Topdressing is used to assist the overall health of turf and to create a smooth playing surface, which keeps athletes safe during play. It also decreases thatch and organic build-up and helps seeds germinate by creating a superior seedbed.

Mistakes can happen when using topdressing. We address a few of them here to save you time and worry.

Topdressing sand is too fine.

Using sands that are too fine can have an adverse effect. Fine sands can lead to poor drainage rates compared to sands that are slightly coarser in size than your current profile.

Not topdressing enough.

If you’re not topdressing enough, you can create layers of sand and organic matter. This decreases the air and water movement through the root zone, so topdress enough to limit the amount of organic buildup. Make sure to brush the sand in after topdressing, especially if it is heavy topdressing.

Selecting the wrong topdressing.

Selecting the incorrect topdressing can also create layers of sand and organic matter. Dissimilarity in the particle size found in the topdressing material can cause the layering, which will restrict water movement through the root zone.

Topdressing Layering
Topdressing Layering

What makes up an effective topdressing program?

An effective topdressing program consists of using an acceptable sand and topdressing enough to keep up with organic matter. You don’t want layers of sand and organic matter. Aerification in conjunction with topdressing assists with this process.