Does Rolling Your Lawn Really Work? Guide – How To Fix a Bumpy Lawn Properly

What’s in This Guide About How To Fix A Bumpy Lawn:

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Here at LawnSavers, your top lawn care maintenance service throughout the GTA, we are continually being asked “why is my lawn bumpy?” or “how do I fix a bumpy lawn?” especially in the spring when the snow has melted, but the grass is not yet lush and green. A commonly thrown about suggestion online of how to deal with a bumpy lawn is simply to flatten your lawn by using a lawn roller of some kind, but does rolling your lawn really work?

In a word, no. As lawn care experts, we actually never recommend rolling a lawn, and any reputable lawn maintenance company in your area would agree. Using a lawn roller on your lawn in an effort to flatten it never achieves what people expect it to do.  You would need a steam roller to be able to effectively smooth out bumps. It’s a catch-22 situation. A roller light enough to keep from negatively impacting the soil won’t be strong enough to flatten the bumps, and a roller heavy enough to make a difference will severely compact your lawn making it really difficult to grow healthy turfgrass (but weeds would survive…).

Compacted soil is devoid of the spaces or ‘pores’ that it needs to make sure it contains the correct amount of water and oxygen necessary for your grass to grow well. When water can’t move through the soil and drain correctly due to compaction, the roots of the grass will eventually become waterlogged and decompose. And when the soil is too tightly compacted, it prohibits oxygen exchange in the roots, again causing them to decompose and die. This is why you should never roll your lawn if you are looking to flatten out uneven bumps and lumps, it can be detrimental to your turfgrass.

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So, How Do You Fix A Lumpy Bumpy Lawn?

The best thing you can do for a bumpy lawn is to follow this guide:

  • Aerate your lawn regularly
  • Topdress, apply a thin layer of soil, granular compost, or sand over the top surface of your lawn, when necessary
  • Consider overseeding when needed,
  • Manage pest infestations proactively
  • Keep your lawn thick and healthy

Bumps are usually the result of uneven growth and poor health. When the lawn thickens sufficiently, these bumps are much less pronounced.

How Does A Landscaper Flatten A Lawn Without A Roller?

Landscapers have a toolbox of techniques to flatten lawns, and the method we choose depends on the severity of the unevenness. Here’s a breakdown of our common approaches to flattening a yard without a roller:

  • Manual leveling for small bumps: This is similar to what you can do yourself. We may use a shovel to strategically remove high spots and fill low areas. Someitmes we may use a level rake or even a long board to ensure even distribution of soil.
  • Topdressing for larger areas: We tend to use topdressing for extensive unevenness. We will spread a thin layer of topsoil evenly and meticulously rake it out with leveling rakes or drag mats behind tractors for larger areas. Sometimes, may also use string lines as a guide for achieving a flat surface.
  • Grading for significant slopes: When dealing with significant slopes or dips, we might recommend grading. This involves using heavy machinery like skid steers or bobcats to move larger amounts of soil to achieve the desired level and slope for good drainage.
  • Liquid and Core Aeration (optional): We might recommend core aeration, especially for super-compacted soil. This improves drainage and root growth, making the lawn healthier in the long run. They likely use professional-grade core aerators for faster and more efficient work.

The beauty is, our team at LawnSavers has the equipment and experience to take care of this quickly and efficiently – leaving your lawn time to grow and be lush and green ahead of a busy backyard summer season.

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What Is Causing My Lumpy Bumpy Lawn In The First Place?

There are a large number of reasons that you could be dealing with an uneven bumpy lawn. A few things to look for are:

  • Different “bunch-types” of grass-like Tall Fescue clumps,
  • Worm castings from ‘night crawlers’,
  • Frost heaving (freeze/thaw) in the soil,
  • Animals digging,
  • Grub damage,
  • Chinch bug damage where the turf has not recovered,
  • Excess thatch or not enough thatch,
  • Tree roots from large trees or even neighbours trees that cause heaving soil,
  • Mowing patterns that never change causing wheel ruts (the list goes on)…

Knowing what is causing the problem, helps you to better zero in on how to fix the lawn and whatever is causing the uneven or lumpy feel.  However, it is important to note that not all of these problems can be solved easily.  Re-sodding, or covering over the problem is only delaying the same issue from happening again and potentially wasting money if you don’t get down to the “root” cause.

And for more tips and tricks on how to take care of your lawn from a lawn care expert near you, check out another blog I wrote on how to fix a lumpy lawn.

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What A Happy Client Says About LawnSavers on

This company is completely fantastic, doing it the “old school” way, which means with care, integrity, affordability, and respect. Every person in the company with whom I interacted (in my goal to restore my sad lawn, which had been completely destroyed by a renovation) from the start to the finish (ie. sales, administration, implementation, and ongoing support) exhibited all of those qualities (care, integrity, respect). My lawn looks fantastic now. In particular, the employee who was assigned to oversee and implement the work on my lawn (through the Renovation package) was Dave … he was very friendly and helpful, and eagerly willing to answer all of my many questions. I cannot recommend this company enough. I will definitely be signing up for the maintenance package next season, now that LawnSavers has actually saved my lawn!
Anne P.

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FAQ About Best Lawn Care Practices

🌱 Why Is My Lawn Bumpy?

There are a number of reasons why lawns get lumps and bumps in them. The continual freezing and thawing over spring can cause soil to shift unevenly. Wild animals or pets can dig up areas of a lawn. Even walking on it when it is too soft either in the spring or after a very heavy rainfall can cause depressions to form in your lawn. If lumps and bumps in your lawn are concerning you it is best to contact a qualified lawn care specialist near you to diagnosis exactly what the issue is and the best way to deal with it.

🌱 How Many Times a Week Should You Water Your Lawn?

You need to water at least once a week for at least an hour, this generally provides 1-1.5″ of water to the roots (a tuna cans height) (exceptions: 1. when you seed &  2. if you have an automated system 3. When we are experiencing extreme heat).
New Seeding Watering: Seed must be kept moist until established.  This will be influenced by the amount of sun, wind and heat you are experiencing in your particular area.  It is normal to require 3-4 short waterings per day to maintain a moist seedbed.  Use a light stream of water to lessen disturbance of the seedbed.

🌱 What is the Proper Height to Mow Grass To Keep It Healthy?

In the spring (May-June) and fall (September-November), your lawn should be kept at the 2.5 – 3-inch mark and in the hotter and drier summer periods at least 3 inches.  Contrary to popular belief, if you cut the lawn shorter it doesn’t make it grow at a slower rate, it can actually cause it to lose moisture and scorch, and as a result encourage more weeds.

Did you know: LawnSavers offers lawn maintenance service throughout the GTA.  If you’re looking for lawn care in Barrie, Toronto, or surrounding areas, please reach out to us today.

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