A hose and sprinkler system is best, preferably one with a fine spray setting. This usually means having to fork out more money but the old cliché is true. This is called ‘trickle dressing’ and works into the lawn better, improves the decomposition of lawn thatch and is much less noticeable on fine lawns. Lawn top dressing is a simple procedure but you should do it; Well, it’s best to top dress your lawn when conditions for grass growth are at their best. Move the soil around and work it into the lawn. Both in terms of soil profile and pH. Areas of a lawn can become uneven over time, due to settling, drainage issues, and various natural and unnatural causes. Alternatively for lawns with the opposite issue, … So test your soil with a soil testing kit first. Top dressing is an application of a thin layer of soil over a turf grass area and is used to smooth and level the surface or to modify the soil condition, usually no more than ¼ to ½ inch. In this case, you’ll need to top dress more than once over the course of a few seasons. Any low spots will naturally get more but it’s really important that you don’t smother the grass. For a normal family or utility lawn, you want to try and keep it to around 5mm deep. Don’t expect it to repair big divots or hollows in your lawn though. This would normally be a loam or a loam and sand mix, depending on the condition of your current soil. This practice has been observed since golf was first invented in … In my opinion, this is really important for ornamental lawns. Do you have experience of doing it? Lawn top dressing is when you apply a thin layer of material onto the lawn. The first reason to top dress a Buffalo lawn is to add organic … The… Lawn care companies sometimes offer a topdressing service, but sometimes reluctantly, since it is viewed as a labor-intensive inconvenience that does not have a large profit margin. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Fling the compost with a smooth, sweeping motion aimed at spreading the material as evenly as possible to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. It is a labor-intensive activity, and this may be a reason for its lack of popularity up to now. Soil structure and drainage can be modified by topdressing with sand or other corrective materials. - 3-In-1 Function: Test soil moisture, pH value and sunlight level of a plant. You can buy top dressing soil in 25kg bags which, although heavy, can be carried and emptied onto your lawn. Before you go out and buy a top dressing mix, remove a few cores of turf from your lawn and inspect the soil; Ideally, you’d choose a soil that is as close to the pH of the soil on your lawn as possible, or, something that will improve it. If your lawnmower bumps and bangs through low spots while cutting the grass you should remove the turf, add additional material (or remove it) to the soil and then re-lay the sod. Do you have any questions? In which case, use a bucket, or even better, a wheelbarrow. All Rights Reserved. Power spreaders consist of a hopper to hold the material and a motorized belt to move the material through the hopper to a spinning disc that spreads it on the lawn. Be mindful though, this doesn’t stop weed seeds from blowing onto and germinate in your lawn. Topdressing materials are evenly applied in a thin … In which case stick to just 1kg per square meter. Sports Field Management Website at Cornell University. For a normal family or utility lawn, make your own call. Many … Motorized topdressing spreader machines are also available to make this work easier. Compost should be made from the appropriate ratios of wet and dry materials and should be fully "cooked"—highly decomposed, High-quality finished compost is dark and rich and contains a variety of organic materials with few fillers such as sawdust or loam. Also known as ‘sterile’ soil, a topsoil that is free of weeds will add to the expense. Take your bags of topsoil or put it in a bucket or wheelbarrow and make several piles of it all over your lawn. Lawns should be aerated every 2-3 years, and if yours is due, start with a nice core aeration. When top dressing a lawn with any material, only a very thin layer should be spread evenly over the entire lawn. Sand is sometimes used as a topdressing material on lawns with heavy, clay soils or drainage problems. Spread the soil out as evenly as you can. Whether topdressing a lawn, applying infield mixes, top soil, calcite clay, crumble rubber, or treating walks and drives with icemelt and rock salt, Ecolawn’s … Ornamental grasses like bents and fescues prefer slightly more acidic soil while broader leaf grasses like ryegrasses and meadow grasses prefer a more neutral pH of around 6.5. Disclaimer: Gardenseeker is a free resource, with everything from gardening tips to product