When Should You Level Your Lawn? (And How To Do It)

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:52 pm

The ideal image of a lawn is a nice straight plane. A level lawn not only looks beautiful, but is beneficial in many cases. Heavy rain runs off evenly and puddles do not form.

A straight lawn is also better for the lawn mower. If the ground is level, the lawn mower is much better able to bring the blades of grass to a uniform length. As a result, you get a very uniform lawn.

When Should You Level Your Lawn? (And How To Do It)

However, our imagination does not always correspond to reality. If your lawn has some unevenness and there are small hills, then you should straighten the lawn.

How do you go about straightening the lawn and what tools do you need?

Causes of uneven lawn

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Before you start working, find out why the lawn is uneven. Perhaps you did not pay attention to it at the beginning of your gardening activities, and the ground was already uneven from the beginning? Or has the problem only developed over time and you are now trying to repair the lawn?

A common reason for an uneven lawn is that the area was not properly flattened before seeding. If the soil is not compacted enough, over time it will sink in some places and the bumps will become visible.

There are also other natural reasons for unevenness of the lawn, over which you have no real influence. Here, different conditions of the soil can cause the unsightly dents.

How much does the lawn need to be straightened

No matter what cause is responsible for the unsightly mounds, at the beginning you should find out exactly how “crooked” the lawn and the ground actually are.

As an aid, you can use a spirit level.

To take stock, you should first locate the lowest point of the lawn. Here, stick a stick into the ground to mark the spot and later accurately determine the difference in height.

Then go to the highest point in the lawn and also stick a small rod into the ground.

Now connect the sticks with a string. Align the string so that it is exactly horizontal. To do this, take the spirit level and adjust the height of the twine.

For this work you need a second person to change the height of the twine.

Once the twine is exactly level, you can see the difference in height and estimate how much work will be required. At the end of straightening the lawn, the goal should be that such a difference in height on the lawn is no longer detectable.

The best time for straightening

When straightening the lawn, a great intervention in the soil takes place. In connection with the soil, the lawn is also plowed up and reseeding is needed.

Therefore, it is recommended to work the soil in the warmer months, starting in mid-April. The soil should not be too cold or wet. This would only further complicate the work.

If the conditions of the soil allow it as early as March, then you can carry out the work already at this time. However, you should still wait until April before reseeding, as there could still be a temperature drop.

Preparation of the soil

Are you just laying a new lawn and want to have a completely level soil or do you want to straighten an existing lawn?

Depending on which situation you are in, you will need to proceed differently. Here are the steps for both options.

If a new lawn is being laid

Are you just laying out a new garden and you notice that the ground is a bit uneven, then you are in a fortunate position. For now you can still work the soil with relative ease. In most cases, the soil is already somewhat loosened, which makes the following work easier.

On the other hand, there is another risk. Because in the soil could still be some weeds that have not yet shown themselves. However, when the lawn is replanted, these weeds could lead to unsightly spots in the lawn.

To prevent the weeds from coming back to life and colonizing the lawn during the following work in the soil, you should let the lawn rest for about 1 to 2 weeks after leveling.

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If within this time you notice the growth of weeds, you can take appropriate countermeasures.

With this electric weed killer, you can kill the offending plants and then start sowing the lawn. Here, note how long the lawn needs to germinate.

However, much more preparation is usually not necessary when straightening a new lawn.

Straightening the existing lawn

If the lawn has been growing for some time, you certainly don’t want to ruin your hard work. Therefore, when straightening the lawn, you need to proceed a little differently and, above all, more carefully.

In the first step, you again need to find out how big the height difference actually is. To do this, again use the method with sticks and twine.

Before you spread the new soil on the lawn, the lawn must be cut as short as possible in these places.

Once you have determined the difference, you can apply a first thin layer of soil to the lower spot. The layer should not exceed 1 to 2 centimeters. To compact the soil, you can press the layer of soil a little with your shoes.

Repeat this process until the lawn is level.

The advantage of this method is that you do not destroy the lawn. You only cover the lawn a little with soil. The plants can continue to grow normally and after a short time the lawn will look very even.

To encourage growth, you should also apply some liquid fertilizer on the leveled areas.

However, if there are large differences in height, then gradually increasing the soil will not give the desired result. If molehills are found in the garden or there are other reasons for huge differences in height, then you need to proceed as follows.

To do this, you need to work the lawn with a plow. With it, you break up the earth and the soil is loosened. Now you have the opportunity to move the soil so that you achieve a flat surface.

Distribute the soil evenly

Once you have measured the difference in height and the soil is loose enough to achieve an even lawn, then you need to apply the lawn soil.

You can use a wooden stick and horizontal twine for better guidance. The twine can be the upper limit of the soil and will tell you how much soil to apply.

Once the soil is relatively evenly distributed and the twine method tells you that there are no more rough unevennesses, it is a matter of adjusting the level very finely.

For this you will need a straightedge of somewhat greater length. A length of two to three meters should be sufficient to save you some work but still easy to handle.

For a perfectly flat surface, you can either place the spirit level on the straightedge or, even better, go directly to a straightedge with a built-in spirit level.

However, the work is not yet done. Because the soil is now still relatively loose and with time it could again come to unevenness, because the soil sinks.

  • Therefore, now grab a roller and flatten the soil.
  • Sow new lawn
  • The ground now presents a nice flat and even plane. The only thing missing now for perfect happiness is the lawn. So it is now time to sow new lawn.

Here, you need to make sure that you sow the right amount of seed and that no bare patches are left. Also important is sufficient watering of the lawn.

To ensure the best result, you should refrain from watering the lawn in strong sunlight. This may not cause the much-cited burning of the lawn, but the water will evaporate in large parts and will not be distributed evenly.


An uneven lawn not only looks very unsightly, but can cause real problems in maintaining the lawn. It creates a tripping hazard and is harder to work with the lawn mower.

Therefore, you should put a great emphasis on the fact that the lawn is as straight as possible.

The procedure for straightening a lawn is relatively simple. First, you just need to determine the difference in height, and then level it.

A shovel is used to remove an elevation and a depression is refilled with soil. Then level the soil with the help of a straightedge and a spirit level.

Once the soil has reached the desired evenness, it must be compacted. This will keep the soil stable and it is unlikely that depressions will occur again in the future.

With these simple steps you will get a level lawn, which will facilitate garden maintenance and look better.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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