Topdressing my lawn? What is that going to do? Topdressing is probably one of the least-known lawn improvement methods when it comes to the average property owner. Athletic field managers and golf course superintendents have known and utilized this operation for years to get those deep, dark green lawn areas on their sites. But large lawns and athletic and leisure areas aren’t the only lawns that can reap the benefits from topdressing.
Topdressing is the application of a soil and compost mixture to the surface of a lawn to improve soil conditions and lawn health. This is accomplished by running a topdressing machine over the lawn areas to apply a thin layer of this material to the lawn. Doing this on a regular basis can drastically improve the health and appearance of a lawn by:
- Improving Soil Conditions: Find a lawn with beautiful grass, and there will undoubtedly be beautiful soil underneath. Ideal conditions will have 7″-12″ of topsoil rich in organic matter. Good soil structure won’t have too much clay or too much sand in the soil. It will yield tiny, fibrous grass roots growing 7″-12″ down to find moisture in times of drought. It will be moist, but not waterlogged. If this isn’t sounding like the soil conditions on your site, consider topdressing. Adding topdressing mixtures once or twice a year for consecutive years can take your sub-par soil and transform it into this ideal grass-growing environment.
- Increasing Microbial Activity: Microorganisms exist in good soils and they help with nutrient uptake, making nutrients available for the grass plants. In some instances, these microorganisms can also help in breaking down thatch layers which also will benefit the health of a lawn. Suppression of some pathogenic organisms that cause lawn diseases is also achieved in some instances.
- Improving Lawn Color: Because of the organic matter in the topdressing mixture, lawns will often see a green-up following topdressing as these materials add nitrogen to the lawn.
- Enhancing Seed Germination: When topdressing follows core aeration and over-seeding, germination will be enhanced. This procedure helps to cover new grass seeds, helping to retain moisture and to provide good soil-to-seed contact for the new grass seedlings to root.
Topdressing a lawn will initially show a slight alteration in appearance. It may appear the lawn is slightly dirty as the thin layer of mixture is applied. However, this material will settle down into the grass, especially after it rains or a heavy irrigation is applied. This procedure may appear to be extensive, but even a small lawn can be have topdressing applied to it within a couple hours, and is more cost-effective than most may think.
If you are struggling with the health of your lawn, consider contacting us about how topdressing your lawn can help.