Lawn Leveling with Sand: My Experience with Pictures!
Hello, fellow GardenWebbers! My name is Nathan Alden, and I'd like to share my lawn leveling experience with everyone. Leveling is a popular topic here in the Lawn Care forum and hopefully my experiences will prove useful to others looking to undertake this challenge.
I'd like to begin by thanking my fellow posters here on GardenWeb for their advice leading up to me leveling my lawn. Your experience and advice proved most useful!
Next, information about my lawn and lawn care practices:
- Region: Round Rock, TX
- Grass: Bermudagrass Tifway 419
- Turf origin: Sod laid September 2011 after new home construction
- Soil: More clay than sand
- Front lawn area: ~2000 sq ft
- Mow height: 1"
- Mower: Honda rotary model HRR216VKA
- Clippings: Mulched
- Mowing frequency: Every 3-4 days
Materials used for leveling:
- 3 cu yd white masonry sand
- One shop pushbroom
- Garden hose with firehose nozzle
- Two people
- Lots of effort
When I first moved into my new home, I knew next to nothing about lawn care. The extent of my experience came from mowing my parents' lawn when I was a teenager. This being my first home, I was determined to take care of the lawn and avoid the shabby to outright hideous look of most of my neighbors' lawns. The first thing I did was read the book Lawns: Your Guide to a Beautiful Yard. This book proved to be a great introduction into various lawn care practices. Using the information in the book, I was able to keep my lawn looking decent even after last year's drought. Here's a picture of a piece of my front yard from April:
Many folks might say my lawn looks pretty good, but I knew it could be better. Notice how the grass around the tree appears rutted and inconsistent. I mow at 1", and the mower would frequently bottom out, scalping several areas of the lawn and ruining the appearance. Determined, I decided that I would research how to level the lawn and hopefully create a much smoother, consistent, healthy appearance. I wanted to set a good example for the neighborhood!
I had been lurking on GardenWeb for some time, but in April 2012 I decided to create a thread asking for advice on leveling my lawn.
Notice the terribly uninformed title--I actually wanted help with leveling, not aerating and top-dressing; it goes to show how much I knew back then! Using the excellent wisdom provided by dchall in combination with other resources on the Web, I decided that I would level my front lawn in mid-May. Although dchall and others advised me to wait until June or July to level--when Bermuda is growing its best--I decided to level a bit earlier for a couple of reasons:
- I couldn't truly scalp my lawn; 1" was the lowest I was able to mow due to not owning a reel mower and the bumpy nature of the turf
- I knew it would be brutally hot in late June or early July; yesterday was June 27 and the temperature was 105! Neither the wife nor I wanted to be outside...