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Leveling a lawn...any tricks???

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Summett, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Summett

    Summett LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    I'm working on a brand new lawn, about 1 acre or so. Last fall i dormant seeded with what i would call very good results. At that time i harley raked it and put the seed down with a Brillion seeder. Smoothed out the yard fantastic.

    Unfortunately though with the slope of our lawn, the snow melt and also the MAJOR spring rains (or downpours) we have had, i have some drainage ruts. It's been difficult to control. As i fill the ruts by hand, and seed, the downpours between the dry spells create a consistent washout. However, today my irrigation system will be completed :clapping:, and i think if i am to get some decent dryer weather the seed will begin to take and help control the washout areas.

    I guess my real question is, other than hand filling and smoothing the drainage ruts, the rest of my lawn is not exactly smooth. I take a beating when i mow! :dizzy:

    Understanding that i don't have real thick grass yet, and that i am going to be overseeding, is there a way to level out my lawn without completely tearing up what i've got started so far? Would re-harley raking take out what i've got growing? Couple neighbors have suggested some sort of drag, but it's not like i have loose soil laying around to drag.

    What's the approach for a project like this? After over-seeding, will a thicker lawn eliminate the rough terrain that i'm experiencing?

    I've attached a couple pics to show the current growth if that might help. This is my first "lawn from scratch", so it's a new territory for me.

    Thanks for any advice you could give.


  2. mnglocker

    mnglocker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 758

    Perhaps you install some perferated drain-tile with a sock in the areas you have bad washout?
  3. Summett

    Summett LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Thanks for the input mnglocker. I'm thinking that once i get grass to germinate and take in those wash areas, i'll be good. In areas that i have growth i have no wash, it's just be channeled to those "ruts" during times of high rainfall. Once grass is established in those "channels" i should be good.

    It's just the 'leveling' of the entire area that has me stumped. I've done a little digging and found these "lawn leveling" suggestions, but would like to know if any of you professionals use these methods with success:

    Plug aerating heavily (then overseeding): from what i've read the plugs tend to settle in the low lying areas and also also allowing the high spots to settle
  4. DVL

    DVL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I have a customer that is having the same runoff problem. Where his sod end he has and area 100ft by 27ft that drops about 6 ft. Im thinking that once the sod is in place on that arez it will help with the runoff but any suggestions would be great.

    What kind of grass is it? Look like bermuda maybe. I've gone in with thin layers of sand for a few customers to level out low spots that seems to have work great.
  5. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    When you get ready to overseed this fall do this. Before seeding plug the @#$%^& out of it. About 20 plus holes per foot. Let them dry just a little and then drag the lawn over and over back and forth across the rought spots. Use a keystone mat or for lack of one use some chain link fencing in a pipe frame. This will move the cores to the low spots as you break them up. Overseed and water lightly untill the seeds get roots down then go to heavier water but not enough to run off.
  6. Summett

    Summett LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Now that is what i'm looking for! I have the core-aerator, so good there. Just have to find a drag to try this. Thanks turfcobob! :drinkup:
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    A nice hunk of cyclone fence will do nicely.
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    If you dont want to make one, Tractor Supply has them, as does Northern Tool (Cheaper if I remember correctly).
  9. Summett

    Summett LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    Thanks guys! I will definitely look into these options.
  10. Summett

    Summett LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    thanks to the great suggestions above, i've taken some time to look into a couple options.

    Out of these two items, which might work best for my "leveling the bumps"? The chainlink drag seems to be what you all described, but ran into this chain harrow that says it "levels" lawns (in the less-aggressive set-up) as well as useful as a drag .

    What do yo all think would work better on my existing lawn?



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