How to Smooth a Bumpy Lawn in 7 Easy Steps

If you’ve spent some time researching how to smooth out your lawn, you probably found that there are a lot of different approaches. Some say it’s better to use two or three types of fertilizer while others claim that they see better results by using one type of fertilizer and only fertilizing in the fall and spring. This can lead to quite a bit of confusion, especially if you’re trying to make sure your lawn looks its best for next summer, but you don’t want to waste money on products that won’t give you the results you want.

There’s no point in mowing your lawn if you don’t like the results, right? Whether your grass came out looking more like an Afro than the perfectly manicured look you were aiming for, or you just have some really bumpy spots around the edges of your lawn that need smoothing, there are easy ways to make it look great again. Here’s how to smooth a bumpy lawn in seven simple steps!

How to Level Your Lawn by Hand” – In 6 Easy Steps:

1) The Uneven Areas Of Your Lawn

The Uneven Areas Of Your Lawn

Mark off the edges of the uneven area with stakes and string so that it is clear where the grass meets the dirt.

Use a lawn mower with a raking attachment to rake out any clumps of sod, weeds or debris left behind by previous attempts at fixing your lawn.

Brush down any remaining clumps of grass or weeds that are sticking up from the ground with a push broom and then remove them from your property.

Water thoroughly before spreading seed, grass or weed-preventing mulch over the entire area using either an irrigation system, hose or watering can (depending on what method you choose).

Allow your newly seeded lawn area to dry for about a week before watering again. 6. You will know when the seeds have sprouted and spread into thin blades of green grass if they have been given enough water, sunlight and time; otherwise wait until they do so!

2) Rent or Buy a Sod Cutter

Rent or Buy a Sod Cutter

Do you have an old lawn that is full of weeds and pests? Or maybe you’ve just bought a property with an uneven, bumpy lawn. Whatever the case may be, there’s no need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on sod or seed! You can cut your own lawn for much cheaper! If you have an electric or gas-powered mower, then all you will need is a sod cutter attachment.

These are very inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store. If you don’t have access to a power mower, then use manual means by borrowing someone else’s machine or getting out your own lawnmower. Cut off only about an inch from the ground so as not to disturb any of the natural ground beneath it. You might also want to get some weed killer as well if there is still vegetation left over from last year’s growth. Let it dry for 2 days before putting down new grass seeds or installing fresh sod rolls from Home Depot!

3) Roll Over the Sod

Roll Over the Sod

If the problem is the grass type, you may want to consider replacing it with an alternative that will grow in your climate.

If the problem is too much shade, trim the trees or shrubs that are blocking sunlight from reaching your lawn.

If there’s too much water on the ground, install a rain gauge and change your sprinkler timer so that they’re off during periods of heavy rain.

Consider using one of these ways to cut down on weeds: deep-root herbicides, pre-emergent herbicides, weed-resistant varieties of turf grass.

Aerate your lawn by drilling small holes through the turf into the soil below; this will help let air in and water drain out more easily.

Topdressing is a process whereby excess soil, sand, peat moss or topsoil is added to low spots in your yard until the area reaches its desired height; this can be accomplished through amending what was already there or adding new materials altogether for best results.

  • Replace sod with a different grass variety if necessary
  • Trim trees or other plants that block sunlight
  • Install a rain gauge to know when watering is needed
  • Reduce the number of weeds in your lawn by choosing appropriate grass types, applying fertilizers and herbicides as necessary
  • Deepen low areas in the lawn by leveling them up
  • Apply topdressing if desired

4) Water the Sod

Water the Sod

Watering is essential for the survival of new turf, but it can take time for the sod roots to grow and establish themselves. For this reason, you may need to water your newly sodded lawn up to three times per day. However, don’t confuse this with over-watering which can cause your lawn’s soil to become waterlogged and compacted. It’s important not to overwater because that will kill the root system by saturating the soil and preventing oxygen from reaching it.

In order to prevent overwatering, try watering your lawn one inch at a time before checking back on it after an hour or so. If the grass appears to be wilting or drooping, then you’re likely watering too much. If this is the case, reduce how often you’re watering until your grass starts looking healthier again. The second way to tell if your grass is getting too much water is if there are puddles forming around it after each rainfall (and in between rainfalls) and if there are leaves floating on top of them when they dry out. Overwatered soils also start smelling like rotten eggs due to high levels of nitrogen.

5) Fertilize the Sod

Fertilize the Sod

Fertilizing is the first step in any lawn care program. Apply it at the proper time of year, as directed on the label. If you don’t know when that is, call your local extension office and they can help. It will depend on where you live and what kind of grass you have. Generally, fertilizing should be done twice yearly but again this depends on your lawn’s needs . You may also want to spread lime or sulfur if the soil is too acidic or alkaline for healthy growth.

