Photo courtesy of Ecolawn Applicator
Best material for top dressing. Quality screened compost is best. The compost must have a fine crumbly structure and a homogenous texture. It must be well-screened and have a high content of stable organic matter. Finally, it must be weed-seed free. For efficient and easy application, the compost moisture should be maintained at around 50 percent.
Benefits of top dressing with compost. Compost significantly increases soil’s water retention, improves the overall soil structure, stimulates microbial activity, breaks down thatch, and neutralizes the soil’s pH. It is simply the best, natural, slow-releasing soil amendment, containing everything turf needs to thrive.
Frequency of top dressing. You can top dress at any time during the year. Usually, top dressing is recommended during the growing season, but not during extreme heat waves. As a general rule, we recommend top dressing with compost at least once a year.
However, there are two factors that determine the frequency of top dressing:
1. The amount of usage a lawn gets;
2. The health of the soil in which it is growing.
Charging for compost top dressing. Price the service according to how many yards or cubic meters of compost or compost blend you will need to top dress the lawn. For example: a 10,000 sq. ft. lawn will need 5 cu. yards to top dress that size lawn. To renovate that same area will require twice the material. Next, multiply the cost of the compost or compost blend by 4 or by 5, depending on the total square footage of the area to determine the final price.
• For areas over 10,000 sq. ft., cost x 4
• For areas less than 10,000 sq. ft., cost x 5
The author is owner of Ecolawn Applicator.