Top Dressing When Gardening

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Top dressings are materials applied to the surface of the soil and not what the gardener wears. Top dressing is designed to improve the health of a plant in some way or other by adding nutrient, reducing moisture loss or increasing the organic content. The containers in the photograph have slates, shells, glass, beads and gravel as different forms of top dressing.

  • Some top dressings such as well-rotted manures are added to provide a steady supply of nutrients.This Top Dressing is just a term for adding dry fertiliser on top of the soil next to the plant so the benifits leach into the soil slowly.
  • Top dressing describes the application of additives to soil or lawns, such as sand and loam that will be washed into the lawn soil.
  • Gravel or grit is used as a top dressing to keep the neck or collar of plants away fro excessive moisture.
  • Top dressing acts as a mulch to suppress mosses and lichens
  • Decorative top dressing is increasing in popularity with the increasing range of coloured and textured gravels, chippings or glass beads.

Lawn Care
Top Dressing lawns encourages new growth of the grass plants giving a thicker sward of grass.
Lightly spread a mix of sand, peat and loam lightly over the lawn. Do not smother the grass.
Top dressing is normally carried out in mid spring.
If the lawn is in a poor state then grass seed can be added to the dressing mix.


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