When yard construction is on the agenda for your home, it can be a little challenging to repair the damage that occurs when heavy equipment travels across it.
Although the goal is to limit the damage as much as possible, mud ruts are always possible when living in a rainy climate.
Knowing how to fix tire ruts in lawn settings, backyards, front yards, and more ensures that your property can shine again! Before the project starts, you should confirm who is responsible for repairing this damage with your contractor if you hired someone for landscape design or lawn improvements.
If you’re a contractor, you’ll want to know how to address shallow ruts and how to fix large ruts in a yard with this guide.
Steps to Follow When Fixing Ruts in a Yard After Construction
Lawn and landscape damage frequently happens during many construction projects. From roof replacements to retaining wall installation, moving heavy equipment into specific locations that damage the grass is sometimes necessary.
These steps can help you correct the situation quickly and without a high cost.
1. Remove grass from the damaged area.
The first step of fixing a mud rut is to remove the grass from the area. If some of the sod is still intact within the damaged spots, it helps to use a shovel to cut around its edges. The roots must be taken as part of this step to ensure the repair goes smoothly.
2. Loosen the compact soil.
Mud ruts become problematic because the soil compacts and dries in the tire’s shape. You must act quickly to decompress the area to prevent the job from becoming more complicated than it needs to be.
You can use a shovel fork to loosen the entire area that is compacted underneath the heavy equipment. Push the spade into the soil at a 45-degree angle. Since most ruts are only a couple of inches deep, you won’t need to dig down too far.
3. Fill the area with new soil.
When you have a shallow rut, you can simply raise the soil after using the spade to finish repairing the damaged lawn. A larger or deeper area requires more correction.
If you’re repairing a grass lawn and need to fix mud ruts, you’ll need to add more soil to the area. The best option is to use an equal amount of compost and sand to make it easier for the roots to take hold. Depending on the property’s condition, additional fertilizer might be necessary to create the correct nutrient balance.
4. Replace the sod or sow new grass seed.
Once you have the rut filled with new soil, it is time to replant the sod you dug out if it is in good condition. If not, you’ll need to install new squares to finish the repair.
As an alternative, you might consider sowing new grass seed in the area if the conditions don’t favor sod establishment.
If you choose to seed the lawn when it’s time to fix a muddy backyard with ruts, it helps to choose the same variety already present on the property. Using two or more different types will not create an attractive yard repair outcome.
5. Water the area according to the product’s instructions.
For the first two weeks after installing new sod for a rut repair project, people and equipment should stay off the area. Any weight placed on the fresh grass can cause the root establishment process to fail.
There should be enough water applied to penetrate through the sod and into at least the first two inches of the new soil base during the installation.
New sod needs to be watered up to six times per day, for about five or six minutes each time, to help the roots establish themselves.
Your grass seed will come with specific instructions to follow. It also helps to protect the area from bird harvesting to ensure you get a lovely green lawn instead of patchy growth.
How to Stop Creating Yard Ruts
Knowing how to fix tire ruts in lawn areas is an essential skill, but so is an understanding of preventing this problem from occurring.
That starts by not driving heavy equipment over soft or muddy sections of the lawn. If you cannot use lightweight tools or vehicles, consider unloading at the driveway.
Another option is to use lawn protection mats. They’re more effective than plywood because the product conforms to the ground’s shape, even when parking the equipment.
Most muddy ruts are fully repaired after two to three weeks when following these steps.