Aerate & Seed: Aeration reduces compaction by increasing airflow around plant roots; seeding provides an instant food supply for new plant growth; overseeding helps fill out thin areas; and both aeration and seeding promote quicker filling in of bare spots with green turfgrass.

6) Lay Down the Sod

Lay Down the Sod
  • Remove any weeds, rocks and debris from the area.
  • Use a tarp as protection from the sun and rain while you lay down your sod.
  • Cut your sod into pieces of approximately 2×3 ft each.
  • Starting at one end of the lawn, lay down strips of sod that are approximately 6 inches apart. Push them into place with your foot or hands so they’re not loose or sticking up on the surface. Alternate which side you put the grass against as you work towards the other end of the lawn.
  • Fold back your tarp and cover it with soil so that it’s level with the rest of your yard when you’re finished laying down all of your sod pieces.
  • Fill in between the rows with dirt and push it firmly into place until there are no gaps between pieces of sod. Add more soil if necessary. Continue this process until you have filled the whole space with sods arranged in a checkerboard pattern.
  • Water your new lawn immediately after installation by spraying an even layer over the top of each piece of sod until wet but not muddy

7) Mow the Sod

Mow the Sod

Mow the lawn when you notice it needs to be cut. This will help keep the grass blades short and make it easier for them to grow out of their bumps.

Fertilize your lawn with lime once every five years, or right after mowing when there is no visible fertilizer on the blades of grass. Make sure that your soil is moist before applying any fertilizer, as dry soil will not allow any nutrients into the roots of your plants, which is what causes them to grow taller and fuller over time.

Keep weeds at bay by spraying all parts of your yard with a non-selective herbicide such as Roundup so that pesky weeds can’t take root in any area other than where they are allowed.

Never water your lawn directly with a sprinkler because this will compact the dirt and create unevenness in the ground. Instead, only spray water onto areas of your lawn that need it with a hose set to its lowest setting.

It’s okay to use mulch around trees and flowers but never use straw because straw acts like weed food, providing sustenance to those unsightly little green sprouts.

Never rake leaves off your lawn during autumn months because this will simply blow more leaves back onto the ground instead of sweeping them away from your home’s foundation and eventually into a leaf bag where they belong!


Armed with this basic topsoil dressing technique and basic knowledge of how to fix a bumpy lawn, you’ll be able to patch bumpy, uneven areas in your lawn with minimal difficulty.

Keep in mind that it might take you two or three tries to get your yard completely level, but it will be worth it once you have an even, beautiful yard for your family and friends to enjoy.

  • Start with the worst spots.
  • Use a rake or lawn edger to remove the bumps that are too high for you to reach with your mower.
  • Cut any weeds that have come up between the blades of grass, and cut any long strands of grass that are overlapping on top of each other or hanging off the edge of the lawn.
  • Mulch over any remaining rough patches. If they’re still visible after mulching, you may need to take another pass at them with a weed whip or string trimmer before adding more mulch.
  • Add fertilizer (if needed) before watering the area and then watering it again several days later.
  • Mow regularly until it’s time to re-mulch and fertilize again next season (which is typically three months after initial application).
  • Keep an eye out for new areas where weeds may be trying to grow and make sure these patches don’t get mulched before they can be dealt with appropriately!


Q. Is it possible for my lawn to ever be smooth?

A. Yes, but it will take time and effort. The goal is not to make your lawn look like a putting green but rather to make it as level as possible so the water will drain off better and you won’t have any problems with mold or fungus growth.

Q. How long does it take to get rid of bumps on my lawn?

A. It takes about 4-6 months for new grasses to grow enough to cover uneven spots. Be patient and keep up the good work!

Q. What can I do to help my lawn become more even over time?

A. There are a few things that can speed up the process: fertilizing, watering, mowing high and short, taking care of any patches that need extra attention (like bare spots), aerating the ground if necessary (which can be done by renting a machine from your local hardware store), seeding bare patches if they’re larger than 1’x1′ in size.

Q. What should I do if I notice bare patches during this process?

A. Aerate those areas by renting a machine from your local hardware store.

References & Additional Resources

Last Updated on December 23, 2022

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Mark Wright
Mark Wright
Mark Wright is the author and editor for Printerchief, where he brings his expertise in research and the English language to life in the world of technology journalism. When he's not immersed in the world of print, he loves exploring the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona - taking long hikes, fishing and cycling along the way. Andrew is a big reader and likes to take on DIY projects around the home and garden. With a love for the great outdoors and a sharp eye for detail, Andrew has managed to bring both a sense of adventure and enthusiasm to all his work.


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