In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook saves a badly rutted lawn without replacing the grass.
Repairing lawn damage
- Run a gas-powered sod cutter along the tire ruts in the lawn to slice the sod free from the soil.
- Cut the severed strips of sod into 12-inch-long pieces using a manual lawn edger.
- Remove the sod pieces with straight-blade shovel, and set them off to the side.
- Dig a trench for the water line with a shovel.
- Once all the sod has been removed use a rotary tiller to break up and loosen the compacted soil in the tire ruts.
- Rake the tilled soil smooth and level.
- Set the sod pieces back into place, making sure they fit tightly together. Then immediately water the area.
- If there are other damaged lawn sections, use a shovel and rake to remove gravel, rocks, stone dust and other debris. Then fill the area with topsoil and compost.
- Till the topsoil and compost, and rake the area smooth.
- If there's a wellhead or other obstruction in the lawn, conceal it with a fake boulder.
- Spread about 2 inches of bark mulch over the entire area and rake it smooth.