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Real Gardens Cambridge

Home arrow FAQs arrow How do I level my garden?
How do I level my garden? E-mail
The best way to level your lawn is with a tractor and a box blade. For those of you with smaller lawns, or no access to a tractor, here's a summary of how you can level your lawn yourself...

1. Mow with a rotary mower at the mower’s lowest setting.

2. Scalp to 1/16 inch with a rented, self powered and propelled, reel mower. The purpose of this is to scalp the yard as low as possible and remove the debris. If you cannot rent a reel mower, mow at the lowest possible setting of whatever you have and remove the debris.

3. Core aerate (if you think you must, sigh)

4. Top dress with [*****your local topsoil*****] mix.

5. Drag a large mat over the topdressing to make it super level. Drag in all directions until you are happy with it.

6. Seed or sod.

7. Roll the seed or sod with a rented water fillable roller.

8. Fertilise.


1. This step may hit roots, soil, or hidden rocks in your soil. Be careful.

2. The only way to completely remove the turf and keep the roots alive is to mow as low as possible. This exposes all the high and low spots to make step 4 work better.

3. Don’t aerate before step 2 or you will have trouble mowing. If you have low spots you want to raise, don’t aerate the low spots but aerate heavily in the high areas so you can sweep all the cores to the low areas.

4. *****We’re still working on what to use in this step.***** I also want to come up with an easy way to estimate how much top dressing to buy. Basically you get 1/4 to 1/3 inch per cubic yard per 1,000 square feet. So 4 cubic yards will provide about an inch of cover on 1,000 square feet. There are probably issues with how to get this out of a pile and relatively evenly distributed before dragging.

5. You can use chain link fencing with boards to weight it down or an inverted shipping palate.

6. Use the best seed you can find. It will be the seed with the lowest % weed.

7. The roller is needed to push the seed into the soil and provide good contact. Sod needs to be rolled so that the bottom of all the sod is touching the soil.

8. If you were doing this in an organic program, you would fertilise with alfalfa at 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet about 2-3 weeks prior to starting this process.

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