Level Up Your Lawn with Top Dressing: Everything You Need to Know

A lush and green lawn is a source of pride for many homeowners. However, achieving and maintaining a healthy lawn requires consistent care and maintenance. One important aspect of lawn care is top dressing. In this article, we’ll discuss what lawn top dressing is, when to apply and where to buy it.

What is lawn top dressing?

Lawn top dressing is the process of adding a thin layer of material to the surface of your lawn. This material can be compost, sand, or a mix of both. Top dressing can help improve soil health, encourage deeper root growth, and improve the overall appearance of your lawn.

If you are using a sand-based top dressing this may be expressed as 70:30 or 80:20 and this refers to the sand-to-soil content, 70 and 80 being the sand. This helps to dilute thatch whilst maintaining good drainage at the soil surface. If you wanted to retain moisture at the surface for example after seeding, you may want to use a compost-based dressing. This can also improve the soil structure over time.

When to apply top dressing for lawns?

The best time to apply a top dressing to your lawn is during the growing season, which is typically in the spring or autumn. It’s important to make sure your lawn is not stressed or dormant before applying a top dressing. Also, avoid applying top dressing during hot, dry weather or when there is a chance of heavy rain.

How to apply top dressing?

The first step in top dressing your lawn is to mow it to a shorter length than usual. This will make it easier for the top dressing material to reach the soil. Next, spread the top dressing material evenly over the entire lawn, making sure not to cover the grass blades completely. A thin layer of about 2-3mm is sufficient.

After applying the top dressing, water your lawn lightly to help the material settle into the soil. Be sure to water deeply after a week or two to encourage the roots to grow deeper. Avoid mowing your lawn for at least a week after applying top dressing to allow the material to settle properly.

The only real rule of thumb for top dressing is little and often wins the day! And always when the grass is actively growing.

Where to buy top dressing for lawns?

Top dressing material can be purchased at garden centres, home improvement stores, or online. Look for high-quality top dressing material that is specifically formulated for use on lawns. It’s important to read the label to ensure that the material is suitable for your type of grass and soil. If in any doubt call the supplier and talk through what you are trying to do, with them.


Top dressing is a valuable way to achieve a healthy and beautiful lawn. By understanding what lawn top dressing is, when to apply it, and where to buy it, you can take steps to improve the overall health and appearance of your lawn. Remember to always follow the instructions carefully and be patient – the results will be worth it!

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