Tips for Successful Landscaping Projects

How To Topdress A Lawn

If your lawn looks patchy, thin, and worn, consider top dressing it. Top dressing, or overseeding, improves the look of the lawn as well as drainage and eliminated the need for fertilizer. 

Plan to overseed grass in the early fall when temperatures, because grass grows better in cooler weather. Here are tips to topdress your lawn.

Prepare to TopDress Lawn

To topdress the lawn, you need:

Determine if you yard needs aerating, which is common every two to three years. Thatch  (decomposed stem and roots) more than one-half an inches often a sign your yard needs aerating. Aerating is done with a spiked device sold by home centers that attach to a riding mower or your feet to remove plugged soil allowing nutrients in existing grass. 

If your yard doesn't need aerating, remove that using a power rake. Rent a dethatch machine to speed the process in large yards. Mow the yard down to one-half inch to one-half inch, and clean the clippings, so the seeds have room to germinate.

Add the Topdressing Material

You may prefer to test the pH of your lawn with a kit. pH testing isn't required, but it may make a difference in successful topdressing. Spread lawn lime over the grass to balance pH. 

Prepare the compost in a wheelbarrow from a standard mixture of three parts sand, three parts loan, and one part peat, depending on the soil type, and thoroughly blend the material. Clay soil may not require much sand.

Shovel the compost or spread it by hand to a depth one-fourth to one-half inch thick, or apply it with a drop spreader for big yards. It doent' have to be even for now. Leave the tip of the grass showing, and fill low spots with slightly more compost. 

Push the back of a garden rake away from you, then drag it to you in a fast motion to work the compost evenly in the soil. Use a chain drag for large yards.

Plant the Seeds

Plant the seed using a hand-held or push model broad seeder. Normal lawn areas typically require two to four pounds of seed for every 1000 square feet, and bald spots need eight to twelve pounds.  

Help the seed contact the compost by raking it lightly, or wait for the next rain. Check low spots and bald spots, and add more compost, If needed. Water the lawn twice daily until the seeds sprout, then reduce to one time daily. Mow the grass when it reaches two inches.

Contact a landscaping company, like Pattie Group, Inc, for more help.