Top dressing is not the act of putting on your shirt in the morning, nor is it your favourite salad condiment. So, what is it?
In the world of yard maintenance, top dressing refers to a thin layer of organic material, which is often mixed with sand or topsoil and distributed across the top of a lawn.
Top dressing can be applied once per year and is usually a chore left for early spring or late fall. If done in the fall, you’ll start to notice the results by the following spring.
Top dressing must be applied evenly across your lawn to a depth of about 1cm–too deep and you’ll have buried your grass; too shallow and your lawn won’t receive all the potential benefits.
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to mixing up the perfect top dressing. Because the top dressing will eventually become integrated into your soil, the pre-existing composition of your soil will determine what the makeup of your top dressing should be. An experienced lawn care professional can be an invaluable resource if you’re not sure what components would be best for your particular situation.
So, what exactly does top dressing do?
Nurtures Your Lawn
As top dressing integrates into your lawn, it adds organic material and reintroduces microorganisms. When combined with lawn aeration, it pushes nutrients deeper into the soil. Top dressing also reduces the need for fertilizer by naturally supplementing your grass with everything it needs to thrive.
Modifies the Soil
If your soil is overly clay-based, compacted, or granular, top dressing can slowly help change its composition. Adding compost can relieve compaction, while sand can improve drainage and break up any clay. With the right ingredients and a little patience, top dressing can really be a game-changer for your lawn’s health.
Reduces Thatch Build-up
Thatch is just dead grass that builds up in your lawn. While not harmful in small quantities, large amounts of thatch can start to suffocate your lawn. While it may seem counterintuitive, top dressing can increase the speed of decomposition and get rid of extra thatch on your property.
Evens Out Your Lawn
If you’ve got minor dips or mounds in your lawn, a layer of top dressing can help even things out. Plus, it will make mowing easier and more uniform. For larger hollows or ridges, consider filling in with more soil and reseeding.
Poor drainage is a leading cause of lawn issues. By adding sand to your top dressing, you can help break up compacted soil and improve your lawn’s drainage. As always, drainage is also aided by lawn aeration. Combine the two strategies for maximum impact!
Helps With Seeding
Top dressing before overseeding can dramatically increase each seed’s chance of coming into contact with high-quality soil. Happy seeds create a thicker, greener lawn. For that reason alone, top dressing is a great investment of time and energy.
Cleanr Property Maintenance
There’s no doubt that top dressing is a great addition to your lawn care routine–but it’s also tedious and time-consuming. Looking for Winnipeg lawn services that can take on these types of tasks for you? Contact Cleanr Property Maintenance today!