If you're starting a gardening project that requires leveling soil or upgrading your patio's greenery, you're probably thinking about using a landscape rake for the job. Luckily, we did the research and found out how to use a landscape rake to level a lawn.
Landscape rakes are handy tools to level a lawn. Here's a simple step-by-step guide for you to follow to level any material in your lawn successfully:
- Rake the material using tines
- Smoothen the material
- Tamp the material
We'll discuss each step mentioned above. We'll also go into detail about landscaping rakes and share some tips that will make your garden look neat! Keep reading to learn more!
How Do You Level A Lawn?
Leveling lawns can be tricky if you're not equipped with the right materials or guide, and it can be frustrating to some.
Whether it's to level a gravel-filled patio or prep garden beds, a landscape rake is the easiest and most accessible tool you can use to accomplish the task.
To learn how to level a lawn, you have to understand how landscape rakes work. Landscape rakes are also known as leveling, grading, gravel, or beach rakes because they're very useful in leveling any material.
Landscape rakes can be useful for many things, not just leveling lawns. From the easiest tasks like picking berries and pulling away grass and rocks to something more heavy-dduty like mixing and leveling concrete, the landscape rake is a versatile tool.
The difference between a typical garden rake and a landscape rake is the size of the head. Landscape rakes can range from 550mm (21.5") to 1066mm (42") wide.
The handles are typically longer than other rake handles (1.9m or 75"), which makes it easier to hold horizontally or at an angle to the ground.
The handles are either made of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. They can be a little hard to handle because of the size of the head, but it'll only take a few swings to get used to.
1. Rake The Material Using Tines
To begin leveling any material, be it gravel or soil, the tines are the most important part of the task. With its sharp tines, till the soil or material at hand by pushing and pulling the rake. Doing so will spread the material and break the clumps.
Hold the landscape rake firmly at an angle to the ground and do a push-and-pull motion. Push the uneven material and pull the rake to spread the material evenly.
This motion is necessary to ensure that there's no uneven spot left. If you're raking a lawn filled with weeds, firmly scrape the weeds away using the tines. Once done, you'll be left with bare, uneven soil.
Repeat until there are no clumps of soil, and proceed to the next step.
2. Smooth The Material
This step is crucial if you want a smooth surface such as concrete. Simply turn the landscape rake on the other side. With a firm grip, use the flat edge of the rake to smooth out the material.
Unlike the first step, you don't need to push and pull the material to smooth it out. Simply glide it like you would with a broom.
This process is made easy due to the wideness of the rake's head.
3. Tamp the Material
Tamping the material is an optional but rather helpful step if you want a smooth surface or if you don't want any loose material on the surface. All you have to do is hold the landscape rake vertically, with no angles, and tamp the material.
The more you push, the more compact the material will be.
Many Uses of Landscape Rakes
Landscape rakes can be versatile and be used for many different lawn situations such as lawn and gardening cleanup, land cultivation, spreading and mixing compost, and spreading gravel and stones.
Lawn and Garden Cleaning
A landscape rake can clean the garden and eliminate debris such as dead grass, rocks, twigs, and branches. Like a typical garden rake works, a landscape rake is a reliable tool for cleaning purposes.
A landscape rake is great for prepping and tilling the soil for a plantation. By raking the soil, you're exposing the deeper layers of the soil and removing any clumps or debris.
This is useful when starting a garden bed or raking garden seeds. You can also use the rake to collect the crops. A landscape rake is commonly used in collecting berries.
To learn more about raking garden seeds, read this post, "How To Rake In Grass Seed? [Step By Step Guide]"
Spreading and Mixing Compost
Landscape rakes are handy tools for building compost. This works by mixing the materials using sharp tines and spreading them evenly throughout the surface with a flat edge of the rake.
Spreading Gravel and Stones
If your patio or lawn is filled with gravel or stones, you might find it annoying whenever they're uneven or clumped to one side. You can solve this problem with a landscape rake by following the guide.
What Are Landscape Rakes Made Of?
There is no single kind of landscape rake; they come in many varieties. They come in different sizes, different numbers of times, and course, different materials. Which one is best for you all depends on its purpose.
The tines can be made of galvanized iron, hardened steel, hardened aluminum, and durable plastic.
Plastic is the least durable material on this list, and it's not recommendable for any type of heavyweight work. You should only use this for collecting berries and a little cleanup to collect trash and small pebbles.
Galvanized iron is one of the cheapest materials but can quickly deform after regular usage. Using this material is alright if you're not using it for anything heavy-duty. Otherwise, it will deform and break.
This material is in the middle, both in terms of price and durability. Aluminum is a lightweight material and is relatively cheap. If you're only starting out, you should try this material first.
Hardened steel is easily the most durable and has the longest lifespan. Bugt be prepared to weld a hefty tool and pay a hefty price. Hardened steel is heavy, and the price ranges quite high, but you're paying for durability.
This material is recommendable for those who are looking for a long-lasting material that can withstand heavy-duty work. For others, it might not be necessary.
Different Types of Rakes
There are many different types of landscape rakes, but how do you know which one you need? Read the following sections to learn more.
If you want to focus on growing crops, aerator rakes are a good alternative to landscape rakes. Aerator rakes poke holes into the soil to ensure that air and water get through it, keeping it fertile and moisturized. This is the rake for you if you're planning to plant crops.
Mechanical Landscape Rakes
If you have a tractor or something similar, you can attach a mechanical landscape rake to it. These rakes can be as large as 2.5m wide or 98" and works well with large areas that need leveling.
The smallest landscape rake is 10-15cm long with 4-7 tines. The little hand rake is handy for small landscaping projects that require very little manpower.
How To Choose A Landscape Rake
Before you decide to purchase a landscape rake, think through your purpose for the rake. What will you need it for? Is it for heavy-duty work or for a small gardening hobby? Narrow down the list to find out what you need.
Even if steel is the most durable material, you might find yourself regretting the purchase if you won't be able to use it because it's too tough for the job.
Pay attention to your needs and their compatibility with the material of landscape rakes.
Besides that, pay attention to if the handle is too short or too long. If you regularly use landscape rakes, you might want to find one compatible with your height.
Whether you're looking for a handy tool that can help you with your lawn and landscaping needs or looking for something heavy-duty, a landscape rake is great.
It's a versatile tool to level out material, prep soil, collect debris, mix compost, mix concrete, and many more. The key to making this useful tool work is knowing how to handle it properly.
We hope you learned everything you need about leveling a lawn using a landscape rake in this post!