Mastering Lawn Levelling: Allett’s Beginner's Guide to a Perfectly Smooth Lawn.

A lovely flat green lawn is the pride of any homeowner. But achieving a level surface requires more than just regular mowing using a mower with a roller.Enter the art of top dressing—a technique which not only levels the lawn but also creates a more consistent surface and promotes drainage. For beginners venturing into the realm of lawn care, mastering the top dressing process is a game-changer and with the right tools like the Allett Lawn Lute, achieving professional-level results becomes a reality. By creating a level surface moisture distribution and reduced puddling in low areas gives a more consistent surface to achieve a consistent environment for plant populations to be the same over the whole lawn areas. Low areas often sit wetter and this gives a better environment for the shallow rooting broad-leaf grass weeds (like Yorkshire Fog and Poa Annua) and a less competitive environment for the fine grasses we desire.


Top-Dressing material choice.

Choose a Top Dressing mix of sand and soil. Typically 70% sand and 30% soil. It should be graded and free of any stones. It needs to be dry so that it flows over the dry, short grass plants. If you can source kiln-dried material and store in dry conditions this will give the best and easiest results. Essentially, the sand offers drainage advantages but hold no nutrients. The soil gives some structure, and gives nutrient holding ability to the new added level lawn surface. 

Field Compost number 4 is a great option free of sticks and stones and full of organic nutrients.


Planning and Preparation: Setting the Stage for Success.

Before diving into top dressing it's crucial to plan and prepare adequately. Assess your lawn's condition, identifying any bare patches, thin areas or uneven spots that need attention. If you're planning on overseeding this is the perfect opportunity to introduce new grass varieties or fill in sparse areas. Make sure you are using the existing seed you used previously if you are only working on areas of your lawn.

Timing is key in any lawn care operation. Aim to top dress when growth conditions are optimal. If you're incorporating additional maintenance tasks like aerating or scarifying do these tasks before top dressing for maximum effectiveness.





Determining the appropriate amount of top dressing soil is essential for achieving a level lawn without suffocating the grass by applying too deep. As a general rule of thumb apply 3 to 5 kg per square metre for significant levelling or 1 to 2 kg per square metre for regular maintenance. The goal is to achieve a depth of about ¼ inch (6mm) ensuring that at least 75% of the grass blades remain exposed.

For ornamental lawns a lighter application of 1/2kg  to 1kg per square metre allows for more frequent top dressing throughout the growing season. This gradual approach not only maintains a smooth surface but also aids in thatch decomposition.

Start by mowing the grass on the short (Approx 12-19mm) to create a close cut surface which will make it easier to push and pull the Lawn Lute and for the dry sand:soil mix to fall to the base of the grass plants and leave more leaf above the top dressing. Choose a dry day to prevent clumping and ensure optimal and easier top dressing distribution and ‘flow’. You will need to cut before scarifying when renovating your lawn. You need to cut low so your scarifier is effective. You want to remove all the thatch in your lawn now because once you have seeded you won't want to be scarifying for a few months while it beds itself in. Once you have scarified you can seed. You may choose to spread your seed by hand, with a spreader or use a seed drill. There are pros and cons of all three. 

Divide your top dressing mixture into small batches placing them evenly around the lawn. This placement facilitates more even and efficient distribution and minimises the risk of uneven application. Utilise a shovel to throw the piles of top dressing around the location of each pile, working methodically to cover the entire lawn surface.

Here's where the Allett Lawn Lute shines. This specialised tool excels at moving top dressing material with precision ensuring even coverage and smooth penetration into the turf base. Its ergonomic design and lightweight construction make it ideal for large and small projects and professional-grade results. But this is a work-out – so you have permission to skip a visit to the gym today! It is super easy to use however and nice and lightweight.



Complete the process with a seasonal fertiliser tailored to your lawn's needs, promoting healthy growth.  It would be good to get a soil test of your lawn to check pH levels as well as nutrient levels. Keep the newly seeded areas consistently moist to encourage germination covering them with a germination sheet if necessary to retain moisture.


Find our LAWN LUTE here

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