To sand or not to sand? – it’s definitely a point of contention between gardeners! Applying sand to lawns is an old tradition, in fact, it has been done in on Scottish golf courses since the sport was invented. But with many of today’s homeowners taking up holistic gardening practices, some say that adding sand to your lawn can do more harm than good.
Why do people add sand to their lawn?
In general, the purpose of spreading sand over established turf is either to level out uneven surfaces, cover tree roots or as a top-dressing. However, it is argued that simply adding sand to the lawn causes drainage and compaction issues, while adding no nutritional value to the soil below. And while this practice may be commonly used in commercial situations (especially where the turf is established on sand), it is not highly recommended for the average domestic lawn.
How can I improve my soil without doing damage?
A good, healthy soil is made up of minerals, water, air and organic matter, and is teeming with microorganisms. It is a rich eco-system of living particles that supports life from the ground up. Obviously, the ultimate time to address uneven or nutrient deficient soil is before the turf is laid, however, if your turf is already established, there are still ways and means to build it up and improve the quality of your dirt.
Top dressing your turf with a good quality soil mix is the best way to improve the soil below. And for your grass, this rich, dark, crumbly, dirt-like substance is organic magic! It breathes new life into the soil and helps to:
- improve resistance to disease
- improve water retention
- improve the structure of the soil
- relieve compaction issues
- help reduce thatch
- build up levels of good bacteria
- aid self-repairing capacity of the grass
What is good compost made up of?
A good quality top soil can be purchased from your local garden supply store. Adding other organic matter such as animal manure will help boost its value.
How do I top dress my lawn?
Firstly, mow your lawn using a mower with a catcher attachment. Then top dress your lawn by spreading a thin layer (preferably no deeper than 1cm) over the entire lawn area. Use a shovel to get it out there, then a rake to level it out. The grass tips should still be exposed. Top dressing after aerating can be very beneficial because it encourages the nutrients to go deep into the soil.
For more information about topdressing, speak with one of the staff at Greener Lawn. Our team is familiar with all the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of lawn care and we would be only too glad to help you create and maintain your own beautiful, healthy lawn.