How to Fix Ruts in Lawn

It is common to have ruts develop on your lawn due to several reasons. You could be mowing your lawn when the grass is still wet, ongoing construction in your compound that requires heavy machinery, vehicles driving through the yard, or voles burrowing your yard. Whatever the cause, it is essential that you know how to fix ruts in lawn.

To fix ruts in your lawn, you need to identify the cause of the grooves and how deep they may be running into the ground. If the furrows are shallow, raising the soil underneath will fix them; if they are deep, you will need to loosen the compacted soil and fill in with more soil until the area is slightly higher than the surrounding ground level.

Fixing ruts should be done when the soils are dry to avoid creating a further mess. Read on and find out more on how to fix ruts in lawn.

Step by Step Guide to Fixing Ruts in Lawn

What you’ll need:

  • A spading fork
  • A shovel
  • Soil, sand, or compost
  • Grass seeds

Shallow Ruts

For shallow ruts, about 1 to 2 inches deep, the process is easy;

1. Loosen the soil by digging into the rut through its edges using the spade fork.

Do not dig in deep.

2. Lift the soil by applying downward to upward pressure on the area till it is about 2 inches higher than the surrounding ground level.

In a few days, it should settle down to equal ground level. If it is not the case, you will need to repair it as a deep rut.

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Deep Ruts

For deep ruts, proceed as follows

1. Edge out the grass on the rut using a shovel all around.

Be careful to cut out the grass with its roots so that it’s easy to place when you are done. Carefully place the sliced turf on an area that you are not working on.

2. Loosen the soil.

For a deep rut, chances are the soil is compacted. Use the spade fork to loosen the compacted soil

3. Mix in equal measure the soil, sand, and compost to give the grass adequate nutrition to thrive on.

You want the grass around that area to look just like the other areas.

If you do not already have compost, get this Charlie’s compost:

4. Fill in the mixture above until slightly above the ground level (1 to 2 inches).

5. Put the grass turf back.

If the turf got destroyed, sow the grass seeds and water them down to regrow the grass while you apply fertilizer regularly. In no time, the ground will all be level.

Here is a Scotts EZ all in one grass seed and fertilizer from

As mentioned above, ruts can span from various causes; therefore, managing them may differ from cause to cause.

Here is a guideline for some problems.

tire ruts in lawn

How to Fix Lawn after Construction

During construction, chances are you may need to use heavy machinery or equipment, which end up causing damage to the ground by creating ruts. Other than ruts, there may be heaps of soil and wastes of construction piled up in some parts of the ground.

To fix your lawn after construction, clear the ground so that it is even throughout the eye level by removing all heaps and any construction wastes which may later decompose and form depressions.

Any indent is probably a rut. You will need to fix it using the guide above. However, it is possible that the ground does not already have grass. In this case, you need to put grass seeds into part of the compost mixture, which will be at the very top, and then water down.

The lawn should be all right in a few weeks.

How to Fix Lawn Depressions

Lawn depressions come about due to buried debris in the ground that is now decomposing, waterlogging in that place perhaps due to poor drainage, large trees removed to the roots’ level, among others.

Unlike ruts, depressions may be more profound, more than 24 inches at times, therefore repairing them is more complex.

You need to put bricks and stones into the depression first if it is too deep, then add the sand, compost, and soil mixture to a slightly higher level.

However, for depression caused by waterlogging, you may need to put concrete first and the compost, sand, and soil mixture failure to which the ground will keep having pits. You need a professional to fix this.

How to Fix Tire Ruts in Lawn

Driving or mowing through your lawn, especially when the soil is wet, can sometimes leave annoying tire marks on the yard. The same is bound to happen if you are always using the same pattern to mow.

Tire marks are, fortunately, almost always not so deep. You can raise the ground back using a spading fork till it’s leveled. To fix tire ruts in the lawn, cut the grass.

Steps to fix ruts in lawn:

  1. Cut through the affected area and fold the sod upside down using a spading fork.
  2. Remove the sod from the ground and place it on another area of your lawn.
  3. Use the spade to loosen the compacted soil.
  4. Mix together equal parts of sand, compost, and soil. You can use your old mixture if it is not too far gone.
  5. Break up any tire marks that are left.
  6. Add the mixture to a level that is slightly higher than the original soil level.
  7. Replace the sod and water it down.

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How to Fix Tire Cracks in Lawn: The Complete Guide

Ride-on, zero-turn, and push-behind mowers are invaluable lawn assets. They’ve beaten grass slasher units down to dust and made mowing a lot easier. In fact, for those of us who have large lawns to care for season after season, there can’t be better equipment to use than a lawn mower.

But lawn mowers, whatever the type you choose, ride on wheels with treads that can easily leave cracks on the lawn, especially if wet. For a moment, it may look like you’ve solved one problem only to create another. And, indeed, that’s true.

Thankfully, you can learn how to fix tire cracks in lawn and never have to worry about these marks on your grass. Fixing tire cracks in lawn doesn’t have to be rocket science. A few simple DIY makeovers can actually go a long way to make a big difference.

Because you know how ugly the tire marks are, not to mention that they can alter the health of your lawn, it’s best to do everything you can to get rid of these marks and keep your lawn green and healthy.

