Spreading Topsoil Guide

How to Spread Topsoil: Best Ways to Spread Topsoil

Identical to its name, topsoil refers to the top layer or the uppermost layer of the soil, including organic matter, thus being the most productive and essential part of your lawn or garden soil. It is also a vital section of soil where all the crucial processes, from water being absorbed to sunlight aiding the growing process, takes place.

The beginners in gardening or landscaping understand the importance of adding topsoil in the yard, but very few are familiar with the apprehension of the right ways of spreading it. Topdressing, leveling, and creating a garden bed are some of the most employed ways of spreading topsoil to a lawn or yard that assists in applying the right amount of topsoil to enhance its fertility and drainage attributes. 

1. Topdressing

Topdressing refers to the process of spreading a thin layer of topsoil over the lawn’s surface. This layer of topsoil should not be more than ¼ inch deep which helps to amend the soil while allowing the existing grass to grow through the topsoil. This method is mainly used for filling the low spots. 

If you wish to break down the thatch layer in your lawn, add nutrients to your soil, level and smooth the surface of your yard, improve the soil condition or overseed your lawn for better germination, then topdressing your yard or garden is the ideal choice you can make. However, the lack of appropriate knowledge of topdressing can also kill your lawn. 

Therefore, Edenapp suggests the main steps that one must cover to effectively topdress their lawns. 

Step 1 – Test your soil to understand the amount of nutrient deficiency in the soil so that you can fertilize it right before topdressing it. 

Step 2 – Consider removing the weeds a few days before you topdress your lawn using a good herbicide.

Step 3 – A day before top dressing, prepare the surface by mowing, raking, and removing the debris to help the nutrients later penetrate the soil effectively. 

Step 4 – Apply the topsoil to the surface of your lawn and spread it evenly using the right tools, such as a shovel or push spreader.

The experts of Edenapp also mention that plenty of grass should be visible after you have raked the layers of topsoil. 

2. Leveling

Leveling is the same as topdressing but is majorly used for larger depressions. It is worth noting that leveling of soil helps in preventing soil erosion. This method also helps in sowing the seeds in a uniform manner that results in an even growth of plants along with proper irrigation, which in return renders even distribution of water throughout your lawn or yard. 

However, it seems that this method comes with its fair share of drawbacks as well. The lawn needs to be maintained properly, or this method of land leveling can disrupt the plant growth and alter the equilibrium, also end up disrupting the uniformity of irrigation. 

The basic steps to follow for leveling are as follows.

Step 1 – First, remove the sods from the depression. 

Step 2 – Fill the depression until the surrounding ground is leveled with it.

Step 3 – Cover the ground with sod. 

Step 4 – Irrigate the sod well.

Step 5 – Proper irrigation will ensure the establishment of roots underneath the topsoil. 

3. Garden Beds

Garden beds are typically used as a land where you can cultivate vegetables, fruits, flowers, or herbs. It is critical to know that a garden bed allows the soil to drain better than an in-ground garden. A garden bed also assists you in controlling burrowing pests.

But, the arrangement of garden beds can also cost you an upfront cost and handy skills and tools. Hence, Edenapp experts suggest getting a professional, so you don’t end up spending a fortune without getting fruitful results.  

Also, this method will require more irrigation since the soil dries up faster during summer. Creating a garden bed can help you replenish sandy or rocky soil. This process requires you to follow a few steps. 

Step 1 – Consider determining the right place to set up the garden bed. 

Step 2 – Prepare the frame and fill it with soil after placing newspaper on the bottom. 

Step 3 – Now, you can plant any fruit or vegetable that you wish to grow in your garden or yard. 

What are the Steps for Spreading Topsoil?

Spreading topsoil might seem an easy and straightforward process. But, to acquire something that renders satisfaction, you must reach the end with the right process and strategies. Well, with amateur landscapers and gardeners, getting the most out of the topsoil will require more than just the right ways or tools for spreading topsoil. Finding the right topsoil for your lawn, finding the right tools for spreading topsoil, spreading the topsoil, adding Aeration, and planting are the five essential steps that you must consider to correctly spread the topsoil. 

