Topdressing is an essential and a regular job on golf greens, croquet lawns and bowling greens.  It helps to keep the playing surface perfectly level, aids drainage by controlling thatch and invigorates the grass plants.

For a domestic lawn, topdressing helps to even out lumps and bumps and it improves the quality of the soil beneath the lawn.

What is Topdressing?

Topdressing is the lawn lover’s equivalent of mulching.  Extra growing medium is spread over the surface of the lawn and worked down to the base of the plants to encourage new roots to develop.  It’s especially effective when you are trying to improve an existing lawn or where the underlying soil is poor.

How to Topdress Your Lawn

If you are topdressing as part of your autumn maintenance regime, it’s a good idea to scarify and aerate the lawn first.

Choose a dry day – if you try to spread topdressing when the grass is wet, this will go horribly wrong and you’ll end up with a muddy mess.

Use a proprietary top dressing such as Evergreen Lawn Soil.  This is a mixture of sand and sieved topsoil that will add body and substance to your soil.  Because there is very little organic matter in topdressing, it won’t add too many nutrients to the soil (too much nitrogen in autumn can lead to problems with fungal disease).

A lawn that is being topdressed.  It’ll look a bit sad for a couple of weeks but pretty soon the grass will push through the topdressing, green up and look amazing.

photo courtesy of

Add 2 litres of topdressing to every square metre of lawn.  In other words, one 25 litre bag of topdressing will cover 12 square metres of lawn.

Use a spade or a shovel to scatter it as evenly as possible.   Then, use a stiff broom to brush the topdressing down to the base of the grass.  If you’ve aerated the lawn, push the topdressing into the holes.

If you are planning to overseed your lawn, do this immediately after topdressing.