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. We actually never recommend rolling a lawn, and any reputable lawn maintenance company in your area would agree. Rolling 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.
So, How Do You Fix A Lumpy Bumpy Lawn?
The best thing you can do for a bumpy lawn is to:
- 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.
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, check out another blog I wrote on how to fix a lumpy lawn.
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.