Top Dressing Your Lawn

Top dressing your lawnAlthough your Sir Walter Premium Lawn Turf will not normally require top dressing, sometimes it can be necessary to correct unevenness. Here are some important tips to get the job done.

Your Sir Walter Lawn has been bred to be a self-repairing, quality soft leaf buffalo grass – and as a result doesn’t require top dressing as a general rule. However, it may be necessary to correct any unevenness in ground preparation. If you are concerned about keeping moisture around the turf during hotter weather while it is establishing, your Sir Walter can be top dressed.

If top dressing is required, it should only be done in late spring or early summer with a sandy loam, and no more than 10mm should be applied per top dressing. The tips of the leaves of your grass should still be visible after top dressing.

We have found that quite often a low mowing, combined with fertilising and deep watering in spring will achieve the same result as top dressing with less effort required and less money spent.Top dressing is a practice used to fill low spots and uneven areas in a lawn that may occur for a number of reasons. These may include wear and tear, settling of soil, uneven turf thickness, poorly prepared underlay prior to turfing to name a few. Undulations in your lawn are not only unattractive, but also cause problems with mowing such as scalping and uneven growth which will affect your lawn’s health.

When top dressing your lawn remember these important tips;

Top dressing should only be carried out during the growing season when your lawn is active – spring, summer and early autumn for warm season grasses. This is much the same as most of the other maintenance tasks.

If you are experiencing unevenness in a recently installed lawn, which is not uncommon due to slight variations in turf thickness when delivered DO NOT PANIC! It is best to wait a good few weeks to give the lawn plenty of time to establish.

Washed river sand or a specialist top dressing soil mix are what you need to use. These are available from landscape suppliers and some nurseries, sold under various names. Top dressing soil mix contains a high sand proportion with some black soil containing nutrients

First of all mow your lawn taking off a third of the leaf. If you normally keep your lawn on the longer side, mow it slightly shorter – this may need to be done over a couple of mowing sessions.

The top dressing mix can be applied in a number of ways; broadcasting with a shovel or tipping1/3 to ½ barrow loads onto the area that needs top dressing at regular intervals.

top dressing

Spread the mix evenly across the lawn with the back of a rake, level-
lawn or broom, working it into the lawn profile. Apply to a depth of about 10mm (1cm), but do not cover the leaf completely, always have some green showing through to access light: if you bury the lawn you will suffocate it.

In many cases a few applications over the growing season may be needed to even out more severe low spots. Wait until the lawn has grown back completely before re-applying more mix so as not to stifle it.

Once the top dressing is spread, apply some fertilizer and water-in well to promote new growth through the top dressing mix.

This has nothing to do with your mental state – actually I’m talking about very low sunken areas in your lawn (that could lead to depression but shouldn’t do now you are armed with the right techniques) – sometimes it is better to carefully dig and lift a section of turf, top up and consolidate the soil underneath with a turf underlay mix, and then re-lay the turf, watering in well.

The opposite of depressions – use the above method lifting the turf, removing some of the soil to lower it before replace the turf. Keep well watered afterwards.

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