Another topdress question- small lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kturner, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. kturner

    kturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    I deal exclusively in postage stamp lawns, usually 10x50 or so. What is the best method of applying sand?
    I've been told to just shovel it out and then sweep it, but that sounds messy and uneven to me.

    Can I use a normal push fert. spreader?

    Also, is it best to mow short just before doing this?

    Thanks guys.
  2. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    If you're using commercial grade, the fertilizer spreaders will work fine. Mowing short (maybe scalping?!) before top dressing is probably not necessary, so why put the lawn through that.
  3. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    Im not familiar with the West Coast but I will do here is to core aerate and then run a power rake over the cores.

    Possibly this could be an alternative???
  4. fshrdan

    fshrdan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    How most people do it down here is: Cut bermuda to 1/2" or so, core aerate, and then sand. It's still a little early for this right now, but it's a big activity in March and April.

    I wouldn't think that a fert spreader would give you the quantities needed for sanding. I would simply shovel it out and brush it. That would probably be the easiest and most efficient way.
  5. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    what r u guys talkin about with the sand ive never aerated
    b4 so i would like to know how if i ever have to .
    can someone wrtie down a step by step process for aerating please?


    thank u
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    For small lawns I aerate first then topdress. When you go back over the lawn to smooth out topdressing it breaks the cores up.

    I very seldom recommend sand. People always use sand as a catch all. Honestly, sand is usually what is not needed. Sand causes the water to pentrate very fast and its gone. Sand and clay during drought conditions makes concrete. If you already have a loamy soil, adding sand may make water penetration to fast. Most all lawns are in need of organic matter. A compost builds topsoil. The plant and soil gets the carbon and other nutrients it needs. 95% of the time I put a leaf compost or mushroom compost down.

    Its the same principle we use for mulching leaves into the lawn instead of picking them up. One of the main selling points on mulching them is the health of the lawn. Organic matter is the most overlooked but most necessary element to the soil health.
  7. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    This may be a dumb question, but what's the purpose of topdressing? If done the way Hoss talked about (using compost) it makes sense, adding nutrients to the soil.

    But what is the reason for topdressing with sand? What does it achieve?

    Thanks in advance.
  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    If you have a real bumpy lawn, sand is the easiest way to fix it. A little sand is needed, but topdressing with sand usually puts down more than needed. Also, it takes YEARS to work down into the topsoil.
  9. visions landscape

    visions landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    I never have used sand just a good topsoil, rake and spread in. sometimes I roll it also.
  10. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    So to simplify, top dressing whether using sand, topsoil, compost, whatever, is only done to smooth out a bumpy lawn for the most part?
    And in the case of using compost it has a side benefit of adding nutrients to the soil?

    I had searched, but posts were about "how to" rather then "why".
    Got it now.

    What about pricing, I'm guessing T&M?


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