How to Top Dress a Lawn in 2022: Step-by-Step Process

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Do you ever just want to see your lawn looking like a new, fresh set for your home?

We cannot control how our lawns can handle our matters, but we can always do something to make them longer lasting and healthier for whatever we plan to put on them.

Making the lawn look like a newly cleaned and replenished area will be a great deal!

To make things work without spreading any synthetic materials on the yard, you need to learn how to top dress a lawn, and this will save your life while giving you great benefits in the long run!

Let’s not waste more time and let me teach you some helpful tips you can use now!

What is Top Dressing?

Before performing top dressing, we need to know what it is before tackling how to top dress a lawn.

Top dressing is applying or spreading a thin layer of material, whether compost or sand, over a turfgrass area to level out or modify the soil condition.

Mentioned that it is only a thin layer of material, it does not usually exceed 1/4 to 1/2-inch thickness.

top dressing for lawns

Benefits of Top-Dressing your Lawn

The benefits of top-dressing your lawn include the following:

Top-dressing your property can help improve the appearance of your property, as well as help increase its lifespan. 

It involves applying a soil or seed layer over your lawn’s top. This can help to provide a solid foundation for your lawn, as well as help protect it from weathering and erosion.

Top-dressing can also help to improve the health of your lawn. Good soil conditions are essential for maintaining a healthy lawn. 

It can help provide a solid base for your lawn, which will help ensure it receives adequate nutrients such as phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and also oxygen. 

It can also protect your lawn from harmful weeds, thatch, and invasive species. Thatch is an interwoven layer of dead and dying grass leaves, shoots, and roots that can obstruct air and water movement if it becomes too thick.

Compost microbes break down thatch, allowing water to flow freely and nutrients to reach the roots.

Top-dressing your lawn can help to reduce the amount of maintenance that you need to do on your lawn, which is always a good thing.

All of the advantages of topdressing make it an important player in seed germination, which is why it is used in conjunction with overseeding.

How Much Top Dressing Material Do I Need?

You don’t need to go for a thick top dressing. In fact, a fine layer of around less than 1 cm to almost 2 cm is already enough.

You can go for a thicker top dressing if your surface is uneven to help in leveling out the lawn area.

How to Top Dress a Lawn

To top dress your lawn correctly, you will need some tools and materials around you. Here are some of the necessary items you need to have:

  • Lawnmower
  • Rake
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Topdressing material
  • Good herbicide (if available)

Soil Preparation

If you thought about top dressing your lawn, it probably has some issues you want to overcome, and you need to prepare your soil before doing the dressing.

Ensure you can correct any deficiencies once you top-dress your soil, and it is not just for fun that you will do it.

Eliminate Lawn Weeds

Days before top dressing, you do not just top dress a lawn immediately without checking out the visible scraps on the yard.

Check out the whole yard whether there are dead leaves from trees, fallen flowers, or even litter. Ensure to remove these things and proceed to kill the lawn weeds.

By killing the lawn weeds by using a lawn mower or a weed wacker, you can use any good herbicide that will treat the weeds without killing your lawn.

If you use a bad herbicide, your yard will become unhealthier, and it will be a long process before the top dressing will be available for better purposes. You can also mulch the leaves.

Light Mowing

Top dressing lawns with sand will be a good choice, but to top dress a lawn with topsoil can also be a great selection. 

Before performing the actual venture, lightly mow your yard first so you can even out the grass avoiding hindrances once you perform lawn sanding or whichever you want to use.

This will make the job more efficient to finish, and you need not worry about uneven soil surfaces.

Ensure that the grass is not too thin and not too thick, just short enough to perform the top dressing nicely and correctly.

Preparation of Top Soil for Grass

You will need your wheelbarrow and fill it with your topsoil for grass material that we will use later on.

You can use lawn sanding to level out low and uneven areas, but you can get the best topsoil for the grass to ensure you will act very smoothly.

Ensure that the material is of its best quality, so your top dressing won’t be a mess.

Spreading Dirt on Lawn

You need not worry about how to spread dirt on the lawn because the process is too easy, but you need a bit of energy.

Once you have finished filling the wheelbarrow with the sand for top dressing the lawn, bring the wheelbarrow onto the lawn you want to top dress, then carefully spread the dirt on the lawn by dropping the material in small piles.

If you cannot perform this by using the wheelbarrow alone, you can use a shovel to dump bunches of small piles in small sections of the lawn.

This will make the spreading easier later after you finish spreading ridges in the yard.

top dressing the lawn

Spreading Topsoil with Rake

Instead of using the rake’s teeth, use the back of the rake to spread the dirt pile properly. 

Evenly spread the pile until you can see that the yard is already even. Avoid having huge bumps and use the rake as your level to ensure the surface is good enough for the top dressing.

The Waiting Game!

After spreading the top dressing with the rake, you can now use your water sprinkler to adequately help the dressing settle down to the surface.

Top Dressing Lawns with Sand or Topsoil?

You can use either sand or the best topsoil for your topdressing; however, these materials work in different ways.

Lawn sanding will help improve drainage and loosen the soil’s density over time, depending on which purpose you want to topdress your lawn with sand.

Most of the time, and is used in golf courses, and we recommend avoiding using sand alone for topdressing your lawn.

You can mix dry topsoil and sand to level uneven areas in the yard, but you can use the best topsoil for grass if you want a better option.

The waiting game might be longer with the topsoil because it works longer and better. Sand may drain better, but it has issues with water retention.

While topsoil can afford any water issues, but it will take longer before the topdressing can take effect in the yard.

top dressing with sand

Final Words

Top dressing your lawn will not only let you have a healthier yard, but it can also make your place look good after giving it some time to settle down!

Give the lawn a little more time to rest after you topdress it so you won’t disintegrate on the surface, avoiding blunts if ever you mow your area.

It takes a little more time before the organic matter and microorganisms begin to work on the lawn, so you only have to be patient before making things in your yard again.

Are you excited to topdress yet?

About Tom Reynolds

My name is Tom Reynolds, and I like lawn mowing. When I was a kid, I used to help my dad in cutting grass using a reel mower, now, I have my own 6 different lawn mowers. Keeping my lawn healthy and beautiful gives me satisfaction, and I still enjoy working in my lawn.