Raising the level of grass

18 Mar 2005
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United Kingdom
I've been putting a new patio in, (it's in another thread! :D )

As part of this I had to level the area for the patio which previously fell away with approx a foot difference between the top and the bottom.

It was leveled partly by moving the high ground to the low etc.

Now that the patio is starting to be built. The top is approx level with the grass but the bottom end which used to be the lowest is a few inches higher than the level of the grass. ( I did move some excess soil over the grass whilst digging out so have already raised it a couple of inches)

How should I raise the grass properly?

1) Dump 2 to 3 tons of top soil on and try and compact down on top of the existing grass - then sow grass seed

2) Cut in to the grass to give an edge. Fill with top soil then lay turf on top

3) Some other way?!
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cut the grass so it is standing up stiffly, then scatter a thin layer of dry sifted topsoil mixed with sharp sand or grit on, and brush it about, so the grass stems poke up through it. Leave it to grow another inch or two, and repeat.

This top-dresing method is handy for raising and levelling patches of lawns that are too low. as you are not re-seeding, the variety and colour of the grass will match your old lawn.
That sounds like a good method, and I'll use it on a few bits but the main patch which needed raising as it sloped off to the left and to the front, needed to be raised about 10" so that method may take a while!

I've already raised this part by 5 or 6 inches by dumping soil on top of the grass which is now well compacted down, but it still needs to go up another few inches, probably 4 - 5 inches at the worst part getting gradually less as it comes back to meet the old grass
sand and grit in the mix will improve the drainage and texture, and resist it being compacted like concrete
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just be aware you need planning permission to go greater than 300mm above the base ground level with decking
it's not decking it's patio and I don't think the neighbours will mind as it's a field!

The lowest part has been raised by approx 300mm but only after I took the grass and other bits out, in reality it's only raised about 200mm from original level at most and that's at the worst point, it then slopes back (or now doesn't slope)

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