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Do It Yourself Lawn Grading: How to Level a Yard By Hand

Has uneven grass made your lawn lose all of its charms? Have you always dreamed of having that perfectly level garden? If your answer is yes, then you have landed at the perfect place! Today, I will help you out in grading your garden all by yourself because I understand how having an out-of-shape yard can be one of the most unappealing sites.

Lawn grading

There is no need to pay hefty prices for professional gardeners to level out your yards. You can do it all yourself, and for that, all you need is your hands along with some handy-dandy tools. So, get ready! Because now is the only time you show all your DIY skills. But first, let’s have a look at some benefits of lawn grading.

What Are Some Benefits Of Lawn Grading?

Lawn grading involves levelling out your yard and giving it a much better and cleaner look. Over time, if a lawn or yard is not properly looked after it may turn out uneven. In this instance, lawn grading can turn into a blessing.

Lawn grading not only enhances the visual appearance of your lawn but also helps to improve the water drainage of your lawn. Lawn grading helps to get rid of excess dirt from your garden that will, in turn, aid in better aeration and drainage of your yard. Plus, because of this, you will have much-improved stability of your lawn, and it will be greener than ever. If you are looking for some tips for aerating your lawn by hand then here you will find the ultimate guide to aerating a lawn by hand

What Can Lawn Grading Do To Your Yard?

Initially, people might think that lawn grading is only involved in enhancing the overall look of your yard, however, that is not true. Yes, lawn grading does change the look of your lawn, and it also provides other benefits like an improved drainage system, as I discussed before.

Lawn grading

Moreover, lawn grading will also make your lawn resistant to wear and tear. With an even and perfectly textured lawn, you will have a much more enjoyable time no matter what you are up to. A proper grading routine will also help you get rid of that dry and dull lawn. Overall, it gives your yard that green and lively texture that will be envied by all your neighbors.

Can You Do Lawn Grading Using Your Hands?

We, garden enthusiasts, have a tiny machine literally for almost every chore you want to perform in your garden, and in the same way, we have hundreds of gadgets for having our lawn in the best possible shape. Some of them are electric, while with some you might have to use your hands. The choice is yours. However, if you don’t have any special gadgets, you don’t need to worry. Here is a video showing how to grade your lawn with no machinery.

You can grade your lawn using your hands. You will need to take care with this process and it might require a bit of dedication and hard work, but the results are worth working for. Make sure that you are following precautionary measures, as sometimes there can be thorns and burrs on the lawn, and you might end up injuring yourself.

What Tools Do You Need For DIY Lawn Grading?

Lawn grading

No, you don’t need to purchase any sort of “high-end tools” to level or grade your yard. Most of the time, the tools available at hand can do the work for you, and if you are a lawn enthusiast just like me, then you might have all of these tools already. Most usually, manual tools work the best, but electric tools can make the work easier if you want to invest in them for the long term.

Specifically, what tools you need for lawn grading depends on what type of results you are looking for. Firstly, if you think of grading your lawn to create a leveled garden, you will need a straight edge. This will help you attain that perfect level you have been looking for.

However, if you want to create slopes while grading lawns, you need other specialized tools. Most of the time, for creating a slope, a string line and a slope gauge will work the best.

There are scenarios when you want to attain a slope and create an even texture, for this, you might need a combination of tools. Make sure to decide what kind of results you are looking for before purchasing any of the tools for lawn grading. I don’t want you to waste your money and buy something you don’t really need.

How Often Do I Need To Grade Lawn?

A lawn, when looked after properly, will remain beautiful for years. This care can be as simple, however, consistency must be maintained, because lawns and yards are open to dirt and debris, and they might often lose their charm. Also, without proper care, the grass may grow out and often give an unpleasant look to your yard.

I find it best to maintain your yard once every two weeks, depending on the weather of course. A fine grading, edging, and cutting will keep things looking ship-shape. If you don’t have enough time throughout the week, try to water it regularly. However, the trimming and grading are a must every week, so your garden will have that perfect even texture.

This time limit can vary depending on different factors. For example, the type of lawn can often play an important part in deciding when to grade a yard. Besides, the climate where the yard is located is another important factor. Because often rain and snow can also alter the texture of your lawn.

How Much Water Do I Need To Have A Healthy Lawn?

Lawn grading

Watering is one of the most essential parts of having your lawn look the best. Along with grading your lawn, you need to look after the water intake of your garden. Yes, lawn grading can give that perfect appearance and even texture to your yard, but with water, you will help maintain that dewy, greener look of your lawn.

Even if you don’t have a proper grading routine, you need to maintain a regular watering routine. A proper lawn requires about 1.5 inches of water every week. You need to make sure the lawn stays hydrated, so the leaves do not turn yellow or any dull color. To end the hassle of watering your lawn, you can select a suitable water hose from here.

