Topdress Annually for a Top Quality Lawn

For a beautiful lawn like you see in home and garden magazines, topdress annually with 1 inch (2 cm) of compost. It will work its way into the soil and enrich and decompact it. Take the opportunity to fill in any depressions with a little more compost so the surface is equal all over. Then, overseed with a top-quality low maintenance blend of grass seed (one containing endophytes). There are beneficial fungi living inside the grass seed that make the grass that sprouts unpalatable to leaf-eating insects.

You can topdress and overseed in the spring, but results are even better when you do it early in the fall.

With soil enriched and aerated by compost and grass thickened by the arrival of healthy new arrivals—and by repeating this restoration annually—your lawn will never have looked so beautiful!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

3 comments on “Topdress Annually for a Top Quality Lawn

  1. This is one of those horticultural techniques that is rarely done anymore. Lawns are just expected to be very green all the time. I remember that the procedure also kept lawns flat by filling in sunken spots slightly each time.

  2. Hi there! What kind of compost do you think–I see shrimp, mushroom for sale etc. And will it introduce weeds into the lawn? Love your blog. N.

    • First, compost should have no weed seeds, so you’re safe there. Secondly, the type really doesn’t matter: you’ll need quite a bit, so look for a decent price.

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