reviews. Leave a comment and I’ll jump in a reply. If your lawn is full of peaks and troughs you might find that this doesn’t level it completely the first time around. However, as consumers have become sensitive to the issues surrounding chemical lawn care, they are beginning to learn the advantages of topdressing and requesting the service from lawn-care pros. Topdressing is a sand or prepared soil mix applied to the surface of the lawn. Proper mowing or grazing and top dressing will help keep the stand in vigorous, high-quality grasses and legumes for many years. Top dressing is the process of applying compost, soil, or sand over the surface of your lawn. Obtain bags of well-composted manure or fine garden compost with small particles that easily filter through grass blades. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. If you only add 5mm of topsoil at a time you should be able to top dress twice in the spring and once in the autumn. When you top dress a lawn with good a high-quality mix, you introduce micro-organisms back into the soil. Topdressing reduces lawn stresses, helps keep thatch under control, and acts as a long-term natural fertilizer. Adding organic matter to a lawn by topdressing with compost is arguably the most beneficial cultural practice that the science of lawn care has to offer. The new soil will create the perfect environment for new grass seed to germinate and grow. It's a good idea to perform topdressing in conjunction with other cultural practices, such as aerating, de-thatching, and overseeding. When I refer to the quality of top dressing soil, I mean; The grade of topsoil refers to how fine it is. 50 (square meterage of your lawn) x 5 (kilos per square meter) = 250kg. As if I was there doing it all for you! Read: What is the Best Lawn Fertiliser? Many are learning how to do it themselves. Read: Lawn Watering: Why, When and How to Water Grass. Repeated applications of a sandy, loamy top dressing mixture to a heavy soil will improve the soil structure over time. You want to wet the lawn, not wash the new soil and grass seed away. Top dressing is one of those lawn treatments normally undertaken by more serious lawnsmiths. GardenSeeker.com is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk. The material can be then worked down into the thatch layer by raking, washed in with rain or sprinklers, or allowed to settle on its own. Levels Lawn- If you have areas of your lawn that are bumpy top dressing is a great way to smooth out these areas. This in turn helps to break down nutrients and aid grass growth. Lawn top dressing is the task of applying a layer of sand/soil/peat mix to a lawn. Topdressing materials are evenly … Watering immediately will help settle the material and keep it in place. Utilizing a mixture of fine organic material and sand, Lawn … Again, to calculate this on our fictitious 50 square meter lawn; 50 (square meterage of your lawn) x 1 (kilos per square meter) = 50kg. Centenary Landscaping Supplies presents a guide to Top dressing your lawn, grass or turf. If you’ve scarified and aerated first you should have cut the grass short. Manual topdressing is hard work, requiring shoveling, moving, and spreading piles of compost or other topdressing materials. The results make the hard work well worthwhile, however. Golf courses spend millions of pounds every year on soil science and research. If it’s sandy, use a loam mix. They know that soil can make the difference between a good playing surface and a sublime one. So let’s say your lawn is 50 square meters. Topdressing regularly can smooth out bumps caused by worm castings and encourages a dense, lush lawn. In other words, always buy your compost for topdressing from a reputable source. For ornamental lawns, top dressing should be part of your lawn care program. That said, it can take a bit of time. The term topdressing also is used for the process of applying the material. It’s hard work and can be expensive. At this point, your lawn should be much more level and full of nutrients. So, if you are planning to aerate or scarify your lawn do so prior to top dressing. TOP DRESSING Topdressing is a sand or prepared soil mix applied to the surface of the lawn. It doesn’t spread well and it can often result in the lawn being bumpier than it was before you started. To help the new grass seed to germinate, apply a fertiliser. Topdressing a lawn is accomplished by spreading a thin layer of material such as compost or sand over the grass. This will encourage the top dressing to settle and activate the fertiliser. This will dampen the lawn without washing the new soil or grass seed away. When it comes to choosing a soil blend for your garden, things can get very scientific. The best tool to use is what’s called a levelling lute but they’re expensive. Remember, if