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procedure to smooth soccer field through topdressing

marquis de sod

LawnSite Member
macomb, Ill.
I got a nice stand of grass on a new soccer field last fall that will be put in service this fall but I would like to start a topdressing and smoothing regimin to even up the wear and some of the settling. I am a but unsure of the best way to procede and am asking for advice.
The field is in West Central Illinois, is primarily TTTF and RPG. I have a fall season that will last until @ Oct 20 and spring season from March 15 til May 15th.
Do I mow short, aerate heavy, topdress sand and pull a drag mat in several directions? I will be using about 60 tons of sand on a 2 acre field. I have spread @ 36 tons of compost on the field this summer/fall.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Turf Manager

LawnSite Member
Martinsburg WV
I am almost in the same situation. I planted my field on June 6 with only 3 months of growing time there is a good stand of turf,however a little thin. So do I top dress with sand to smooth the surface or wait till spring. We will not be playing on this field until next fall. I think you should aerate and top dress with sand then drag.


LawnSite Member
Annandale, NJ
I think caution is required when topdressing your soccer field to use compatible materials. I personally think it is ill advised to top dress with compost one time and sand the next. Sand or compost should be used only if you are attempting to "change" the soil profile. And then a plan should be developed to achieve the desired results. Care should be used when topdressing with sand. A coarse sand should be used. A fine sand can turn soil to concrete if over applied. If your sole objective is to smooth the field I would use a material similar to the current soil profile. Otherwise you will end up with pockets of sand and pockets of soil providing a very unstable footing for the players. Aeration a great way to incorporate a dissimilar material such as sand with the existing profile but over aerification will decrease the structural integrity of the field and cause increased wear if they play on the field soon after aerification.

Topdressing does have the ability to protect the crown of new grass plants and is therefore beneficial prior to the playing season. But, be carefull not to over aerate.