How to Top Dress Lawn – A Step by Step Guide

Why you should top dress your lawn

Top dressing your turf is a very important but often overlooked garden maintenance task. Top dressing your turf will dilute thatch build up, increase depth of quality growing medium, improve drainage, surface smoothness and will promote a finer, healthier grass/turf with deep root development while reducing disease, fertiliser and irrigation input.


When to top dress your lawn

Top dressing to repair holes or uneven lawn should take place just before growing season, usually the beginning of Spring; not when the lawn plants are in their dormant phase or you risk damaging or even killing the lawn. Top dressing for nutrients can be applied at any time. It is important to note that you should not top dress your turf on an annual basis as this will accelerate the build-up of thatch. Avoid top dressing if rain is predicted as wet weather will make the dressing difficult to deal with and make levelling troublesome.


What soil to use for top dressing your lawn

Newtons Building and Landscape Supplies recommend using our 80/20 sandy loam. This is a clean sandy loam which is much easier to work with.


Step by Step Guide

  1. Mow the lawn taking off a third of the leaf height at a time until it is very short (approx 20mm). Make sure to remove all clippings
  2. Broadcast top dressing with a shovel or tip 1/3 of a wheelbarrow load at regular intervals
  3. Spread the mix evenly over the lawn using the back of a rake, lawn spreader or broom. Work the dressing into the lawn profile to a finished depth of approx. 10mm. Always ensure the tops of the leaves are showing through and have access to light.
  4. Severe low spots may need repeated applications. Wait until the lawn has completely regrown before re-applying.
  5. Once spread, fertilise and water in well.

For more information on top dressing lawn/turf, please give our friendly sales team a call on 8415 7777. Our expert team are always ready to help with advice and helpful tips. Alternatively, give your local garden maintenance business a call to do the job for you.