Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 21 replies


Hey guys

Im finding it a bit hard to get the soil level for the grass seed to go down.

I know no one is ever gonna get it perfect but after continuous raking Im still finding hills and valleys.

Anyone got any tips?

Thanks guys 

On the bowling green we used a long plank on edge. Set it on one corner and swing the plank across a stretch of soil, you will see the dips and humps. Keep changing the position corner to corner until you get an even tilth.


I wouldnt worry too much, if you have kids and/or pets it will have lumps and bumps anyway
Am not sure how to explain but it is probably how you are holding the rake. Use one hand to take the weight of the rake and the other to pull it across the soil. If your rake head is going into the soil then you are putting too much weight into it and that's why you constantly get hills and valleys of soil. The rake head should literally skim over the surface so that it only moves anything in its way ie the hills or stones.

If you google it you might get a YouTube video. I could never get a level seed bed until one if the 'old boys' on my allotment showed me how to hold and use my rake properly



I agree that it could be the way you are using the rake. Do it lightly as you pull it towards you. Don't dig it in and then pull it towards you. Practice makes perfect! Or should that be practise?

Busy Bee2
No, you were right first time. Practice is the noun, practise is the verb. (ex English teacher....!)

My tip, water it and let it settle for a week. Doesn't matter how good you think you get it you'll still have lumps and bumps, that's why the advice of leaving it till the Autumn to top dress a seeded lawn is there. That way you can see the dips and top dress accordingly. I defy anyone to get it perfect first time.

Oh god I am now dreading levelling mine.

Mr T............surely have come a long way foot (or Rake) forward......I have faith in you


Thanks phillippa smith2, this is how it stands now, just waiting for the greenery to die






Sorry - off topic - thanks Busy Bee2.   OH and I have been looking in the dictionary to see what the difference was between practice and practise.  No help there.

Mr Toast - you are a great worker and want everything down to a T(pun not intended but it works).  Yours will be perfect because you have put so much effort in.




4390evans I have bought a very large landscapers rake to help me with mine, it only cost £17 but looks like it will help alot, one side is a large rake and the other has a flat edge for moving soil around, the rake is pretty weighty but this should help with the levelling.

Busy Bee2

Mr Toast that sounds like the perfect present for Mr Bee - he doesn't take much interest in the garden (unless there is something out there he wants to eat) but he is obsessed with flat lawns.  He asked me today how many molehills were out there, and I said I hadn't noticed, and explained that that was the equivalent of me asking him whether there were many weeds in the flower beds.  There were, (as he learnt/learned five minutes later) six molehills, which he treated with chilli powder.  He is losing faith in chilli powder and large windmills though.  I have included above, another little English teacher type conundrum for the grammatically minded. 



Mr Bee learnt his lesson. (I hope)  He could try crushed garlic cloves instead

Busy Bee2

Does that work Lesley?  Not with my home-grown garlic though - I've been waiting since last October to harvest that, and I didn't plant enough, so it is precious stuff.  But we could get some value garlic from the supermarket??  The dictionaries will tell you learnt and learned are interchangeable, but there are preferences in British English and American English for one or the other.  I was taught that 'learnt' was an adjective and 'learned' the past tense of the verb, but the dictionaries don't agree, or even with each other, or find historical precedents.  So in short, there is no one answer. 


Practice is a noun - like in a GP Practice

Practise is a verb - as in "I must practise what I preach"


Busy Bee2 - We had molehills on the lawn a few years ago.  I put crushed garlic in the holes and we haven't seen any moles since.  It could be a coincidence but is worth a try.  

English is a very strange language.  So many rules have exceptions to them

Getting a lawn level for me is rake, heel walk, rake, heel walk, rake,,heel walk, rake.  Boring but effective.  You cannot overdo the raking prior to seed sowing. Raking at different angles too.     Finally a home made "lute".....a plank fastened to old broom handle and triangular supports on the head helps with levels.  

"level" for me is not about using a spirit level.  It's ensuring a smooth, even surface.

Raking is an art I think....probably more of a (minor) skill.  It's not about moving large amounts of soil with long powerful "pulls". Back and forth, keeping rake level and light ESP at later stages when it's all about acquiring a fine tilth