Levelling a garden is a task that often appears daunting to many. However, a bit of time, energy, and the right tools can turn a sloped or bumpy garden into a smooth and flat outdoor oasis. A level garden not only looks more appealing but also makes gardening tasks easier and prevents water pooling. Ready to level your garden? Follow this step-by-step guide to transform your green space.
- Garden stakes or wooden pegs
- String line
- Tape measure
- Spade or shovel
- Lawn roller (optional)
Step 1: Planning and Measuring
The first step in any landscaping project is planning. Consider why you want to level your garden. Is it for aesthetic appeal, to create a patio or lawn, or to improve drainage? The purpose will guide your approach.
Next, take precise measurements of your garden. Use a tape measure and plot out the area you want to level. Mark the area using garden stakes or wooden pegs and a string line.
Step 2: Clear the Area
Clear the designated area of any plants, rocks, and garden debris. If you’re planning to save any existing plants, carefully dig them up and keep them in pots temporarily. If there’s any existing grass, you can remove it using a spade and either discard it or replant it later.
Step 3: Start Digging
If your garden is sloped, you’ll need to dig out soil from the higher areas and move it to the lower areas. Use a spade or shovel to do this. Remember to dig up only the top layer of soil (the topsoil), as the layer beneath it (the subsoil) is less fertile.
Step 4: Spread Topsoil
In some cases, you might need extra soil to level your garden. Spread a layer of new topsoil in needed areas. Generally, a depth of 6-8 inches of topsoil is sufficient for a lawn. However, for flower beds or vegetable gardens, you might need a deeper layer of topsoil.
Step 5: Level the Soil
After moving the soil, use a rake to level it. Take your time with this step, as this forms the foundation for your garden. A long, flat-edged rake is the best tool for the job. For larger areas, a landscaping rake (which is wider) can make the job easier.
Step 6: Tamp the Soil
To ensure a level surface and prevent future sinking, compact the soil using a lawn roller or by walking over a plank of wood. This should remove any air pockets. Water the area lightly to help the soil settle and then top up with more soil if necessary.
Step 7: Finish Your Garden
Once your garden is level, it’s time to finish it. You can lay turf, sow grass seed, or create your dream garden landscape. Remember to regularly water new plants or grass to help them establish.
Remember, levelling a garden is a physically demanding task, especially for larger gardens. It’s okay to do it gradually over several days or weeks. Also, it’s important to note that very steep slopes might require professional help or the construction of retaining walls to prevent soil erosion.
With patience and effort, you can transform an uneven, sloping garden into a level, usable space.