What Should I Use For Top Dressing My Lawn After Renovation?

What should I use for Top dressing my lawn?

 After seeding a lawn it is important to cover the seed with compost or sand to cover up the seed and protect it from birds. 

  1. Protection from Birds: Uncovered seeds are often attractive to birds which can eat them before they have a chance to germinate.
  2. Protection from Erosion: A top dressing helps prevent the seeds from being washed away by rain or blown away by wind.
  3. Protection from Drying Out: A layer of compost or sand can help retain moisture around the seeds preventing them from drying out too quickly.


What can be used? 

1) Compost


  1. Nutrient-Rich: Compost is rich in organic matter providing essential nutrients that promote healthy grass growth. Covers seed well.
  2. Soil Structure: Compost improves soil structure making it more friable and better at retaining moisture.
  3. Microbial Activity: Compost encourages beneficial microbial activity in the soil which aids in nutrient cycling and disease suppression.
  4. pH Balance: Compost can help balance soil pH making nutrients more available to plants.

Best for: Lawns that need organic matter to improve soil quality, especially those with poor soil structure or low fertility.

2) Sand


  1. Improves Drainage: Sand can help improve soil drainage, preventing water-logging and reducing the risk of fungal diseases.
  2. Levels Uneven Ground: Sand can be used to level out uneven areas in the lawn.
  3. Weight for Overseeding: Sand can help weigh down seeds during over-seeding ensuring good seed-to-soil contact.

Best for: Lawns with clayey or compacted soil that needs improved drainage or levelling. Also useful for over-seeding projects.


3. Topsoil


  1. Adds Depth: Topsoil can add depth to shallow soil providing more room for grass roots to grow.
  2. Improved Texture: Good quality topsoil can improve soil texture making it easier for roots to penetrate.
  3. Nutrient Content: Some topsoils are enriched with nutrients providing a boost to lawn health.

Best for: Lawns with very shallow soil or areas where soil needs to be built up.


4. Mixtures

You can also create custom mixtures of the above materials to combine their benefits. For example, a mixture of compost and sand can improve both soil fertility and drainage.


  • Soil Test: Before choosing a top dressing, it's a good idea to conduct a soil test to determine its pH, nutrient levels and texture. This can help you select the most appropriate material.
  • Local Availability: Consider what materials are readily available in your area, as this can affect cost and convenience.
  • Lawn Type: Different grass species have different requirements. Research the specific needs of your grass type before choosing a top dressing.

In conclusion, the best top dressing for your lawn will depend on its specific needs, soil conditions and your goals for lawn renovation. Compost is often considered the most beneficial due to its ability to improve soil quality and provide essential nutrients but compost, sand and topsoil can also be valuable depending on the situation.


We used Field Compost No.4 and No.5 at our recent Lawn Academy

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