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Old 10-18-2012, 03:17 PM   #1
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flattening bumpy lawn

My lawn is rough, bumpy, about 1" humps everywhere, really clumpy.
The grass is nice though.
So wondering about racking in dirt to fill all the low spots, basically over the entire lawn.

Will the grass just grow through the added dirt?
What time of year should I do this?

Anything else?



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Old 10-18-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have moles or voles.


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Old 10-18-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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No moles or Voles just whoever originally did the lanscape did a poor job.
It is clay soil that they tilled up and did not smooth from what I understand for a guy who built some houses here as well as neighbors.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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Around the Midwest some degree of soil heaving from temperature changes is fairly common. It is common practice in moderate to severe situations to use a landscape roller to smooth out the imperfections. This is usually done after the last frost, in the Spring.

You mention clay though and you risk compacting the soil with a roller too heavy. You could cause more problems than you fix. If a nursery or turfgrass person in your area suggests this a good idea though? Try filling the roller just part full.

Your idea to rake in some soil amendments to level things out is not a bad one either. Just be sure to compensate for Ph changes. If you do this, I would aerate first as the roller for that will have some weight to it and the cores will keep the soil open. Again, I would wait until Spring.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:32 AM   #5
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Although in Michigan, it sounds as if we have similar lawns with similar soils, and we have success with both rolling as well as with filling and seeding. Rolling, here anyway, seems to typically work best in the fall, or, as sdsester suggested, early spring, before we get too much rain. And, as sdsester also suggested, almost never with the roller full. My experience has been that, and I usually gauge this by simply walking around the lawn, rolling does absolutely nothing when the soil is dry, but rolling it when it is too wet can actually just move the high spots, not unlike the wake of a boat, even though obviously not as dramatic, and what it does flatten will usually come back up in a day or so anyway. So that is what I do, depending on the weather, once I have the leaves picked up in the fall or as soon as the frost is out in the spring. The other benefit to doing it at this time is that I always cut the lawn short in the fall, so it's easier to see what is really going on with the soil. In the spring, I typically sample handfuls of soil from the garden, and once I can feel it starting to warm up, I start seeding low areas. I take the wheel barrow, or loader bucket, depending on what I want to attack, fill the voids, rake it, seed it, and straw it. By mowing the lawn short in the fall, the rush is off, or at least lessened, to get that first mowing in the spring, so by seeding early, I can stay completely off of those areas until I am satisfied that the new grass has developed enough before running over it with the mower.
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