Upon first thought, it appears considerably absurd to unfold a layer of compost or sand over your grass. In any case, dust is meant to be beneath the grass. That is what topdressing is, although, and it’s an ideal factor to periodically do to your garden.
Topdressing a garden is completed by spreading a skinny layer of fabric resembling compost or sand over the grass. This follow has been noticed since golf was first invented in Scotland and is gaining reputation with householders in search of natural garden care methods.
Advantages of Topdressing a Garden
When the soil beneath your grass begins to lose its oomph, or it’s a brand new garden that isn’t doing effectively, pulling all the grass as much as amend it isn’t a possible possibility. Topdressing is a less complicated — albeit nonetheless difficult — option to see the next advantages in your garden.
- Add natural matter to the topsoil, bettering poor soil by enhancing its productive properties .
- Enhance the soil construction, water holding capability , and cation alternate capability .
- Construct up helpful soil microbes .
- Cut back thatch .
- Clean out uneven terrain from worm castings , freeze/thaw cycle, or water runoff.
- Cut back the necessity for fertilizing.
What Topdressing Materials to Use
One of many first and most essential steps is deciding what kind of topdressing materials you need to use. To be efficient and advantageous it must be comparable in texture to the underlying soil. Selecting the fallacious materials can create critical issues.
In keeping with the late James Beard , a number one authority on turfgrass:
“[O]ne of crucial concerns in topdressing is the usage of a soil combination of comparable texture and composition to the underlying soil … Using topdressing mixes containing textures drastically completely different from the underlying soil leads to the event of a definite layer that impairs air and water motion significantly and leads to an general discount of turfgrass high quality.”
The commonest choices are sand, topsoil just like your current soil, high-quality compost, or a customized blended mixture of the supplies.
- Sand is used extensively on golf programs, particularly on man-made greens. It may be additionally used with heavy clay soils to enhance drainage. Keep away from utilizing nice sand over a coarse-textured soil.
- Topsoil just like the present soil construction is suitable and can assist easy out the bottom, however doesn’t include a lot natural materials.
- Compost is essentially the most beneficial materials to make use of, so long as it’s fully completed and has few fillers.
- It is not uncommon for householders to make use of a mixture of the above supplies to create a mix that’s cost-effective, but corresponding to their current soil. Most frequently a mix of compost and both topsoil/sand is beneficial.
Supplies could be bought from native nurseries or backyard facilities, and maybe panorama or development corporations in case you are in search of topsoil or sand.
Ideas for Topdressing Your Garden
Topdressing your garden generally is a DIY mission, however in truth it’s a very labor intensive endeavor. Some residence enchancment facilities have motorized spreader machines out there for lease which can scale back the labor however improve the associated fee.
- Routine topdressing improves thatch breakdown and improves the soil. Nevertheless, it does increase the grade of your yard. To make sure you don’t increase it an excessive amount of it’s greatest to not topdress your whole garden routinely. Deal with naked spots as wanted and your entire garden each few years.
- A really mild topdressing utility could be accomplished extra usually if the quantity added is shallow sufficient to be brushed into aeration holes.
- Time based on your grass kind . Topdress in lawns within the spring for heat season grasses and the autumn for cool season grasses. This permits three or 4 mows earlier than extreme warmth or chilly units in.
- Mix with different cultural practices like overseeding to develop new grass.
If topdressing your garden your self feels like too huge of a mission to deal with your self, some garden care corporations provide high dressing service to purchasers. It’s changing into a extra in style service out there due to demand however nonetheless not extensively out there; it requires a number of work with a small revenue margin for corporations.
How A lot Materials Will I Must Topdress a Garden?
The desk under exhibits how a lot materials you will have to topdress your garden, to completely different depths. You probably have a very problematic garden, it could take a number of purposes to introduce sufficient materials to attain your purpose.
|Quantity of Soil Wanted to Topdress 1,000 Sq. Toes|
|Depth of topdressing (inches)||Quantity of soil required (cubic yards)|
|Supply: James Beard, “Turfrass: Science and Tradition”|
Steps to Topdressing
When tackled as a DIY mission, the method isn’t troublesome. It’s tedious and labor intensive, nevertheless.
