home lawn that has recently filled low spots with top soil

How to Fix Low Spots in Your Yard: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you noticing uneven areas or low spots in your lawn? Fear not! This is a common issue faced by homeowners, and it can easily be fixed with the right approach. Our team of experts at NG Turf is here to help you with a step-by-step guide on how and when to fill low spots in your lawn. Follow these simple steps, and your lawn will be level and lush in no time! 

Step 1: Identify the Low Spots

Begin by walking around your lawn and identifying the uneven areas. Look for depressions, pooling water, or any signs of improper drainage. Mark these areas using small flags or stakes so that you can easily find them later. 

low spots in lawn

Step 2: Determine the Cause

Before addressing the low spots, it is crucial to understand their cause. Common reasons include soil compaction, uneven settling, and poor drainage. It is essential to address the root cause to prevent low spots from reoccurring. Identifying and addressing the root cause of uneven areas is essential to ensure long-lasting and effective lawn repair.

Common Causes of Low Spots in Lawns

  • Soil compaction: Foot traffic, vehicle use, or heavy equipment can compress the soil, causing depressions. 
  • Uneven settling: Natural processes or changes in the underlying soil structure can lead to an uneven ground surface. 
  • Poor drainage: Insufficient or improper drainage can result in water pooling and soil erosion, creating low spots. 
  • Burrowing animals: Creatures such as moles, voles, or gophers can dig tunnels and disturb the soil, leading to depressions in the lawn. 
  • Decaying tree roots: As tree roots decay, they can cause the soil above to collapse, forming low spots. 
  • Thatch buildup: Excessive accumulation of dead grass and other organic matter can lead to uneven lawn surfaces. 
  • Erosion: Heavy rainfall, wind, or water runoff can gradually wear away the soil, leading to uneven areas in the lawn. 

Step 3: Choose the Right Time

The best time of year to fill low spots in a lawn is during early to mid-spring for warm season lawns and fall for cool season lawns. During these periods, the grass is actively growing but not stressed by extreme temperatures. Filling low spots at these times allows for optimal grass recovery and growth, while minimizing the risk of damage to the existing lawn. 

*Avoid filling low spots during the hot summer months, as this can cause additional stress on the grass and potentially hinder its ability to recover. 

Step 4: Select the Correct Material

For shallow low spots (less than 2 inches deep), use a mixture of sand and topsoil. For deeper low spots (more than 2 inches deep), use a high-quality topsoil that matches the existing soil in your lawn. This ensures proper nutrient balance and promotes healthy grass growth. 

topsoil

Step 5: Prepare the Area

Before filling the low spots, mow the grass in the affected area at the lowest setting. This allows the new soil to make proper contact with the existing grass roots. Rake away any dead grass, leaves, or debris to create a clean surface. 

Step 6: Fill the Low Spots

Shovel the selected material into the low spots, and spread it evenly using a garden rake. Gradually build up the layers, ensuring the added soil is no more than 1 inch deep for shallow low spots or 2 inches deep for deeper low spots. This allows the grass to grow through the new soil without suffocating. 

Step 7: Tamp and Level

After filling the low spots, use a lawn roller, a leveling rake, or the back of a garden rake to lightly tamp down the soil, ensuring good contact between the existing grass and the new material. Level the area using the garden rake, making sure the added soil is flush with the surrounding lawn. 

leveling low spots in lawn

Step 8: Water and Monitor

Water the area thoroughly, ensuring the new soil is moist but not waterlogged. Continue to monitor the area and water as needed, ensuring consistent moisture levels during the initial weeks. This promotes healthy grass growth and helps the new soil to settle properly. 

Questions?

Filling low spots in your lawn may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach and timing, it is a simple process that can dramatically improve the appearance and health of your lawn. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a level, lush lawn that you can be proud of. 

If you have any questions about fixing problem areas in your lawn, contact our Certified Turfgrass Professionals at 770.832.8608 or  info@NGTurf.com.

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