Why you Need to Fix Ruts on Lawn

A lawn full of ruts looks terrible, but that’s not all there is to it. You also want to fix those tire cracks because:

1. Water Pooling is Problematic

Water pools in the ruts during light as well as heavy rains. And if the soil underneath is compacted, which is highly likely if you haven’t aerated the lawn, you can be certain that the water won’t drain away.

2. Grass Won’t Grow

You might try to overseed the area with deep and shallow ruts, but it’s highly that the grass will grow because soil compaction already doesn’t allow it.

3. Ruts Create a Breeding Ground for Pests

When deep and shallow ruts fill with water, they become the breeding ground for mosquitoes. And that can be problematic because these creatures can cause malaria when they bite.

How to Fix Tire Cracks in Lawn

Tire cracks are patches you never want to see in lawn because they are foreign and make the space look ugly.

For what it’s worth, the marks can even affect the quality of your lawn because the cracks leave patches that can make it hard for grass to keep growing and thrive.

So here’s what you should do:

Get Your Tools Ready

First, you need to make sure you have the right tools to fix tire cracks in the lawn. We recommend that you get the following: 

1. A spade fork

2. A garden spade

3. Topsoil

4. A garden hose

Fixing the Shallow Tire Cracks in Lawn  

Now that you have your tools ready for the job, it’s time to fix the shallow ruts first. To do this:

  • Use the spade fork of your choice to loosen the soil in as well as around the ruts
  • Identify the edge of the tire mark, place the fork on the mark at a 45-degree angle
  • Press the handle of the fork to lift the sod from at most 2 inches from the ground
  • Continue working you way on the entire mark, making sure you lift the sod to at most 2 inches higher on the ground

Give the sod a couple of days to settle and then blend in with the surroundings.

Fixing the Deep Tire Cracks in Lawn

To fix deep ruts caused by lawn mower tires:

  • Use the garden spade to cut the grass at the very bottom of the tire mark
  • With the spade fork underneath the sod, press the handle again gently to lift the sod above the ground. Make sure you do this on each side of the cut.
  • Fold the sod back, again making sure you do this on all sides of the cut
  • Use the spade fork again to loosen the dirt in the rut
  • Now add the top soil in the rut, making sure that the area with the tire mark is at most 2 inches above the surrounding area.
  • Complete the process by folding the soil back in place and watering the fixed area so that the soils settle.

See also: Greenworks 20-inch 40v twin force cordless lawn mower

How to Prevent Tire Cracks in Lawn

How to Prevent Tire Cracks in Lawn

To prevent tire cracks on lawns:

1. Never mow when it’s raining – or when grass is wet

For some of us, the temptation to mow lawn under light rainfall or when the grass is wet is unbelievably real.

Yet doing so is the number one reason why lawn mowers leave marks on the lawn when cutting grass.

Here’s the thing:

Soil becomes somewhat loose every time it rains. Add the weight of the mower you have at hand to the wet ground and the wet soil will sink.

Pull the mower from the wet ground and you’ll immediately notice that it leaves wet cracks that make the lawn look rather out of place.

Even after the section you run the mower on dries (and it will), you can expect the dryness to remain in the sunken state with cracks visible even from a distance.

The solution here is simple really:

Just don’t mow if it’s raining or if the grass is wet.

See also: How does grass protection mesh work?

2. Make some adjustments to your lawn mower’s tires

There are a few adjustments that you can make on your lawn mower’s wheels to keep shallow as well as deep cracks from forming.

You should:  

  • Deflate the tires just a little so they go easy on your lawn
  • Keep away from the mowing job under rainy condition and if the grass is wet
  • Don’t let the mower wheels spin in the same location for an extended period
  • Try to change your mowing pattern from time to time, making sure the wheels never repeat the same patterns more than required.  

How to protect lawn from heavy equipment

Now that you know how to fix tire cracks in lawn, you shouldn’t have a difficult time doing the work.

Remember, though, that the best way to keep ruts from the lawn is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

How to Fix Ruts in Lawn (FAQs)

1. Will tire ruts in the lawn go away?

Tire ruts in a lawn can go away. All you need is appropriate timing and a good soil mix.

Repair the ruts when the grass is sprouting fast and when grounds are dry to avoid damaging the landscape.

When repairing the ruts, ensure that the rut level is even with the grass’ surface and not below it.

2. Will a lawn roller fix ruts?

A lawn roller will not entirely fix ruts. A lawn roller flattens about 1 to 2 inches deep of soil in a soft lawn.

It may not help repair deep ruts or depressions. It may come in handy in a slightly bumpy soft lawn if done repetitively.

3. How do you fix uneven ground?

To fix the uneven ground, you can dig up the soil in the bumpy spots and fill it into the holes or lower spots.

Tamp down the area so that it is on the same level. You can now water and plant grass where needed.

There are many different ways that construction can cause damage to your yard, whether it is ruts created by machines and vehicles driving over the ground, depressions caused by buried debris (such as tree roots), or tire tracks from mowers and other vehicles.

Fortunately, understanding how to fix ruts in lawn, tire ruts, and other permanent damage will help restore your yard. At some point, you may need to call a professional landscaper or contractor, but with proper timing and some care, you can quickly repair your lawn off ruts.


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

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