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Lawn Topdressing: The Benefits and How to Do It

Taking care of the lawn and planting new flowers bring much needed color and life to the exterior of your house. Sometimes reviving your lawn after a rough winter is easier said than done. If you are struggling to get the lush green lawn of your dreams, topdressing may be what your grass is longing for.

What is Topdressing?

Topdressing is a technique that benefits grass in a variety of environments. It’s an idea that is more than a century old, and originated in Scotland at the St. Andrew’s golf course. At this and many other courses, turf compaction caused issues, and topdressing helped to solve worn spots on the turf. It’s now routinely practiced in a variety of areas to great effect. The effectiveness depends on the condition of the soil and the turf, the environment, and the goals you hope to achieve.

topdressingTo put it simply, topdressing is the process of applying a light prepared soil mixture to the lawn, typically about ¼” deep or less to enrich the soil and provide extra nutrients to the grass and plants. I t can also be used in conjunction with seeding to prevent desiccation while the new seeds take hold. It can even be used to modify the soil nutrient profile over time. This typically means several applications of topdressing over the course of several years.
If you find yourself needing more and more fertilizer each year to keep your lawn looking good, you should look into topdressing. Topdressing is good for adding additional nutrients to the topsoil thereby improving the soil quality and better feeding the grass growing in the soil. It can build up soil microbes and reduce thatch, which is a layer of old stems, leaves, and roots that have intermingled and accumulated under the soil just beneath the currently growing grass. It can also smooth out any unevenness in the ground and help the soil to better hold water.

So how is Topdressing Accomplished, and What Materials Should I Use?

We won’t sugar coat it… manual topdressing is slow going and labor intensive work. Usually, topdressing is spread over the lawn by shovel, flinging the compost out with the goal of laying it out as evenly as possible until it’s about 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 of an inch thick over your lawn. When enough material has been evenly spread, a rake is used to lightly settle the topdressing over your lawn. After that, water the lawn immediately to soak the material in place.
There are other things you can do while topdressing to help achieve the best result, such as overseeding (depending on the type of grass), de-thatching, or aerating the lawn. Aerating opens up the soil, reducing soil compaction and allowing more movement of both air and water. Topdressing on top helps fill in the holes caused by aeration, and creating the perfect environment for germination.

Most topdressing uses compost, which can get expensive depending on the type you choose. The correct type of compost for topdressing should include both wet and dry materials, and should be highly decomposed. If you have a compost that is dark and has a variety of organic materials mixed in, you’ll know you found a good solution.

Be aware that many places sell compost that is mixed in with sand to allow for easier spreading. Other sources include sawdust or loam, or sell compost too early, before the organic components have had sufficient time to “cook”, or decompose. having too much filler in the compost mixture can negate the benefits of topdressing, so be careful when you choose.

Interested in Topdressing your Lawn?

Consolidated offers topdressing services to allow for a better looking and healthier lawn. For topdressing services in the great Hillsborugh area including Lutz, Westchase, Town n Country, Land O Lakes, Brandon, Apollo Beach, Valrico, Riverview, Ruskin, Fishhawk, Wesley Chapel, and more, reach out to Consolidated today.

Interested in getting started?

Consolidated offers topdressing services to allow for a better looking and healthier lawn. For topdressing services in the great Hillsborugh area including Lutz, Westchase, Town n Country, Land O Lakes, Brandon, Apollo Beach, Valrico, Riverview, Ruskin, Fishhawk, Wesley Chapel, and more, reach out to Consolidated today.

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