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Levelling Play Surfaces

climbing frame on tree stump

The importance of having a level surface for any climbing frame is about safety, they are designed for level surfaces this doesn't mean like the centre court at Wimbledon or having to build a base for a wooden playhouse. However, children's playhouses, climbing frame forts and swing beams need level surfaces. You can cut in and level fort and swing beam, these must be level. This ensures that the swings are safe to use both from knocking on other swings, the fort or a frame.

Try to avoid using temporary methods, or anything that could mean a small amount of movement could then result in a larger uncontrollable movement that could damage the frame permanently. Don't put a climbing frame on a tree stump.

Levelling A Garden

Bumps And Hollows

Levelling a small area taking away bumps and hollows appear is a relatively simple process if you have the right tools. Levering a larger area does take different set of techniques than described here and takes considerably longer. This is only for smaller adjustments.

What You Need

Half Moon CutterFlat SpadeForkTop Dressing
Pre-Seeder FertilzerBroomLawn SeedGarden Hose

1. Check The Climbing Frame Dimension

The climbing frame dimensions and the areas that need to be level particularly the fort and swing beams base's. This will identify if anything needs to be done. If you've found dramatic differences which need sorting decide to raise the low point or lower the high point. It's usually better to raise the low point as this will help with taking water away from climbing frame.

Consider the path of least resistance, you may have a spot where it lines up. When building up areas consider the compression of soil. This can then avoid having to repeat the task with the task of moving a climbing frame for extra measure.

2. Cut Across The Hollow / Bump

From one side to the other in the centre and then create an a cross by doing another cut through the centre, This should create four even sections.

Use the half moon cutter for this, alternatively a flat spade can be used although the end result will not be as neat.

3. Cut and Peel The Turf

Use the shovel to cut about 2 inches (4-5cm) down and then out to the edges of the square that you created on each of the four segments. Peel the turf back on its self and revealing the square of earth you have just created.

4. Fill or Remove Earth

If it's a hollow adds some earth a bump remove use your best judgement to create a level surface. This is when having made the effort to dig the same depth on all four segments will have paid off, now all you've to do is make your square level and put the turf back over.

Use the Pre-Seeder, top dressing and lawn seed to give new grass a chance the best possible chance to take quickly.

Levelling a Slope

This is a Much Harder process and will require moving lots of dirt, to create tiers of level platforms with some way of retaining soil. This will be in the form of a wall unless the gradient isn't so big this could be done without although a landscape Gardner or engineer will be able to tell you if its possible or if the slop will over time just because that's what happens in your garden.

Three Steps to Levelling a Sloping Garden

1. Retaining Walls - These Must be exceptionally strong one cubic foot of wet soil can weigh up to 100 pounds so this will need to be taken into account. These should be slightly leaning into the soil and have solid foundations to support the appropriate weight.

2. Move Soil - fill the void you have just created either with soil you already have at the top lowering the entire garden or bring in soil to raise it up.

3. Resow - Or put down patio whatever you want with your new found level garden .

Alternatively they you can cut into the side of a slop specifically for the play area. This does create a fantastic feature in the garden as demonstrated here.

garden with tiers climbing frame cut into garden