Lawn Re-leveling


Old 04-25-13, 04:42 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 161
Lawn Re-leveling


I live in Minnesota where we still have some snow on the ground. The ground is not frozen but still very cold.

In my back yard, before I owned this home, a Utility Truck must have backed up to do some work because you can plainly see the sunken ruts of the dualies that were on the truck. The ruts are about 9" deep and give my lawn an unwanted 'rolling' effect.

I am sick of these ruts and want to get rid of them. The area affected is about 12' x 25'.

I have a 3.5 Briggs-Stratton tiller. Here are my questions:

- Should I use that to till up the area and then add more dirt and rake it level?

- Should I pull out the grass clumps once I've tilled it? Or just leave them?

- I'd rather not sod it as it would look to weird compared to the rest of the lawn. Should I mix the lawn seed into the new dirt first? Or just get it level and then seed on top?

- How much should I tamp the new dirt down before seeding?

Any/all ideas and responses are appreciated.

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Old 04-25-13, 07:57 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
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Ever tried core aerating the low spots?

Otherwise, I'd just add a little soil and seed (don't tamp the new dirt).
Old 04-26-13, 04:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,542
Tilling the ground alone will make for a pretty rough ground. I made this mistake a while back at my old house. It'll introduce air pockets, and different densities in the dirt which will settle differently.

I'd probably take the same direction as Mitch suggested.
This is along the same lines I'm expecting I'll have to take if I tackle the mess the frost (and clay base) made of my perfectly groomed back yard. I'll have a bit more effort (larger area too), but similar means of attack.
Old 04-26-13, 05:44 AM
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Location: NC, USA
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That's a very common problem with my rental houses. Every time someone moves in or out they back the truck across the lawn up to the door. I just fill in the tracks with soil, seed and straw.
Old 04-26-13, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
I had a concrete delivery truck leave deep ruts on my lawn. I filled them with topsoil, drove my pickup over the ruts a few times and filled them again. Then I planted grass seed - the same variety that I have on the rest of my lawn.
It took a couple of years, but now you can't tell where the ruts were.

It's important to compact the first layer of fill and then just add a few inches of topsoil on top. Otherwise you'll be filling in the ruts for years as the soil settles.
Old 04-26-13, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,542
Good call on packing the top soil. I forgot to mention this.
Not packing the soil was primarily where I failed at my previous home where I tilled. Tilling was still a bad idea.
Old 04-26-13, 12:20 PM
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Location: WI/MN
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Maybe the ruts are deeper than I was envisioning, tamping might be a good idea if that's the case.

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