What is the purpose of topdressing and how to do perform it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by alpine692003, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502


    What is the purpose of topdressing? Does it improve drainage, improve grass thickness?

    1) mow
    2) power rake or aerate? one or the other?
    3) apply sand
    4) apply grass seed

    Thats how you perform topdressing right?
  2. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,036

    I usualy only topdress, 1. to level a bumpy yard, 2. to speed grow in time of rizomatus stoloniferous(spelling?) grasses, and 3. after a verticutting to also speed in grown in time. I will usually roll the lawn with a roller after I veritcutt or put it on a bumpy yard. I never roll when topdressing new grass to speed in growing time.

    the way I have always topdressed is to mow (scalp in verticutting cases), lay down topdressing material, roll (excluding new growth topdressings), and pray you don't get rain for the next two weeks.

    aerating is not big business out in hawaii, basicly all of the people who are going to pay for that service have their lawn verticutt instead. a verticutter is like a power rake, but with thinner blades.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    There you go asking for WELP again. :p

    It is used much more in warm season grasses that can grow over the dirt
    As TC said it is used after verticutting which is also done to warm season grass.
    If you do this to cool season grass, which I believe you will smother the lawn or need to over seed. At that point you are leveling rough ground
  4. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 351

    We use it to loosen up clay soils and increase microbial activity which will help decay thatch. Repeated applications will add humus material to crappy soils.
    Big selling point people will understand is that golf courses do it so it must be good. When golf courses were aerating, residences thought it was necessary. Now, when topdressing is so important, golfers see this and think they need it for their yard as well.
    When we topdress, early spring or early fall, we aerated the yard very heavily and deep, blow on about 1/4" compost, drag yard with fence to help to level out, and overseed.
  5. alpine692003

    alpine692003 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,502

    Yes, the type of grass we have here is; kentucky bluegrass, rye and fescue which are warm season grasses I believe?

    I mow, power rake, clean up the thatch, put down soil/sand mixture and grass seed.
  6. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 351

    We have to be careful using sand here. Sand and clay makes bricks.
  7. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    old golf courses had their greens constructed using top soil. in this new day of turf management greens are constructed using sand. old courses are doing
    deep aeration & sand top dressing for 2 reasons, 1 is to change the composition of the soil and the second is to speed up the greens.
    unless you need a soil composition change, aerate & use a drag mat to break up the plugs.

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