Leveling ground under grass?

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This summer we laid sod in our backyard and we prepped/flattened the sod underneath, but we were in a rush to try and finish some things up before it started raining and I guess we walked on it too much before it all settled because now the ground is fairly uneven and not as flat/ level as I would like.
Is there a way to level the ground under the grass now that it's established?
Thanks, Dave
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On Tue, 22 Sep 2009 10:22:26 -0700 (PDT), David Johansen

Not sure what you mean by "sod underneath", did you really lay new sod over old sod? I'd like to hear you laid new sod atop freshly prepared earth.

You don't want to level the grass, you want to level the ground the sod/grass is set on. One of the best ways (and should have been done prior to laying new sod) is by running a roller back and forth and crosswise. You can still roll the area to help level the ground, just don't use too much weight lest you damage your new sod... fill the roller only about 1/3 with water. You don't say how much area but it would be best to use a a push roller, but if your area is large you may need to tow the roller, than use the lightest weght tractor with the widest wheels. In any case you'd do best to apply light pressure and repeat the process like every two days rather than attempt to roll it smooth all in one go. With sod lawns you would do well to roll twice every year (spring and fall). I always suggest a seeded lawn, seeded lawns are far healthier and more enduring, sod never actually roots into the ground... sod is more like a hair piece than you may think.
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Sorry that was a typo. I meant "ground/dirt underneath" and not sod.

I'll give that a try and I'll try the recommendations from some of the other responses as well.
Thanks to everyone, Dave
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The message

You can make a cross-shaped slit in the turf, peel it back, either excavate or add some soil (to lower or raise the level) and put the flaps back down on top. For hollows, it's much easier just to gradually add fine soil on top and let the grass grow through it.
Janet.
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Janet Baraclough wrote:

I had the same problem. What I did was to fill up the holes by spreading (raking) loose top soil over the affected areas and reseeded where it was needed.
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David Johansen wrote:

I assume you mean you want to smooth the surface making it even, not make it level. Leveling (ie making horizontal) is hardly practical after you have laid sod.
You could top dress it. Using a friable loam, rake and drag it over the grass, cover thinly overall with almost none on the high spots but filling up the hollows and cracks. A heavy log of wood pulled by a loop of rope will give you a smooth surface and in time muscles too! The grass will grow through the dressing and form a smooth mat. This is best done during the growing season otherwise you can get erosion down the hollows before the grass grows.
David
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You're right and I probably did use the wrong term. I am interested in making the ground "even" (no hills or valleys), and hopefully with all of the tips I've gotten so far that will work.
Thanks, Dave
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On Wed, 23 Sep 2009 08:17:10 -0700 (PDT), David Johansen

It would help to advise knowing the size of the area.
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It's a little bigger than 15 feet by 25 feet. Dave
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On Thu, 24 Sep 2009 08:18:44 -0700 (PDT), David Johansen

It's small enough that you can even your lawn yourself with a hand pushed roller... you can probably rent one but I think it's best to have your own as you will likely need to roll your lawn a few times each year: http://tinyurl.com/ycrrapq
(Amazon.com product link shortened)53805956&sr=8-1
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So would I just soak the ground to soften it up and then roll it? Or is there anything special I need to do first? Thanks, Dave
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On Thu, 24 Sep 2009 08:40:49 -0700 (PDT), David Johansen

There's much you can do, wetting to soften the ground will help a lot, but you can also aerate and add a dressing of rich top soil. Much depends on how flat you want your patch of lawn and how much effort you're willing to expend. I wouldn't try to make it flat all in one fell swoop... instead periodically roll your lawn, especially after a rain... yiou don't wasnt to walk on your lawn right after a rain either, let it dry a bit so you don't make muddy ruts. Such a small patch of ground shouldn't require more than 15 minutes to roll, so do it often.
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wrote:

Doesn't say not to walk on it... says not to roll right after a rain, silly.

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On Thu, 24 Sep 2009 08:40:49 -0700 (PDT), David Johansen

Rolling compacts the soil. So you solve one problem for another.
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wrote:

One would thinks so but rolling does not compact soil, in fact it does just the opposite, in flattening the ground rolling redistributes soil particles making soil more porous thereby increasing its volume To a degree rolling aerates (however not in a good way). To compact a vibratory machine is used, which forces particles to interlock in such a way that makes the soil more dense and lessens its volume. When rolling lawns one needs to be careful not to roll with too much weight and make too many passes or the soil will become so fluffy that it breaks contact with the grass roots. Same when one mows close around trees, it's best to use a push mower rather than a heavy garden tractor. Landscapers and grounds keepers use rollers all the time, in fact when mowing athletic fields/golf courses the anti scalping rollers are adjusted to apply enough pressure to flatten the ruts made by mower tires.
Road builders use rollers to compact, but they are very heavy (tons) and they vibrate... they're used to compact the roadway sub base of crushed stone and the blacktop, not garden soil. Vibrators won't compact good organic garden soil... if your soil compacts from rolling then it's very poor quality soil for growing a lawn (or anything) and needs substantial ammending.... like how experienced farmers can judge soil quality by grabbing a fistful and and applying pressure, if it all clumps together it's not good farmland... good arable farmland won't compact.
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Citation please.
--
When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
poor have no food, they call you a communist.
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Billy wrote:

There are no citations for common sense, common sense is not debatable... you either have it or you don't... you don't. Flattening ground is all relative/a matter of degree regarding compaction... with freshly tilled/loose ground any pressure applied will compact but with already compacted ground any pressure exerted to flatten the high points will loosen the ground in the movement/shifting thereof. That you can't immediately comprehend this most basic of juvenile phenomena proves you were an abused child, you weren't permitted sandbox time, you never tested cow pies, you never fingerpainted, you failed library paste... when all the other kids were making mud pies bad billy was busy deep throating his thumb, yanking his ear lobe, and humping his blankie with his wee willie. LOL
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brooklyn1 wrote:

common sense dictates that there virtually is no lawn that has been compacted so much that further compaction would shift soil from the high points to the low points.
both common sense and practical experience will also show that even with the most compacted soil, further compaction will only depress the high points with very minimal soil shifting to the low points.
last but not least, common sense, practical experience, and engineering principles dictate that soil shifting, redistributing merely moves soil from one high point to another low point, effectively canceling any increase or decrease in volume.

common sense will also tell everyone that this kind of argument, character attacks can only come from people with no ...common sense
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David Johansen wrote:

<commence rant> Of course. Then you will find it too compacted. So you need to buy a aerator and drill it. But then it will grow too slow so you will have to feed it with lots of nitrogenous fertiliser. But then there will be a risk of burning so you will have to water it. If it is hot you will need much water to keep it green and an automated sprinkler system would give you a source of great pride.. But then it will grow too fast so you have to cut it, a dandy mower will look good, perhaps a ride-on would do the job in a minute or two. But then it will be too uneven so you will have to roll it again....... there's a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza a hole. <end rant>
You can spend as much as you like on equipment and consumables and use up large amounts of resources. Do you really need to? Why exactly are you doing all this?
If you need a playing surface, generally for sport or small children, my apologies as you don't have much choice. But there are less intensive uses of the land that still look good, some can even be used for something other than looking at.
David
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Welcome to Southern Californian mentality, no matter where it comes from.
--
When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
poor have no food, they call you a communist.
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