- Examine the soil pH and alter accordingly whether it is out of vary .
- Open up the thatch layer with an influence rake or aerator to create channels for the topdressing materials to penetrate the floor.
- Mow grass as quick as doable, with out stressing it to the purpose of injury.
- Take away grass clipping, dethatching particles, and plugs of soil from aerating.
- Unfold grass seed if overseeding.
- Working in small areas a couple of sq. ft at a time, shovel out a small quantity of your materials. Utilizing your shovel, “fling” the supplies with a easy, sweeping movement just like hitting a hockey puck, spreading the topdressing over the garden to a depth of ⅛ to ½ inch. Fertile, quickly rising turf and lawns which are extra vulnerable to thatch might require heavier topdressing charges.
- After spreading the topdressing, gently rake it in or water the garden effectively. That strikes materials right down to the soil floor.
After getting efficiently topdressed your yard, now it’s time to be affected person, as it will possibly take a couple of seasons to see the total outcomes. If performed accurately you will notice enhancements in drainage, water retention, and so forth. shortly nevertheless it takes time for the microbes to start out working and the natural matter to start breaking down.
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Topdressing a garden refers back to the strategy of making use of a mix of various supplies over the garden’s floor. This gardening methodology has a number of advantages however the one it’s most generally identified for is producing beautiful wanting lawns.
Topdressing often consists of a mix of supplies resembling soil, sand, loam and peat which must be blended in a option to resemble the already current soil when it comes to composition. Since topdressing will ultimately grow to be part of the foundation zone, it’s essential that it blends effectively with the already established soil.
Why you need to high gown a garden?
As talked about above, high dressing a garden has many advantages. So right here’s why you need to add it to your garden upkeep routine:
- Topdressing helps preserve the garden’s floor levelled. That is performed by filling all the smaller hollows and undulations with the topdressing combine, thus levelling the garden floor.
- Topdressing your garden frequently helps stop the buildup of thatch. Topdress can dilute the thatch layer and can also be identified to naturally break it down.
- Utilizing sand based mostly topdressing can enhance your soil’s drainage and agency up the floor. This works significantly effectively after aeration because the topdressing could be labored into the soil by the holes left behind.
- Spreading peat-based topdressing can enhance the drought tolerance of your garden.
- Some topdressing mixtures include vitamins so making use of them can enhance your garden’s fertility.
- Topdressing helps stimulate grass development in lawns and betters the soil construction of the already current root zone.
- Improves the garden’s resilience.
Supplies used for garden high dressing
The three most important elements utilized in topdressing are listed under.
The perfect kind of sand for topdressing is one with a medium particle measurement which is neither too nice nor too coarse. And it must be lime-free, so sea sand received’t do. One of these topsoil is sweet for smoothing and levelling the garden’s floor and likewise helps enhance soil composition.
Go for high quality sphagnum or finely sieved sedge peat. Including peat-based topdressing to your garden can acidify the soil and discourage the unfold of worms. So in case your garden has enormous quantities of worm casts, peat topdressing is the best way to go.
The loam utilized in topdressing must be of a better high quality and finely graded. It should be neither sandy nor an excessive amount of like clay in substance. Loam high dressing is right for a cricket pitch as though arduous, grass nonetheless grows on it.
How a lot of every materials to use to the topdressing combine all relies on your garden’s root zone and what you’re trying to obtain.
You probably have a garden wealthy in sand content material it will possibly undergo from drought within the drier seasons and would, due to this fact, require some peat-based topdressing to enhance it. And vice versa, when you have a moist garden, including sand can enhance the drainage.
Making use of the fitting topdressing to your garden
As talked about above, the kind of topdressing you utilize all relies on your soil’s construction. Listed here are the commonest mixtures used:
Such lawns are very free-draining and are vulnerable to drought in the course of the hotter seasons. So go for topdressing which is 4 components loam, three components peat and one half sand.
