Top dressing your grass in the fall is one of the most important things you can do for your lawn. Yet it is the one piece of advice that is often left out of most lawn care guides. You can have the best mower in the world, but it isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t properly prepare your lawn. That is why I am writing this guide today. To show you not only the importance of top dressing but also to show you how to do it properly.
Why Top Dress?
Your soil is full of millions of microorganisms that contribute to the health of your lawn. These organisms not only break nutrients down for your grass so it can easily consume it, but it also fends off harmful fungi that can attack the roots of your grass. Adding a good top dressing to your lawn promotes a healthy colony of these organisms and in turn, helps promote a healthier lawn. The other benefits of top dressing includes improving soil structure, reducing traffic stress, adding nutrients to the soil, improving water retention, reducing thatch and the reducing soil compaction. As you can see, these benefits make it an important part of any lawn care regimen.
Making A Top Dressing
Here are a few things you’ll need to make your own top dressing:
Coarse Sand (Don’t use sea sand because it contains a high lime content)
Loam Or A Good Commercial Top Soil
Peat Or Compost
Mix these ingredients together. If you have an average loamy soil, then mix these three ingredients in equal parts. If your soil is sandy, then leave out the sand and only mix the other two ingredients in equal parts. If your soil has a lot of clay or loam in it, then just mix together the sand and the peat or compost in equal parts.
Applying The Top Dressing
Start off by working only a couple of square feet at a time. Over this area, shovel about 3 shovel fulls of top dressing over the lawn. Use a rack to work it down into the grass until the grass blades peek through. Also, make sure that it is evenly spread out. You never want more than an inch of top dressing around your grass. Continue until you have applied the top dressing to the entire lawn.
Now all that is required is to get the top dressing to settle. You can do that by watering your lawn and then leaving it alone for a day or two. After this waiting period, you can then use your rake to smooth everything out.
That is all there is to it. Properly top dressing your soil and using a high quality lawn mower (one that you have carefully selected from looking at lawn mower reviews) will ensure that your lawn is the best it can be. A little hard work goes a long way, as you will quickly see once you start investing a little bit of your time into your lawn.