Top dressing your lawn is a simple- yet extremely effective way to build up and add organic material to your soil, restore the balance to your lawn, and increase the biodiversity of the flora living in your soil. Additionally, topdressing gives your grass what it needs to produce a thick, beautifully green yard. Follow the steps below, and don’t worry you don’t have to follow all of them because any top dressing is better than none at all!
STEP 1 DE-THATCHING:
If you have St. Augustingrass, Bermudagrass, or Zoysiagrass your lawn is more susceptible to thatch. What the heck is thatch? Well, I’m glad you asked. Thatch is a layer of living and dead grass stems, roots, rhizomes, and stolons that develop between the live green vegetation of your lawn and the soil surface. Thatch is spongy, dries out quickly, traps pesticides and herbicides and, during prolonged dry spells, thatch can become hydrophobic. Hydrophobic thatch is a condition where water pools on the thatch surface instead of being absorbed by your soil which means thatch is robbing your grass of much needed water during the summer droughts. If your lawn has more than ½ inch of thatch, then you will need to dethatch your lawn first to get better results from your application of top dressing. If you’ve never de-thatched your yard or don’t know what a de-thatcher is you can rent or buy one from Lowes or Home Depot and several videos are on YouTube to show proper methods. Dethatching is going to leave a lot of debris on the surface of your lawn, so make sure to remove it before moving on to the next step.
STEP 2 MOW YOUR YARD:
I know, I know- it’s wet, muggy, and your grass is taller than ever right now. But trust me mowing your lawn before top dressing will help keep your HOA off your case in the days to come. Once you apply your top dressing you want to avoid mowing for at least 2-3 days to allow the soil, sand, and silt particles to settle down to the soil layer. If you mow too soon after top dressing, you’ll end up scattering and removing your organic matter before it has time to work its’ magic. So remember to mow your lawn on the lowest/shortest setting as possible without scalping or stressing the grass out too much. While you’re at it bag up and remove all of the grass clippings and dethatching debris, if you haven't already.
STEP 3 TOP DRESS:
Start by spreading your top dressing over your lawn to a depth of ¼ inch or less. Don’t fill in holes or low spots with pure compost because it can cause an imbalance in key nutrients in your soil resulting in the "burning" of your existing vegetation. If you have some leveling issues, be sure to ask us about compost top dressing blends that you can use to help level out your lawn. After you’ve applied your ¼ inch layer of topdressing, lightly brush the grass with the backside of a rake. The purpose of this is to get as much top dressing touching the soil level as is possible.
STEP 4 WATERING:
With sufficient moisture, most of your top dressing will work its’ way to the soil level in your yard giving your lawn a lush green color and a thick healthy carpet of blades. And, with as much rain as we’re scheduled still to have, you can forget about having to drag your sprinklers & hoses around- so sit back and enjoy the view from the greener side of life and relax!
In light of Earth Day, we thought we would post something about compost (all bad puns intended)! Compost is one of Mother Nature's finest recycling moments...turning the remnants of waste into the new life of tomorrow. Each year we recycle several hundred thousands of yards of brush into quality landscaping materials. This keeps waste that could otherwise be turned into use-able products, such as mulches, composts and soil blends, out of landfills and puts them to use to promote new life in plants & trees around our area. New plant life prevents water contamination from soil erosion, removes carbon dioxide from and introduces more oxygen into the air we breathe, as well as just making the world a more beautiful place to look at. Click on the image below to open it in a separate page to see what compost can do for you.
" We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." - American Indian proverb
We’ve had more than a few calls about pecan shell mulch, so we decided to add it to our list of mulches available for bulk purchase. Using pecan shells as a mulch or as a soil additive in your beds has several wonderful benefits. You can increase the acidity in alkaline soils for plants, fruits, and vegetables that require a more acidic soils.
“What kinds of plants like acidic soils” you ask? Well, lucky for you, we've added a list of below of plants that thrive in soils with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5.
Vegetables: Fruits: Plants:
Radishes Blueberries Azaleas
Sweet Potatoes Cranberries Magnolia
Parsley Currants Hydrangeas
* - including bell peppers and chili peppers
Pecan shells can also improve drainage & air space in densely packed soils, improving your plants' ability to more effectively uptake oxygen, nutrients, and water through its' root systems. When used as a mulch, it will help to repel cats and other vermin out of your beds. Additionally, pecan shell mulch lasts much longer than traditional mulches, does not fade and has a beautiful dark reddish-brown color!
Well folks, last week we poured in the concrete foundation for the new office building!! If you were here to see this momentous occasion, thank you for your patience... and for graciously parking further away than normal. If you weren't here, click on the thumbnails below to see the pictures from this week. If the picture doesn't load immediately, just click the reload button.