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 more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

3 comments on “Topdress Annually for a Top Quality Lawn

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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