Lawn Top Dressing & why you need a Lawn Conditioner
Most lawns would greatly benefit from new soil in the form of ‘Lawn Top Dressing’. This is because most soil conditions are too heavy with clay or at the other end of the scale, free draining with a sandy composition.
Applying Lawn Top Dressing aids in the structure of the soil and over time this will make the root zone much healthier and stronger, helping your lawn to grow better.
Compost ‘lawn conditioner’
We all know that compost is good for flowers in the borders so why should it be any different for grass? A compost Top Dressing or ‘Lawn Conditioner’ as it is sometimes referred to, is our number one Lawn Top Dressing of choice, especially when renovating or creating a new lawn from seed. It brings with it everything a plant needs to thrive and the best part is it’s completely natural. Not only is it a great natural fertiliser, but it is also makes for a perfect seedbed, helping to retain moisture and support biodiversity within the soil whilst also suppressing moss, weeds, and thatch.
Sand Top Dressing
When a lawn is uneven and needs leveling, we turn to a sand based Lawn Top Dressing. This can fill in the divots very nicely and can be used to build up the soil over a period of time in order to achieve a perfectly level lawn.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TOP DRESS MY LAWN?
Top Dressing is best used during the best growing seasons, which for lawns in spring and autumn or more generally between March – May and September – October.
If you are keen to level an uneven lawn as quickly as possible apply a sand Top Dressing treatment or to improve poor soil quality apply a compost based Lawn Conditioner at a rate of 3 kg per square meter in Spring and/or Autumn until the lawn is as required.
How it works
When applying Lawn Top Dressing we apply approximately 3 kgs per square meter and ensure we leave 50% – 75% of the blade exposed so we don’t smother any existing grass.
When working with an existing lawn it is important that the Lawn Top Dressing is worked off the blades of the grass and down to the surface of the soil. We use a variety of tools including broom, rake, drag matt or even leveling lute. Over time it will then mix into the existing soil, changing the structure for the better. This mixing process is greatly helped when combined with a Lawn Renovation, Scarification or Hollow Tine Aeration, as these already disrupt the surface of the soil.
What to expect
After a Lawn Top Dressing has been applied, expect your lawn to look a little different. Don’t fear, your grass is under there and it will grow through. You will see a layer of Top Dressing covering it at approximately 1 cm – 3 cm deep. Over time the new Lawn Top Dressing will naturally mix in with the existing soil, compact down and the grass will grow through the additional layer raising your lawn ever so slightly.
Don’t mow straight after Top Dressing as this can cause some damage to your mower. Wait until the grass is growing strong and raise the height of the mower to the highest setting to ensure your not sucking up any of the Top Dressing whilst it’s still integrating with your existing soil.
How to prepare
For best results mow your lawn shorter than usual. This will open up the soil making it easier to brush the new Lawn Top Dressing off the grass blades and down on to the soil surface.
Yes. However, try to leave it undisturbed where possible for a couple of weeks. Bear in mind that if we apply a compost Lawn Top Dressing it’s likely to make the bottom of your footwear dirty, so try to leave it as long as possible to let it settle into the existing soil.
The first reason is if your lawn is uneven, in which case you will need to apply a sand based lawn Top Dressing. Ensure that the sand is of a good quality, designed for horticulture and always stay away from builder’s sand.
The second reason is if you have poor soil quality, in which case we strongly recommend a compost Top Dressing or Lawn Condition, and mix it into your soil. This can take time to improve the soil condition but it will greatly improve your lawn for the long term, especially if you have a clay based soil.
Generally, the answer is no because Golf courses have been constructed from sand so adding more is not a problem. 99% of the time a compost based Top Dressing or Lawn Conditioner is the answer to many lawn issues. We recommend that you only use sand to level and even out, because adding sand can in fact worsen soil conditions. For example, if sand is mixed with a clay soil it can become solid, creating a concrete-like foundation, which is definitely not good for growing.
– Spring (March – May)
– Autumn (September – October)
–Level uneven lawns/uneven areas
– Control thatch and moss
– Improves the soil structure
– A natural fertiliser
– Aids with drainage in clay soil conditions
– Aids water retention in sandy soil conditions
– Supports germination following renovation and overseeding
– Top Dressing (Sand, Compost or Loam based dressing)
Request your Free Lawn Analysis
Before treating your lawn we will assess your lawn using our 12 Point Lawn Analysis. We will discuss the results with you and create a tailored lawn care programme that suits your lawn so you can make the most of your garden and leave the hard work to us.