Top Dressing On Your Own!
Instructions for Top Dressing
The following are instructions on how to go about performing top dressing on your own. Over seeding & top dressing your lawn is really easy. All you have to do is go to your local garden store and purchase some high quality certified grass seed with endophyte and some good ‘finished compost’ or a sand/finished compost mix.
Here are the key points you need to know:
- We recommend using a seed variety that is at least 50% Kentucky Blue Grass and the other portion a mix of certified perennial ryegrasses and fescues. It will say what type of seed it is on the bag. ex. certified seed would say “Grand slam Kentucky Blue grass” hint: the longer the name, the better the breed.
- You get what you pay for. Purchase the most expensive seed.
- Purchase a finished compost or sand/loam mix soil. Make sure you get enough to spread a 1/3″ layer over your entire lawn. Straight manures will burn the fragile germinating seedlings.
Sand helps to break down clay. Finished compost ensures that weed seeds are rendered useless and will add organic matter to the soil as well as beneficial micro-organisms.
- We recommend putting down 4lbs of high quality seed per 1000 square feet of grass for overseeding. (For an average lawn of 2500 square feet, I would recommend 10.-15 lbs). If you are only doing small spots, one or two handfuls per square foot should suffice. hint: think of pepper on mashed potatoes.
- Scarify (rough up) the top inch or two of soil in the bare areas.
- Spread out the compost/soil/sand over the lawn making sure there is a 1/3 inch layer. A wheel barrow is a useful tool to aid you in spreading out the topdressing.
- Spread the seed out over top of the topdressing, focusing on areas that appear to be thin or bare. Do not cover the seed with soil. Lightly tamp down the seed into the soil to make sure the seed is in firm contact with the soil.
- Keep the seed moist for 2-3 weeks. This may require watering 2-3 times a day. If you do not keep the seed moist it will not germinate. Bluegrass takes longer than ryegrass to germinate, so be sure to continue watering until the grass appears to be thickening.
- Limit traffic on these areas as the new seedlings are fragile.