What is top dressing and why top dress the lawn?
Top dressing the lawn is the process of adding a fine layer of ‘home mixed quality soil’ to the lawn surface. Top dressing benefits the lawn as it builds up the quality of the soil over a period of time, – sandy soils will be able to retain moisture better and so the lawn will be more resistant to drought, clay soils will drain better thus improving root development. Another benefit of top dressing the lawn is that it will help to even out any lumps and bumps that are present on an uneven lawn, filling in any small hollows that may develop. Top dressing also stimulates the grass to produce new shoots and so results in denser grass cover which helps combat the onset of weed and moss infestation.Top dressing is carried out routinely by professional green keepers to ensure a top quality finish. If you want a really top quality lawn that can meet professional standards then you should top dress your lawn annually.
How do I top dress the lawn?
The key to applying the top dressing is to make sure that you get an even spread of the top dressing over the area and to make sure that the top dressing does not remain ‘on top’ of the grass. The top dressing should penetrate down to soil level. Before you begin you may find that on heavy or compacted soils aerating the lawn a few days before or on the same day will help your top dressing application.
When should I top dress the lawn?
You should top dress the lawn in September or October. Lawns which are based on poor soil will benefit from top dressing the soil each year. Lawns based on good quality soil should not need top dressing every year although if you want a really top class lawn then you may wish to do so.