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Another job for the to-do list for Spring is to apply a top dressing as required. Why would you need to do this? There are two main reasons for topdressing; to fill or level out any holes or uneven parts of your South East Queensland lawn or to add required nutrients. This blog focuses on topdressing to fix up holes and uneven spots in your lawn. For quite some time people believed that a top dressing should be applied each and every year however that’s not true. Top dress as your lawn needs it, too often can lead to a build-up of thatch and require detatching, and make sure you do it at the right time or all that effort and money will be wasted.

Spring is the best time to do this as you need to ensure that the grass plants are growing and out of the dormant phase. If you do apply a top dressing while the lawn is dormant then you run the risk of damaging or even killing the grass entirely. Two weeks before applying the top dressing, fertilise the lawn to stimulate growth and aid the plants in pushing through the new top dressing more quickly. Mow the lawn the day prior to topdressing – longer grass will require more soil to cover and a deeper layer of soil will make it more difficult for the grass to push through.

Top dress your lawn with a sandy loam or clean river sand.

For uneven lawn

For areas that are only slightly uneven you can add a top dressing of up to 12mm at a time. If the lawn requires more than 12mm of top dressing first apply one layer to the entire area and then apply another layer. Ensure that most of the top of the grass is still visible after dressing; don’t completely cover the grass with the sand. Shovel the sand over the lawn, level out with a garden leveller and then water in.

For holes in the lawn

If you need to fix a hole in your lawn which is deeper than 4-5 cms don’t just top dress. Use a shovel to lift up the affected grass and place top dressing sand underneath to raise the height of the turf. Once this has been achieved you can then apply a top dressing as above to deal with any remaining unevenness. Due to the stress the plants will be under after this repair, make sure that you maintain regular watering to give the turf a boost.

Daleys Turf do not recommend undertaking a top dressing job if rain is forecast. Rain will make the sand very cumbersome to work with and the leveling will not be as easy to get right. Wait for a sunny Spring day!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I own a level 600sq metre block of land at Maroochydore that has a good covering of couch. I wish to top dress it to iron out the small bumps. Do you know a person you could recommend to me to do the job??




    1. Hi Ian,
      We do occasionally do top dressing or I can give you a couple of suggestions, Len from Lenscaping 0448 598 509 would be perfect for that.


  2. My lawn soil is a sandy base . Does it require top dressing with screened organic topsoil or sandy loam . If at all if sandy loam is to used what should be the percentage of sand and soil in the mixture.please reply

    1. Hi,
      Organic top soil will benefit your lawn the best, however its harder to work and top dress your lawn, thats why landscapers use sandy loam due to it being quicker to apply.
      I would use the organic top soil. Top dressing material is generally 50/50 mix, of soil and sand.

  3. This is some really good information about fixing your lawn. It is good to know that it would be smart to get little pieces of turf to fix holes in your yard. That is good for me to know next spring when I need to fix up my grass.

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