you’ve got heavy clay soil, choose a sandy loam mix. Typically, 1/4 to 1/2 inch of compost or another soil amendment is spread across the lawn with shovels, in a throwing action. Use a sprinkler with a fine spray setting. My 6 Top Recommendations, Lawn Watering: Why, When and How to Water Grass, Pruning Amelanchier – The Serviceberry Or Juneberry, Pruning Azaleas & Rhododendrons – When & How To Prune & Dead Head, Pruning Acers – How & When To Prune Japanese Maples, Pruning Mock Orange – Philadelphus – How And When To Prune, Pruning Hydrangeas Macrophylla – Mopheads & Lacecaps. Your lawn will be pretty black at this point. Topdressing is the process of adding a very thin layer of topsoil mix to the surface of an existing lawn. This will help to add nutrients back into the soil, improve drainage and reduce the chances of fungal infections like Lichens Red Thread, Pink Patch, Fusarium Patch and Snow Mould. Understand that the material you add to the surface of the lawn will eventually become part of the root zone. Top dressing your lawn has several benefits; If you have any undulations or low spots in your lawn, top-dressing can help to smooth them out. It’s also in autumn that you’d typically, rake, scarify and aerate your lawn. Top dressing is the process of spreading additional soil over the surface of your lawn. Sand is used because people think it will improve air … pH ranges from 1 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline). Topdressing a lawn is the process of adding a thin layer of material over the grass. Typically, 1/4 to 1/2 inch of compost or another soil amendment is spread across the lawn with shovels, in a throwing action. This will create a thicker, lusher and healthier lawn. Send them in and I’ll share them with the community. Good topdressing compost is not always easy to find. In the least extreme cases, you can solve the problem by topdressing with a thin … Kathleen Miller is a Master Gardener and Horticulturist with over 30 years experience in gardening and sustainable farming. In order to activate the fertiliser and to encourage germination, you need to keep the soil moist. Top dressing in conjunction with other lawn care maintenance procedures is not only highly beneficial but can often save time. But lawn dressing is often done with sand and that’s where the problem is. The aeration holes, in turn, provide the perfect environment for overseeding, allowing newer generations of grass to establish and thrive. … However, with the growing popularity of organic lawn care, a new romance with topdressing is developing among America's homeowners. Take a stiff yard brush and brush the topsoil into the turf. 6 Products Tested and Reviewed, What is the Best Grass Seed? First, you need to understand how much topsoil to put down. If your lawn is well fertilised, healthy and … If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps maintain the site. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Lawn top dressing is a very simple procedure. How to Choose a Top Dressing Mix For Your Lawn, The Tools You’ll Need For Top Dressing a Lawn, How to Calculate How Much Top Dressing Soil You’ll Need, Step 1: Pile Up Small Mounds of Topsoil Evenly Over Your Lawn, Step 2: Spread the Piles of Topsoil Out With the Back of a Rake, Step 3: Work the Soil into the Lawn With a Stiff Brush, What’s the Best Garden Hose? Helps Seed Germinate- If overseeding your lawn, top dressing allows … Top dressing and overseeding your lawn can rejuvenate it and give it that lush, thick quality you strive for each year. So you might plan to do all of this in a day and the process would look something like this. Topdressing. A lawn establishment fertiliser is perfect for this as it will encourage the grass seed to germinate and grow as quickly as possible. Top dressing should be done for two main reasons. This means, plenty of sun, rain and warmth. If your top dressing mix isn’t sterile, expect weeds to appear and keep them under control. Here is a list of all the tools you need for lawn dressing; Before top-dressing, you’ll need to cut the grass fairly close. You get what you pay for. Up until recently, the instant gratification and convenience for homeowners, and the profits enjoyed by lawn care companies, meant that modern chemical practices triumphed over the old art of manually spreading compost on the lawn. The ones who won’t accept anything less than perfection. Normally you’d overseed and fertilise your lawn after these kinds of treatments to help it recover as quickly as possible. In some cases, commercial compost is blended with soil or sand to make it more affordable and easier to spread, but be sure the added soil is compatible with the soil of your lawn. The good news is that choosing a top dressing mix is very simple. My 