21 Sep 2011

How To Top Dress Your Lawn

Posted by bcsands

If your lawn has become uneven and bumpy over the years, then top dressing is a great way to regain that beautiful smooth surface.

Why Top dress your Lawn

Using a topdressing levels out your lawn by filling up any hollows or dips. It also encourages your grass to grow by gradually improving your soil and giving your lawn a good-quality medium to grow in.

Not all top dressings are equal

It’s important to use a good quality top dressing to improve the quality of your soil over time. If you top dress every year, the end result will be a lawn that is not only smooth on the surface, but growing healthily as well. A strong, healthy lawn is better able prevent weeds from growing through.

When to topdress your lawn

The best time to topdress your lawn is in spring, when the grass is actively growing. Don’t top dress your grass while it is dormant – you may kill it!

How much top dressing to use

In most cases, you should apply the top dressing to a thickness of around 1cm – but remember to leave at least one third of the blade of grass still showing. If you cover your lawn completely, the grass will die. However, feel free to use more to fill up any deep hollows – your grass will grow over it. As a rule of thumb, approximately 1 cubic meter of top dressing for 100 square meters should be enough for you to apply the dressing to a thickness of 1cm, but you may need more if you are trying to level out a very uneven surface.

How to top dress

Choose a dry day – rain will turn your top dressing into mud and make it hard to spread, not to mention making it a very unpleasant task for you!

Use a shovel to distribute the top dressing evenly over the lawn, paying particular attention to rough areas and filling up any holes that you come across.

Now you need to work the top dressing into the grass so that it gets down to the level of the soil, rather than just sitting on top of the grass. You can hire a purpose made lawn leveller to do this, or you can improvise using the flat side of a rake or even a plank of wood. Push this gently over the grass, spreading the top dressing evenly across the surface and working it down to the soil. Make sure that any dips and hollows are well filled in.

When you are finished, water the top dressing in well and you’re done.

Top dressing a really bumpy lawn!

Rather than trying to level out a very uneven surface all at once, a series of light applications over a few weeks or even months will get you a better result. Give your grass time to grow through each coat of top dressing before you apply the next.
Trying to apply too much top dressing all at once will smother your lawn and leave you with a mud bath for a back yard!

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One Response to “How To Top Dress Your Lawn”

  1. Thanks for all of the great DIY info – I’ve been thinking about top dressing my lawn for a while now.


    Tony Cross

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