A bumpy and jolty backyard looks very unattractive and it is also hazardous for you and your family members. It can causes trips and falls while mowing. Your children can hurt themselves while playing near a slope. There are many reasons behind a bump that appears in your backyard in a couple of days. A faulty drainage system, leaking pipes, and pests like moles are some of the common reasons. People often do not fix these issues at initial stages and these fixtures cost a fortune later on. Many of us face this problem in daily life so today I will guide you through some easy steps about how to till and level a yard.
The first step is marking the area that needs to be leveled. After marking the area, lightly mow it and examine the thatch and dethatch it if required. You have to make a mixture of topsoil for the slopped areas. If the slop is more than 2 inches then dig up the grass then apply topsoil and replant grass. In the end, apply a thin layer of soil mix to the whole backyard and run the lawn sprinklers that will help the topsoil to settle and fill up any air pockets left.
Before going into the details of the above-mentioned steps, you should learn why it is important for you to till your lawn.
"My backyard is uneven. Is it problematic?"
So a lot of people ask this on the internet whether it is that important to even my lawn. It costs a lot of money and time should I do or not. As I mentioned before uneven law causes many problems during mowing. It results in falls and sprained ankles as a result. Fractures also take place occasionally. It can cause soil erosion and games played on the lawn become less enjoyable. You can’t have a proper place for patios and backyard parties. Those bald patches and slopes are an eyesore and put a very bad impression on your guests.
On the other hand, a smooth and even backyard looks healthy and is crucial for gardening. It provides a level filed for you and children to sit and play several games. It may prove a bit heavy on the pocket but trust me it worth every penny.
How to till and level your backyard
Before start tilling your backyard, make sure that you fix the underlying problems of drainage and moles. It is crucial for long term fix. After that, just follow these easy steps.
Step 1: Mark your area
There could be bumps in different areas or large slops scattered across your backyard. The first thing to do is to mark all those areas. They don’t need to be perfectly square or rectangular. You can use strings attached with wooden stakes for this purpose. You should place string a few inches above the ground level and it will be the starting point for leveling your backyard. After marking, remove the extra grass by lightly mowing the area. It will provide a clean area to start your work.
If you have a large backyard to cover then you may need to contact your local utility members. They will mark the underlying power lines, water pipes, and phone lines for you.
Step 2: Dethatch the lawn bumps
Thatch is a layer of dead organic matter that is present near your turf. One and a half-inch thick layer is acceptable rather it is important for the normal growth of your turf. It can go up to 2 inches due to many reasons creating a small bump that prevents adequate light and airflow to reach grassroots and dampen their growth.
You can remove that extra thatch by using a lawn rack by scrapping it systematically. If you have to cover a large area, you can rent a dethatching machine from the near backyard accessories store and it will quicken up the process.
Step 3: Make topsoil dressing for slops
You can fill the holes and slops with a topsoil dressing. To prepare a simple dressing, you need 2 parts sand 2 parts topsoil and 1 part compost. Best sand for this purpose is playing sand and there should not be any mulch in the soil mixture. You can also buy it from the market. Depending upon the depth of the slope, you can choose from the following 2 methods:
When the slope is less than 2 inches
It is a simple task. You just need to simply make the topsoil compost mixture and apply it gently half an inch at a time on the depressed areas. Then water it and let the mixture settle down. Racking the topsoil helps it to spread equally. You should also brush the grass with push broom as it will mix the topsoil and lift the grass blade. If the slope is greater than half an inch, you should repeat the process by applying half an inch layer of topsoil every time because larger amounts of topsoil can smother the grass.
When the slope is greater than 2 inches
It requires greater time and care to fill those deep holes. You better use a good soil mixture and apply it after removing the top turf layer using a shovel. As applying 2 inches thick layer of topsoil and keeping your grasses alive at the same time is a tiresome task. It’s better to just replant the grass and let it grow naturally.
Remember it is important to compact the soil while filling deep holes and watering it gently. If you just pile up the loosen sand and start growing the new grass, you will be left with a less depressing patch with new grass. So make sure that you give it proper time and care.
Step 4: Evenly spread the topsoil in a thin layer
After filling all those lumps and holes, it is necessary to give it a final touch. Apply the remaining topsoil dressing on your entire backyard in a thin layer so that your backyard becomes even and attain the same level.
As mentioned before this layer should not be thicker than half an inch because it can cover the grass blades. Once the grass blades are covered, they are deprived of sunlight and it can halt their growth. If you think that some areas still need extra dressing then you can apply a second layer to that particular area after the first one settles down.
Step 5: Water your lawn
The final step is to sprinkle some water into your lawn. It will help the soil dressing to settle down and fill any air pocket. You can use your lawn sprinklers for this purpose. You should also apply a lawn rack or tamper for mixing the soil as it will thoroughly mix the topsoil instant release the nutrients in the compost mixture that help your lawn to flourish.
Best season to level your backyard
All of your work should be carefully timed. The best season for the purpose is spring. The weather is not harsh to word outside. It provides ample sunlight for grass to regrow. It could also prove to be the worst time because the soil in extra moist due to the melted ice so you should consider all these possibilities while planning your repairs.
I hope that after reading my article now, you know how an uneven garden can put the beauty of your house and the health of your family in jeopardy. So its repairs should be on your priority list. I, again, recommend fixing the underlying issues to get permanent results. Marking it with a sting helps considerably as well as applying a thin layer at the end so do not miss out on these steps.
I have researched all the above-mentioned steps thoroughly via Google and I have also watched some videos on YouTube. I believe that following these simple steps will help you a lot to level up your yard. And then you can enjoy good family time with your loved one in a clean harmless backyard.