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How To Topdress Your Lawn: A Step by Step Guide



How To Topdress Your Lawn: A Step by Step Guide

Top dressing your lawn is a great way to improve the overall health and appearance of your lawn. By spreading a thin layer of a mixture of soil, sand and humous over the surface of your lawn, you can fill in any bald spots, help the grass grow thicker, and keep it healthy and looking good all year long. When you topdress your lawn this can also help to control weed growth and moisture levels, making it a valuable addition to any lawn care routine.

What are the benefits when you topdress your lawn?

  • Will give you a leveller lawn by filling minor hollows.
  • Top dressing helps to improve soil structure, water retention and drainage.
  • It can also help to control weed growth and improve the overall appearance of the lawn.
  • By using a good topdressing each year you will likely require less fertiliser and pesticides.

When should you top dressing your lawn?

A topdressing should be done during the growing periods, this can be done between April and October. Many people choose to topdress in late Spring or early Autumn.

What should your top dressing be made up of?

Here are the three main components you should look for when choosing a top dressing mix:

  1. Compost: This is a key ingredient that provides nutrients and organic matter.
  2. Sand: This provides stability and drainage.
  3. Topsoil: This will help level out the ground.

Choosing the right mixture for top dressing your lawn.

Heavy Soils – often a garden with clay soil

1 part compost, 2 part topsoil and 4 parts sand

Loamy Soils – the ideal soil we would all like for growing

1 part compost, 4 part topsoil and 2 parts sand

Sandy Soils – often the lawn is prone to droughts

2 part compost, 4 part topsoil and 1 part sand

5 Steps to applying the top dressing to your lawn

  1. Mown your lawn. This will help the top dressing work into the soil below. Remember to remove the clippings.
  2. Rake over the lawn, either using a power rake or aerator to open up channels for the top dressing to enter.
  3. Using a spade, fling the mixture onto the lawn. Ensure it is evenly spread throughout.
  4. Once it is across the lawn you want to work it into the lawn with the back of a rake or a lute. This will ensure the top dressing is spread evenly and prevent new bumps from being created.
  5. If there is no rain forecast ensure the top dressing gets a light shower to help it into the ground.

Now it is time to be patient and wait for the topdressing to do its magic.

If you still have questions regarding how and when to topdress your lawn, contact our friendly team who will be happy to help.

How to grow a lawn from seed 

Growing a lawn from seed is extremely popular and should be done between March and September. For your seed needs take a look at our Premium Lawn Seed Mix. Here are some handy tips to grow a lawn from seed.

Prepare the ground 

Start by removing any old turf. Dig the area over, removing any weeds and large stones. You may wish at this point to add organic matter, like our worm castings. This will help to enrich the soil, so your seeds have all the nutrients they need to thrive. 

Rake it over ensuring the lumps are broken down. You will then need to tread the ground. Repeat this process until you have an even area with no bumps or hollows and are happy with the ground. 

Just like preparing any seedbed, rake it over one last time to a fine tilth. 

Sowing 

There are two main methods for seeding. Always remember to read the seed packet before starting to ensure you know how much seed should be used in an area. 

Sowing by hand 

The first method that is best for a small area is sowing by hand. You may wish to measure out and mark each 1m square with canes or string. This can help to ensure you are putting the right amount in each meter square. 

Try measuring out what you need for a meter square into a cup and using this as your guide to preventing having to keep measuring. Sprinkle the seed over the area, one way and then the other to ensure even coverage. 

Sowing with a fertiliser spreader 

If you are planning to seed a large area you may wish to look at a fertiliser spreader. These handy machines will make the process much quicker, and you should get an even spread when used correctly. 

Simply follow the instructions on the spreader and seed packet. Ensuring you are putting the right amount in for your area, and you continue to move and not allow too much to drop in one place. 

After sowing 

You want the seed to be amongst the soil. Do this by raking the seeds in after sowing, then firm down by foot. Then give the area a light watering; you want to continue to water your seeded area for six weeks unless rain has fallen. 

We hope this helped with how to grow a lawn from seed; should you have any other questions regarding the sowing of a lawn we are always here to help. 

