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Flatten Lawn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Stan MI, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 103

    Sorry if this has been posted before I tried the search and kept coming up with "Fatal Error" message.

    I have a large lawn that has a lot of high and low spots caused by Winter and not being that flat to start with.

    I thought this Spring I would core aerate a couple of times to loosen the soil and then roll to help flatten it out. Leave it for the Summer then do it again in the fall. Does this sound like the correct solution or is there a better way to flatten out a large area. I not looking for a pool table just trying to get rid of all the bumps.

    Thanks for any help !!
  2. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    This will give you results as long as you don't have any real bad spots that would require topsoil to level out. The aerating is key to this, it will produce much better results than if you just rolled. You might have to do this a few times, but you should see results everytime
  3. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 103


    Thanks for the response.

    I do have some really low areas that puddle when it rains. I will be trying to raise these with some fill and top soil.

    Glad to her I'm on the right track.

    Thanks again !!
  4. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Add topdressing to your regimen, and you'll be on the right track.

    Aerate, topdress -- heavier in the lowest spots, but don't try to get it all at once -- and then a light rolling. By topdressing to gradually build up the low spots you won't have to replace the turf in that area. The grass root system will migrate upward through topdressing, if it is applied about a half inch at a time. Use fine compost. There's an ongoing debate about the value of coarse sand in topdressing, I am in the "sand is good" camp, but not by itself. The compost is the more important element. I have been aerating and topdressing my one acre lawn two or three times a year for two years, and it is approaching that "fairway" look that I am after.
  5. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Thought of one more thing -- drainage.

    What's the real story on your "puddles"? It is possible that building up is not the best approach. Depending on where they are and how large they are, you might want to consider surface channeling or french drains.
  6. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 103

    I'm going to start with the area around the house. I'll aerate, topdress then roll (if thats correct). What exactly should I use for a top dress and how to apply. Would I use a mixture of compost and sand ? If so, at what mix ? As to the application. I have seen golf courses spread it on greens then work it in with a long (looks like) bamboo stick. Is this correct ? I also like the "fairway" look. Just trying to get it on a homeowners budget.

    For the puddles. Can you explain "surface channeling" to me ? Sounds like this might be easier than trying to dig French drains. Building up probably isn't the best approach. Most of the time I've just created a smaller puddle elsewhere. Fill dirt is cheap is what makes it a favorable approach.
  7. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Stan, by surface channeling I mean that if your puddle is not the lowest point in the grade of your lawn, you may be able to redirect the water simply by "breaking the dam" with a little bit of contouring to give the water a path to the lower grade. If it is at the lowest point, or "the dam" is prohibitively large to allow simple regrading, then a french drain is your best option.

    For topdressing I like about 70/30 compost to sand. When the landscaping budget is a little tighter, I go 50/50.

    The manual way to topdress is to dump piles of material in a grid pattern on your yard, and then distribute them with a leaf rake. The alternative is to rent or borrow a topdressing spreader that is capable of handling material that is not completely dry. DO NOT try to use a walk behind broadcast spreader. This is the voice of experience talking.... sand purchased from a materials yard will not go through a normal broadcast spreader.

    After that nightmare experience, I bought a used and abused fairway topdresser off eBay and rebuilt it (Turfco Mete-R-Matic -- fantastic machine).
  8. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,896

    You have two choices grade every thing. or bring this guy in problem solved.:drinkup:

  9. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 103

    I would imagine that thing could flatten the yard, house, barn and what ever else got in the way. LOL

    Thanks again to all for the help !!

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