Laying down a new quality turf is an exciting time when you’ll see a tremendous transformation take place in your backyard.
A premium quality turf can add significant value to your home but for best results you’ll want to make sure the area is beautifully level. Here, you can learn all you need to know about how to level your own lawn for that bowling green perfection.
We’ve also got some great advice and handy tips for levelling out those dips and bumps on an already existing lawn.
Whether you’re wanting to improve your current lawn or you’re getting ready to lay down some new turf it’s worth taking the time to make sure that the ground is nice and level.
An uneven lawn that’s riddled with bumps and uneven patches makes mowing difficult and can also lead to water logging problems. Those patches of standing water can make your lawn very unhealthy.
So, where do you begin to level uneven lawns.
Start by observing your entire lawn.
You’ll want to get those drainage problems sorted first for a really healthy lawn. If you don’t, you may find the lawn continues to sink and you’ll end up with even worse problems.
Now that you’ve identified the areas that need levelling you need to work out which levelling method is appropriate. There are two ways to level an existing lawn.
Some areas can be levelled with some minor topdressing other more sunken patches (more than 3 cms deep) will require more heavy-duty surgery.
Early spring is the best time to repair lawns and carry out levelling work as it allows any new seed time to germinate and establish itself before the heat of summer.
Dealing with minor depressions (up to 3 cms deep) is straightforward. Take a top dressing mixture of two parts sand, two parts soil and 1 part fine compost and mix well together.
Spread this mix into the depressions until level with the surrounding soil. Tamp the soil gently down and then water lightly.
After a few days, check the soil level and top up if necessary. Spread some grass seed, cover lightly with some top soil and gently water. You’ll need to water regularly until the grass has germinated and is established.
Repeat this process for any shallow depressions. You may find that some of these areas settle a little over time and you need to repeat the treatment.
It’s better to do this type of levelling gradually because if you apply too much soil at one time it can cause problems with drainage.
If the hole to be filled is deeper than 3 cms, you’ll need to do some surgery. You’ll need a square end spade. It’s best to use this method after rain when the soil is wet and less prone to crumbling.
Take the spade and cut a slice across the centre of the depression and out to either side. Cut down to about 5cms deep. Repeat along a perpendicular line to form a cross shape.
Slide the spade horizontally underneath (5cms deep) each section of the cross and gently peel back the turf.
Add sand or the top dressing mix described above until you’ve filled the hole level with the surrounding soil then replace the turf.
Tamp the turf back down to remove air pockets that might form and lead to the soil sinking again over time.
Apply top dressing mix to any gaps left around the cuts then apply a thin layer of new grass seed if needed.
Water regularly the area, especially where you’ve spread new grass seed until any scars have healed over.
This method can also be used be used for removing soil under high spots in your bumpy lawn. You’ll need to keep foot traffic off the new grass until it is well established.
You may need to repeat spray for any resistant or stubborn weeds so make sure you do this preparation at least 14 days before you plan to lay the lawn.
Remove dead weeds and any rocks or large stones.
Rotary hoe the soil to a depth of around 100 mms. Aim to get a very even soil consistency so make sure there are no soil clumps left.
Check the soil pH. Most grass seed and turf varieties tolerate a wide range of pH levels but if the pH is too low (below 6) then add some lime—100 to 200g per m2 is a general guideline.
Use a garden rake to spread the soil as evenly as you can and smooth out any bumpy patches by running a straight edge or straight piece of timber. It’s worthwhile taking the time to do this well to get that perfectly level lawn.
How much levelling your lawn will need will depend on a number of factors. The depth of top soil will help determine whether you fill in a hollow or lower surrounding high points.
You’ll also want to take into account factors such as the general topography of your section.
Your section might need some major landscaping to attain any really workable level.
This might necessitate the use of a digger and the construction of retraining walls. In many cases, you may need to obtain council consent for building a retaining wall.
A very gentle consistent slope in your lawn away from your house can be a good thing as it will allow water to drain away safely and avoid drainage problems.
Of course, a more steeply sloping lawn can be a really attractive feature too. It all depends on your budget and the particular look you’re aiming to achieve.
Topsoil is very useful for building up deeper hollows and sunken areas. Try to use the same type of soil as is present in your lawn area.
You’ll probably find similar soil mix in your garden beds. If you are top dressing a small hollow with topsoil, make sure you sweep the excess soil off so that the grass is not covered and can stand upright.
Ideally, for sunken areas deeper than 3cms, you’ll want to use the cross shape cut and lift method mentioned above. Remember to tamp the turf down firmly once the repair is complete to avoid the formation of any air pockets.
Ensure you use topsoil that has good structure. You don’t want to use soil that’s clumpy, too heavy or with too much clay. It needs to be able to hold some moisture yet still provide good drainage as well as nutrition for the grass.
Ideally, a sand soil mix (sand, topsoil and compost) gives the best results because the sand improves drainage, the soil provides some good structure and the compost will provide an abundance of nutrients.
Applying pure sand is a really useful way to level very minor depressions particularly in clay soil. And, provided you don’t cover the existing grass too deeply, you’ll find the grass will survive and grow back.
