Healthy lawns need healthy soil. Most homeowners do not have enough good soil to grow a healthy lawn. Topdressing with the right compost is the solution!
Why use compost?
- Contains organic matter and nutrients.
- Improves soil structure and health (lawns need 6 inches of good soil to thrive.)
- Enhances root development.
- Reduces the need for fertilizers.
- Increases soil’s ability to retain water.
Just a few easy steps:
- Have the compost delivered to your home and dumped in a convenient location. (Make sure the dump truck does not drive on the lawn!)
- You’ll need a wheelbarrow, metal rake, and lawn rake.
- Dump wheelbarrow loads of compost all over the lawn, 3-4 feet apart.
- Push and fan out these piles with the flat end of a metal rake.
- Lightly rake, fanning out with the lawn rake so the grass blades poke through.
Most lawn care professionals will topdress for you.
When is the best time?
- Late summer or late spring.
- If you have very little topsoil, twice a year for 1-2 years.
- If you have 6 inches of quality soil, there is no need to topdress.
- If aerating: topdress afterward.
- Dry weather is always best. If the compost is dry and lightweight, your job is much easier.
Know how much you need
- 1/4 to 3/8 inch layer of compost spread over the lawn.
- 1,000 square foot area needs roughly .75 cubic yards of compost.
Find the right compost
- Find finished compost: it should smell earthy and sweet and should not be steaming hot.
- Know what it’s made of: many local sources are organic and contain shellfish. They are great for lawns and gardens.
- Overseed with a low-maintenance grass seed.
- Apply compost tea.
Important note: Topdressing is not recommended if you live near a waterbody.
Credit: Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Learn more at: http://cumberlandswcd.org/site/yardscape-2/