Sometimes when you are mowing your lawn, you’ll find that one area of the lawn gets scalped, while others do not.
Or you might find that mowing is a little bumpier than you remember.
In these cases, you have uneven lawn and you need to do something about it.
Leveling your uneven lawn will include using a rake or lawn leveling rake to level out the dirt, stepping on the high areas while the ground is soft or using a water-filled roller, placing leveling mix in the low areas, filling in animal holes with dirt and soil, or for more severe uneven lawns re-grading might be the best option.
Read on to find out if you lawn is severely uneven or if you just need a few minor adjustments.
The causes of a bumpy lawn
There are many things that could cause your lawn to get bumpy.
No matter how hard you try to train your pets, eventually one of them is going to go digging in your yard.
The action of digging in your yard moves the dirt from one area of the yard to another.
This causes one area to be higher up and another area to be lower.
We find this especially in our yard where there is shade, as our dogs like to lie in the cool dirt.
It also might happen by accident with your dogs running back and forth in the yard.
At one house, our dogs liked to run back and forth between one fence to the other as a little game.
At our current home, our dogs run along the front fence so they can bark at the passing cars or people.
Doing this, they inadvertently created a lower bank of soil along the fence.
Drainage problems could be reason for uneven lawn.
This could be occurring because of two things.
How the water runs
Sometimes we over-water our lawn.
When that happens, the water either finds a path to drain out of the yard or it puddles in one place.
Eventually this puddling of the water or following a specific path will cause uneven lawn.
Broken irrigation pipes
This really stands for anything buried under the grass and soil but for the most part this is going to be irrigation pipes.
If an irrigation pipe gets broken or collapses, then the grass and soil above it are going to collapse as well.
This means that the lawn above it is going to be uneven.
The ground settling is a pretty natural occurrence.
This is especially true when you have laid new grass or dirt and soil on your yard.
When you first lay dirt, it has been moved around for awhile and not yet compacted.
As the ground starts to settle, it will level out.
This might mean when at first you thought the ground was level with the rest of the yard, certain places become deeper than others.
One summer I walked out to the front lawn and found a bunch of holes all throughout the yard.
I didn’t know what it was at first.
I thought maybe our dogs had dug some weird holes when I wasn’t looking.
But the holes didn’t look like they had dug up from the top of the yard.
Soon after, I figured out we had moles in our yard.
After some research, I figured out that I had been watering our lawn too often and this made the ground and soil nice and soft, which is the conditions that moles prefer.
Because the ground was so soft, they were able to go around most of the yard and leave dirt and holes all around.
This meant that some places where we stepped would be lower than the rest of the lawn because there were holes in the ground below.
If you let this go and don’t do anything to address it, you could have quite a bit of your lawn that is lower than the rest.
How to level your lawn
There are a few options to how you can level your lawn and each one depends on how much work you are willing to do, how much time and/or money you are willing to spend.
So while you read the different options, consider what you are willing to do to have an even lawn.
Fill in animal holes
Whether it’s a hole your dog made or one from a mole, the first thing you need to do before you start leveling the lawn is to fill in any holes.
This includes holes that your dog might make before they thought they smelled something or a hole from a mole who found your soil quite easy to dig through or which has a lot of bugs for them to eat.
So get out some dirt, put it in your wheelbarrow, and walk around the lawn and fill in all your holes with the dirt.
Next, we will talk about the different ways you can level the ground.
Lawn leveling rake
The lawn leveling rake is the favorite rake for a lot of golf courses.
At a golf course, you could have quite a bit of missing or uneven lawn because of people using clubs to hit their golf balls.
And sometimes their aim isn’t great, so they end up taking big chunks of ground with them.
I’ve done it one or two times myself.
The nice thing about the lawn leveling rake is that it can cover quite a bit of space in a short period of time.
So, get your bag of lawn soil and spread it out over the areas that need more soil and grass to level it out.
Put more into the space than you think you are going to need.
The magic of the lawn leveling rake is it will move the soil into the areas where it is needed the most to level out the lawn.
Hence, why you should put more than you need in the areas you are trying to fill in.
The lawn leveling rake will move the soil around to fill in the gaps.
Repeat in other areas of your lawn as needed.
The garden rake will do the same as the lawn leveling rake, except not as efficiently.
Because the lawn leveling rake is wider, it will cover more area.
And because it covers more area, it is more likely that your whole lawn area is going to be level.
The garden rake will still move around the lawn soil for you, but it might not make your whole yard level as the lawn leveling rake will.
So far, we’ve talked about what you can do for your uneven lawn that deals with raising the low parts of your lawn.
But now we are going to talk a minute about how to lower the higher areas of your lawn.
One option is to take a shovel to the lawn and start digging down the areas that are higher than the rest.
This might seem like a good option until you consider you are going to be digging up the grass you’ve worked so hard on growing.
So the best option to get this grass down to a reasonable level is to use a lawn roller.
The idea behind the lawn roller is it uses weight to compact the lawn down to the level that you want it to.
You could use a 55 gallon water barrel to accomplish the same thing, but the lawn roller has a handle on it, which makes it easier to push around your lawn.
So fill up your barrel to the recommend number of gallons.
In the case of the lawn barrel recommended above, 10 gallons is the maximum amount of water.
Once you have the barrel filled up to the correct number of gallons, start on one end of the lawn and start walking the lawn roller up and down the lawn until you get to the end.
When done, check the yard and see if it has leveled as much as you want.
If not, take the lawn roller up and down the yard again.
Eventually the lawn should level out to where you need it to be.
Walk on the soft ground
Another option could be to walk on the soft ground.
Since the grass and soil is going to be soft, it will be easier to compact it down.
So walking on it should lower the soil somewhat to where you need it.
Hire a professional
There are some lawns where it is just not possible to get it evened out on your own.
No matter how much work you have to put into the lawn, it just won’t work.
In that case, you might need to hire a professional to level out the yard for you.
What they are going to do is first pull up your lawn.
Once they have that pulled up, they will bring in a tractor or some other type of tools to move around your current soil and maybe even bring in more soil.
Then they will level out the yard.
After it is leveled, they will either lay grass sod or some other type of method to put grass in your yard.
This will probably be the most expensive option of all of them, but it will give you a nice lawn once all is said and done.
Leveling out your yard is not as hard of a situation as you may think.
You just need to get yourself the right tools, including a lawn leveling rake, a garden rake, a lawn roller, some soil mix, and then you can do it all on your own.
After trying it yourself, if the job still doesn’t look done, think about hiring a professional to finish it for you.