How to Use a Lawn Leveling Rake

Lawn leveling is a process that is used to even out a lawn and help reduce the appearance of dips and other uneven terrain. It can help prevent issues such as standing water, which in turn reduce pests such as mosquitoes from inhabiting your yard.

Lawn leveling rakes help level the lawn by reducing bumps and filling in any indents. They can be an expensive bit of equipment, but alternative solutions are available at cheaper costs. 

Why Should I Have a Level Lawn?

A level lawn is not only much more pleasing to the eye, but also beneficial in a variety of different ways. It is safer to walk on, with much less risk of tripping, 

Level lawns are also easier to maintain, in the way of both mowing and dethatching. Mowing can be particularly bothersome on an uneven surface, as dips in the ground can lead to grass being trimmed at an uneven height, and even lower than what is recommended. Finally, an unlevel lawn can lead to standing water and poor drainage. Standing water and poor drainage can be, not only unsightly, but can attract insects such as mosquitoes, cause a foul odor, and damage the grass and property around it if left standing for too long. 

Common Causes of a Bumpy Lawn

There are many ways in which a lawn can become bumpy. Lawns are very rarely naturally bumpy and there is often an underlying cause. These changes can occur quickly or over a long period of time, depending on their causes. 

One cause of a bumpy lawn is ground-settling, which is an unavoidable condition that is made worse by annual freezing and thawing cycles. This happens mostly in new lawns or lawns that have had some work done to them in recent times. Heavy equipment or furniture being located on top of the lawn can also accentuate any lumps and bumps that are caused by ground-settling, or cause deeper depressions in the grass. 

Bare soil can make for a much more uneven and bumpy appearance. Lawns that are thin due to fungus or other afflictions are likely to become bumpy and uneven. In addition to this, lawns that have been dog-damaged or burned by fertilizer can also have the same consequences as those that are suffering due to disease.

Something beneath the surface of your lawn may be the cause of its bumpiness. Grass bubbles, for instance, form when water or gas becomes trapped under topsoil. Items that have been buried or reside underground can cause these issues too, such as irrigation systems. Due to the network of lines that irrigation systems require, it is easy for weaknesses to appear in the lawn. Damage to a lawn irrigation system may cause damage to the rest of your lawn and garden if not patched up and fixed in a timely manner. 

Sometimes, no matter what you do, bumps in a lawn can be inevitable and can occur at random. It is best to know how to deal with such events to ensure your lawn remains even and smooth.

Equipment for Leveling a Lawn 

When it comes to leveling a lawn, some equipment is considered necessary. The following equipment is often used and is often the easiest to obtain:

  • Hand rake
  • Landscape rake
  • Plastic leaf rake
  • A large broom
  • Edger
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Lawn leveling rake

Whilst you might not have ready access to all of this equipment, you may be able to rent some of the more expensive pieces (such as the lawn leveling rake) from hardware stores or independent stores.

How do Lawn Leveling Rakes Work?

Lawn leveling rakes have a grid-like structure which helps differentiate them from regular garden rakes. Their wide shape and design helps them carry out their job and alleviates any potential problems that can be caused whilst doing the job. 

Lawn leveling rakes work by using angled tines to gather excess debris that is lying atop of a surface, such as the grass, and helps relocate it to areas where the ground is sunken and uneven.

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Using a Lawn Leveling Rake

Before using a lawn leveling rake, some steps need to be taken beforehand to ensure that the lawn is fit and ready to be leveled. 

  1. Mow the lawn – Making sure your lawn is the right length before undertaking any maintenance task is important, as mowing it afterwards can lead to excess debris. Your lawn should be between 2-3” tall. 
  2. Dethatch is necessary – Dealing with thatch is inevitable when it comes to gardening, if you have a lot covering your lawn, make sure to dethatch before beginning to level your lawn.
  3. Top-dressing – Make a mixture of sand, compost, and topsoil which can be used to lay over the grass, paying extra attention to areas that have sunken. 
  4. Dig up certain areas – Certain areas that are particularly sunken may need to have their grass dug up and filled in with soil before being reseeded. Grass may not spread to bare spots in the lawn, so it’s important to reseed these areas correctly. Make sure to learn how to overseed your lawn before beginning this step. 

There are many more detailed steps about how to level a yard, so make sure to double check before using a lawn leveling rake. 

Lawn leveling rakes are oftentimes best used for small areas, or areas that need a spot treatment. They are often best used after top-dressing, as they can utilize the mixture of sand, compost and topsoil and use it to evenly grade the garden without repeated applications. In order to use a lawn leveling rake successfully, create this mixture and lay it in areas which would benefit from it. This means areas that are uneven, and sunken. Simply pull the lawn leveling rake through these areas repeatedly, allowing it to pull the mixture into the area, and remove any excess from the even lawn. 

Benefits of Using a Lawn Leveling Rake

Lawn leveling rakes are much more precise and easier to use than other methods when it comes to leveling a yard. They are easily assembled and easily maneuvered for fast and effective results. 

Lawn leveling rakes can also be used effectively on different sized lawns, and can work for leveling a small area, and larger areas as long as you have the time to do it. Lawn leveling rakes are also efficient, as they utilize the materials available to them as effectively as possible, meaning that you’re unlikely to use more material than necessary. 

Final Thoughts

Lawn leveling rakes have many benefits and are an easy piece of kit to learn to use and use effectively. They are ideal for small areas that need leveling, but can easily take on larger areas providing the time and means are available to successfully complete the task. 

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