Every person want to have lawn that looks best and has healthy grass. Top dressing is the process that helps you achieve these benefits. It usually involves applying several other additional materials such as loam, peat, and sand to the surface of the lawn.
The mix of these materials should always be made in such a way that it closely matches the composition of the soil in the garden. Note that these new mix of materials becomes part of the root zone and enhances the growth of grass.
Benefits of Top Dressing
First, top dressing benefits the health of the grass in the lawn. Once your grass is healthy, the lawn gets a better look. The lumps and bumps in a lawn tend to make it uneven. It is therefore important to top dress your lawn in order to maintain a true and level surface. Top dressing allows you to fill in any hollow and uneven areas thus achieving a smooth surface.
If your lawn has developed thatch layers, top dressing can help in diluting them as well as preventing the layers from building up.
Top dressing also helps in improving the drainage of lawns suffering from water logging. In this case, you’ll need to apply a sand based top dress after an aeration process. Alternatively, if the problem happens during the drought season, apply a peat top dress instead of sand.
Top dressing allows for the introduction of certain nutrients which can improve the fertility of the lawn. This in turn encourages the growth of fresh healthy grass shoots and improves the soil structure.
How should you top dress your lawn?
- First, clear and aerate the turf before preparing your top dress. As already mentioned, the top dress can be made of a mix of materials with respect to the existing composition of the soil as well as the health of the grass. The mix of materials that is often used includes sand, topsoil, peat, or loam.
- Do not use sand that contains lime. The ingredients of the mix should be sifted and dry.
- It is recommended to top dress your lawn when your grass has just been cut recently. This makes it possible for the penetration of the dressing into the existing soil without necessarily affecting or damaging the grass. After you’ve cut the grass, ensure you rake and loosen the bare patches in the lawn.
- Once you are okay with the ratio and constituency of the ingredients, you can apply the top dressing to your turf. Consider working within a distance of a few feet to make sure the mixture spreads evenly across the entire surface. A heavy garden rake will serve you better.
- After applying the top dressing, water your lawn and if required replenish the bare areas by applying seeds.
- Let the top dressing settle for a couple of days before smoothening the surface using a rake.