Autumn is a great time to apply a top dressing to your lawn. But what is top dressing and how will it help your lawn? Find out with advice from Paynes Turf including tips on how to apply a top dressing and the benefits of doing so.

Top dressing is a mixture of sandy loam, sharp sand and compost. The application of a top dressing can go a long way to improve the soil in your lawn and, when applied during the autumn months, will also help to protect the grass over the cold winter period.What is top dressing?

The benefits of applying a top dressing

One of the great advantages of applying a top dressing is to even out any minor lumps or bumps in the surface of the lawn and fill in any small holes that may develop. In addition, a top dressing could help to:

  • Control thatch
  • Improve the condition and texture of soil
  • Improve drainage, especially when applied every year
  • Distribute the grass seed when overseeding
  • Boost strong, healthy growth
  • Encourage better rooting and thicker grass

How to apply

Aerating the lawn a few days before the top dressing is applied will help with any drainage problems that you may already have in the lawn. Use a spade to sprinkle the top dressing on to the lawn. Work in with the back of a rake or brush in with a stiff broom to create a level surface. If your lawn is very uneven don’t be tempted to add too much top dressing as this could smother the grass. As a general rule, there should always be 75% of the grass leaf visible after you have finished applying the top dressing.

Slightly larger lumps and bumps will have to even out over time, so repeat the process the following year. If your lawn is very uneven it may not be possible to level off the surface with top dressing – you may have to re-turf the area for the quickest and best results. Finally, a top dressing should only be applied to a dry lawn.