turfgrass

How do I Level an existing lawn?

How do I Level an existing lawn?

jra – posted 20 August 2001 18:11

My st.Augustine lawn slopes at various areas. How can I level. What kind of dirt do I throw overit to level it off? Will the dirt hurt the grass?

Jason – posted 07 September 2001 19:20

I have a similar problem…. while remodeling my home the roofers drove thru the yard with their truck leaving big tire ruts in the yard. My neighbor (the neighborhood lawn man) suggested I fill the ruts with sand. As a golfer I should have realized this, since every golf course uses sand to fill divots. You can add a little sand at a time so you don’t bury the entire blade of grass. Eventually the turf will grow thru and your lawn will level out.

Ron Poe – posted 25 April 2003 18:49

quote:Originally posted by jra:My st.Augustine lawn slopes at various areas. How can I level. What kind of dirt do I throw overit to level it off? Will the dirt hurt the grass?

Will-PCB – posted 27 April 2003 15:52

Jason is exactly correct. Sand is your best choice. I, like Jason, recommend you not to try and build it up all at once. Just take some time and patience and level the yard with sand over time and you will get the best results.

VooMan – posted 28 April 2003 09:59

Hi Will,

I am trying to level out my yard as well, and sand is a nice option since it would be easy to use…

One quick question: I am on the south side of Atlanta, and my yard is nothing but red Georgia clay… How much sand can you put down over time? Some areas don’t need much leveling, but there are a few spots that need to be raised a couple of inches… Can I go that far with sand, or do I need to put clay in the areas that need to come up a lot?

Thanks,Andrew

Will-PCB – posted 28 April 2003 15:03

Man, I am not a big fan of clay because it seems to get really hard after it gets wet.

I guess how much sand you put down depends on the type of grass you have. I have St. Augustine, and I typically just toss a couple of shovel fulls in a spot, rake it in with a plastic leaf rake, then see if it can take more. After I think I have got it right, I then just put a sprinkler on it and let the water wash it in good. If it needs more, then I will add more.

Thing is, I never completely cover the grass blades.

Hope this helps.

VooMan – posted 28 April 2003 18:28

Thanks Will, I appreciate the quick reply. 🙂

I’ve got Bermuda grass (probably common bermuda) and I hate this clay as well. I had a sprinkler system installed last year and I am amazed at how well the grass has done considering the soil…

Will-PCB – posted 28 April 2003 22:26

Never a problem man. Good luck with your yard!

G$ – posted 25 February 2004 17:14

quote:Originally posted by Will-PCB:Never a problem man. Good luck with your yard!

Will,

In cruzing the site, it seems like you’ve had the best answer to my current question so far. Anything more you can offer???

I’ve been seeding with fescue in a pretty much dead lawn sodded with bremuda for the past couple of years and would like to start leveling some spots out. Is it ok to use sand and then overseed as usually with fescue, or is it better to use topsoil or a mix? Spots are low by as much as 2-in. in areas as large as 5-ft. x 5-ft.

Dchall_San_Antonio – posted 04 March 2004 00:28

Sand is good. Another way to level turf is to run a core aerator over it and then sweep the cores to the low spots to let them dissolve.

Kabo1313 – posted 19 March 2004 09:32

Guys,

You have already answered my main question but I need a little bit of clarity on one topic. I live in SouthEast Texas, below Houston and my soil is mostly black gumbo. My house is new and has a thin layer of red dirt between the gumbo and the grass layer. I have only one question. How much time should there be between adding the thin layers of sand?

Dchall_San_Antonio – posted 19 March 2004 10:34

One week is enough time. Sweep the sand off of the grass blades to be sure you don’t smother it. I use a push broom rather than a rake. I drag it behind me and just start walking over it.

Wooly – posted 19 March 2004 11:55

Do you use a specific type of sand or any sand from the home center? Have not done any leveling in the last 6 years and the McLane is having issues with the high spots.Thanks

cohiba – posted 19 March 2004 15:17

Coarse sand is best for topdressing. Masons sand or concrete sand is to fine for good water release. I would recommend that those of you with clay soils would benefit most from first core aerating then, before the cores are broken up, topdressing with sand. a peice of fence can then be drug over the lawn to break the cores and push the sand into the holes. This is good to incorporate the sand into the soil profile. In time, root growth and drainage will be improved. NOTE: There is a danger in topdressing over one soil with sand: Layering is a possibility. Layering will prevent water from going deep into the soil profile. In most cases where we topdress on the course we have committed ourselves to a long term project. We have added 4-6″ of topdressing on our greens over the last 8 years.Good luck……..

Robert in San Antonio – posted 26 November 2004 07:51

I have recently had my yard landscaped and we used Zeon Zoysia. Unfortunately, the grass was delivered the night before a major rain and we lost topsoil. Due to the moisture we could not get a Bobcat out to level so the landscaper had the workers do what they could by hand. Unfortunatley it is not very level and has low spots. Since it is new, can I simply lift the grass and use sand to level it. I like the paver sand because it is easy to work with but will the grass grow fine over time?

quote:Originally posted by cohiba:Coarse sand is best for topdressing. Masons sand or concrete sand is to fine for good water release. I would recommend that those of you with clay soils would benefit most from first core aerating then, before the cores are broken up, topdressing with sand. a peice of fence can then be drug over the lawn to break the cores and push the sand into the holes. This is good to incorporate the sand into the soil profile. In time, root growth and drainage will be improved. NOTE: There is a danger in topdressing over one soil with sand: Layering is a possibility. Layering will prevent water from going deep into the soil profile. In most cases where we topdress on the course we have committed ourselves to a long term project. We have added 4-6″ of topdressing on our greens over the last 8 years.Good luck……..

cohiba – posted 26 November 2004 18:20

Robert,

You should be OK with the sand. If possible try to ensure that the sand you use is on the coarse side. The zoysia will fill in the long term but leveling is a good idea.

Good Luck and Take Care…………..

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