What is topdressing?
Topdressing is a method used in lawn care, and is the application of sand or a soil mix to the surface of your lawn. It is used to level out small indentations in the lawn and create a smooth level surface across the lawn.
Topdressing is also used to apply a thin layer of a nutrient mix of organic matter over the lawn to replace the use of a fertiliser.
Topdressing was often thought to be good for the all-round health of a lawn and a layer of sand would be applied over the full lawn. This is incorrect, all that will do is raise the level of the lawn and create thick layers of thatch and sand which will ruin the health of your lawn. Read more here on how to fix lawn thatch problems.
How does it work?
Top dressing helps the patch of grass which has been dressed create new shoots and runners which then grow to level out the dents in your lawn for a smooth, green surface.
When should you topdress your lawn?
If you are wanting to apply a nutrient soil mix, anytime during the year is fine. For fixing indentations, the best time is within the growing season – from the beginning of Spring to a few months before Winter sets in.
How to fix lawn indentations.
For indentations in the surface of your lawn less than 5cm…
- Fill each indentation in with soil from your property or clean sand and compact it down.
- Water it both during and after application so the sand can make its way into all the little spaces.
- Finish by levelling it off to match the level of the lawn around it.
What to do for large indentations
When you have indentations deeper than 5cm and spread out wide, topdressing will only suffocate your lawn, impairing its ability to re-grow.
The best way to fix this problem is to cut out the affected area, apply the sand underneath and replace the lawn. This raises the level without choking it with sand. Once you have replaced the lawn, very lightly topdress the area to finish.
How long until the lawn is back to normal?
If you have topdressed your lawn during the warmer growing season it should take between 2-8 weeks. This of course also depends on how carefully it has been looked after during this time with proper watering etc.
Take care to not mow the treated areas until the new roots have grown in and the lawn doesn’t move when it’s tugged gently upwards.