How (And Why) To Top Dress A Lawn
Top dressing turf was once the sole domain of greenkeepers but more and more of us are now choosing to top dress our lawns at home, and autumn is the perfect time of year for this.
Why Should You Top Dress in the First Place?
The answer is quite simple: it improves your lawn’s soil. After a summer of kids, pets and parties, your grass will feel pretty worn out, and if the quality of the soil in your garden is poor, your lawn can’t recover very well. Of course, you could just buy an autumn lawn fertiliser, but the benefits of top dressing extend beyond adding nutrients to your garden.
Top dressing can help make your lawn more even by filling in any holes, and over time will improve the drainage and quality of your top soil.
How Often Should You Topdress Your Lawn?
How often your lawn needs top dressing depends on the quality of the soil already beneath your lawn. Some golf clubs will top dress greens as frequently as every two weeks, but don’t worry: at home, once a year should be enough for even those of us with the worst existing soil.
Step by Step Guide to Topdressing a Lawn
Before you begin, you’ll need to do some preparation. Thatch and moss must be raked out of the lawn or else the layers of thatch and soil will form barriers which can prevent things like water and fertiliser reaching the roots of the grass.
The other step you must take is sourcing the right soil. Make sure it actually will enhance the soil you’ve already got and is free from weeds – you don’t want to spend an afternoon sowing dandelions amongst your turf! Evergreen Lawn Soil will be perfect for most.
If your soil is particularly compacted, it’s probably also wise to aerate your lawn before you begin.
Topdressing itself is actually quite simple. Using a spade, spread the top dressing soil as evenly as you can around your lawn at a rate of about 2kg per square metre (a 25 litre bag of Evergreen Lawn Soil should do about 12m2). You can increase this rate if you’re trying to make a particular spot more even.
The next step is to work the soil into the grass; the aim is to get as much of the new soil you’ve spread over the lawn touching the existing top soil as possible. For most of us, this can be done with the back of a rake and is made easier still by letting the soil dry out on the surface of the lawn for an hour or so beforehand.
Finally, remove any excess soil from areas where it’s still covering the surface of the grass, and you’re done. Simple, organic lawn-care!