Choosing the right compost for you

Choosing the right compost for your gardening needs will help to enrich and enhance your soil and assist your plant growth.

Why do I need compost?

Although compost and soil from your garden are great. Many of these are missing the key nutrients you need for growing your plants. By adding compost to your beds or pots you are giving your plants the best chance of excelling.

What do we offer for compost types?

We currently have 3 types of compost in our range. Choosing the right compost is about understanding what you will be using the compost for.

Multipurpose Compost

Our multipurpose compost is manufactured from top quality conifer bark and wood fibre, coir, and green compost. With being Royal Horticultural Society approved you know you are getting a quality product.

These 50L bags are ideal for seeding and potting. They can also be used for tree and shrub planting when mixed with three to five parts soil to one part compost.

Peat Free Compost

Our Peat Free Compost is derived from 100% green waste, that adheres to the UK’s PAS100 scheme. This means the compost is heated, which then kills off any weed seeds or parts of plants necessary for their reproduction. We currently offer this in 900L bags or larger loose tipped loads.

Mix with soil to be used as a soil conditioner for establishing grass or turf, plant beds or for planting trees and shrubs. You can also use it for mulching to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.

Peat Free Organic Compost

Our Peat Free Organic Compost is made from bracken, and sheep’s wool and enriched with comfrey. This means it has natural water retention and is a slow-release fertiliser.

Great for pots, tubs and hanging baskets. Simply loosely fill and water well before use. If you have raised beds, it is ideal with the slow-release fertiliser.

We hope this has helped with choosing the right compost for you. If you still required some assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

5 steps to prepare your ground for laying new turf

Preparing the ground is the first step to getting the garden and grass you want! When the ground isn’t prepared correctly the turf will not flourish. This can prevent that rich green glow you are looking for. Here are 5 simple steps to prepare your ground for laying new turf:

Remove old grass

If you have grass already, you will need to start by removing this grass. There are two ways to remove the old turf.

The first method is quite labour intensive. You will need a good spade, time and a lot of elbow grease! Dig the spade into the ground, cutting your turf into easy liftable sized pieces (10inches x 10inches works well), and slide the spade under the edge of the turf to lift it away from the ground.

However, if you are looking at a larger area you might want to look at hiring a turf cutter. These will cut along the top of the turf, in the same way, the spade did but without the physical labour.

Turn over your soil

The soil will now need to be turned over. While doing this you need to remove any rocks or weeds. There are two options for doing this and again it might depend on the size of the area you are laying the new turf on.

One way is to manually dig it over with a fork, it should be to the depth of 15cm. Or you can hire a rotavator which is a bladed machine that will mechanically loosen the soil. If fertiliser is to be applied now is the time.

Level and rake

We know what you’re thinking, but I just dug it all over. Yes, but unless you want a lumpy lawn you need to make it all smooth again. It may well be the case you need to add some topsoil if the ground is uneven or perhaps the soil is high in clay content. We provide top quality topsoil if you need it!

Now that the ground is nice and even, it is time to tread the soil down. This will remove any air pockets and it should make it easy to see if any areas are a little lower or higher than others before you get to laying.

The best way to do this is with a little shuffle. With your feet together shuffle your feet along in a straight line from side to side of the area you are working in. You should have a firm and flat finish once this is complete.

Final grading

You will be pleased to know that we are onto the final step. Now is the time to remove any remaining footprints or wheel marks. In small areas, you can often do this with light raking. For larger areas, use a long straight plank to check if the soil is level. Followed by dragging a ladder or the plank along with the soil, to give it some texture to help the roots of the turf to establish.

Order your turf

This might seem a little odd to wait until the preparation is complete before ordering your turf, but we say this with many years of experience. The preparation time always takes longer than you think!

As turf is living, it needs to be laid the same day or the day after delivery. If you end up needing extra topsoil or the ground is too wet to turn over the new turf won’t wait.

Hopefully, this has all helped you know how to prepare your ground for laying new turf and once you are ready you can order your turf here on the website, or by calling our team on 01952 510386.