These kind of lawns undergo from drainage points, in the course of the wetter seasons. So go for a topdressing combination consisting of two components loam, one half peat and 4 components sand.
You may simply determine the kind of soil you have got by merely utilizing your palms. Simply choose up a handful of it and squeeze it collectively. If the grains don’t stick collectively when squeezed and have a gritty really feel to them, your soil is sand-based. Loam-based soils, alternatively, have a velvety texture or really feel flour-like after they’re dry. When you attempt making a ball of dust out of loamy soil it is going to solely keep intact whereas moist and can crumble aside as soon as it dries. As for clay, it feels sticky however turns into easy as soon as rubbed.
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When must you top-dress your garden?
Lawns are greatest top-dressed during times of grass development, so within the UK, that’s anytime between April and October. Historically topdressing is carried out both in late spring or early autumn. That is performed to correspond with the mainspring renovation or the autumn renovation packages.
Most gardening specialists would agree that high dressing a turf is greatest carried out after some kind of garden renovation has taken place. Probably the most notable instance of such a renovation is garden aeration.
How usually must you top-dress your garden?
The frequency at which you need to topdress your garden all relies on your soil’s high quality. It’s often beneficial to do it a minimum of every year, although, as that can assist even these with the poorest of soil.
The way to apply the garden high dressing
Begin issues off by mowing the garden as it will assist with working the highest dressing into the grass, later.
When you’re performed mowing, it’s topdressing time.
Unfold the topdressing over your turf as evenly as you’ll be able to. The consistency must be 3-4lb (1.3 – 1.8kg) per sq/yd. Go away it to dry earlier than you begin working into the soils as it will make it simpler to go right down to the bottom of the sward.
When it’s good and dry, use a landscaper rake(or drag mat or true lute) to work the topdressing into the turf. Repeat this course of as many instances as crucial, till all the topdressing turns into a part of the soil.
When that’s performed, let the garden relaxation for a couple of days earlier than you begin engaged on it once more. Additionally if there is not any rain throughout these “few days” flippantly water the garden as a way to wash away any free materials.
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High dressing at the side of different garden care upkeep procedures shouldn’t be solely extremely helpful however can usually save time. So, in case you are planning to aerate or scarify your garden accomplish that previous to high dressing. As at all times timing is crucial so solely do that when development situations are good.
Planning & Preparation for High Dressing
You probably have skinny or naked areas of garden, have scarified or simply fancy including newer grass varieties then over seeding the garden shall be a part of the operation. You must add the brand new grass seed after renovation and both earlier than or after high dressing. You probably have a number of high dressing to work into the garden maybe seeding afterwards is greatest in order that the seed doesn’t get moved round as you rub and degree the dressing. Then again, in case you are solely high dressing flippantly you could possibly add the garden seed first in order that the dressing goes on high thereby insulating the seed considerably from birds and rain.
Relying on which e book you learn some even advise mixing the highest dressing and seed to save lots of time. Sadly it appears to make extra work with the seed going the place the highest dressing goes – into the dips and none on the bumps!
Amount of High Dressing Soil
If that is being performed purely to easy the garden then you’ll be able to apply at Three to four kilos per sq. metre which can give about ¼” or simply over half a centimetre in depth. Clearly the dips will get extra however you will need to not smother the grass. The rule is 75% of the leaf should be uncovered. At this fee you might be able to high gown twice in spring and as soon as in autumn if want be.
For decorative lawns the place that is being performed frequently as a part of a garden care program then I wouldn’t apply at greater than 1 to 2 kilos per sq. metre with one kilo being preferable. Making use of at half to 1 kilo means you’ll be able to repeat this as usually as you want all through the rising season. This trickle dressing works in higher, improves thatch decomposition and is much less noticeable on nice lawns.
Software of High Dressing
Mow the garden on the quick facet and apply dry dressing on a dry day to a dry garden.
Portion your high dressing into various small batches and place them evenly across the garden. This implies you’ll have a pile of soil each few metres.
