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Top dressing

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Old 10-14-2007, 01:49 PM
Kevin S
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Hello All

I was wondering if is a good time to top dress my lawn and what the mixture of the top soil is and also I was wondering if i could use triple mix top soil and do you mix the grass seed in with the topsoil and do you have to roll the lawn after I am done.Should i rent a top dresser or is there money in it if i bought a top dresser and made that another service for my clients or do it by hand the hard way.I had one of my clients come up to be a couple of weeks ago and wondered if i would top dress there lawn and i did not know what to price them and there lot is 45'x60'

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Old 10-15-2007, 07:56 AM
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Hi Kevin,

You can pretty much topdress your lawn anytime in its prime part of its growing season, if it is a warm season grass you can topdress anytime from late spring through to late summer whilst the turf is actively growing. Cool season turf may be topdressed around Spring or Autumn but never in the warmer months as you may smother it and kill it. just make sure that when you do it, its just when the grass starts to grow quick again or do it toward the end of its growing season (but make sure you dont do it too late) it all depends on climate, location and turf type

Topdressing lawns is usually an annual process, done once a year to help sandy soils retain moisture, clay soils to drain better thus improving root development, Top dressing also reduces thatch build up [the spongey feeling], helps even out lumps and bumps and produce new grass shoots which then produces a denser grass cover which helps combat the onset of weeds and infestation.

to determine the type of mix you need to topdress depends on the soil the lawn is built on, your local soil supplier will help you out with this. Note: Always use clean soil from your supplier becuase the last thing you want your clients complaining about is weed infestation from a bad batch of backyard soil from somwhere else. its only done once a year so make sure its free of weed seeds and done properly.

Triple mix topsoil: not sure what ingrediants you mean but you can use a mix of sand, loam and peat, 3 good ingredients to make a good top soil. (use some good peat, not from the garden compost because it is most likely to contain weed seeds.)

Always topdress when it is a good moderate temperature, no rain expected for a couple days and make sure the top soil is dry.

You dont have to roll the lawn after you are done but just make sure the top soil is rubbed in nicely until the grass leaves are still very exposed, never go heavy when topdressing, you are better to do a few applications rather than risking choking it and killing it.

I do think there is extra money in it provided you do all your calculations correct, having extra large amounts of soil lying around the job site isnt a easy thing to get rid of. just remember when you want to dress the lawn with eg: 5mm of topsoil x area of the site will give you your volume of soil needed but you have to take into consideration that it compacts also.

from my experience topdressing turf on golf courses, when you quote for this type of work take into consideration whether or not you will have to barrow the soil to the site eg: backyards and also how thick the dressing will be.

My opinion: quote on the overall job and make sure your not under quoting in case it doesnt go to plan and try not to quote by the hour. Also hire a machine for the first season or two, charge your clients for the hire fee and see if its actually worth your while buying one, they are usually big and inpractical in small places.

Hope this covers what you are after, any other questions you may have about this topic just ask.

Scott Bursky
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