If you have now read this and though I am not sure I can take this on myself, don’t worry. Here at Shropshire Turf and Soil, we offer the full package. We send one of our experts to your garden, at a convenient time for you to discuss your options to get your dream garden. Call us today on 01952 510386, to organise a free no obligations quote for your new turf.

When is the best time to lay your turf?

Laying fresh turf is a great way of transforming your garden. It can be quite a daunting idea though especially if you haven’t laid turf before. This can lead to you putting off laying turf until the right time but when is the best time to lay your turf?

Turf can be laid all your round

Yes, contrary to popular belief turf can be laid all year round. The best time to lay your turf comes down to the weather. In an ideal world, you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry or too sunny or too cloudy. After reading this you might be thinking we are looking for the impossible when we live in Britain! However, fear not we have 30 years of experience and are here to help.  

Laying turf in Winter

Laying turf in the winter months can be done, but you will need to be careful now we are experiencing colder winters. If the ground is frozen it will not be possible to prepare the ground for turfing or cut the turf ready for laying. However, if it freezes after you have laid the turf this will not cause any damage. We generally get more rain in the winter months so you might not need to water as much as in the summer but if there have been several days in a row without rain you do need to give it some water.

Laying turf in Spring

Spring has always been the traditional time to start working on your garden, especially when it comes to turf laying. The main reason is that the weather is about as ideal as we can get for preparing and laying turf. Often in spring, we find the ground is warmer which means the roots establish quicker than in the winter months. 

Laying turf in Summer

The British Summer is now becoming a mix of torrential rain and mini heatwaves. Neither of which is ideal for laying turf. Your freshly laid turf will require a lot of watering especially if the weather is hot. A good showering once laid will help the turf to establish quicker. Watering first thing in the morning and in the evening will prevent the turf from scorching.

Laying turf in Autumn

Just like in spring, autumn is a popular time of the year for turf laying. We now see warmer September and many people choose to improve their gardens after the busyness of the summer, ready for the next year. In Autumn it’s just as important to keep an eye on the weather as any other time of year, especially if we get any early frosts.

Turf suppliers in Shropshire and surrounding counties

You should now be able to see there isn’t the “perfect” time for turf laying. However, with the right advice, you can lay your turf at any time of the year. That’s why we at Shropshire Turf supply turf all year round.

When you are ready for your new turf, you can order via our website or give us a call.

Our customer service team are on hand with helpful advice all year round to ensure you get the garden of your dreams. We can also organise the laying of your turf, taking all the stress away from you. If you would like our help with transforming your garden give us a call on 01952 510368.

How to prepare the ground for a wildflower meadow

Here is our step by step guide on how to prepare the ground for a wildflower meadow. Whether you have chosen the instant effect with wildflower turfing or seeding, the preparation is the same. Preparation should start six weeks before you plan to lay the turf or seeding to ensure the best results.

Step 1: Spraying/ Uplifting

Depending on what is already in your area you wish to have a wildflower meadow. You will need to spray off any weeds or grass or uplift them. Ensuring they have been removed, will prevent the weeds or grass from growing overwhelming your wildflower.

Step 2: Rotavate/ Breakup soil

Just like when laying turf or seeds for traditional turfing. You will need to break up the soil. This can be done either with a rotavator or with a fork, turning over the top 10cm of soil. Wildflowers are known for favouring poorer soils. Generally, most soils will be fine, however, if you are worried you can remove the top layer of soil.

Step 3: Check back for weeds

We know what you are thinking, “I have already done this!”. Around 2-6 weeks later it’s important to remove all the weeds that have returned. Hopefully, there aren’t as many this time and you can just do this with a hoe or by hand.

Step 4: Rake over

Now you want to ensure your grounds are nice and flat. When seeding you want the area to be firm for the seeds to lay on.

Step 5: Order your wildflower seeds or turf

Probably the most exciting part now. Once the grounds have been prepared correctly it is time to order. It is really important to order the right type for your garden, to know which type to order give our team a call.

Prepared and ready to go

We hope that our guide on how to prepare the ground for a wildflower meadow has helped. Should you need any more assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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