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Top Dressing a Lawn: How to Do It & Why It’s Important in North Texas

Jack Moore
Oct 8, 2021 9:48:20 AM

When it comes to enjoying your property to the fullest, we’re guessing that you love having a thick, green, and healthy lawn. Nothing quite screams, “best lawn on the block,” like one that has all of those attributes.

Of course, achieving those amazing results isn’t exactly simple.

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to be surprised by just how many lawn care services their lawn needs to truly perform its best. In fact, many of the services needed are often not given much thought. Besides mowing, irrigation, and maybe fertilization and weed control, you might not know what other services your lawn could really benefit from.

One of the valuable lawn care services that are sometimes overlooked is topdressing.

If you don’t know what is involved with top dressing or why you should do it, then we’re here to answer your questions. We understand it’s one of those services that doesn’t always get the credit it deserves but this is largely because it’s not fully understood.

What is Top Dressing a Lawn?

Top dressing a lawn is merely the act of spreading a thin layer over the surface. In terms of what material you’re spreading, the answer to that will depend upon what you’re looking to achieve.

compost for top dressing a lawn

At Grassperson, we always look at lawn care services first in terms of what issue you’re trying to solve. If you’re just trying to address a lawn that is uneven and has some low parts, then you’d be topdressing with a different material than that which is used after aeration.

We are typically top dressing a lawn with either an organic compost material or with sand, and we’ll explain both. But one thing we really don’t do is top dress a lawn with regular old topsoil (which we’ll explain in more detail). We believe that if you’re going to go through the trouble of top dressing, you want to get the most possible benefits out of it and ordinary topsoil isn’t going to offer much in terms of those benefits.

What Does Top Dressing a Lawn Do?

As far as the benefits of top dressing a lawn, it really boils down to what you’re trying to achieve.

healthy lawn after top dressing

Obviously, if your lawn is full of low spots and is uneven (and uncomfortable) to walk on, then you might be top dressing to fill in those spots and make the lawn more even. This is important to fix because you might be noticing your lawn is mowed unevenly or that it’s even posing a trip and fall hazard.

While it’s true that you could just fill in those spots with ordinary topsoil, we like to top dress lawns with a high-quality, composted material that will add valuable microbial activity into your lawn and improve your soil health while also fixing your problem with uneven spots.

Then, you end up getting maximum benefits of top dressing a lawn for your investment.

We also find that homeowners don’t always realize that regular topsoil is not very clean. Oftentimes it has not been heavily filtered and comes with pebbles, rocks, and sometimes even weed seeds. When you add the topsoil to your lawn, you’re now also introducing unwanted materials.

When to Top Dress a Lawn in North Texas

We’ve already talked about how you might want to top dress a lawn if you have uneven spots that need to be filled in.

Since top dressing can also help enhance the overall soil health of your lawn by introducing microbial activity, it’s also just a healthy practice to improve the overall performance of your lawn. It can help your lawn to stand up against some fungal lawn diseases that run rampant here in North Texas.

But the other time that we might top dress a lawn is following an aeration service.

lawn aeration cores in grass before top dressing

In that case, we are using a highly specific, thick grain sand. This is because we have such a high clay content in our soil type. It is important to add nutritional sand to help loosen compaction and improve drainage. Lawn aeration combined with a sand top dressing will go a really long way in improving the overall health and performance of your lawn.

When top dressing with sand, you obviously want to do this at the time of aeration.

If top dressing with compost, we recommend early spring or late fall so that you are outside of the most active growing season. That’s because top dressing can block some of the lawn’s access to sun and oxygen and you don’t want this beneficial service to end up causing any harm.

How to Top Dress a Lawn

Finally, we want to mention a few words on how to top dress a lawn as we often find that homeowners think it’s as simple as just tossing down some material. In reality, it is a pretty labor-intensive job that can be quite time-consuming.

For these reasons, we think it’s something that is best left to the professionals. Besides the fact that you probably don’t want to spend a weekend doing this, you also want to make sure it’s done right.

Rather than try to tackle this by yourself with a wheelbarrow, you could have a crew come out with a dump vehicle and several professionals. It can be a daunting task to move around all the top dressing material and ensure it’s spread evenly.

lawn topdressing 5

Ideally, the recommended amount of top dressing material is around a quarter of an inch spread completely evenly. But that can be a bit more difficult to achieve than folks sometimes realize.

Once the lawn is top dressed, we will recommend that you water it in. This will help continue to promote an even distribution and also assist with breaking it down. This should assist with accelerating the results.

Getting the Best Lawn on the Block

At the end of the day, top dressing is just one of many vital lawn care services that your lawn needs to perform its best. A regular lawn care program will help to provide all of the services your lawn needs to grow thick and healthy so that you truly can have the best lawn on the block.

well cared for lawn and landscaping

At Grassperson, there’s nothing we love more than helping homeowners in North Texas to achieve the lawn of their dreams. If we can help answer any additional questions on top dressing or any other service that we provide, we’re always here to help.

Are you in need of top dressing or other lawn care services at your Flower Mound, Highland Village, or Lewisville, TX home? Get a free quote and then enjoy the best lawn on the block without the worries!

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Image sources: compost                    

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