View Full Version : Smoothing Out Rough Spots in Lawn

09-05-2012, 12:22 PM
What do you do to smooth out rough areas in a lawn? I have a few places in my lawn that are pretty rough, ie footprints etc. from the cable company running cable when it was muddy, me watering the lawn after it was seeded etc. and I would like to smooth those out. I don't have a lawn tractor that I could use to pull a roller. My plan is to just throw down some topsoil, rake it smooth and throw down some seed.

I've also got places around my deck supports where the dirt my landscaper used to fill the holes has sunk, and they need more dirt seed etc.

It may seem like a stupid question, but I'm just curious what you guys normally do to address these types of issues.

Is Turf Builder decent topsoil? I bought extra topsoil when my lawn was put in last, but based upon the amount of gravel that appears to be my yard, I'm not sure it was the highest quality dirt. I'm not sure I want to get my dirt from the same place my landscaper used, and I was just curious about Scott's product. I've heard good and bad. Any suggestions on the best places to get quality soil?

09-06-2012, 09:40 AM
Raking in topsoil to level is generally the best idea and while you're at it decide if aeration needs to be done and do the 2 together... if you're using topsoil from a bag, get the sandy cow manure compost in a bag... the sand is forever and the compost is better than regular topsoil...

09-06-2012, 10:51 AM
I went to a local horticulture shop last night to see what they had in the way of topsoil. They did have one variety that included some compost. It was 1.70 for a 40lb bag, and that's what they recommended. Unless I decide to go somewhere that sells dirt by the yard, that's probably what I'll use. Straight topsoil was 1.40 for 40 lbs. I have no idea whether those prices are reasonable, or how far 40 lbs of dirt will go. Probably not very far.

My lawn was put in last fall, and it's been a pretty crappy year for trying to establish a new lawn, without a sprinkler system. There are a few small areas where I'm going to reseed/add some seed etc. When the lawn was put in, I purchased several extra yards of topsoil, but I really have no idea of the quality. In my opinion, there appears to be too much stone/gravel in the soil to consider it a quality planting bed. I should probably get a soil test. It's hard to find time to do all of this stuff.

09-06-2012, 11:52 AM
It sounds like the Pro-Soil at this place is what you would recommend.


I'm not sure whether it contains any manure, but doesn't manure generally contain, or potentially contain, quite a bit of weed seed? I guess that would depend on what the cattle have been eating.

09-07-2012, 12:17 PM
Composted materials in theory cook the weedseeds so there is no more chance of getting weeds than in any topsoil mix...

The thing about the cow manure compost is that most of in comes from Dairy Herds which use sand as bedding... this bedding of course gets to become mostly manure and rotting foodstuffs, which is hauled out to compost and sell...

It is the sand which gives the soil body as a permanent part of the soil, and it is the compost which helps make the transition and keeps the turf alive and thriving...

By the sounds of it you may want to consider have a load of compost ONLY brought in and topdressed over the substandard topsoil you have now... Straight compost is the ingredient that turns substandard dirt into top grade growing medium... :)

09-07-2012, 12:30 PM
I don't know what I'm going to do. I read this thread earlier today, and I believe I may have a rust issue. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=387172

I'm considering top dressing, but I'm not sure there would be any point if I don't aerate along with the topdress. If I do topdress, maybe I would be better off using their blended compost, or their garden amendment.

I guess if I'm going to do anything at all, I need to get on it.

09-07-2012, 02:16 PM
If your lawn was put in last fall, and the soil is gravely I don't know why you would have to aerate your soil... ammendments have nothing to do with whether you currently have rust issues, in fact you'll be surprised at how many problems disappear with a compost topdressing a d proper cultural practices with turf...

I thot your deal was to level out a rough lawn... don't change your molehill into a mountain by trying to do everything right now... haste makes waste... :)

09-07-2012, 02:49 PM
Yeah, this thread was about smoothing out some rough spots, but I've started thinking about topdressing the entire yard, or a good portion of it, in addition to addressing rough spots. I guess the thread has morphed.

09-07-2012, 06:08 PM
Topdressing with topsoil has the potential of raising your lawn's elevation w/out necessarily giving you the results you're looking for... compost doesn't raise elevation while ammending the soil with the best possible results, regardless of what you've started with...
Just more considerations to think about... :)

09-07-2012, 11:21 PM
If I do decide to topdress, I'm thinking about using the Garden Amendment as opposed to a topsoil. I don't imagine it would do any harm, and might actually be more beneficial.


09-08-2012, 10:05 AM
The Garden ammendment is for tilling into a garden at the rate of 1 for 2... level with sand and topdress with compost, is your best option for turf...