How to Remove Bumps and Dips in Your Lawn

When dips, bumps and valleys present themselves in your lawn, you may want to remove them. Many people simply add dirt or scrap it off and replace the grass. This method works alright, but it can mean you’ll have bald spots in your lawn until new grass has a chance to grow. Use this guide to fixing your bumpy or depression filled lawn and save your grass in the process.

Find the Center

The best way to spot the center area of a dip or bump is to pull a string line tight over the edge of the lawn. I like to put two stakes into the ground surrounding the hole or bump and measure four inches up each side of the stake. This is where I attach the string line. Now I can take measurements along the hole or bump to find out where the worst of the trouble is located. Mark the edges with a garden hose and remove the string line and stakes before moving to the next step.

Cut the Grass

No, you don’t need to break out the lawnmower and cut the grass. You’ll need to use a spade or a machete to cut through the grass down to the soil below, severing the sod in half. Make a cross or “X” shape through the center of your low/high spot from end to end of the garden hose. Remove the garden hose so you don’t accidentally cut through it once you get close with the machete or spade.

Fold the Grass

Now that you have a nice “X” shape cut into your dip/bump, you can peel back the sod to expose the hole/hump in your lawn. Use the edge of a spade or flat head shovel to free the sod layer from the soil below. Gently peel back the sod so that you have a good 3-inch layer of sod and soil together so it doesn’t break apart as you peel it back. Be sure to peel back enough grass to get at the hump or bump.

Aerate the Soil

Using a small pitch fork or metal rake, break up the soil at least four inches deep below the grass. Remove any rocks or other debris to prevent further sinking or rising in the soil. Tamp the soil lightly with your feet and either add or remove soil as needed according to the measurements you made in the first step. Carefully screed the added soil with a small 2×4 to make it nice and flat.

Replace the Sod

Now that the hole/hump is nice and flat, you can fold back the sod over the now flat spot and tamp it flat. Be sure to water the grass right away and every day for the next week to help the roots grow back into the soil.


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