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Top Dressing Lawns

March 26, 2021

Top Dressing Lawns

Top dressing (adding a thin layer of sand or soil over your lawn), is an ideal way of adding much needed nutrients as part of an overall lawn care routine. At the beginning of spring, as the soil starts to warm up and your turf is coming out of dormancy, top dressing is a great way of helping your lawn look its best. You can also use top dressing to level an uneven lawn or fill indentations in the surface.

If you’re getting ready to top dress your lawn, we recommend fertilising 1-2 weeks before doing so, as this will help the grass push any new growth through the topsoil layer.

Top Dressing to Add Nutrients

Top dressing with a rich organic soil mixture is a great way to add nutrients and organic matter to all lawns. Organic matter feeds the soil-borne friendly bacteria and micro-organisms which your lawn needs to thrive. Using these mixtures will feed the turf and the soil underneath to support the whole lawn in its entirety.
Topsoil organic mixtures should be applied sparingly, added to the lawn in small amounts and raked into the green leaf and thatch of the lawn. After watering, the topsoil mixture should disappear into the green leaf completely.
If the soil on your property contains clay, adding an organic topsoil mixture will help break down the soil particles, making it easier for the new lawn growth to push through.

Top Dressing Uneven Lawns

For an uneven lawn, a high sand-to-soil topdressing mix is generally used, with courser, river sands the favoured choice. Top dressing should always be done conservatively, applying a little top dressing mix to the area and letting the lawn repair for a few weeks. You can then repeat the process if needed. Only use about a centimetre of top dressing-mix when top dressing.

Shovel the topsoil onto the lawn in even piles and then spread it out with a garden leveller. The top of the grass should still be visible after the topsoil has been levelled. Once applied and levelled out, water in the topsoil.
For the repair of a hole that is deeper than 5cm, use a shovel to cut the turf around the hole and lift it up so you can put some soil or sand underneath. You can then apply the topsoil as above.

Please note: organic topsoil mixtures should not be used to fill in any small holes as it can create water traps and add organic matter in quantities which may be too rich for the lawn to tolerate. For this you should use the same type of soil that is already under the grass (try taking some from a garden bed on the property) or use sand.