Easy Ways to Fix a Bumpy Lawn

Having a bumpy yard is a problem that faces most homeowners. A bumpy yard can be caused by a lot of different factors like tree roots, erosion, ruts caused by lawnmowers or bicycles. Whatever the reason for a bumpy yard, there are several simple and easy ways to fix it.

Best of all, fixing a bumpy yard doesn’t have to be expensive. It will require some work though.

Find the Cause of the Bumpy Yard

To fix a bumpy yard, you first have to determine what is causing it in the first place. There can be a host of reason s for the bumpiness, but the most common ones are shallow tree roots, erosion due to rain runoff and just self-inflicted reasons like ruts caused by a riding lawnmower or the wheels of a push-behind mower.

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Knowing the cause, or a general guess as to the reason for a bumpy lawn will determine how to fix it as well as provide lessons to learn that will prevent the bumpiness from returning once you fix it.

Shallow Tree Roots Make Your Yard Bumpy

I have huge 50 year old trees in both my front and back yards. Those tree roots have had 50 years to spread out and occupy as much space as they need. Unfortunately, some of those tree roots went toward the surface and are exposed above the soil then they go back in.

When that happens to several tree roots close together it magnifies the problem. Not only will the yard be bumpy at each tree root, the space between them will also be bumpy. Getting grass to grow in that type of environment is nearly impossible.

Fixing the bumpy yard that is caused by shallow tree roots is also nearly impossible excepting removing the tree roots. Before you simple take your reciprocating saw to them, you might want to get an opinion from an arborist to determine whether removing the shallow roots will damage the tree.

If it will, you can either just live with that area as it is, or remove the roots, or the tree altogether and backfill the area with prime organic material like Black Kow Compost or top soil.

Erosion Causes a Bumpy Yard

Erosion is another reason why your yard may be bumpy. Erosion happens when there is not enough plant material (grass) attached to the soil, which in turns locks the soil in place.

So, if you have a bumpy yard because of erosion, it is more likely than not that the area didn’t have enough grass growing in it and the area suffered erosion through runoff of rain water. When the runoff happens it takes some soil with it, but unlike the water that will just keep going, the soil contained in the runoff gets caught in some grass further downstream.

That soil then accumulates in that area and before too many big rain storms, you will have bumps forming. Grass will fill in and you will not notice it until you walk around the yard and notice how bumpy your yard is.

Fixing a bumpy yard caused by erosion is simple. You have two options: The first is that you can top dress your lawn. Top dressing your lawn is easy and the little tools that you need to do so are readily available at your local tool rental shop.

That is if you want to do it the easy and most effective way. If you don’t want to rent the top dresser, be prepared for some hard work with a garden rake. Doing it this way will guarantee back soreness – but you will get a good workout in. You will also need organic material or top soil.

How much will be determined by how much of your yard is bumpy and you want to fix. To top dress your lawn all you do is fill the top dresser with the organic material and push it over the area affected. Since it is so easy, as well as providing huge benefits to your soil,

I would recommend just to go ahead and top dress your entire lawn. This first way of fixing a bumpy lawn caused by erosion is the recommended method and will work no matter how bumpy your lawn is. The second way to fix a bumpy lawn caused by erosion is to rent or buy a roller.

These rollers are big and hollow. They are meant to be filled with water before use making the extremely heavy. Rolling heavy rollers by hand also makes for some very hard work so if you have a riding lawnmower, you will want to attach the roller to the hitch and pull the roller over your yard.

This will flatten your yard. There are two big caveats of doing it this way. First, it won’t work if the ground is dry and hard. So, if you are going to use a roller to fix your bumpy yard, you will want to wait to do it until after a rainstorm or after you irrigate. But make sure the ground is not too wet and you definitely don’t want it to be muddy.

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Using a roller on moist ground will enable the ground to flatten and spread as the roller goes over it. The second caveat of using a roller to fix your bumpy lawn is that if the bumps are too big, the roller will not be able to flatten the yard completely.

It will be flatter, but it will be a bit bumpy. My preferred method is using a top roller to deposit organic material into the lawn and the low spots will be filled in then going over the yard after irrigating it with the roller to further flatten it. That method works great.

Mowing Wet Ground Will Cause a Bumpy Yard

Never mow your yard when the ground is wet because your mower’s wheels will cause ruts, guaranteed. But fixing the ruts is very simple and employs the same method as above using top dressing, a roller or both.

Unlike the previous solution, however, the roller is the recommended method of fixing a bumpy yard because of lawnmower wheel ruts (or any other rut caused by a bicycle, lawnmower, garden cart, etc). Just make sure the ground is wet when you go over it with the roller.

Once you do, the ground should be smooth again. In conclusion, if you have a bumpy yard, the fix is easy and simple. The only costs involved is the organic matter that will be used to fill in the low spots and the two pieces of equipment, the top dresser and the roller.

Fixing a bumpy yard is easy, simple and inexpensive. It’s a day’s work though and if you don’t do it the easy way with the top dresser and roller, you are in for a day of spreading the organic matter by hand and knocking down the bumps with the garden rake by hand as well.

I strongly recommend renting the top dresser and roller and if you do not have a riding lawn mower, borrow one. It will make your life so much easier.

Recommended Solution

How to Fix a Bumpy Lawn

  1. Identify to cause of the bumpiness (tree roots, erosion or ruts).
  2. If bumpiness is caused by tree roots, then remove roots and/or tree.
  3. Rent compost spreader, a yard roller and a lawn tractor or riding lawnmower.
  4. Spread organic matter over the affected area to fill in the low areas.
  5. Use lawn roller over area (make sure you the ground is moist and the roller is filled with water).
That's it. If you follow those simple and easy steps you will fix your bumpy lawn.