Everything needs a rest from time to time and your soil is no different. But removing all the grass to give the soil a season to rest obviously isn’t ideal. From time to time, it’s really important to help replenish the nutrients that were naturally present in the soil, otherwise your grass will suffer. One easy way to do this is by top dressing.
What is Top Dressing?
Fertilizer is one way to reintroduce essential nutrients into the soil. Another way is to apply a layer of fresh soil on top of your lawn. Top dressing could be compost, loam, or topsoil. Just be aware that topsoil is literally the top layer of soil, so this does not guarantee rich nutrient soil. Top dressing is an organic way to gradually add ‘life’ back into your soil.
Soil contains many nutrients and microorganisms that are vital for good plant growth. These microorganisms are what breaks down organic materials such as fallen leaves, woody debris and other things into nutrients the plants can consume. Soil without these microorganisms can create a variety of other problems.
10 Reasons You Should Top Dress Your Lawn:
- Adds organic matter back into your lawn
- Reintroduces microorganisms back into the soil
- Combined with core aeration places new organic material and nutrients deeper into the soil
- Can amend or modify the soil (adding compost can relieve compaction problems for instance)
- Reduces the need for fertilizer
- Can reduce the stress on your lawn from foot or vehicle traffic
- Ensures any grass seed planted has contact with soil, needed to germinate
- Helps soil retain moisture which is especially helpful when planting new grass or sod
- Can even out dips or hollow spots in the yard so that grass has equal access to water
- Can reduce thatch buildup by encouraging decomposition
Preparing For Top Dressing
Be sure not to apply too much top dressing. The idea is to give a boost to the existing soil, not bury the grass. When top dressing is applied too thickly, thatch problems can arise and cause drainage issues. Applying a light layer also helps the new soil to blend into the existing soil providing a more consistent growing environment for plants.
Be sure to mow your lawn before adding a top dressing so that the new soil has a good chance of reaching down to the existing soil. Aerating your lawn will help the additional nutrients and microorganisms to penetrate deeper into the existing soil.
Adding top dressing to a dormant lawn (from winter or summer drought) may delay growth because the new plants will have to push through the additional layer. Top dressing, when applied in conjunction with overseeding is very effective in keeping your lawn young, green and thriving. This also ensures the new grass seed has contact with the soil which is vital to growth.
Nutri-Lawn Ottawa only uses premium organic compost for top dressing because of the high nutrient content. Our expert lawn care technicians can provide valuable advice on how to improve or maintain your lawn so it’s healthy and vibrant all season long. Request a free quote today.