Top Dressing your lawn and Turf


Autumn is the perfect time to dress your lawn/turf with compost. Autumn is recommended as you need a mix of warm weather and moist soil for compost application.

WRAP explain why compost can benefit your lawn when applied as a turf dressing[1]:

  • ·         Provides a simple means of greening up turf quickly and evenly
  • ·         Improves the visual appearance of the turf
  • ·         Helps to increase water tolerance of the turf
  • ·         Protects the turf from nitrogen-sensitive diseases, such as dollar spot
  • ·         Provides the turf with some drought resistance in dry conditions
  • ·         When the compost is mixed with sand, it can help with drainage too

Compost-based dressings can work out cheaper than conventional chemical-based fertilisers; the emphasis being on building up the structure of the soil to the rootzone and building the lawns resistance to disease.

Although you can mix compost made in your garden with sand to create a dressing for your lawn, the compost needs to be well rotted and screened. Turf Dressing Rootzones that are premixed and screened can provide assurance for you as the compost element will need to be BSI PAS 100 accredited, plus some brands, such as Earth Cycle, have further quality accreditations, such as Compost Quality Protocol.

WRAP[2] provide a guide for the simple dressing of a garden lawn through their Recycle Now website, the highlights of which are:

  1.  Use a garden to make holes in the lawn. Make the rows of fork holes about 6” apart and around 3” deep over the entire lawn. This will aerate the lawn and allow the Turf Dressing rootzone to get to the grass roots Spread the turf dressing over the whole lawn, making sure that you cover all the holes you have made
  2. Using a rake or a broom spread the turf dressing evenly across the lawn to a depth of about 1 inch (or just so you can see the tops of the grass). The lawn may look grey and muddy! But this is normal and may last about 3 weeks as the compost works its way into your soil
  3.  If you have no rain for 2 days after application, give the lawn a good watering to ensure the compost penetrates the soil
  4. Your lawn may look untidy for a few weeks, but this is normal. Over the following weeks and months you should see a more superior quality of grass and below the surface the soil structure will be improved for months to come

Sadly summer is coming to an end, now is the time to get the garden ready for winter and dressing the lawn before the winter sets in will help the lawn!

Happy Gardening

About the Author

Earth Cycle

Over the past 20 years, Earth Cycle has been supplying high-quality topsoil, composts, soil conditioners, and mulches across the United Kingdom. With our roots in Hampshire and West Sussex, we are a team of gardening and allotment experts who love sharing their knowledge with others to help them create the perfect outdoor space.

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