A Yard with perfectly leveled ground not only looks good but also feels great. A Yard containing lumps and bumps can be a serious safety hazard with various opportunities to cause falls, trips, and sprained ankles. There are many reasons that can uneven yard that includes drainage problems, lawn pests such as grubs and moles, or pipe leakage beneath the surface. The case gets worse when you don’t have the best lawn tractor which is quite handy to level a yard in no time. So, the question is how to level a yard without a tractor? But before probing into the leveling ways, it is even more important to check for the causes that lead to uneven or bumpy yards.
Causes of Bumpy Yards
In most cases, there is an underlying issue that needs addressing. Get rid of such a problem before you start fixing because it is important for a long-term fix. Often the drainage problem, irrigation pipes, or broken water pipes can cause bumps and depressions. If there are two or three spots around the areas where there are water or drainage pipes, make sure there is no leakage. You can also consult the expert if needed.
Another reason for erosion is the sprinkler system as the water lines are commonly prone to damage and the system needs proper maintenance. Take a look at the spray heads and rotors if they are working properly and popping up the full height. For instance, the nozzles are not damaged or clogged and there is no leakage in the head.
Another cause of the bumpy lawn is the ground settling. Over time settling happens which leads to depressions. The condition is unavoidable. Especially, when you have done work on your yard or your lawn is new and you don’t know How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor. Freezing and thawing cycles may accentuate the issue in cold winter conditions. Such cycles cause the yard soil to heaver and thus become bumpy and uneven.
Insect problem for lawn bumpiness is the insect problem or disease that weakens the area. It results in the bare soil patches. Such areas may erode even deeper with the wind, rainfall, or any activity resulting in depressions.
Why Level your Yard?
No one wants any bumps and grooves in their lawn. They are not only tacky but can affect the drainage and create some areas for pooling water. It is going to kill the grass eventually and cause various serious issues than anything else. Properly leveling the yard is going to give you pleasant feeling and make your life easier with home and basement free from any flooding problems.
How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor
In order to level a yard without a tractor, you need some basic equipment that includes
- A Hand Rake
- Landscape rake
- A large push broom
- Plastic leaf rake
- An edge
- A shovel
- A wheelbarrow
Before starting to level, it is essential to asses the severity of the issue. Are you going to level small bumps with unevenness or is the yard like the moon surface? The severity helps to dictate the approach towards the problem. Small holes or depression can easy to address with topdressing or filling them in and then re-seed them. If the problem is more serious, you need more aggressive treatment like re-grading.
Leveling out Minor Irregularities – How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor
For minor bumps, it is possible to flatten them through stepping during the spring season because the ground is usually soft in these days. You can also use a water-filled roller to treat the problem. Fill the roller with one-third of water and go back to forth over the yard. Add more water if the surface is not flattened and repeat the process until it smooths out. Don’t overdo the procedure because rolling may compact the soil which can lead to other problems.
Topdressing – How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor
It is one of the least invasive approaches to level mildly uneven surfaces. Using leveling rake will definitely improve the results. Here are the basic steps.
- At the lowest possible settings, move the yard.
- Use the de-thatcher or garden rake to dethatch the lawn.
- Mix up the batch of leveling mix in a wheelbarrow. Compost based mixes are best for this.
- Now apply the scoops of soil mix with the shovel to the low areas of the yard.
- Rake the topdressing in order to spread it out properly. Apply 1/4”-1/2” of the soil blend on the tops of such lower areas. Apply only 1/2” of material at a time.
- With a leveling rake or a push-broom, work the soil mixture in the grass thoroughly.
- Don’t forget to water the grass for further stabilization.
Carefully monitor the process in such an area and if it is still uneven, repeat the process until you are satisfied. For small low spots, you can easily fix them by sprinkling the top dressing over them.
Filling Small Holes – How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor
In order to fill the small animal holes, just fill the disturbed soil back in and top them up using the topsoil. For slight large holes, fill such holes with the topsoil ad pack it down. Make sure that it is leveled. Over-seed with the same grass that is already growing in your yard. Diligently seed and water the seed.
Leveling Moderate Uneven Yard – How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor
Treating some seriously low spots in the yard can be a headache. For such spots, topdressing may not work properly because it takes some time to work. Alternatively, remove the sod, correct the sinking cause, and then backfilling it with new soil is the best way. You can put the removed sod back in the place. Take a look at these steps.
Remove the sod from the low spot and set it aside. Don’t cut the piece wider than 18” strips. Pull them up gently so that the root separates from the soil. Now roll up the strips in order to keep them moist. If you are on the sun and move then to the shady place.
Now shove the topsoil into the spot that once the sod is replaced, the area will be even. When you shove the soil in the hole, add some water to settle the soil, it will help to remove air pockets. If the sod is in a good place, replace the sod or replace the old one with one or seed.
Thoroughly water the grass. Don’t perform the procedure after the heavy rain as the soil will be damp and thick and tough to handle.
What is the Difference between Grading and Leveling?
Leveling the yard is simply the procedure to create a smooth and even surface that doesn’t have unwanted bumps or groups.
Grading means gently sloping your lawn away from the foundation of your house.
Both of these procedures are important for an enchanting front and backyard landscape. Make sure that the soil is moist before you begin grading because the moist soil is easy to level as compared to the dry one. For dry soil, water it properly (about 6” depth) a few days before you start leveling a yard.
What is the Best Time of Year to Level the Yard?
It is important to time your repairs. For basic repairs, spring is the best time. It helps the grass time to grow in and also provides the necessary moisture to aid set the soil. With respect to the moisture, the spring may be the best time but it can be the worst time too. Because of the snow-melt, the ground is usually extremely soft which can result in new bumps in case of heavy traffic. Avoid level the yard in the winter season when the grass is dormant.
What are the Preventive Measures?
To get the best results for How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor, you need to follow some preventive measures. After leveling the yard, it is crucial to take some preventive measures to avoid new bumps and depressions. Here are two prime things you can do.
Try to avoid creating ruts from the lawn mower wheels when mowing the lawn by changing the cutting pattern in between the cuts.
When the yard is very wet, keep the foot traffic away from it. Be careful with the yard leveling tools to avoid injuries. Don’t use sand in your yard because, in the summertime heat, the sand can dry out quickly. It will affect the grass above and starve it of water, therefore destroying it.
Topsoil or compost are the best options as compared to sand. They have the ability to enrich the soil underneath and provide essential nutrients to it.
Keep the yard level is an ongoing procedure but with such simple steps, it is really easy and can make a big difference to the quality of your yard. If you don’t have a lawn tractor, these processes can be very handy for How to Level a Yard Without a Tractor. But these are only effective for small and mid-sized yards. Biggers lawns are difficult to level without lawnmowers, so it is better to consult a professional before messing with it.