If you need to level the ground on your property for one of several reasons, whether it’s a new lawn to prevent waterlogging or you’re planning a large vegetable garden. You may have thought that you would need a lot of equipment to level the ground. However, you can level your lawn with hand tools or a tractor.
When is it necessary to level a plot?
Usually, they want to level a dacha plot in the event that the existing topography does not suit in some respects. The following situations are most common:
- An empty plot, all in hills, and potholes have the wrong slopes. Planning or just finished building a house. In this case, the existing soil is redistributed: removal, backfill, and relocation within the plot. The main task is to create a direction for the flow of water in the right direction, as well as to eliminate large differences in the soil more than 20 cm in height. It is most convenient to do such work with a technique, but a manual option is also possible.
- 2) The site is arranged, the house is standing, paths are laid and plants are planted. The remaining soil should be perfectly flat for a lawn.
Buildings and pavement already set the height levels on such a site, you can not change them. Therefore, as a rule, it is possible to move the soil minimally, and the main task is to make a clean alignment. To do this, the top layer of soil is crushed and leveled with a rake, and, if necessary, even a string rule. This is the optimal preparation of the area for seeding the lawn.
Why do I need leveling?
Plot landscaping, planting, or building ancillary structures require leveling the surface.
Any irregularities cause a lot of problems:
- Rainwater will accumulate in one place, deep puddles will appear. They will provoke siltation of the soil, creating a threat of flooding the foundation of the house.
- Beds with vegetable crops will receive different amounts of water. Moisture from some will go immediately to the lower levels, for others the amount of water will become excessive.
- If the slope is high enough, and the soil on the site is clay, the water will not retain at all and will immediately begin to flow down the slope.
- In addition to these factors, there is another, most simple – on a flat area is easier and more convenient to perform any work – household, gardening, construction. Even the usual installation of a garden bench requires leveling the site. If the plans include the construction of more serious structures – a bath or a barn, leveling will be one of the first stages of work.
Methods of leveling garden plots
Leveling the site with a tractor or power tiller
This method involves preliminary crushing the soil “in fluff” with a tractor or motor block followed by leveling with a rake. After harrowing the soil manually using a rake perform final leveling and weed selection.
This method of land leveling removes holes and bumps up to 20 cm in height. You get a flat area with a natural slope. Leveling the site by overgrazing – this is the main operation in preparing the substrate for the lawn. The cost of work on the leveling of the site for the lawn includes additional compaction of the soil. After that it can be seeded. Information on the prices for land leveling is given below.
Plot leveling by machinery
If there are significant irregularities on the site – hillocks, drops, ditches, it is necessary to plan the site. That is, to redistribute the soil within the plot, to level it with equipment. This method resembles leveling a site with a bulldozer.
Only as the latter, modern equipment is used. To level areas free from buildings, we use an excavator-loader with a hydraulic blade. It is possible to smooth the ground both by eye and by string. The string is set by the height marks, which we determine by means of a level survey. On small plots and in cramped conditions we level the ground with a tractor.
How to level a yard with a tractor?
Using a tractor is the most effective and fastest way to level a garden plot. You can treat large areas, and eliminate serious irregularities in the terrain.
There is a large number of attachments, which are installed on the tractor and allow you to solve certain problems. Can be used:
These devices are able to cope with the unevenness of different heights and densities. It takes much less time to do the job than manual leveling.
However, the use of a tractor is not always possible. It is necessary to ensure the possibility of access to the site, it requires space for maneuvering. In addition, the use of such machines on too steep slopes is not allowed. The maximum slope value for wheeled tractors is 8-9°, and for tracked tractors – 12°. If the terrain is difficult and the slope is steep, the tractor cannot be used.
A cultivator is a compact machine for working the ground. It is designed for plowing, harrowing, and working with various types of attachments. The construction of the cultivator consists of a motor, a wheel pair, and a handle for steering.
The small size of the device allows it to be used on small sites. Despite its compactness, the power of the cultivator is quite capable of cultivating soil of any density.
Since it is not possible to level the ground on a small plot with large equipment, using a cultivator often becomes the only effective way to eliminate holes and potholes.
As a rule, the work is done in 2 stages:
- Tilling with a plow;
- Compaction of the surface with the roller.
It is not possible to install large attachments on the cultivator – a mouldboard or a harrow. This somewhat reduces the capabilities of the technique, and reduces the speed of plot processing. However, there are advantages. For example, the ability to level a small area, or a narrow strip of land.
Mechanical or manual method
The choice of technique depends on the size and condition of the surface of the plot. Usually, for small areas (4-6 acres) choose manual leveling, and for larger plots (6-12 acres and more) use a technique.
For manual processing of the surface, simple tools available to any user is used:
- shovels of different kinds;
- wooden planks for assembling the simplest harrow;
- construction level, tools for measuring length, and cord.
To remove small irregularities use a simple tool like a harrow. Assemble a structure that resembles a ladder (you can use a ready-made device). It is attached to pegs in several rows, put on the ground, and moved over the surface. In a few passes, the irregularities disappear, and all that is left is to tamp the soil. To do this, various devices (rollers) are used.
Another way is to pull a cord on the pegs hammered into the ground so that it is located strictly horizontally (checked with a building level). Using it as a reference point, fill holes and potholes with soil, and smooth the surface with a rake. Small hilly areas are removed with a shovel, the excess soil is dumped into the pits. The treated surface is loose, so it should be compacted with a roller.
Before you level a site by mechanical methods, often produce steaming of the top layer of soil. This is a unique technology that performs several tasks at once. In addition to leveling, the removal of weeds, and the destruction of pests are made.
For independent performance, only watering the surface with boiling water, followed by processing with a rake, is suitable. When using special equipment, other methods become possible:
- With the help of steam, machines treat areas of a large area. The depth of penetration into the soil is up to 30 cm.
- Additional treatment. Sulfur or copper oxides are added to the soil, killing pests and undesirable microflora.
- For areas intended for greenhouses, sulfur balls are used.
Steam treatment technology is not new, but is used relatively rarely because of the complexity of implementation.
Leveling for the lawn
To prepare the land for the lawn use the most effective of all available techniques. As a rule, the ground is redistributed on the territory, providing a level horizontal surface. A slope of up to 3° is allowed, allowing excess rain or melt water to run off. Before treatment begins a layer of turf is removed, which is subsequently mixed with black earth and placed on the prepared site.
Elimination of the slope
As a rule, before leveling a plot of land with a slope, make a survey of the site with a leveler and prepare a project of works. If the slope is great, develop a scheme for creating a cascade of terraces. Calculate the amount of soil for sprinkling, and then perform delivery, distribution, and compacting. To perform the work it is necessary to use technology, eliminating the slope by hand is too difficult and physically difficult.
Leveling the land on a garden plot allows you to evenly distribute rainwater and create a convenient area for planting plants or installing elements of improvement.
The procedure consists in distributing the soil so that potholes or pits are filled with the soil removed from the convex places.
Special machinery is used to carry out the work. If the unevenness is relatively small, the surface is leveled manually. Preliminarily remove the top fertile layer of soil, which is subsequently laid on the prepared surface.