Ruts in a yard are more common than you can imagine but can quickly disfigure the landscape. This means you have to fix the problem. So, how much does it cost to fix ruts in the yard?
Fixing ruts will cost you between $1000 and $3000 depending on yard size and the extent of the damage. But you might be able to fix some ruts yourself in simple steps. It’s even better to prevent them by avoiding causes such as mowing immediately after rain, water-logged yard, and operator error.
If you choose to do it yourself, it’s essential to do it on time and in the right season for the best results. Here, we discuss the cost of fixing ruts in your yard, the causes of ruts, and how you can fix them yourself.
Causes of Ruts in the Yard
Ruts in your yard can happen when you have any major construction or remodeling project in your house. All it takes is to drive heavy equipment over the yard, and before you know it, you can see how deep it leaves a mark in the soil. But beyond those obvious ruts that could result from having heavy equipment on your lawn, there are several reasons you could end up with ruts as well. They include:
1. Too Much Moisture on The Yard
If the yard is oversaturated, you may have ruts. The same thing could happen if the drainage is poor, which means the lawn retains more water than it should. Before you know it, you’ll start noticing ruts in the property. Aerating regularly and using fertilizers often can help you improve the drainage.
2. Mowing Immediately After Rain
It’s not advisable to cut your lawn soon after rainfall as this may cause a rut. Instead, you should let the yard dry up before mowing it. When you mow immediately after rain, the yard is still soft, and the weight of the machine and foot traffic will have a higher impact.
3. Operator Error or Wrong Equipment
This could be an issue, especially if other causes are absent. Turning the lawnmower too fast while cutting will cause ruts. It’s also better to use an alternate cutting pattern on the yard, as cutting with one pattern every time can cause damage, especially for softer lawns. It’s also essential to use a regular-sized lawnmower for the property. Using heavy equipment can cause more damage to the lawn.
How To Fix Ruts in The Yard
When you notice a rut, it’s important to fix it as soon as possible. With someone tripping on them, they can be safety hazards, and they don’t make your yard look better or healthy. Of course, they’re not necessarily big issues. They happen due to the pressure exerted on the soil leading it to compact. Depending on the size of the ruts, you can fix them yourself.
1. Fixing Shallow ruts
These are ruts that are less than 4 inches deep, and you can fix those in a few steps. You’ll need to loosen the soil first. Do this with a digging fork around the edges of the rut, and it’ll loosen. Since it’s very shallow, you won’t have to dig far. You need to soften the soil underneath and lift it so that it losses its compactness. By the time you do this around the area, the soil will rise above the surrounding grass area, and you can let it settle, and everything will be fine. But if you try this method and it doesn’t seem to work, you may need to treat the rut as a deep one and adopt a different approach to fixing it.
2. Fixing Deep Ruts
Deep ruts are usually above 4 inches deep. The damage is more significant with these, making it harder to fix. But that’s not to say you can’t do it yourself. Here are steps for doing it:
- Remove the grass: It’s possible that the rut still has its grass intact. In that case, you’ll need to remove the grass. Be careful when doing this. Use a slicer or edger or shovel, and you can cut around the rut edges so it’ll be easier to remove the grass. The grass removal should be with its roots since you’ll need to return the grass after fixing the problem.
- Loosen the soil: Ruts are due to compacted soil, so you’ll have to loosen the soil the same way you’ll do for a shallow rut. Ensure that the soil is well loosened, allowing the grass to grow when you replace them.
- Fill the rut with soil: It may not be enough to loosen the soil if the rut is deep. You may also need to fill it with more soil to be balanced. Do this by adding an equal mixture of soil and compost to allow any new grass you put on it to thrive.
- Replace the grass or sow new seeds: Once you’ve filled up the rut, it’s time to replant the grass. If the grass isn’t damaged, replant the ones you initially dug out. But if it is, you’ll have to sow new seeds. Ensure you’re planting the same seeds like the ones there before. The last thing you want is to have a different patch of grass on your lawn.
Best Time to Fix a Rut
You also need to choose the right time to repair the ruts. This is best done in the growing season when the grass will grow more actively. For warm-season grasses, the best time is late spring. For cool-season grasses, you can do it in early fall.
Cost Of Fixing Ruts in Your Yard
If your yard is destroyed beyond something you can fix yourself, you may need to call a landscaper. In this case, it’s time to start considering the cost of fixing ruts in the yard. This’ll depend mainly on the size of the yard, among other factors. But on average, it could cost you about $1,981. The range is between $1000 and $3,000. The cost to level the yard will depend on its present slope, whether you need a retaining wall, and the amount of dirt you need.
Fixing ruts isn’t hard as long as you have the right equipment and do it at the right time. But you also need to be careful with your yard because major damage could you over a thousand dollars to fix.