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Help with leveling small lawn

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ZEKE, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. ZEKE

    ZEKE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Hey folks,

    I have a small piece of lawn (30x10) that I mowed last year and the customer has asked if I can level (smooth) it out for them. I haven't done this sort of thing yet, but am always looking to add to my services. With anything "new" to me I try and find a small project to cut my teeth...this job seems perfect for this. This rectangular piece of yard was boxed in (?) with wood forms (planks) and I believe was hydroseeded. It sits maybe a foot above the path around it. The grass is fine, but because they live in a wooded area, have had deer leaving prints in the piece of lawn during the wet times of the year, thus giving the lawn a bumpy-ness when walking on it. Though they are not looking for a putting green, they would like to be able to play a small game of croquet or have their young granddaughter be able to walk across it without being tripped up by the small bumps. The piece of lawn has settled down about 4 or 5 inches from the top of the forms (planks) of the original height. My first thought to them was will we ever be able to keep it smooth in the ever presence of the deer....why spend the money if the same thing is going to happen. If I do decide to proceed..I assume I will need topsoil and seed (I have never hydroseeded) and some means of packing down the topsoil (?). I would appreciate any and all tips and suggestions. Thanks! ****
  2. sidebuz

    sidebuz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    If the lawn has settled 4-5", then yeah... topsoil and seed. Might want to sod it since it so small. If it is just bumpy from the deer prints, just roll it.
  3. workaholic

    workaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Hydroseeding, your kidding right?
  4. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    What is the soil make-up? ....Sand? Clay, Loam? If you just lay top soil over the sunken area and seed the same thing will probably happen in the near future. You may have to use a fill of sand and then roll with a lawn roller before putting down topsoil. There are also products available for repelling deer. Check with your state's Fish and Game department for the best products to keep the deer away.
  5. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    My question is do you really want to level it? Maybe I'm just reading too much into your wording, but I would want to set it up so that there's a slight slope to allow proper drainage away from the house. If you don't compensate for that and don't bring in enough filler or topsoil you are going to have problems. Just remember, you are legaly liable, and the homeowners expect you to know these things before beginning any project.
  6. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Posts: 1,557

    Sounds like it has an awful lot of decomposed organic matter in the soil possibly due to the trees surrounding it. Might have to bring in a soil with less pore space, perhaps a topsoil light clay mix to add some stability to it. A deer shouldnt create bumps unless there is something seriously wrong with drainage or soil consistency. Might be better to take out the soil and make it level to the sidewalk for due to safety concerns and improved positive drainage.
  7. ZEKE

    ZEKE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23


    workaholic-That's what the owner said. They did have a larger piece of lawn done at the same time...sure you knew that. I guess I could have called him a liar. Thanks for the sarcasm anyhoo. Guess I missed the help in your response.

    DennisF-I will have to check on the soil make-up. I wouldn't say the area is "sunken", more like settled. Thanks for the tips on the deer!

    work_it-Drainage wasn't an issue and the piece is not near the house. Honestly, to me it doesn't seem that bad, I guess they feel as though it could be "smoother" than it is. They are nice people and understand I am using this as a learning experience. I am always upfront and honest....not much for bs'n folks.

    NCSU- Wow! I never imagined having to go through all that for this little strip of grass. Thanks for the insight!
  8. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Maybe you misunderstood me. I didn't even imply that you shouldn't be upfront or honest with those people. I've never lied or deceived a customer before and wouldn't advise you or anybody else to either. The fact is that no matter how nice the people are they do expect certain things from you when they hire you or anybody else to do a job for them. They expect a professional to do a professional job. I don't like the fact that you implied that I was advising you to be anything but upfront and honest with those people.

    Now, with that being said, any time you have to rework an area like that you will still need to compensate for proper drainage. Especially since you live in an area that receives an excessive amount of rain.
  9. ZEKE

    ZEKE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    No worries, Mate!
  10. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    The lawns are so wet when the dear feed here that they will dent it. You almost cant walk on the lawns here during rainy season.
    howbout = roll, topdress, landscape rake to level low spots

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