You are on page 1of 5

. The lawn in my new home is quite lumpy.

There are a lot of little dips and hills all throughout the lawn. I don't know exactly what caused this. I believe the previous owner had a dog; maybe the dog liked to dig. Whatever the reason for its lumpiness, I'd like to delump it. I looked around at places like Home Depot, but all I saw were large, heavy barrels that were meant to be towed behind a tractor. My lawn is too small for a solution like this. Nor could I afford to just tear everything up and resod (and really, the grass is fine, it's just lumpy) The lawn is small enough that I think this problem is solvable with a shovel and some dirt, but I'm not really sure how to make it happen. So can anyone teach my the secrets of an even lawn? Thanks in advance. posted by chndrcks to home & garden (7 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite If the dips are grass-covered (as opposed to bare dirt holes) you can fill them by raking in layers of sand over the course of a few weeks. The grass will grow up through the sand, add in another half inch of sand and repeat until the dip is level with the rest of the lawn. Lightweight potting soil will also work, but sand is a lot cheaper. If the dips are bare, fill in with garden soil amended with something fluffy (compost, peat moss, perlite, etc) and scatter in some grass seed. Lumps are a little harder to get rid of and a lot easier to mess up. You might want to fix the dips first and see if that's good enough. If there's still visible hills, punch in a bunch of aeration plugs (those plugs of grass and dirt). You won't see a dramatic improvement in one round but if you remove enough plugs, the mounds will eventually drop down. The trick is to not remove so many plugs at one time that the surrounding grass has a tough time refilling in. If your soil isn't too clayheavy, you can try renting a roller but those work best on prepped bare dirt, not so much on established lawns--no amount of rolling will fix hard compacted dirt. posted by jamaro at 4:01 PM on May 9, 2007 If it is small then you can attend to it by hand. In the dips, pull back the grass (cut around it with a shovel when the soil is very moist and remove it like sod) and put some topsoil underneath. Do just the opposite with the crowns. For the smaller lumpy areas spread topsoil around on the surface and even it out. This will make your lawn more lush as a benefit. I would calculate how much is needed to cover it about 1/2 inch deep and have it delivered. posted by caddis at 4:50 PM on May 9, 2007 I am currently working on a combo of the previous 2 answers - not adding sand though, just using a mix of topsoil and peat moss. Mow your lawn as short as possible, then add the soil (or take away as necessary), sprinkle on some additional grass seed, top with a 1/4" layer of peat moss, water twice a day to the 2-3 inch line for root growth. Now would also be the time to get your lawn dethatched or aerated if it is needed. posted by blackkar at 5:59 PM on May 9, 2007 for the love of pete, do NOT use sand or peatmoss. Sand is not a good soil amendment (even if you have heavy clay soil)! and potting soil isn't good for lawns either--it's better for pots, what with the amount of peat and/or coir.

Lawns are amazing habitats. posted by humblepigeon at 1:34 AM on May 10. The problem is the hard work. dry patches and around the edges. Autumn is also the best time to plan how to manage your lawn for the coming year. sunny and damp spots. I'd be tempted to rotovate the lawn. and also the fact your garden will be a mess for a few months. So ensure you have long grassy areas full of wildflowers in the sunny. I wouldn't cut into the turf at all if the grass is healthy. a Turf Hound is just the thing. That way you'll get a flat garden that's well drained with some terrific grass. Also. then rake flat. the ground gets wetter and suddenly they spring to life. posted by paulsc at 1:51 AM on May 10. and then reseed. 2007 It depends how much time you have. and chuck the cores into your holes. The key to success is the layout ± making the best use of shady. On a hot summer¶s day. posted by underwater at 9:08 PM on May 9. if your back isn't all it could be. and "rotovator" might be a foreign term to you. 2007 A word of warning: I dealt with this by adding 2 inches of soil to the whole lawn (a tremendous effort). I don't know where you live. . it's harvesting is piss poor for the environment. and short grassy areas for your own use and where birds and mammals can forage. with earthworms coming to the surface to forage. Ideally you want to be doing this when the earth is damp too. aiming for like 1/4 inch depth over most places. Add a reacher to your tool kit to avoid bending over to toss plugs to the low points. 2007 Manage your lawn properly and it can be both a haven for wildlife and a lovely place from which to enjoy your garden and its inhabitants. The grass grew beautifully but a few months later the lumps returned. topdressing takes longer. But I did NOT rent one of those large rollers to compress the dirt. and adding new seed. Basically. woodland plants and grasses in shady areas. but is more attractive in the interim posted by kumquatmay at 7:52 PM on May 9. you need do little more than water and mow normally for the yard to level out in a season or two. you can accomplish a lot.Peat moss is not a good soil additive--when it drys out it's very very difficult to rewet. but the best way to do it is to topdress the lawn with some compost (best) or topsoil. over the grass. because bare patches are never pretty. raking it level. and I think that not compressing the dirt was the reason. (A good substitute for peat in potting mixes is coir fiber which is harvested from coconut fibers) it'll take a few years. several evenings a week for one summer. but with the onset of autumn. and birds and mammals feeding on this abundance of food. 2007 For a small yard. Spread the compost over the lawn. Basically they're mechanical cultivators that turn over the soil. and gently rake it smooth over the lawn. you Turf Hound the heck out of your high spots. Unless your yard is clay (in which case the plugs can bake into Confederate bullets in a hot summer sun). and filling in the indentations with a little more. moths and craneflies laying their eggs at night. they can look ecologically dead. Working a small yard an hour or two.

