Areas of a lawn can become uneven over time, due to "settling" and other factors. In the least extreme cases, you will want to solve the problem by "topdressing," which allows you to level out your lawn. Is this problem new to you? If you have never experienced it, you may need a brief introduction to it -- and its solution -- in order to understand what it is all about.
The Problem: Low Spots Develop in a Lawn, Making the Surface Uneven
"I have a lawn that was put on over a ledge where the house was build in 2006. Now the lawn is very uneven with dips in the surface that can twist your ankle while walking. The grass is in bad shape too and looks dead in places. One side of the lawn is sloping. What should I do?"
The Solution: Topdressing to Level a Lawn Back Out
Most of us enjoy our turfgrass lawns as a great foundation for outdoor activity. Maintaining our lawns properly is very important, in part, to ensure safe and enjoyable outdoor activity. A lawn needs to be smooth to avoid injuries that might be caused from stepping on an uneven surface. Your grass is the "floor" of an outdoor living space, and floors need to provide stability.
A level and even lawn is also easier to maintain. Who wants to mow a lawn with low spots in it, right? Not only is it uncomfortable (as when you drive your car over potholes), but it can also cause you to scalp the grass (because, as the mower drops down when the tires pass over low spots, the level of the mower blade also drops, plunging into the higher spots and cutting the grass there much too low).
The least invasive approach to leveling your uneven areas would be to topdress the low spots, by filling them in with a mixture of topsoil, sand, and compost -- basically, a soil medium that can support turfgrass growth. Apply enough soil in the low areas to make them even and level with the areas around them. You will then want to seed the topdressed areas with turf to obtain an even healthy turfgrass lawn. After establishment, the lawn should be maintained properly to ensure that you can obtain the most enjoyment from the lawn.
If the uneven areas are substantial enough that topdressing will not solve the problem, you may need to do a more major renovation by regrading the area and establishing a new stand of turfgrass. No matter what method you choose -- to topdress or renovate more substantially -- it will be important that you follow proper practice in establishing the turfgrass and maintaining it properly after establishment.