Few among us are so fortunate as to own lawns which are perfectly level. Most properties have some hills and valleys. Yet from the standpoint of drainage, appearance and healthy lawn-growing conditions, a fairly level lay of the land is desirable.
When confronted with this problem I found a simple method which overcame the difficulty with little effort – and retained the stand of grass.
In the case of a hill or slope, a U-shaped cut, eight to ten inches wide by approximately four inches deep, is made with a sharp, straight spade.
The eight-inch base of the “U” is made at the foot of the hill and the parallel arms are made as long as necessary to cover the desired area. If the promontory is fairly wide, a series of cuts side by side are made.
The “roll-back” is then started by inserting the spade into the cut which forms the base of the “U.” Prying down on the spade handle loosens the free end of the flag of turf.
Next the spade is shoved forward parallel with the ground and at a depth of about four inches – taking care not to damage the grass roots.
When this has been done it is a simple matter to roll up the sod like a carpet. If the “U” is long, it may be best to roll the sod as you go. The underlying earth is dug out to the desired depth, and smoothed off to establish the desired level. The turf is then replaced.
If the subsoil exposed by cutting down the mound is hard or compacted, it is first loosened with a hoe or rake. The operation is completed by soaking the whole area with the garden hose.
This “face-lifting” can be performed at any time of year but is best done in spring or fall when cool, wet weather promotes the best growth of grass.
Raising of low spots proceeds along similar lines. Instead of excavating, add soil to the bared subsoil to establish a new level consistent with the surroundings.
The added soil should be of fairly good quality and thoroughly wetted before covering. Again, after the sod is carefully tamped in place, the area should be watered. When carefully performed, either method gives a smooth lawn. In fact, after two weeks, even the scars don’t show!