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How to Fix Tire Cracks in Lawn

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

AMES 2826200 4-Tine Forged Steel Spading Fork

2. A garden spade

Fiskars 46-Inch Steel Spade with D-Handle

3. Topsoil

Scott’s Premium Topsoil

4. A garden hose

Flexzilla HFZG550YW Garden Lead-In 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

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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.

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.

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