Now unfold every pile over the world allotted to it. You are able to do this by scooping it up together with your spade and flinging it into the allotted space or use the again of a rake to push and pull it into place. Landscapers or dummy rakes are tremendous instruments for doing this.
Lastly you might want to brush or work the highest dressing into the grass and dips. You may solely get up to now with the again of a rake so now you want both a stiff brush or levelling lute to maneuver and agitate the dressing into the turf. It’s sluggish work however just a little care and time will reward you with a a lot smoother floor. When you don’t work it in to the hollows correctly you can also make the garden bumpier so be warned!
If this can be a performed as a part of a high quality garden care program then a ‘high dresser’ or heavy obligation drop spreader is the one option to go plus a lute is important for evenly working within the high dressing.
In case you are high dressing and over seeding our most well-liked methodology is to seed after making use of the highest dressing so the seed would not get moved round with the soil as you’re employed it in. As soon as seeded, very flippantly brush the seed into the free high dressing, agency or roll the floor and fertilise with a seasonal fertiliser and if doing this in spring use a feed for all lawns or one for sandy soil even when you have clay soil. Lastly begin watering usually so the seed doesn’t dry out or water and canopy with polythene.
Give the garden a couple of days relaxation earlier than utilizing or mowing, in any other case you’ll blunt your mower on the highest dressing materials that’s nonetheless on the grass leaves. If it doesn’t rain give the garden a lightweight watering to clean in any lose materials.
High dressing turf was as soon as the only area of greenkeepers however increasingly more of us at the moment are selecting to high gown our lawns at residence, and autumn is the proper time of 12 months for this.
Why Ought to You High Gown within the First Place?
The reply is kind of easy: it improves your garden’s soil. After a summer time of children, pets and events, your grass will really feel fairly worn out, and if the standard of the soil in your backyard is poor, your garden can’t get well very effectively. In fact, you could possibly simply purchase an autumn garden fertiliser, however the advantages of high dressing prolong past including vitamins to your backyard.
High dressing will help make your garden extra even by filling in any holes, and over time will enhance the drainage and high quality of your high soil.
How Usually Ought to You Topdress Your Garden?
How usually your garden wants high dressing relies on the standard of the soil already beneath your garden. Some golf golf equipment will high gown greens as often as each two weeks, however don’t fear: at residence, every year must be sufficient for even these of us with the worst current soil.
Step by Step Information to Topdressing a Garden
Earlier than you start, you’ll must do some preparation. Thatch and moss should be raked out of the garden or else the layers of thatch and soil will type boundaries which may stop issues like water and fertiliser reaching the roots of the grass.
The opposite step you will need to take is sourcing the fitting soil. Make certain it really will improve the soil you’ve already acquired and is free from weeds – you don’t need to spend a day sowing dandelions amongst your turf! Evergreen Garden Soil shall be excellent for many.
In case your soil is especially compacted, it’s most likely additionally sensible to aerate your garden earlier than you start.
Topdressing itself is definitely fairly easy. Utilizing a spade, unfold the highest dressing soil as evenly as you’ll be able to round your garden at a fee of about 2kg per sq. metre (a 25 litre bag of Evergreen Garden Soil ought to do about 12m2). You may improve this fee if you happen to’re attempting to make a specific spot extra even.
The subsequent step is to work the soil into the grass; the intention is to get as a lot of the brand new soil you’ve unfold over the garden touching the present high soil as doable. For many of us, this may be performed with the again of a rake and is made simpler nonetheless by letting the soil dry out on the floor of the garden for an hour or so beforehand.
Lastly, take away any extra soil from areas the place it’s nonetheless masking the floor of the grass, and also you’re performed. Easy, natural lawn-care!
High dressing a garden is the method of making use of further supplies to the floor of a garden for a lot of functions and advantages, however most significantly to make it look its greatest, permitting you to get pleasure from these lovely summer time days in a surprising backyard.
