poor lawn condition

Asked April 3, 2019, 8:37 AM EDT

What can I do to smooth out my lumpy bumpy lawn in Detroit Michigan

Macomb County Michigan lawn management

4 Responses

would you be able to attach a few photos in the upload section below?

Hello,

Thanks for the pictures, although it doesn’t look too bad in these. Here is what you can do-

Core-aerate if you haven’t done so in over a year.

Top dress with compost at 1/4 inch deep over grassy areas, up to 1/2 inch deep in low areas. You may also use a mix of compost and topsoil, if you are sure the topsoil is good quality.

Rake smooth. Overseed if desired, but this isn’t necessary with a 1/4-1/2 inch top dressing.

Very low areas can be built up with a topsoil/ compost mix, and seeded.

New areas should sink in no more than 1/2 inch when lightly stepped on. Firm with the back of a garden rake.

Some references still mention rolling. Here is a statement from Dr. Kevin Frank of MSU Dept. of Plant and Soil Sciences- “Be careful rolling lawns this time of year (spring) as there are still many soppy, wet areas where rolling might actually do more damage than good. Rolling saturated soils can result in soil compaction. Rolling is popular this time of year to flatten out mole tunnels and lumps and bumps from frost heaving during winter. Although rolling will definitely help with mole tunnels, a good rainfall after soils have completely thawed is as effective or more so than rolling for smoothing out the irregular surface that winter often creates.”

So, use rolling as a last resort, and before you core aerate the area. From your photos, I think aerating and top dressing will help alot.

Here are some links to lawn care that may be useful, too-

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/spring_lawn_care_tips_the_red_light_green_light_version

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/tips_for_reseeding_lawns_in_the_spring

https://turf.purdue.edu/tips/2011/03042011_parti_springseed.html

https://www.canr.msu.edu/home_lawns/

Thanks for using our service.