How to Use Top Dressing to Reduce Water Usage on Your Lawn

Given the current state of the economy, homeowners nationwide are looking for innovative ways to save their hard-earned money. But what if you could save money while conserving one of our most valuable resources? Topdressing makes this possible.

Topdressing is spreading a quarter-inch-thick layer of organic material over the top of your lawn. While this process is typically isolated to problem areas, when performed on the entire yard, topdressing can rejuvenate your soil, allowing grass to grow back with more vibrance over time.

In this article, we will cover the step-by-step process of topdressing your lawn, the benefits of topdressing your lawn, and how to choose which organic material will bring you the best results.

Does Top Dressing the Lawn Help? The Benefits of Topdressing

Topdresssing reduces your water usage and saves you money. Topdressing’s thin layer of organic material retains moisture for longer, meaning less frequent watering. Some other benefits of topdressing your lawn include the following:

  • Increases soil aeration – when your soil’s organisms feast upon the organic matter in top dressing, they create air pockets that allow grassroots to get their oxygen and water supply more efficiently
  • Better soil quality – topdressing exposes your soil to valuable nutrients like potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, eliminating the need for fertilizers.
  • Assists with seed germination – Topdressing goes hand in hand with overseeding in recovering your lawn.
  • Breaks down thatch – Thatch is the buildup of dead grass and other debris that inhibits oxygen and water flow to new growth. By breaking down thatch, topdressing makes space for new, luscious grass to grow.

Choosing the Right Organic Material For Your Soil

The three organic materials most commonly used in topdressing are sand, compost, and topsoil. The right material for your lawn is largely dependent on the type of soil that lies beneath.

To determine the type of soil in your own backyard, all you need to do is feel it. If your soil is sticky, that means it has a high clay content and will benefit from compost topdressing. Soil with a gritty feel has a high sand content, and any of the three top-dressing options is suitable. Soil that is fine, soft, and slightly damp is classified as loam soil and can be layered with either topsoil or compost.

How to Top Dress Your Lawn: A Step-by-Step Guide

To topdress your lawn, you must first have access to a power rake or aerator. Once you have gathered your tools, the process goes as follows:

  1. Break up thatch using an aerator or power rake.
  2. Remove thatch and grass clippings from the area you plan to topdress.
  3. Mow the lawn.
  4. If overseeding, spread grass seed.
  5. Shovel small amounts of topdressing over desired areas, maintaining ¼ inch in all areas.
  6. Rake and water the laid-out topdressing.

While top-dressing can be a DIY project, a certain level of skill and expertise is needed to prevent larger issues over time. Hiring a trained professional to topdress your lawn is a worthwhile investment that saves you money and in some cases, saves your lawn.

Ready to save money while reducing your water usage? Start the process of topdressing your lawn today.