How and Why You Should Top Dress Your Lawn
What is top dressing?
Top dressing is the adding of a specially blended mix of materials to the surface of a lawn. It will help to produce a thicker, lusher sward across the whole lawn, as well as provides an opportunity to repair lawn patches and damaged areas.
Top dressing helps even out your lawn surface, making other maintenance tasks easier. By leveling out hollows with top dressing, the lawn mower can cut blades of grass to a regular length, so it looks consistent and tidy.
What are the benefits of top dressing your lawn?
If your lawn is really uneven, top dressing can also help to prevent skimming of the surface, where some areas of grass are cut as far down as the soil, creating bare patches. Filling in the gaps, over the course of several treatments if they are deep, gives the treated areas a chance to put on new grass growth before being top dressed again.
Applying top dressing, like Scotts Performance Naturals™ Lawn Topdress, to a lawn also means providing fresh nutrients to the roots of the grass. Doing so increases organic activity around the roots of the grass, naturally reducing compaction and increasing air flow. This leads to a healthier lawn which can better withstand typical garden stresses, such as heavy use and extreme weather.
Why use Scotts Performance Naturals™ Lawn Topdress?
Best known for being 100% natural, organic-based lawn soil with low odour and packed with all the nutrients your lawn needs to maintain healthy, green growth all season long.
It contains bio-stimulants and magnesium to help improve soil fertility and NatureN, a natural source of fast acting nitrogen that helps green your lawn. Use Scotts Performance Naturals™ Lawn Topdress to help rejuvenate dead patches, level out uneven areas or as an underlay when laying a new lawn.
When to top dress a lawn?
Depending on the type of grass you are growing, you would generally top dress warm season grasses during Spring and Summer. These include Kikuyu, Buffalo and Couch grass. And top dress cool season grasses like Fescues, Ryegrass, Bluegrass and Bentgrass during Autumn months.
How To Top Dress Your Lawn
What you’ll need
Make sure you have the following key tools and equipment:
- Lawn aerator
- Lawn mower
- Pair of gloves
- Scotts Performance Naturals™ Lawn Topdress
- Verticutter (optional)
- Turf groomer (optional)
- Grass seed (optional)
How to prepare your lawn for top dressing
- Start the top dressing process in early Spring, by first aerating and then cutting the lawn. Gently rake the lawn to remove any leaves and other debris, and loosen any heavily thatched or bare patches, so that the top dressing can penetrate the soil.
- If you have access to a Verticutter, often found in professional settings, this can also be used to cut stolons and break up thatch. Similarly, a turf groomer can be used prior to top dressing to clip horizontally growing blades of grass which a mower would not normally reach. Both of these actions aim to open up the area just above the soil surface, and improve the action of the top dressing.
How to top dress your lawn
- Start in one corner of the garden and treat a small section at a time, walking backwards so as not to walk on the areas which have been treated. Wear protective gloves to handle the top dressing, applying a little at a time. It’s easier to add more if needed than to remove it where too much has been used. Use both sides of a garden rake to ease and smooth the top dressing into holes and hollows.
- Aim for a maximum depth of 1cm (1/2”) of top dressing in the deepest natural hollows. Existing grass tips should still show through the top dressing so that it can continue to grow. If there is top dressing left over, seal it in the bag and use at a later date.
- Once the whole lawn has been top dressed, water with a soft sprinkler to encourage new growth. After a few days, gently rake over the surface again to identify and smooth any errant bumps and hollows.
Perfecting your top dressed lawn
It may take a few shallow applications of top dressing over the course of several months to achieve a perfect surface. Using a proprietary top dressing, like Scotts Performance Naturals™ Lawn Topdress, each time will ensure that the lawn receives a steady supply of essential nutrients.
Top dressed lawns can be reseeded afterwards if growth was sparse before. This works well for kikuyu grass, although buffalo grass will grow more reliably by allowing existing turf to spread.
That’s the hard work done! Carry on mowing, weeding and feeding throughout the year to keep your rejuvenated lawn looking great. Get more advice on maintaining your lawn with our Seasonal lawn care tips.