If you’ve got a yard and you want to level it, it can seem like an intimidating task, but we’re here to show you that it doesn’t have to be hard and in fact, it can actually be lots of fun.
If you’ve ever wondered how to level your yard, this guide is for you. We’ll walk through the steps to leveling your yard in as little time and with as little hassle as possible.
The Importance of Yard Leveling
Yard leveling is essential for several reasons:
- Erosion and water run-off – Erosion can cause severe damage to your property, especially if you live in an area that gets lots of rain or snowfall. The runoff from these storms can cause erosion, leading to cracks in your driveway, foundation, and even your home’s structure.
- Drainage issues – If you don’t have proper drainage on your property, you risk having standing water on your lawn and garden all year round. This can lead to mold growth and rot
- , as well as make it impossible for the grass or other vegetation to grow properly.
- Insect infestation – Insects like mosquitoes love standing water because it gives them a place to lay their eggs and hatch their young. Make sure there aren’t any standing puddles on your property by regularly draining them, so they don’t become breeding grounds for insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and wasps.
When to Grade the Yard?
The best time to grade a yard is just before the spring planting season. That way, you’ll have plenty of time for the soil to settle after completing the grading process.
If the yard is sloped and you’re trying to level it out, ensure there’s enough room on either side so that water can drain away from your foundation and patio. If you have trees, make sure they’re positioned so they won’t fall over in heavy winds or storms.
If you’re grading your yard because you want to build something like a deck or patio, you’ll need to ensure that whatever it is will be stable on the new surface.
The Benefits of Ground Leveling
Ground leveling can provide several benefits to your property. For starters, it will help you achieve the look that you want for your yard. You can make it look like a golf course or a park. The ground can also be leveled so that wind doesn’t pick it up, which makes it safer for children and pets.
Another benefit is that ground leveling will allow water to run off quickly and easily when it rains or snows. This will prevent flooding and erosion in your yard, which could cause damage to your home or other structures on your property.
The process of ground leveling is also very effective at preventing mudslides and other
natural disasters that may occur during heavy rainstorms or snowfalls. Most homeowners want their yards to look nice all year round, so this is important.
12 Steps to Leveling Your Yard
If you’re thinking about leveling your yard, the first step is determining if it’s even necessary.
A level yard is nice, but it isn’t essential for a thriving landscape. It may be more practical and less expensive to leave your yard how it is and make adjustments as needed with plants and mulches.
But if you want a perfectly flat lawn or patio, here are some tips on how to go about leveling your yard:
- Make Sure You Have the Right Tools
Ensuring you have the right tools is the first step to leveling your yard.
The best way to start is by picking up a level (or two). Then, you’ll need a shovel, an edger, and a rake. If you’re going to be moving dirt around, grab yourself a wheelbarrow as well.
If you want to save money on material costs, rent a trencher. It can make digging holes much easier.
You may also want to invest in a mower if you plan on cutting your grass regularly. In addition to making sure your yard looks good, it will also help reduce maintenance costs later on down the road.
- Measure the Floor
Before you begin leveling your yard, determine what exactly needs to be leveled. If just one area is sloped, you may only need a small amount of material removed from under the area in question.
However, if your yard is sloped, it may require more than one person and some heavy machinery to level everything out.
- Set up the Laser Level
Use two stakes placed approximately 10 feet apart at opposite ends of where you want your laser line projected.
Place the laser level on top of one stake and align it so that it points toward the other stake.
If there are trees or other obstructions between stakes, move them out of the way so that they don’t interfere with the laser line’s path from stake to stake.
- Use Stakes and Strings
Go around your yard with stakes and string and mark where the high and low spots are. You can also use a level line, which looks like a long piece of string with a weight attached at the bottom.
The weight should lie flat when placed on an even surface and stick out when it’s not.
- Mow Your Lawn
Mow your lawn and keep it as short as possible. This will help to keep the grass from becoming too thick and choking out other plants.
Taller grass will also make it easier for weeds to grow, so it’s vital that you keep it mowed.
- Dethatch Your Lawn
The most critical step to leveling your lawn is to dethatch it. Dethatching is raking or pulling out the dead grass, roots, and other debris that’s been accumulating on your lawn.
Dethatching is crucial because it removes all the dead material from the soil surface so that new grass can grow in its place.
- Mix Sand, Topsoil, and Compost
Mix sand, topsoil, and compost together to create a fluffy mixture that will help hold the moisture in the soil while also providing nutrients for your plant’s roots to grow through.
If you have time, let this mixture sit for several days to break down further before using it in your garden beds. If not, don’t worry about it too much. It’s much better than just using plain dirt!
- Dig the Sunken Area of the Lawn
Use a shovel, spade, or fork to dig out all of the grass from around your tree trunk, as well as any roots that may have grown into the ground.
- Add the New Soil Mixture
Add new soil mixture to the area you dug up using your jackhammer and backhoe (if necessary).
This can be done by hand if you have enough time on your hands; otherwise, rent one from your local rental store and follow their instructions carefully (they’re not terribly complicated).
- Spread the Rest of the Soil Mixture
Spread more topsoil over any exposed areas left behind by digging up high spots, filling holes, and leveling out low spots so that everything will be covered evenly with at least 2 inches of soil.
- Run the Sprinklers
Now it’s time to run the sprinklers. You may have them on a timer, or you could use an app to schedule when they should turn on and off. The key is ensuring the water reaches all of your lawn.
The water will help keep down any weeds that are growing in your yard. It will also help to keep your grass green, and it will help keep your garden happy by keeping the soil moist.
- Reapply the Soil Mixture as Needed
The final step is to apply the soil mixture as needed after the lawn sprinkler has finished its cycle.
If you have been using a sprinkler with an oscillating pattern, you will want to ensure that the water flows over all of the areas in your yard.
This will ensure that there are no dry spots. You can use a hose or watering can accomplish this task.
After everything is dry, you can go ahead and mow your new lawn. You may also want to consider adding fertilizer so that your grass has a good start.
When your new lawn is fully established, it should be able to survive on its own for several weeks without needing extra care from you.
You will only need to come out into your yard again if it gets too dry or too hot outside for any length of time (usually less than one week).
Leveling your yard is the process of adding fill, dirt, sand, or gravel to make a sloped area level. The addition of fill prevents future erosion due to water runoff.
Trying to level your yard without the proper tools can be time-consuming, expensive, and even seriously harmful in some cases. But with the right tools and instruction, anyone can learn to build their own level yard at home.
- What is the easiest way to level the ground?
The easiest way to level the ground is by using a laser level. This will ensure that the ground is perfectly flat and even, so your project can be built with no issues!
- What is the best equipment to level a yard?
The best equipment to level a yard is a sod cutter. It’s a machine that cuts up the grass and lays it down in a layer, so you can then take another machine and put down clean fill. The sod cutter also cuts the edge, so it looks good when it’s done.
- Can I grade my yard myself?
You can. Just be sure to do your research and make sure you know what you’re doing. You should also ensure you have the right equipment, like a lawn mower.
- How can I grade my yard without a tractor?
You can grade your yard without a tractor by using a shovel and a rake. First, use the shovel to make a shallow trench from one side of your yard to the other, perpendicular to the center line of your house. Use the rake to push dirt out of this trench until it is level with the rest of your yard.
- How can I level my yard without heavy equipment?
You can level your yard without heavy equipment by doing it yourself. This can be done by digging down and filling in the low spots with dirt, gravel, or sand.
You can also use a shovel to level out the high spots. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can hire a landscaper to do it for you.