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Transform Your Lawn: The Ultimate Guide to Topdressing

Have you noticed your lawn looking sad this July? Every year around this time, we see our lawns becoming crunchy and brown, typical of late St. Louis summers.

While you may have given up on this year’s lawn, it's not too late to set the stage for a lush, healthy lawn next year. Through aeration and topdressing, you can improve your lawn’s soil structure, enhance its health, and ultimately have a greener, happier lawn. In this post, we will explore what topdressing is and provide a step-by-step guide to help you apply it effectively for the best results.

What is Topdressing?

Topdressing involves spreading a thin layer of organic material (typically compost, like our Field and Turf Enhancer) over your lawn to improve its appearance, health, and quality. It increases the water holding capacity of the soil, improves the soil’s aeration, and encourages the growth of beneficial micronutrients. Commonly used on golf courses, this technique promotes a healthier lawn by reducing thatch buildup, leveling uneven areas, and providing essential nutrients to the grass.

How To Topdress

We recommend you begin your topdressing journey by aerating your lawn. The dense, silty-clay soils found around St. Louis are prone to compaction and hardening, especially in dry weather. Aeration is an excellent solution to improve soil structure and enhance your lawn's health and resilience, and when mixed with topdressing, it further enriches the soil, promotes better root growth, and helps retain moisture. You can rent an aerator or hire a lawn company to provide this service.

On aeration day, we recommend first cutting the grass fairly short. Cutting the grass short lets the aerator work better and makes topdressing easier. Aerate as normal, taking care to give a little extra treatment to areas that have obvious compaction like walkways and pet habit trails. If you are wanting to add more grass seed to bare areas, now is the time to do it. 

Next, apply our Field and Turf Enhancer Compost as topdressing right after aeration. This allows the compost to go deep beneath the surface of the lawn and improve soil conditions within the root zone. For smaller zones, simply use a wheelbarrow and shovel to disperse the compost. If you are wanting to topdress a larger area, we recommend renting a compost spreader for a more efficient dispersion. Aim for a quarter to a half inch deep application of the compost, and lightly rake the area to ensure the compost will be as effective as possible. Gently water the area, and consider applying starter fertilizer to areas that need extensive repair.

Boosting the soil beneath your turf grass is key to maintaining a lush, vibrant lawn. Field and Turf Enhancer enriches the soil with organic matter and beneficial microbes, strengthening the root zones. Strong root zones result in a healthier, more resilient lawn!


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