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Compost Topdressing and Its Benefits

Posted by Shawn Spear on Oct 25, 2018 11:54:05 AM

Topdressing Blog Photo 

Topdressing is an old practice that has been done on lawns and golf courses since the beginning. There are articles about topdressing being performed while St.Andrews golf course in Scotland was being constructed hundreds of years ago.

What is organic topdressing?

Topdressing is the application of broadcasting a thin layer of soil over an existing lawn. Typically applications range from 1/4inch to 1/2 inch of compost coverage. The topdressing is worked into the soil by natural rain fall or by multiple irrigation cycles. We offer compost topdressing to our clients to help rejuvenate the soil. After years of traditional lawn care services soils can be stripped of life and compost helps returns soil back to its natural state.

What are the benefits it provides?

Topdressing's benefits are so numerous; it's hard to understand why it is not the foundation for every organic lawn care program. Topdressing can improve soil biology by adding organic matter and beneficial microorganisms found in compost. Soil structure and drainage can be modified by topdressing with sand or other compost materials. Topdressing regularly can smooth out bumps caused by worm castings and encourages a dense, lush lawn. Topdressing reduces lawn stresses, helps keep thatch under control, and acts as a long-term natural fertilizer. Adding organic compost to a property is the most beneficial cultural practice that can be offered to a lawn struggling to grow naturally.

Best materials to use and why?

Topdressing materials vary greatly and are usually dictated on budget, application, and where the topdressing will be applied. Compost should be made from the appropriate ratios of wet and dry materials and should be fully "cooked” highly decomposed. High-quality finished compost is dark and rich and contains a variety of organic materials with few types of filler such as sawdust, loam, and bio-solids. At Pure Solids we use only the highest grade leaf compost which is certified organic. We have a strict policy that bio-solids (human feces) are not allowed in our compost due to the heavy metals, possible leaching in water ways, and minimal testing done for its long term safety to the environment and our customers.

How we top-dress our clients’ lawns

Traditionally, topdressing is spread over the lawn by the shovelful, using a sweeping motion aimed at spreading the material as evenly as possible to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Follow this by lightly raking the lawn to ensure that the topdressing is evenly distributed. At Pure Solutions we use power spreaders that consist of a hopper to hold the material and a motorized belt to move the material through the hopper to a spinning disc that spreads it on the lawn. This provides the best uniform application for our customers and their lawns.

When are the best times to apply?

It's a good idea to perform topdressing in conjunction with other cultural practices, such as aerating, de-thatching, and over-seeding. Topdressing after aerating and over-seeding is the ideal trio of lawn care practices. We offer topdressing in the spring and fall during both seeding events. Both times of the year give our client’s lawns the added benefits compost gives the soil.

If there are any questions you have about compost topdressing please contact the office at 781-899-7873 or email us at lawns@puresolutions.com

Topics: Aeration, Turf Education, Organic Lawn Care, Think Pure, Fun Facts, topdressing, Compost

Pure Solutions specializes in organic turf care, tick, mosquito, and deer control services. Our Think Pure blog provides resources to making your yard safe and enjoyable without the use of harmful chemicals. We "Think Pure" in order to protect our community and the environment.

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