It is every homeowner’s dream to have a picture perfect garden. A well-levelled lawn not only makes your garden more attractive, but also minimalizes soil erosion and helps with drainage improvement. To have a garden that makes everyone jealous you have to level it. This brings us the first question- how do you level a garden? Well, it involves hard work and getting your hand a little dirty, but it’s surely worth it.
Why is it so important to level your garden?
Before we get into a step-by-step levelling guide, it is very important to understand why an even garden without bumps and slopes is a better garden. First of all, if your garden is uneven, it will be mostly useless. You won’t be able to grow plants and you’ll be with the weed-killer all the time trying to keep them at bay. Also, with slopes all around chairs won’t rest level and it will be really uncomfortable to sit or even lay on the grass. Secondly, for aesthetic reasons it is important to level your garden. If your garden is full of bumps and slopes it’s really unappealing. Finally, a slope can lead to problems with flooding and soil erosion, so levelling your garden is even more useful than just making your garden beautiful and easier to relax in.
4 advantages of levelling a garden
It’s been said before that slopes and bumps don’t look very attractice, but what are the true advantages of levelling a garden?
- Levelling helps with drainage and can direct runoff water away from your property.
- A level lawn means that more water can be absorbed into the soil and make it have more nutrients.
- An even lawn is easier to mow.
- Having an even garden means having more space to work on and to relax.
You will need these tools to level the low spots
It is a hard job to level your lawn, but the list of the tools needed is not that long.
- A couple of stakes and a string for measuring the rise and run of your current garden.
- A spirit level to check if things are flat.
- A garden water sprinkler to moisten your soil.
- A flat shovel to dig with.
- A soil compactor to squash everything down.
- Grass seeds or turf for your brand new lawn.
While getting ready for the hard work, make sure that you are also equipped with protective gloves and shoes. It would be a shame to destroy your favorite sneakers working in the garden.
How do you level a sloping garden?
First of all, make sure it is the right season to level a garden. Spring seems to be the perfect time to get started. This will ensure that grass seeds have enough time to grow and not leave you with a lawn full of low spots and bumps. Now that you are ready to level your garden, follow these easy steps to do it right.
1. Understand the space you’re working with and make a lawn audit.
This step will help you determine the required amount of levelling for your garden. It will also help you discover any drainage issues. Remember that no plan means finding new problems in the process, which can only complicate your work more.
2. Create low terraces.
One method to level an uneven lawn is to add stair-like terraces in order to protect your flowers and vegetables. Remember that if your slope is manageable, you should consider planting vegetables and flowers to make sure that your soil remains healthy and drainage system improves.
3. Measure the rise and run of the slope.
Place two stakes – one on the top and one on the bottom of the slope. Tie a string between them. On the top stake the string should be at ground level and it should stretch in order to meet the second stake. Now, you need to place a spirit level on the string to make sure it is level. It is a very important step, because your new lawn will follow the line of the string.
4. Pre-water the lawn.
You might need to remove the grass before you start levelling. After that it is possible that the ground will be very dry. You will have to water the lawn for few days. This will help to also get rid of the powder texture of the soil. Remember to not overdoit, as too much water will result in wet soil and mud, which is as problematic as dry soil during lawn levelling.
5. Bulid a retaining wall.
A retaining wall is needed to protect the level ground from collapsing after a rainfall. It will holdback the pressure of the soil and will make the rainwater soak into it. The wall should be not more than two feet tall and made of solid materials, in order to prevent it from collapsing.
5. Level the shallow low spots.
You can pour in some top dressing mixture , made of peat, sand and topsoil and shake it up with a garden rake. With this method you can level low spots that are usually one to two cm lower than the area of your lawn.
6. Level the deep spots.
For spots that are deeper than two cm you will need a quite different approach. You will have to remove the grass and the top soil and dig with a shovel till you reach the depth of four to five cm. After you do that, you will have to remove all the stones and compact the soil using a hand tamper. By doing so you will prevent the further sinking of water. Fill the spots with the same top dressing mixture the same way you did with the low spots.
7. Level the bumps.
Levelling the bumps is easier than the above. Mark the bump with a shovel and make an incision deep enough to lift the turf. Then you will need to remove the excess soil with your shovel. Remember to do this slowly and make sure you’re not making additional spots. When you’re done compact the soil with you hands.
How much does it cost to level a garden in UK?
The prices of levelling vary, because they depend on different factors, such as the size of the garden, the amount of work that is required, the type of materials you choose to use. It is also important whether you choose to do the job on your own or ask for some professional help of a landscaper. We listed the average landscaping costs below:
- soil irrigation: 8-10 pounds an hour
- turf: 14 pounds/ square meter
- new plant seeds: 30-40 pounds/ square meter
Professional help with an uneven area can cost around 500 to 1000 pounds. The price depends on all the factors listed before. If there’s a need to level more severe low spots, then it may be good to install an undergound drainage system. If you are determined to do the job on your own, you may have to rent or buy a grader, a sod cutter, a spirit level, a shovel and stakes, if you don’t already own them. If you decide to take it on yourself, make sure you have the time for doing so. Remember that if you don’t get it right in the first place, it may cost you more to restore the damage. But the satisfaction of having your dream garden is priceless!