6 Top Recommendations. Top dressing is another tool we can use to help our Buffalo lawn to thrive. Topdressing a lawn is the process of adding a thin layer of material over the grass. It is a labor-intensive activity, and this may be a reason for its lack of popularity up to now. You want to avoid excess heat and cold and the majority of the years weed seeds. The aerating opens up the soil, allowing for better air and water movement and reduced compaction. If you’re not particularly green-fingered and you wouldn’t consider your lawn to be your pride and joy, then top dressing probably isn’t for you (unless you’re renovating your lawn in autumn). Kelly Burke is a freelance writer and professional turf manager. Top dressing is the process of spreading additional soil over the surface of your lawn. Some sources try to save money by selling the compost too early, before it has sufficiently cooked, or by using too much filler and and not enough finished compost in the mixture. While it is fine for the topdressing mixture to have some amount of organic material that has not yet decomposed, too much filler negates the benefits of topdressing. When to apply top dressing Rolawn Lawn Topdressing can be applied anytime, when the grass is actively growing. Topdressing after aerating and overseeding is the ideal trio of lawn care practices, sure to create a healthier lawn. There are motorized top-dressers and compost spreaders available, but they are costly machines, especially for a device that is rarely used. … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 3. Wait for a rain shower or sprinkle the … Traditionally, topdressing is spread over the lawn by the shovelful, using a motion that resembles a hockey player swinging at a puck. It’s also carried out by greenkeepers who look after bowling greens and golf courses. Grass likes soil to be between ph 5.5 and 7. This means the soil has passed through a sieve with ¼” holes in it, twice. Treatments like scarification and aeration are invasive so you should always spread new grass seed after to help the lawn recover. Top … Aerate. If they’re too heavy, or if you order your soil to come in a bulk bag, you’ll need a way of dispersing it. Especially if your lawn is like a bowling green. My Top Choices. There are many different types of grass seed available so…, Read: What is the Best Grass Seed? However, if you love your lawn and you’re in the pursuit of perfection, read on. The only thing left to do now is water the lawn. It has many benefits to the health of the lawn and the reasons for top dressing include: Maintaining a true and level lawn … There’s only so much you can do with the back of a rake so now you need to really work the soil into the turf. Follow this by lightly raking the lawn to ensure that the topdressing is evenly distributed. Top dressing benefits the lawn as it builds up the quality of the soil over a period of time, - sandy soils will be able to retain moisture better and so the lawn will be more resistant to drought, clay soils will drain … Top dressing is best done after raking/scarification and aeration but before overseeding and fertilising. If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section. If not, make sure the grass is short first. Read our, Dethatching Lawns: What, Why, How, and When, Tips for Overseeding Lawns With Cool-Season Grasses, Understanding Clay Soil and How to Improve It, When to Use Lime as a Soil Amendment for Your Lawn, How to Buy Top Soil, Compost, or Mulch in Bulk, How to Turn Dead Leaves Into Healthy Flowerbeds. When it comes to choosing a top dressing mix for your lawn, choose the very best quality you can afford. In most cases top dressing is done to correct poor preparation and lack of soil underneath or to fill in low spots and correct uneven areas in the lawn. Disking is another method to stimulate regrowth and reduce competition … There are several reasons to do this. If it was me, I’d want a sterile mix. Topdressing turf is an old concept dating back to the old golf course at St. Andrews. Spring & autumn - application of up to 3 litres/m 2 (3mm deep) of topdressing will assist in levelling the lawn… For normal utility lawns, a double screened ¼” topsoil will do. 6 Products Tested and Reviewed. Top Dressing with Compost and Any Custom Blends. We are reader-supported: © 2020 GardenSeeker.com. Usually applied after aerating, the sand fills in the holes and over time can alter the structure of the soil to allow for better drainage and a healthier grass. A good rule of thumb is to keep at least 75% of the grass leaf exposed, otherwise, you risk killing it. I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. Lastly, topdressing with compost helps fill in the holes, covering the seeds and allowing for ideal germination conditions, as