Like most things, when it comes to lawn maintenance, lutes are only effective when they are used correctly.
Rakes, tillers and shovels may work for some people’s needs, but if you want to get your lawn back to a perfect and even surface in an efficient amount of time, you need a lute. The truth is, lawn lutes have many uses beyond commercial landscaping. For a smooth, even lawn, a lute can be the best tool to use with the topsoil. So if your pet digs a hole in the lawn, or you’ve got holes after uprooting tree stumps, a hand-held garden lute uses its weight to push through the ground to create a more uniform appearance.
Read on to find out how this lawn tool might help your lawn, whether it’s for decorative or for practical purposes.
How do lutes work?
Many people are looking for proven solutions to turn their lawn into a lush, green oasis for their neighbors to envy.
Lawn lutes are one such solution that supposedly does this.
A lawn lute is a handheld lawn leveling tool.
As you might guess, leveling the grass is one of the main goals of the tool.
By applying pressure to the handles of the lawn lute and moving it in a back and forward motion, the grates on the lute will pull up unwanted materials like stones and roots while leaving fine soil and grass alone.
With a width of about 36 inches and a length of 6 feet, the lawn lute is designed to accommodate surrounding areas of large lawns and let gravity help spread the dirt.
The long handle allows it to be used without straining the user’s arms and the distance between the grates makes it easier to pull up and level the lawn without leaving gouges or holes in large scale outdoor projects.
Do lawn lutes work?
Top dressing is one of the best ways to improve many aspects of your yard.
Whether you are trying to repair damage from things like pets digging holes or an old tree uprooting, it can be time consuming and difficult for some homeowners to do it by hand or other tools, which is where lawn lutes step in.
Although the sports industry (football, baseball, soccer) have shown that lutes are indeed effective for this purpose, their application goes beyond commercial landscaping and extensive lawn maintenance.
Lawn lutes are made to be a more efficient and quick way to help have a smooth and even lawn.
Even the slightest undulations and bumps in the grass after mowing will be greatly reduced when using large lawn lutes.
For general grading and leveling of the turf, smaller sized lutes will work just fine.
How to avoid dangers of using a lawn lute
Backfilling with new soil to fill in any holes and holes dug by other tools or lawn degrading activities is usually required.
This is a fairly straightforward process, but some people do have trouble with it.
If an electricity line (or another hazard) is buried in the ground, you have to make sure that you avoid it. If you don’t know where the utility line is, call a professional for help.
You will want to be extra careful when digging so pipes and cables won’t break and cause you any injury.
Fire or electric shock risk is also a big concern.
Fallow areas and sites that were previously occupied by another structure or building require special attention.
Check the area for buried materials and take caution when removing them to avoid dangerous situations.
Lastly, be aware of your surroundings and other potential hazards such as animals such as snakes or even insects like ground wasps and bees that may be living in the grass.
Should you always use a lute when leveling topsoil for turf?
Wet soil limits your ability to use a lawn lute.
It can be done, but the ground will be more difficult to level because of the added weight from the excess moisture.
In the end, you still want to use a lawn lute for top-dressing your lawn, but you should not use it where the spreading material and ground has been recently soaked with water.
Since leveling the lawn for foot traffic requires significant effort, you want to only use it when the topsoil is dry enough to be worked.
Compacting, trampling, and consolidated soil will be even harder to level and control your momentum with the use of a lawn lute.
This is because the ground will be much more stable and hard to work with.
So to achieve a closely packed and uniform lawn, your time will be better spent by leveling using:
- foot shuffle
- lawn roller, sometimes
When should I rake the lawn?
If you are working with a large piece of ground, have lots of grass, or have been working on top soil and you have uneven patches in your lawn then you need to rake.
Raking is important at all times but more so when your grass is dry.
Dethatching the lawn lightly like this allows the grass to reach its full potential so you will not have uneven grass or dry areas in the future.
You might like: Mow Lawn After Dethatching: 5 Tips for Faster Growth
Raking also allows you to get rid of fallen leaves, pine needles and other organic material that could block out the sun to your grass.
But also, if you have dry patches, you can rake this out to get more even grass.
So when should you rake?
Rake in the spring, when your grass is dry to remove all organic material from the ground and give your lawn a clean slate for next summer.
If your yard isn’t looking as green as it should be, or isn’t spreading out so evenly then raking may be the best option for you.
What is the best way to level out your yard? How do I even out the surface of my lawn?
Lumps or high spots in your yard are a nuisance and dangerous for walking and driving.
Additionally, it is impossible to avoid them completely.
Determining the severity of a bump in the turf is important before you decide on how to fix it yourself.
This is especially important for those areas the elderly, kids or pets frequent often.
If you have an uneven area it will affect their body movements and could put them at risk for injury in the long term.
As a homeowner, you should also consider the aesthetics, drainage, and the overall health of your yard.
Ultimately, the best way to level out your yard is to first mow overgrown grass in the area.
This will leave you with a flat surface and your grass will be able to fully recover and grow.
Next, use a lawn rake in combination with a lawn mower to help remove thatch, roots or other organic material that has been retained in the soil.
Read More: What Is a Recycler Lawn Mower?
After dethatching, you can use a spade and wheelbarrow to mix topsoil with compost or fertilizer and add back into the affected area with a broom and a rake.
Related: Does Fertilizer Go Bad if Wet?
Even out the topsoil with a rake. It is important to take your time and go over the area multiple times.
Finally, reseed and water the lawn to help promote an even root system.
Using a lawn lute is easy, but there are caveats.
First, if you live in a wet climate, you’ll get less out of the tool.
Second, only use it when the ground is dry.
Third, check around your property for underground utilities before using a lawn lute.
Top-dress your lawn with proper levels of nutrients and correct water balance.
Use a lawn roller and a foot shuffler to get rid of small rocks and compact loose material before spreading out the top layer of soil.
Rake the lawn before applying fertilizer and watering to remove debris.
Don’t overuse fertilizers and water during wet weather.