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Topdressing your lawn can build it up or make it even. It fills holes and low spots and encourages the grass to spread by giving it a medium to grow in. It can also add nutrients to the lawn depending on what you use for topdressing.

What you’ll need

Successful topdressing requires a few tools and some suitable soil. A good wheelbarrow with an inflatable tire will make wheeling the soil easier. An aluminum shovel or spade is helpful for spreading the topdressing. Use the backside of a rake to rub the topdressing into the lawn. It is best to use compost or a sandy type loam to spread on the lawn.

Before you actually spread the dressing, make sure the grass is actively growing. Topdressing dormant grass may damage it. You should fertilize the lawn a couple of weeks before topdressing; this will help the grass push through the soil quickly. Also, mow the lawn the day before you do the job.

How to topdress your lawn

Start by spreading an even layer of topdressing over the lawn and make sure to cover the entire area. Once the lawn is completely covered, don't rush in to level it off with the lawn, rather give it a couple of hours to dry first. This will enable you to fill up holes with greater ease. Rub in the topdressing in any direction, just as long as you go over the whole lawn. Pick up any excess with a shovel and make sure the job is as neat as possible. Don't water the lawn for a couple of days to allow the grass time to punch through the topdressing mix.

If it looks like rain, don't attempt to topdress. Besides making a big mess, wet soil does not rub in well and can sometimes dry like a hard crust on top of the grass, making it very difficult for the grass to grow through. Some landscape companies also offer this service.

For more information, visit YardSmart.