very slight grade so that water is able to drain away from the foundations of nearby buildings and structures.

    While they are two separate activities, they must both be carried out when youre adjusting the surface of your lawn to ensure that youre solving the initial problem of an uneven yard without creating any further problems for yourself in the future to do with drainage and water damage. You should always grade before you level.

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    Causes Of A Sinking Lawn

    Lets first discuss some of the common causes of a sinking lawn. As stated above, one of the most common reasons why this phenomenon occurs is saturation from excess rainfall.

    When a lawn has poor or nonexistent runoff, rainwater will collect on the surface, slowly absorbing into the ground below while turning the soil into a mush-like consistency thats prone to sinking.

    Another common reason why lawns sink involves the use of low-quality building materials. Some contractors and home builders, for instance, may cut corners by using low-grade materials, burying them under the surface.

    Over time, these materials may rot and decay, causing the lawn to sink as a result. This is why its important that homeowners use caution when hiring contractors, checking their credentials to ensure they are qualified for the job.

    How To Fix A Sinking Lawn

    The good news is that you can typically fix most minor cases of a sinking lawn. One of the easiest solutions for a sinking lawn is to simply add top soil over the surface, allowing it to balance itself out.

    As the lawn sinks, the excess soil will seep down, hopefully creating a level, or at least close-to-level, ground.

    Depending on where exactly the sinking is occurring, you may be able to fill it with either soil or a combination of soil and rocks.

    Some landscapers recommend the latter because its less susceptible to moisture, helping the ground retain its shape and consistency through good weather and bad.

    Hopefully, this will give you a better idea on how to deal with a sinking lawn.

    Some homeowners may turn their heads at the thought of a sinking lawn causing them any real damage, but it can affect both natural and man-made structures, which is why its important to fix this problem in a timely manner.

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    Leveling Out An Uneven Lawn

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    Areas of a lawn can become uneven over time, due to settling, drainage issues, and various natural and unnatural causes. In the least extreme cases, you can solve the problem by topdressing with a thin layer of leveling mix . This is a good solution for widespread unevenness that does not run too deep. More extensive variation in level may require multiple applications of topdressing or, in more extreme cases, filling in deep depressions with soil and reseeding over the filled areas. If unevenness appears near water pipes, along with drainage issues, consult a professional–you might have a damaged pipe causing the issues.

    One trick for leveling small depressions or holes covered with healthy grass is to cut out a patch of the turf and add the soil mix underneath it, then lay the patch back down. Known as sweeping under the carpet, this is a handy technique for leveling localized depressions without having the unsightliness of exposed soil on the grass, which happens with the other methods.

    Whichever method you choose, spring is the best time to level your lawn, as the conditions are mild, giving the lawn a chance to recuperate before summer’s heat arrives.

    Lawn Repair For Ruts And Small Holes In Yard

    How to Repair Lawn Damage After Construction | This Old House

    Lawns with lumps, ruts and low spots are not only unpleasant to look at, they are also a safety hazard. Uneven ground underfoot is treacherous for walking, mowing and playing.

    Related Products

    Anytime in early spring or fall

    Use only on established lawns of the following turf types: Bermudagrass, centipedegrass, all varieties of St. Augustinegrass and zoysia.

    Do not use on any other turf types: bahiagrass, bentgrass, ormond variety of Bermudagrass, buffalograss, carpetgrass, dichondra, fescue, kikuyugrass, ryegrass or seashore paspalum lawns.

    Use 2.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet

    Apply anytime – spring through fall at temperatures between 50 degrees F and 90 degrees F.

    On established lawns without harming lawn grasses.

    Do not use on Carpetgrass, improved varieties of St. Augustinegrass, such as floratam, dichondra or desirable clovers.

    Many situations cause lawns to become uneven some are preventable, others are not. The good news is that you can easily fix these problem areas in lawns. Learn common causes of lumpy lawns and how to make them smooth again.

    Common Causes of Uneven Lawns

    Mowing: If you follow the same pattern every time you mow, eventually you will compact the soil beneath the mower wheels, creating ruts.

    Critters, pets and kids: When holes appear in a lawn and there’s loose soil scattered around the hole, the culprit could be local critters, the family dog or children.

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