Top dressing lawns is another tool we can use to help our Buffalo lawns in two different ways. The first reason to top dress a Buffalo lawn is to add organic nutrients to the lawn, and the second reason is to level an uneven Buffalo lawn. Top dressing should never be done for any other reason.
Top Dress To Add Nutrients
This method of top dressing lawns involves putting down a very thin layer of highly organic soil mixture. This process is used to add natural organic nutrients and minerals to the lawn, and is highly recommended for all lawn owners to undertake every so often.
The top dressing mixture is sold in bags at lawn care and garden nurseries. The mixture is applied to the Buffalo lawn at manufacturers recommendations, and when completed - the lawn should look as though it has been dusted with most of the organic material sinking directly into the thatch layer.
The top dressing mixture is then watered into the lawn, and due to it's very thin application, it should almost disappear into the lawn after watering.
Do not use this organic top dressing mixture to level uneven lawns.
Top Dressing Uneven Lawns
Uneven Buffalo lawns should be top dressed with either a Sandy Loam or a clean Free Flowing sand. Soil from a nearby garden bed may also be used if it hasn't had organic matter added to it, this should be the same soil which is already under the lawn.
For shallow indentations, the top dressing material can be added to a depth which does not exceed around 12 millimetres at one time. If the depression is greater, then wait until the first top dress is fully covered before applying another application.
Most of the top grass leaf should still be visible after top dressing, and care should be taken to never completely cover the lawn with top dressing sand.
The sand is then levelled and watered into the Buffalo lawn.
Levelling Deep Indentations In Buffalo Grass
Deeper indentations which may be more than 4-5 centimetres in depth should not be top dressed. Instead, a spade should be used to lift up the affected lawn area, and the top dressing sand placed underneath the turf to achieve most of the levelling. Any slight unevenness which is left over can be top dressed. Maintain regular watering for 2 weeks after this lawn repair.
Top Dressing Myths
There was once a wide spread practice amongst homeowners which involved top dressing lawns every Spring. This was done with the belief that the lawn would revitalise itself after the top dressing.
This is a total myth.
This practice should especially never be done to a Buffalo lawn such as Sir Walter or any other buffalo lawn type, as all it will do is aid in rapidly increasing the thatch layer of the Buffalo lawn, which is already a major concern for this lawn type.