What Kind Of Dirt Is Better For Lawn Grading?

Grading also involves changing the dirt or soil of the lawn. It might also involve properly looking after the soil for any insects or weeds. Whatever the case, you need to purchase good soil before grading your lawn.

Lawn grading

The type of soil you might use largely depends on the region or area your yard is located in and also depends on your preference. For instance, you might prefer fine dirt compared to coarse soil. Both of the types are good and might differ from one another just in a subtle way.

The best soil for grading lawns would have a perfect texture and is easy to work with. Based on the type, dirt for lawn grading can be of three different forms; sand, clay, and gravel.

While the texture of the sand is excellent, it also is beneficial in giving your lawn an amazing aerating texture, plus, it is also light in weight and easy to spread. Sand is also a great choice if you are looking to create a smoother lawn surface.

Lastly, if you want the dirt to remain in place, the gravel would be best. It is dense and heavy and stays in place for a longer time.

Handy Hint: Go and visit your local Golf Course and see if you can speak with the Lawn Keeper. If ever someone knows how to keep lawns looking their best and can make some areas level and well-graded, it would have to be Golf Course Lawn Keepers.

What Time Of The Year Is The Best Time For Lawn Grading?

Lawn grading must be followed up every week or as soon as you notice an uneven texture of your lawn. To avoid letting your lawn turn into a jungle, you need to properly grade your lawn.

A proper weekly grading routine will save you from the hassle of doing a lot of work when it is just way too out of shape, a lengthy lawn can be a nightmare to get back into shape. My advice is to do some diligent grading whenever you feel the need.

Most people prefer to grade their lawns in the spring or fall. The thing is that lawn grading can also be most affected due to the weather conditions in your area. Spring and fall seasons are less humid and warmer. This weather is perfect for grading lawn and maintain it in the best shape possible.

What Things You Will Need For Lawn Grading?

If you are thinking of DIY grading your lawn, then you might need the tools listed below.

  • Compost
  • Large push broom
  • Topsoil
  • Sand
  • Hand rake
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Edger
  • Shovel

DIY Lawn Grading: 7-Quick Steps

So have you grabbed your tools? If yes, let’s get onto the mission of DIY lawn grading through the below 7 easiest steps.

Step 1: Mowing

Do it yourself lawn grading: how to level a yard by hand

Every yard leveling starts off with mowing. Try to trim the grass as short as possible, but not too short. Avoid cutting it so deep that the grass blades’ stems are visible. This will make your garden dry out. You can also have some help from an edger. Don’t know which one to go for? I’ve outlined the 7 Best Manual Lawn Edgers right here.

Step 2: Dethatching

Do it yourself lawn grading: how to level a yard by hand

To have your lawn ready for grading, you need to assess the amount of thatch your lawn might need. This can be done by looking at the roots of your grass. Most usually, thatch is a mixture of dead plant materials. Make sure it is of perfect size, as a thatch greater than 1/4 inch will not let your lawn have proper air and water intake. Use a thatch rake to evenly spread it out.

Step 3: Check for Lower Spots

Do it yourself lawn grading: how to level a yard by hand

Check if your lawn has any deeper spots, around 2-3 inches. Try to remove the grass on top of them. Use a shovel with a blade to get rid of the grass from the top and expose the dirt beneath.

Step 4: Fill the Sunken Areas

Do it yourself lawn grading: how to level a yard by hand

To fill in those deep spots, you need to prepare a mixture of topsoil, sand, and compost and apply it to the sunken areas. Soil and compost will help to give the most important nutrients to your lawn. Make sure to fill all the holes and end them by tossing the grass on top of it.

Step 5: Even Out the Lawn

Do it yourself lawn grading: how to level a yard by hand

Now you have filled the holes, make sure to spread out the remaining soil mixture onto the remaining garden. Make sure that the layer is thin. Do not overdo the mix because it will destroy your grass layer.

Step 6: Watering

Do it yourself lawn grading: how to level a yard by hand

This step is vital to have the soil mixture settle down evenly. It will also help to fill in the air pockets if any and will give a fresher look to your lawn.

Step 7: Reapply Soil Layer

Do it yourself lawn grading: how to level a yard by hand

If you think you have left any patch vacant by any chance, you can reapply the soil mixture once again but make sure to even out the texture.

Tips for DIY Lawn Grading

DIY lawn grading can be one of the most fascinating tasks. Just do remember the following tips

  • Before performing lawn grading, make sure you are wearing a proper mask
  • To have a well-graded lawn make sure to use a yardstick
  • Be consistent while grading your lawn to make your lawn appear even

Final Words

To sum it up, lawn grading is very important to have your lawn appear beautiful. If you are working on a budget and want to grade your lawn yourself, then my 7-step guide will help you. Make sure you follow all the necessary safety measures. Have a happier, greener, and fuller garden ahead!

Ian richardson

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