The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

The Lawncare Guide - August

Top dressing for a tip-top lawn

Historically, top dressing has been carried out as part of the autumn lawn renovation or in spring so why would we do it in August?. Well, if the lawn has suffered hard wear during the summer and is showing lumps, bumps and stress through drought and hard play, you can treat it to a top dressing. Ideally, you should aerate and scarify first as this helps the dressing key into the surface and get into the soil below.

The benefits of top dressing are quickly realised in making the lawn smoother, reducing thatch and improving the rate of surface and soil drainage. It will also increase water and nutrient retention while allowing the mower to produce a smooth and even cut. Mow the lawn short on a dry day and apply the top dressing mixture as a dry mix of loam, sand and peat alternative. 

To smooth the lawn, filling in dips and hollows, you apply 3 to 4 kilos per square metre, without smothering the grass. You should have 75% of the grass leaf still exposed. Deposit the top dressing in mounds around the lawn and then spread with a rake and finish with a lawn brush to work it into the aerator holes. If it is a large lawn and you have a garden tractor, you can use a rake attachment and finish with a brush attachment. Ornamental lawns which are cut shorter and regularly treated will only need half to 1 kilo per square metre. 

Avoid heavily organic top dressings as they encourage thatch, shallow rooting grass and a surface that stays wet. If you do have a poor drainage problem, aerate and then top dress with sand or a sandy material. A lawn prone to drought will benefit from finer top dressing materials. If you carry out top dressing regularly over a one to two-year period, the lawn will become smooth and even. 


No comments:

Post a Comment