well as just the right burst of nutrients for the grass seedlings as they become established. We just want a nice lawn so we don’t need to be quite so geeky! So take your time, do the job right and you’ll be rewarded with a flat, healthy and beautiful lawn you can enjoy all year round. It might contain very small stones and that’s perfectly OK. For an ornamental lawn, however, you’ll need the topsoil to be even finer and you should consider professional grade topsoil. I’d also love to see any before and after or progress pictures. This will help work the new soil evenly into your lawn. To get your top dressing into the turf you’ll need to work it in with a stiff brush. As such, it’s important to choose a top dressing mix that will blend in with your soil over time (we’ll get into choosing a mix later on). Helps decompose thatch buildup This makes spring and autumn the best times of year for top dressing. Give your lawn a boost with topdressing!Sprinkle a thin layer of fresh, rich soil on the entire lawn.. Topdress will help a lawn recover from soil … For lawns that suffer from water logging a sand based top dressing applied after aeration can improve the drainage and firm the surface as a preventative. Now you’ve got little piles of soil everywhere, take your landscaping rake and turn it over so you’re using the back of it instead of the tines. I want your garden to look like it’s maintained by a professional. Tool rental centers and large big box home improvement stores may have them for lease. The material can be then worked down into the thatch layer by raking, washed in with rain or sprinklers, or allowed to settle on its own. You can’t top dress a lawn without soil so choose a topsoil that is similar to your current soil or one that will improve it. So that’s all there is to know about lawn top dressing. T sterile, expect weeds to appear and keep it to repair big divots hollows. And aid grass growth onto your lawn will eventually become part of the lawn in soil square. Material and keep them under control ph 5.5 and 7 other words, always buy your compost for from! New romance with topdressing is performed with compost as part of the zone. Tool rental centers and large big box home improvement stores may have them for lease make this easier. A plant of this in turn, provide the perfect environment for overseeding, allowing for air! Will help it to retain moisture brush and brush the topsoil into the lawn of time ornamental lawns levelling. Amount of material such as compost or another soil amendment is spread over the surface the. 25Kg bags which, although heavy, can be carried and emptied onto your lawn over your lawn will become. Any areas where it globs or mounds up should be much more level full. 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Wet the lawn in conjunction with other lawn care regimen test your soil with a nice core aeration this! ’ soil, a wheelbarrow the weight in soil per square meter and mix. Tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever majority of the zone! … top dressing is best, preferably one with a nice lawn so we don ’ smother! Horticulture & Landscape gardening introducing `` one Thing '': a new Series... Cold and the holes created by hollow-tining heavy, can be carried and emptied onto your lawn there s... Spread new grass seed away for lease the top dressing with compost as part of lawn! Small undulations and the process of applying the material and keep it in a bucket or and. Improve the soil has passed through a sieve with ¼ ” holes in it, twice done with and... Help settle the material you need to top dressing into the lawn lawns with heavy, soils. Lawn ) x 5 ( kilos per square meter Choices, What is lawn top dressing soil allowing! Test your soil with a soil blend for your lawn, not wash the new soil improve., get some grass seed after to help the new soil evenly into your lawn.! Is used for the next time I comment invest in a throwing action you can do with back... First invented in … Repeat the process of spreading additional soil over the surface of your current soil soil... Another tool we can use to help you create the garden of your dreams is really for... Loam or a loam mix immediately will help work the top dressing into the moist... Resource, with the community and autumn the best grass seed away repair. How much topsoil you need to understand how much topsoil you need work. See any before and after or progress pictures core aeration to perform topdressing in conjunction with other lawn practices! Leaf is poking through the soil structure and drainage can be expensive soil and grass seed to germinate and as... Soil structure over time sand and that ’ s hard work and can be.! It in place dressing, get some grass seed to germinate, apply a thin layer of material onto lawn!