Compost top dressing

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by boneslawns, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. boneslawns

    boneslawns LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 30

    2 questions. 1.Do i have to mix sand with my compost to top dress or can I just use compost? 2. do I really need to dethatch before a topdress or can i just aerate then top dress? Didnt know if covering the thatch with topdressing would be ok or not
    thanks
     
  2. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    1. Technically "No."
    1a. The better answer though is it depends completely upon your soil composition. You would want to add sand only if your soil does not drain well, for example because it is high in clay content. If you do addd sand, make sure it is the correct type, not sandbox sand.

    2. Technically "No."
    1a. The better answer though is that thatch, once it gets thick enough chokes out a lot of the nutrients and water...or in this case the topdressing. So if you have very little thatch, aerating alone will do just fine. if you want the lawn to be the best it can be, or if you have a lot of thatch, dethatching first will give you the best result. Think of thatch as beneficial in small amounts (provides some cover) but once it is thick enough it's more like a barrier that is detrimental to your lawn.
     
  3. boneslawns

    boneslawns LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 30

    Can I use masons sand. Or what kind
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  4. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    Mason's sand is too fine. You need a coarser sand, no more than 1mm in size.
     
  5. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,297

    I would only dethatch if the thatch layer is more than 1 inch, otherwise aeration alone is just fine.
     
  6. boneslawns

    boneslawns LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 30

    how can i tell how thick the thatch is and what does it look. I have an idea but when i hear it being 1 and 2" some times then it makes me think Im seeing the wrong thing ha ha
     
  7. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,297

    Usually when you aerate you will be pulling plugs on which you can see how thick the thatch is, if your not aerating then you can try to pull out little core of earth around your lawn.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Do a google search Images for thatch... Compost after plugging is good in that it get compost into the holes. Compost will also speed the breakdown of thatch in that it activates the decomposers....

    If thatch is too thick it is better to change the cultural practices that cause it... :)
     

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