Brush the grass blades backwards and forwards with a broom to help the sand settle.
Sand can greatly assist drainage especially in poor heavy clay type soils. Use only good quality river sand from your garden centre. Be careful not to take sand from the beach as it contains salt that will kill your lawn.
It can be enormously satisfying learning how to level a lawn yourself. Of course, if all this sounds like too much trouble, especially if you’re starting from scratch and really want a superb result, then call in our expert lawn laying team.
We can ensure that your site is levelled immaculately, the soil is in tiptop condition, and your lawn is laid perfectly.
More and more often there are community groups, residents, sporting groups, local government and planners looking for information and research on the benefits of natural grass.
Below are a number of documents, links, research articles to assist in the decision making process.
Grechs Turf will continue to update this information as new resources are available.
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I would like to just take the time to thank you all for the great service. From the sales team on the phone all the way through to the delivery driver. The turf was also the freshest turf I have ever had delivered and we had a 100% perfect roll condition, I have never had a delivery with no waste rolls and perfect thickness growing bed attached so thank you. Even though I may not be very big currently I will be using GTS as my supplier from now on.
Hayden Mann – Dosman Lawns & Maintenance
Grechs Turf I have found over the past 8 years is the Best quality turf , the drivers delivering always help And are on time, placing orders with the next day Delivery is excellent. Keep up the good work
Jim – Superb Concreting
We pride ourselves at Eclipse Landscapes on our high level of standards and attention to detail, and with this in mind we have found that every aspect of Grech’s Turf over the past 20 years have always exceeded our expectations. They are most reliable, courteous and will always go that extra mile to ensure that their clients are well looked after and the best service is provided. They will always try their best to accommodate our deadlines and are extremely flexible in their approach. We would highly recommend the services of Grech’s Turf & their product.
Michelle – Eclipse Landscapes
The Other Side Landscapes Pty Ltd uses Grech's Turf for all our Turf Supplies. We undertook a trial process with turf suppliers and found their quality to be excellent, which is what our clients expect.
Adrian – Other Side Landscapes
You guys are great to deal with, deliveries are always on time and easy to organise, your quality of turf is great, I use the sapphire buffalo a lot, this is always in good nick and at a good price.
Mike – Vivid Scapes
I have been using the turf supplied from Grech's for over a decade simply because I know the turf delivered is the best quality every time.
Chris – Chris Chominsky Landscapes
Grech's Turf has been supplying our turf needs for over 20 years. Their quality of turf is superior. Their deliveries are always on time and delivered when scheduled and the staff always friendly and helpful. The grass is never greener anywhere else.
E. T. Landscapes & Plant Hire
Waratah Lawn Care & Garden Management have been using the professional services of GTS for over 6 years now, and over this time they have proven to be a reliable supplier of good quality turf to meet our range of clients needs. Sometimes our orders range from large orders of hundreds of square meters and other times just 10-20 meters, but no matter the order and where it's going GTS is always willing to get the order cut and delivered within our required timeframe. I have found the office staff to be helpful and professional with service, as well as the delivery drivers who are always friendly and keen to make sure they help out our staff by delivering and unloading the turf in the right position on site.
Greg – Waratah Lawn Care & Garden Management
“Thank you for the help over the Christmas break.
We had an order booked in with them of the Wednesday just before Christmas 2015 but due to the weather they were not able to cut, which is understandable. The guys kept me informed and were really helpful in organising a time and day for delivery once they went back to work and the ground dried enough so they could start cutting turf again.
The turf is always top quality and my customers are always happy with the turf.”
Shannon – Ponds-on-Pipeline
“Turf has been great every time. Look forward to next delivery”
Steven – Goodwill Landscaping
"Fine Edge Landscapes have been using Grech's Turf Supplies for the past 15 years. The quality of turf is always 100%, they deliver on time and their prices are very competitive. You can count on Grech's Turf Supplies to be the best every single time!"
Marcus – Fine Edge Landscapes
“BNE Lawn & Garden Maintenance has been using Grech's Turf for some 10 years. We have found their turf to be first quality and never had an issue with any turf. Grech’s is easy to deal with, the turf is always on time and when requested – especially at short notice.”
Bryan – BNE Lawn & Garden Maintenance
“Thank you to Kathy and Peter of Grech's Turf. Great Staff all very helpful. Love my new lawn”
Allan – Charlestown
“Ordered some turf form Grech’s Turf recently to cover an area around a new home. Well it has just finished our home off beautifully. Can not wait to mow it over the summer period, as it come up tops.
I would like to thank Grech’s Turf for their prompt service and top quality product, but even more importantly, their willingness to offer advice to get the most out of our investment.”
Scott – Sydney
“Just a quick note to thank Kerrie and her team for their advice and service – our new Sir Walter lawn was delivered and is looking fantastic. Everyone at GTS was friendly, knowledgeable and made sure everything was done properly to ensure our lawn would be the envy of our neighbours!”
Nick – Holroyd
The turf that arrived today was the best I have seen! As always, you guys provide a prompt and professional service, which makes me look good to my clients. Thanks again!
Joe – Windsor