A thick lawn requires healthy soil on its base, but it’s difficult to make changes on the soil once the grass has been established. Most gardening recommendations include working with organic matter into the soil through digging or tilling prior to planting, but this can’t be done once the grass has grown. So what has a homeowner to do with an established lawn that is in need of some serious help?
If done properly, the technique of “top-dressing” or adding a thin layer of soil over your lawn, can improve the soil without killing the existing turf. Top-dressing addresses some common lawn problems, including:
- Low spots due to rotting tree roots, settling after underground pipe or cable installation, or erosion.
- Uneven terrain caused by winter freezing and thawing, water runoff, tunneling critters, or general soil settling over time.
- Compacted soil in high-traffic areas or low-lying places where water pools.
- Bare spots from variations in soil texture and nutrients, heat, drought, or other environmental damage.
- Depletion of nutrients due to leaching, neglect, or repeated use of chemical fertilizers.