Trying to level my backyard to a "Dirt Court"

MichaelChang

Hall of Fame
My backyard is big enough to play some tennis, IF I can make the surface more level and remove all the grass/craps on it. I am eager to start working on my backyard and make it a "Dirt Court", like a baseball field. Should I start when the winter is over? What kind of tools do I need? I hope to avoid any heavy-duty machines. I prefer manual tools, and I have time, I can work on it for months if that is necessary. Any advices? Thanks.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
You need tools related to building a very large slightly raised garden bed. Shovels, rakes, saw, maybe a drill and screw driver. Will need a lot of 1x4 or 1x6 wood for edging your surface. Once this surface frame is leveled, then start removing grass, dirt etc. Fill with clean dirt or sand until level with the top of the frame. Make the inside level by packing everything down with a lawn roller filled with water. Since it is unlikely for you to have a level the width of the court, run a long string along both edges and add/remove dirt that is not level with the string. You did say you want to use only manual tools.
 

WildVolley

Legend
The main thing you need to do is to stake off the proper area using a tape measure and the contours of the property. It is probably best to do as little leveling as possible, so if the space is large enough, choose the direction that will mean the least amount of earth moving.

Then you need to plan drainage and use a level to determine the proper slope on the court. You can probably do all of this during the winter assuming it isn't covered in snow. Get to work!
 

ricki

Hall of Fame
why not to make clay court? Its not that expensive if you do it yourself: gravel of various stone sizes, s l a g, clay...
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Once you have removed stumps and roots, drive 4 stakes into the ground at the perimeter of your "court", then using a level first, later a laser level, mark the true level on those stakes.
Now shovel, hoe, and cart the dirt around.
 

MichaelChang

Hall of Fame
why not to make clay court? Its not that expensive if you do it yourself: gravel of various stone sizes, s l a g, clay...
I think would have to make a dirt-level court first, then we can talk about cement it or clay on top of it, no?
 

MichaelChang

Hall of Fame
Once you have removed stumps and roots, drive 4 stakes into the ground at the perimeter of your "court", then using a level first, later a laser level, mark the true level on those stakes.
Now shovel, hoe, and cart the dirt around.
I know... just a few words, but the amount of work is probably gonna kill me haha:) will try to start soon and see how my body holds up doing this.
 
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