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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2003
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    792
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    Southeast Indiana
    Tractor
    JD2210

    Default How to make a smooth lawn

    My lawn is pretty rough. I have rolled it before, without much result.
    I have heard you should not roll, that it compacts the soil.
    What if you run a core aerator first then roll. Will that help, work, or give same same result.
    I have thought of just ripping up the whole back yard, but, that sure would make a mess.

    Any ideas??

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    1,561
    Location
    South East Michigan
    Tractor
    New Holland TC30 Hydro 4x4, Gravely Zero Turn Mower

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    I've been contemplating the same issue for a few years now. The original owner of my lot never got a final grade. He just seeded the rough grade and now I have the gut-wrenching job of bouncing around while I mow it.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2003
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    792
    Location
    Southeast Indiana
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    JD2210

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    Yep, I believe that is what happened here. The front yard, about an acre, is great. I can mow at full speed with no problems.
    The back and side yards are miserable. I have filled some spots and smoothed out, but, does not help much.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    1,092
    Location
    South Central NC, USofA
    Tractor
    Iseki TU1700f

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    Steve, I'd do the opposite.
    I would roll then come behind with an aerator. That way the soil that you have compacted can breathe again.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    1,561
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    South East Michigan
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    New Holland TC30 Hydro 4x4, Gravely Zero Turn Mower

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    I don't know about Steve's lot, but no amount of rolling could ever make a smooth lawn for me. The depth of the highs and lows averages about 5 inches.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    425
    Location
    SW Alabama
    Tractor
    NH TC-33D

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    I have the same problem and I'm working on it a bit at the time. I bring in top soil, spread it and then drag a chain harrow over it. One day I'm sure I'll have it mostly smooth. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    4,018
    Location
    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
    Tractor
    Kubota L5460HSTC

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    What's it worth to you?

    Hire a guy in with a harley rake on a tractor or skid steer. He'll have it smooth in a day. Check out some of the pics by Rowski on this board.

    To save some $$ you could re-seed it yourself - Time to get a three point spreader. Although hydroseeding seems to have a higher % of success.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    60
    Location
    Somerset County, Western PA
    Tractor
    CC 7265

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    I had the same situation and am improving it slowly but very cheaply. I read on an organic gardening site some time ago to apply a shovel scoop or two of sand to the low spot and rake it in. Next year do the same thing, etc. You slowly build up the low areas and the sand is a great addition to my clay soil when I add it slowly. The same site recommended slitting the sod on high spots, peeling back the sod and digging up some of the subsoil to lower the high spots. I found that I prefer to use the FEL to scrape off a hunk of sod on high spots and if I need to remove some soil I do. Otherwise I reseed the area with a little topsoil spread on top.

    FWIW, I roll my lawn in the early spring right after the ground thaws. My rational is that the ground undergoes some heaving during the thaw and the rolling is most beneficial then. Then the first time I mow with my lawn tractor, I pull a plug aerator behind it. The next time I mow, I pull a drop spreader and over seed the lawn. The next mowing I use the drop spreader to apply organic fertilizer. I use soybean meal. I don't really know if the rolling and aerating helps that much but my lawn looks great and I can justify my collection of attachments to momma.

    Hope this helps,
    Dutch

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    792
    Location
    Southeast Indiana
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    JD2210

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    Might not be a bad idea, maybe renting a Harley rake, do it myself. Can't make it much worse than it is though.
    The big problem I see with that is when I get it all done. If it was to rain, the dogs love to make a mess in the mud.
    Back to square one!!

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    235
    Location
    Pine Bush NY
    Tractor
    Yanmar 1401

    Default Re: How to make a smooth lawn

    Would a tiller work for that? How about tilling up the soil then leveling with a box blade afterwards then possibly raking out the rocks etc. with landscape rake. I think the harley rake requires more hp than your jd can produce.

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