A high dressing consists of a mixture of supplies resembling sand, soil, peat and loam, which must be made to carefully match the composition of the present soil, as all the new supplies will ultimately type a part of the foundation zone (soil the place roots develop greatest) and can due to this fact must mix effectively.
What does garden high dressing do?
High dressing doesn’t simply enhance the look of your garden, however may profit the well being of the grass too. It means that you can keep a real and degree garden floor by filling in any imperfections or hole areas to create a easy floor. It additionally helps to dilute thatch layers, aiding of their pure breakdown and stopping them from build up.
For lawns that undergo from water logging a sand based mostly high dressing utilized after aeration can enhance the drainage and agency the floor as a preventative. Alternatively for lawns with the other challenge, the place drought is an issue, the identical methodology could be utilized however utilizing a peat high dressing as a substitute of sand.
The addition of vitamins being launched from a number of the dressing supplies may contribute to bettering the fertility of the garden, encouraging the manufacturing of recent wholesome shoots and bettering the soil construction of the present root zone.
When is it greatest to high gown your garden?
Ideally high dressing your turf will happen after some methodology of renovation has taken place, with the commonest kind being aeration. That is the method of making holes within the lawns floor to permit stale carbon dioxide out of the soil and oxygen wealthy air again in. It will stimulate and encourage root development and could be performed with a mechanical aerator or manually with a backyard fork.
It is suggested to aerate your garden as soon as yearly, eradicating plugs of soil from the bottom and leaving channels for air water and the highest dressing to combine in. Aerator holes are beneficial to be roughly 8cm deep, 2cm in diameter and spaced as much as 8cm aside.
Make sure to clear any particles resembling fallen leaves from the lawns floor earlier than starting the method as a way to permit mild and oxygen in and scale back stoppages.
The way to high gown your garden
Make your garden high dressing
As soon as the turf has been cleared and aerated the highest dressing will should be ready. As talked about this will include a mixture of supplies relying on the present soil composition and well being, resembling: sand, loam, topsoil or peat. Any sand used mustn’t include lime (don’t use builders sand) and all substances must be dry and sifted earlier than use to take away any massive clumps. Alternatively you should purchase a ready-made high dressing resembling Miracle-Gro EverGreen Garden Dressing.
Earlier than the highest dressing could be utilized the grass might want to have been just lately minimize to permit the dressing to penetrate the present topsoil with out inflicting injury to the grass. After slicing, stroll across the garden raking and loosening naked patches.
Making use of your garden high dressing
When you find yourself pleased with the consistency and ratio of substances, you might be prepared to start out making use of high dressing to your turf. It’s best to work a couple of ft at a time ensuring the combination is unfold evenly throughout the entire floor. The perfect approach to evenly distribute the combination is to make use of either side of a heavy backyard rake, gently working the combination into the aeration holes with the tine facet, and spreading it out with the flat facet.
The highest dressing ought to ideally be not more than a few centimetres in depth, permitting the information of the blades of grass to be visibly poking by.
After getting accomplished the appliance the garden will should be watered and if required garden starter and seeds utilized to replenish any naked areas. For any badly broken lawns the method could be repeated frequently with mild purposes.
Enable the highest dressing to accept a couple of days earlier than gently working the rake throughout the floor to easy out any developed bumps or hollows.
Steps to high dressing your garden
- Clear the turf and aerate.
- Mow the garden.
- Apply the topsoil, spreading evenly a couple of ft at a time.
- Water the garden.
- Rake and easy any uneven areas.
Now you might be prepared for the subsequent stage: seeding your garden.
Seeding your garden
You may apply grass seed to your garden both earlier than or after you high gown it. We’d advocate that you simply seed your garden after you have got utilized your high dressing. It’s because you keep away from compromising how evenly unfold your grass seed is. Some literature will say you can combine seed in together with your high dressing however this can lead to uneven and unnatural wanting grass development.
Now all that’s left is to take a seat again, loosen up and watch your garden rework into an attractive, recent carpet of vibrant inexperienced!
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For recommendations on sustaining your lovely garden please see our 7 garden care suggestions