A beautiful garden helps to improve the overall look and feel of any home, and the lawn is just as important. There’s no point having beautiful blooming flowers if the grass is unkempt, overgrown or dead.

Sometimes, you might find that your lawn needs work, but this can be difficult once the grass has begun to grow. Problems with your soil could include depletion of nutrients, bare spots, compacted soil, uneven patches or low spots. All of this results in your lawn, quite simply, not looking as good as it could. As you head into summer, with BBQ’s and summer parties right around the corner, it’s important for your lawn to be looking its best.

If you think your lawn could do with some work, there is a solution! Top dressing is a commonly used solution to fix this problem when the grass has already grown. Read on to find out more about top dressing your lawn and if it’s right for you.

Why Is Top Dressing Useful?

Using top soil dressing works over time, gradually improving your soil. There are many benefits to using top dressing, which includes:

  • Improving drainage
  • Improving drought-resistance
  • Helping to even out the terrain
  • Helping to make your lawn into low-maintenance
  • Improving the health of your lawn
  • Reducing the need for supplemental fertilizers
  • Increasing nutrient retention
  • Increasing disease and pest resistance

Top soil is usually made from organic material that is high in nutrients. This can include amounts of clay, sand and silt.

 

When Should You Do It?

First off, there are only two reasons why you would need to top dress your soil. Firstly, this is if your lawn is uneven or there are indentations on the surface, and secondly, if you are looking to add nutrients to the soil as part of a lawn care regime. If you are not doing either of these two things, top dressing isn’t required. If done incorrectly or when not required, it could, in fact damage your lawn.

There are two ways to top dress your lawn. You can either do small patches are you find them, or do it all at once.

However, regardless of how you choose to do it, you want to do this during the growing season, and the earlier the better. You want to be doing it when you’re most frequently mowing your lawn (when you mow about once a week). Do not top dress when the lawn is in its dormant phase, or you run the risk of damaging or killing the lawn completely.

You should avoid top dressing if rain is forecast, as this can make the dressing difficult to deal with.

It is also recommended that a week or two prior to top dressing your lawn that you apply fertilizer to your lawn. This will help to assist with the lawns growth and help the turf to push through the top dressing quicker and easier.

Also remember to water your lawn once you have finished applying the top dressing. This will help to give the lawn a boost. Make sure to continue to regularly water in the coming weeks as well.

How Often Should You Do It?

You’ll only really be top dressing when you see a problem, so it doesn’t need to become something you do every year. It is usually done to correct poor preparation and a lack of soil underneath the grass, or to help fill in low spots or uneven patches. If you find you have trouble spots that keep reoccurring, these might need repeat applications. Make sure to not go overboard; you’re adding soil, so this can raise your grade and affect soil ecology.

There was once a myth that top dressing should be done every Spring, however if your lawn has no problems you won’t have to do so at all.  If you decide that you want to improve the surface of your lawn or add nutrients, you’ll want to be sure to follow the advice above for the best results possible!

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