One of the best ways to ensure you have a great turf is to add a layer of topdressing with organic high-grade compost. A great source of fertility, compost structures the soil particles for deeper soil and root development and helps seeds germinate by holding more moisture. Topdressing works by imitating nature’s natural cycles (fall leaves, for example) by adding organic matter to the soil surface.
Topdressing is simply a way of adding organic material and restoring balance to the soil. When compost is spread into the soil, microbes continue to consume tiny bits of organic matter and release nutrients that plants can use. An improvement in soil structure along with increased beneficial soil biology activity will lead to more sustainable landscapes that require less fertilizer and less irrigation.
Benefits of topdressing with compost
While topdressing with compost is primarily a means to improving turf quality, it also has other benefits, which include:
• Providing nutrients — composts contains a range of both macronutrients (e.g., Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) and micronutrients (e.g., Manganese, Boron, Zinc, and Copper) largely in an organic form.
• Increasing organic matter — topdressing improves the soil without removing or disturbing the turf.
• Improving soil structure — topdressing has been shown to decrease soil bulk density and improve the ability of water to infiltrate the soil.
• Reducing irrigation — by increasing the amount of organic matter in soil with topdressing, the ability of the soil to hold water is increased, which means the lawn can be irrigated less.
• Reducing thatch — compost promotes the growth of active
• Reducing weeds — topdressing with compost increases the density of the grass, which chokes out the weeds and limits sunlight from reaching weed seeds for germination by covering the soil surface.
• Reducing nutrient losses to surface and ground water — the organic sources of nutrients that are contained in compost have been shown to effectively reduce potential nutrient losses.
Check back next week for part two where we talk about some specifics regarding topdressing. Contact Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919 to personalize your approach to organic lawncare next spring.