There are a few reasons why you should apply a top dressing to your lawn and here they are;
- If your lawn needs a boost of nutrients,
- Is uneven,
- Contains holes
You should always top dress to repair holes or uneven lawn just prior to the growing season (usually the beginning of Spring - not when the lawn is dormant as you can run the risk of damaging or even killing the lawn entirely! Top dressing for nutrients can be applied at any time though. It is not recommended to top dress on an annual basis as it can accelerate the build up of thatch.
Top Dressing for Nutrients
When you 'top dress for nutrients' you are applying a thin layer of organic soil over the entire area of your lawn adding organic, natural nutrients and minerals. Usually you apply a top dressing for nutrients when your lawn is in need of a boost as this will encourage the production of new shoots and result in a thicker lawn (with the added bonus of hindering moss and weed infestation.)
Applying the top dressing will introduce materials to your soil that will improve drainage, allow the soil to exchange gases with the atmosphere more effectively whilst also promoting the development of the soils micro-flora and micro fauna which is needed to break down thatch and clippings. The earthworms will also get an extra feed which means they work their magic releasing nutrients into the soil.
Bags of top dressing mixtures can be purchased from lawn care centres and nurseries and provide all the relevant handling and application information. Work out the square metres of your lawn before you buy; a general guide: a 2kg bag will be enough to top dress one square metre of lawn.
** Make sure to mow your lawn the day before applying the top dressing and remove any debris.
Top Dressing to fix holes and uneven lawn
Similar to top dressing for nutrients, ensure the lawn has been mowed the day prior. The longer the grass the more sandy loam or clear river sand required to cover the area and a deeper layer of soil will make it harder for the grass to through through it.
Evening out the lawn
It is recommended that a maximum height of 12mm is added at a time to uneven lawn. If the areas are deeper then 12mm apply a second layer after the original 12mm is added. Shovel the loam or sand onto the lawn in even piles and then level out with a garden leveller. The top of the lawn should remain visible. Once leveled, the lawn can be watered.
To Fix holes in the lawn
For the repair of a hole deeper than 5cms use a shovel to raise the grass on top of the hole, place top dressing material underneath to elevate the level of the lawn. Then apply the top dressing to address any remaining unevenness as per the instructions above remembering that the tops of the lawn plants should remain visible and the top dressing needs to be watered in once evenly spread.
*** It is recommended to fertilise the lawn a week or two before applying a top dressing. This goes for any type of top dressing be it for nutrients, holes or unevenness. By applying the fertiliser beforehand it will give the lawn the boost it needs to push through the dressing more easily and quickly.
Watering your lawn immediately after it has been top dressed and maintaining regular watering will give your lawn the boost it needs after what can be considered a 'stressful' process for it to recover from.
The original blog was taken from http://www.lawnsolutionsaustralia.com.au/blog/top-dressing-your-lawn/ for more information visit their website.