All About Landscape Grading: The What, The Why, And The How

landscape gradingWhen you think about luxury landscape design, aesthetic choices (like walkways, plants, and koi ponds) are probably what come to mind. But to keep your backyard looking its best, you'll need to invest some time in the logistics first. Landscape grading is one of those maintenance jobs that may not be glamorous, but you'll be glad you took care of it later on. Below, we'll answer a few of the most common questions relating to grading your landscape -- specifically, the what, why, and how.

What is landscape grading?

Essentially, grading refers to the sculpting or leveling of land. It's intended to prepare outdoor living spaces for elements like plants, hardscaping, paths, patios, stairs, pools, and more. It's really the first step that needs to be completed before the more exciting landscape ideas come into play.

Why do I need to grade my landscape?

Since around 67% of all U.S. landscaping projects involve single family residences, it's likely that you may need to grade your landscape at some point. That's because grading can also be used to ensure water flows away from your home and won't erode your property. It can also prevent standing water, which can protect your family (by discouraging mosquito activity) in addition to your green space. Grading will add a gentle slope to certain areas to ensure water flows the way it should and that your property looks more attractive overall.

How do I go about doing this landscaping project?

There are some homeowners who want to grade their land themselves, but improper grading can be just as bad as no grading at all. There is actually a real science to grading, which means that it's best if you have it done by a professional. Your landscaper will be able to ascertain whether the ground is uneven or you have poor drainage. Then, they'll remove the topsoil to shape the ground underneath it. After the grass or plants start to develop their roots (and any necessary irrigation lines are added), the topsoil will be added back on. Your landscaper will then smooth everything out and make sure it's all level.

Landscape grading can be easy to overlook in all the excitement of redesigning your green space, but it's an essential first step in the process. Make sure it's done correctly the first time will allow you to execute your plans perfectly and will ensure you don't have water drainage issues in the future.

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