Top dressing is a formulation of fine sand and loam or organic material which is worked into the surface of the lawn during the renovation process, usually when scarification or aeration has taken place during the autumn and over seeding or a particularly even surface is required.
Regular top dressing is common on ornamental lawns and professional sports grounds such as golf greens, bowling greens and football pitches.
Very few lawn care companies offer a comprehensive top dressing or total renovation service, but at Lawntech we pride ourselves on being able to bring these treatments to the domestic garden for small or even the largest lawns. We also provide the same services to sports grounds. For small lawns with limited access we can apply sand and loam top dressing by hand to produce fantastic results.
Applying lawn top dressing
For large lawns or sports pitches we use a process of delivering top dressing in one tonne bags on our own large lorry.It has a detachable forklift for loading our compact tractor-mounted machines which can spread many tonnes of product efficiently over very large areas. The dressing is brushed in to create a smooth finish.
The benefits of top dressing
- Assists germination after over seeding
- Improves surface quality and smoothness
- Fills in cracks, gaps and minor indentations
- Assists surface drainage
- Speeds up recovery from aeration and scarification
JIM: Today we’re going to carry out top dressing on this bowling club. We’ve already scarified, aerated and over seeded the area. So the final part of the process is to spread on some nice fine sand and loam which will help the grass seed to germinate and iron out any imperfections in the sward.
Today I’m going to demonstrate the different ways in which we can apply the top dressing. Sometimes it’s not always possible to get machinery in to do the job so we have to do it by hand just using hand tools. Obviously this is quite hard work so if we can we would use machinery which will make lighter work of the job and spread it mechanically.
So the first thing I’m going to do today is demonstrate how we spread top dressing in a confined space where you can’t get the big machinery in.
Sand and loam usually comes kiln dried and is sold in different mixtures. This one is a mixture of 50 percent loam and 50 percent sand. Because the dressing is dry it is easy to apply. For small lawns or confined spaces we can spread the dressing by hand and then using a brush, lute or drag mat thoroughly work it into the surface of the lawn.
So when you’ve got an area this size it’s much easier with one of those. What we’re going to do now is we’re going to apply the top dressing with this mechanical spreader and then we’re going to follow up by brushing it in with this brush which gets it deep into the sward and will give us the finish which we require.
A top dressing machine makes light work of spreading the material over large areas. Because of the large surface area and efficiency of the mechanical brush we can then insure the dressing is worked thoroughly into the surface to create a fine even finish. This process will help the lawn to recover to a perfect finish.
We call it bringing a little bit of green keeping to the garden.