it can quickly look tatty. as the oils in many seeds kill patches of grass. So get planning: the lawn should be one of the most visually attractive parts of any wildlife garden. and give the lawn a good short cut. Cutworms are noctuid moth caterpillars and feed on grass and other roots. Taller grass is more tolerant of drought. Reseed as necessary. Centipedes are fast-moving predators that hunt many soil invertebrates. When you give the lawn a last mow. Spring is the time to repair the damage from the winter. 3. particularly in waterlogged areas. dandelions and plantains tend to kill patches of grass and take over. Dig out any unwanted plants ± unlike plants such as self-heal and white clover. 7. Ground beetles can often be seen scurrying through the grass on your lawn. Slugs burrow deep into the soil in dry conditions.You can increase the visual impact of the short-grass areas by planting a wide range of low-lying flowering plants that look pretty and provide food for insects. Use a field guide to identify the vast array of insects and spiders using the long grassy areas and patches of wildflowers. If you have feeders hanging over the lawn. During the summer. has a larger root structure and is sensuous to walk on with bare feet! Don¶t forget to enjoy your lawn. 4. use a garden fork to dig holes in the lawn every 30cm or so. rake up any moss and dead grass. Cockchafers lay their eggs deep underground. make it a short cut and apply a good autumn feed. where the larvae eat plant roots. y y y y y 12 INVERTEBRATES LIVING IN THE SOIL BENEATH YOUR LAWN advertisement feature 1. 6. Leatherjackets (cranefly larvae) also eat grass roots. If you use your lawn for feeding birds and mammals. HOW TO MANAGE YOUR LAWN: y Autumn is the time to scarify your lawn (use a lawn rake to remove dead and thatched vegetation) and aerate it. 5. use trays to catch dropped seeds or move the feeders regularly. coming to the surface on wet nights. Earthworms stay deep in their burrows in dry weather. So try not to keep feeding in one spot. Take out a picnic to eat while you listen to the hum of bees on the white clover flowers. never cut the lawn too short ± keep it about 5±9cm long. . 2.

ox-eye daisy. but nymphs will live in rough vegetation at the lawn edge. creeping cinquefoil. dig out a small area of lawn. Hay rattle is both attractive and great for bees. Common in gardens. living on grasses. Wireworms are beetle larvae that resemble mealworms. Curl grub is the collective name for the larvae of several common garden beetles and chafers. SIX SPECIES TO LOOK OUT FOR ON AND IN YOUR LAWN: 1. so allow it to set its seeds. white mid-summer flower that attracts a range of insects. Watering the lawn keeps earthworms and grubs near the surface. Whether you should water your lawn or not is a dilemma.8. many species that feed on invertebrates suffer badly. It is a biennial. The larvae feed on Convolvulus (bindweed). STEVE'S TOP TIPS: y Late summer is a good time to plant seeds of plants such as hay rattle and wild carrot. It is semi-parasitic. 2. and also an annual. 4. it lays its eggs on long grass at the edge of lawns. replace with topsoil. Sheet-web spiders will weave webs to catch invertebrates on your lawn. To establish a plug. Shiny red moth pupae found a few centimetres below the surface belong to cutworms. White plume moths lie up in long grass in mid-summer. 12. 9. 10. and a wide range of birds. Bush-crickets can be very common in gardens. Spotted craneflies are commonly found in gardens and lay their eggs in damp soil. and these can be a lifeline for hedgehogs. Adults are usually seen in bushes. lady¶s bedstraw and meadow cranesbill are best planted as plugs (available from wildflower suppliers). 6. self-heal and white clover. so let the seeds fall before you cut them back. Speckled wood numbers have increased dramatically in the past few decades. so let some survive in your garden. but in hot dry summers. marjoram. where the larvae feed on roots and tubers. great knapweed. Scatter them around the edges of the lawn and in areas where you want the grass to grow long. Wild carrot is a pretty. Slug and snail eggs are laid in the top layer of soil. 3. These are attractive to insects and their prostrate (low-lying) form means that they can survive mowing. y y y . 5. fox and badger cubs. 11. They eat rotting vegetation and roots. Plants such as cowslip. insert the plug and keep it well watered. Also plant plugs of bird¶s-foot trefoil.

Water in the evenings and don¶t wait until the grass has gone brown. but in the main areas it is best to keep it under control by raking in the autumn and spring. the more diversity and abundance of plants and invertebrates. leave grass cuttings and other organic matter on the lawn ± the greater the organic material. Moss can be very attractive in damp areas and around the edges of ponds. y Wherever possible. y . And don¶t rake leaves off either ± use the mower to shred them.