planter removed We have planters in our backyard that we would like to move to the side of the house. How would we level this ourselves without any big machinery? enter image description hereenter image description here

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You will need a person with a strong back, a sharp square spade, and a couple of sheets of thick plastic or tarp. Choose a dull day, it will be easier to work and exposed roots will dry out less quickly. Water the ground the previous evening and allow to drain down overnight.

  1. begin by imagining each of those squares of turf sectioned into about nine (3 by 3), or 16 if it is easier, subsections and give the squares a haircut with a string trimmer or shears to about two inches grass height
  2. use the sharp spade to vertically slice down to a depth of about one inch or a little more to mark out the subsections; if you have a half moon spade this will be much easier
  3. starting from a convenient corner slice horizontally so that you remove one of the nine squares to end up with a piece of turf one inch thick; set this piece of sod aside on one of the plastic sheets
  4. remove the remaining sod pieces and pile them up conveniently on top of or to the side of the previous one removed
  5. at this stage you have two squares of bare earth standing about nine inches proud of the rest of the grass
  6. now remove this extra soil leaving the new level about one inch below the lawn surface; the soil can be removed to a wheelbarrow and carted to a new location or put on the other tarp temporarily
  7. with all the extra soil removed, dig over those bare patches to loosen up the soil and check for large debris; the result will be that the soil will perhaps stand a little proud of the rest of the grass but will settle back to an inch below after a few good rains
  8. replace the sod pieces in the squares. Set the pieces out evenly; this may leave gaps between the sod pieces - they can be filled in with some of the extra soil previously removed. Perennial grasses will spread sideways to fill these gaps.

Keeping this area watered will allow it to settle back so that the result is at the same level as the rest of the grass. Mow as usual once settling has taken place and the grass should re-establish itself and merge with the rest of the lawn quite easily.

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