Top Dressing A Lawn: How, When And Why


A vibrant lawn not only adds to the aesthetic beauty of your property but also creates an inviting outdoor space. Maintaining its appearance, however, requires a bit more than just regular watering and mowing. Top dressing can help revitalise your lawn and enhance its performance. Let’s find out more about top dressing.

What Is Top Dressing?

Top dressing is the process of applying a thin layer of organic or inorganic material over your lawn. This could be compost, sand, fine soil or a specially formulated top dressing mix. The idea is to add nutrients, improve soil structure and encourage healthier, more vigorous turf growth.

Why Top Dress Your Lawn?

  • Improve Soil Condition: Top dressing introduces beneficial microorganisms that promote healthier, more fertile soil. This can boost your lawn’s resistance to diseases, pests and harsh weather.
  • Smooth Out the Lawn Surface: Over time, lawns can develop bumps and hollows. Top dressing helps to level out the surface.
  • Enhance Lawn Appearance: By promoting denser grass growth and reducing bare patches, top dressing can significantly enhance your lawn’s visual appeal.

When Should You Top Dress Your Lawn?

Timing is a critical factor when it comes to top dressing. Doing it at the wrong time could potentially harm your lawn. As a general rule, the best time to top dress a lawn is during the active growing season of the turf variety you have.

For warm-season grasses like Buffalo, Couch or Kikuyu, this typically means spring or early summer. For cool-season grasses like Fescue or Ryegrass, autumn is often the best time. However, always remember that top dressing should not be done during periods of extreme heat or drought, as it could stress the lawn.

Create Pathways And Walkways

The process of top dressing a lawn is simple, but it does require effort. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Mow And Aerate The Lawn

Start by mowing your lawn a little lower than usual, but be careful not to scalp it. This will make the top dressing application easier and more effective. Aerate your lawn using a garden fork or a lawn aerator. This will help to relieve soil compaction and enable the top dressing to penetrate more deeply.

Step 2: Prepare The Top Dressing Mix

Choose a top dressing mix that’s suitable for your lawn type. Generally, a 50/50 mix of sand and organic compost is a good option for most lawns. If your lawn has clay soil or poor drainage, consider a mix with a higher proportion of sand.

Step 3: Apply The Top Dressing Mix

Spread the top dressing mix evenly over your lawn using a shovel or a top dressing spreader. Make sure the grass tips are still visible through the top dressing.

Step 4: Work The Top Dressing Into The Lawn

Using a broom or a lawn leveller, work the top dressing into the lawn. This ensures that the top dressing makes contact with the soil beneath and doesn’t just sit on top of the grass.

Step 5: Water And Monitor The Lawn

Finally, water your lawn thoroughly to settle the top dressing. Continue watering regularly over the next few weeks, and keep an eye on your lawn to ensure it’s responding well to the top dressing.

Premium Top Dressing Mix In Dubbo

At The Landscape Centre, we offer an in-house top dressing mix made from a combination of premium beach sand and nutrient-rich compost. Our unique formula is designed to feed your lawn while ensuring a smooth and clump-free application. Contact us today!