1. Finding the Right Topsoil for Your Lawn

The right topsoil includes the right composition of materials that will render a garden or lawn with better drainage. Today in the landscape industry, there are a number of topsoil brands, and finding the right one that will compliment your lawn is not that easy. And employing the wrong topsoil can clog your lawn’s soil while disrupting the landscape’s drainage. To find the right topsoil brand, you must be aware of the right combination, be it sand or clay, since the lack of airflow between these materials can either make or break your soil. Choosing a moist sand variation that is ideal for topsoil is a better option than just sand that renders fewer nutrients. Also, if you are someone who wishes to avoid toxic pesticides or herbicides in their lawns, Edenapp suggests getting the topsoil from an organic farm or business.

2. Finding the Right Tools for Spreading Topsoil

Just like the right brand and composition, choosing the right lawn tools for the job is also vital for your lawn’s health. While a rake can help you evenly spread the topsoil, you can use your hands for some of the tasks if you are working in a small garden. Speaking of the size of the garden, the right tools also vary from landscape to landscape, depending on how many areas you have to cover. 

For a small area like a home garden, you would require a hand tiller or fork, rake, planting hoe, and a shovel. In the case of the medium area or large yard, you will need a rolling aerator, a specific rake for a larger yard, a wheelbarrow, and a mini push spreader. When it comes to a quite large area, a golf course, for instance, you can get the job done using a pull-behind spreader, a special golf course machine and a landscape rock rake about 5-feet wide.

3. Spreading the Topsoil

Again the way of spreading the topsoil differs from small to large yards and can be easily executed by employing the tools mentioned above. 

For small lawns or gardens, you can scatter the topsoil evenly around your yard using your hands while raking it to spread or deepen its layers. Utilize a mini push spreader or a rolling aerator to effectively spread the topsoil. The steps would require you to just fill the soil in the push spreader and push it, allowing the topsoil to fall onto the ground. You must invest in equipment or machinery which will assist you in spreading the topsoil if you have a huge property, such as a golf course or a large yard. 

4. Adding Aeration to the Soil

Aeration in the soil is essential for your lawn to breathe and lead to a healthy existence. If your yard lacks the required aeration, then it can also lead to compact ground and drainage issues. Therefore, evenly spreading the topsoil and getting it aerated is crucial so that you don’t suffocate your landscape. 

You should be aware of three aspects which include – Your topsoil must have air pockets, the layers should be around 1-2-inches thick, and the topsoil must reach around 6-8-inches of depth into the soil. You can also check out Edenapp’s Aeration Guide or get in touch with the experts who are familiar with the critical instructions mentioned in any Aeration Guide. 

5. Planting

Now that you have prepared the soil, it’s time to plant the trees or the specific flower, fruit, and vegetable you wish to grow on your lawn. You must consider the different guidelines that need to be followed for your plants or trees since each plant varies in varied aspects of landscaping. At this stage, you should understand the plants you are planting and growing and the conditions that will help them to flourish. 

What to Consider while Spreading Topsoil?

While there are certain things to consider before spreading topsoil, you must also be familiar with the common mistakes that every novice gardener or landscaper makes. 

  • Adding sand to clay has been a popular treatment that most homeowners believe can improve your soil’s fertility. However, sand or the combination of sand and clay can worsen your soil’s condition, making it compact and hard enough to plant. 
  • Adding fertilizer without knowing your soil’s condition can damage your lawn. Adding fertilizer is probably the first thing you will consider on discovering your stressed lawn. However, testing your soil’s condition to learn the nutrient and pH level of your lawn’s soil is vital so that you choose the right fertilizer, depending on the soil acidity or alkalinity. 
  • Rather than digging the surface of your lawn that may disrupt the structure of the ground, you can opt for top dressing your plants with compost for better and healthier plants. 
  • Fresh manure is regarded as a material that consists of nutrients and will be great for gardening. However, an Edenapp expert will tell you that fresh manure comes with ammonia and other chemicals that can burn your plants or soil, for that matter. It may also include weeds that can damage your lawn or turfgrass. Hence Edenapp recommends using composite or aged manure (at least 6 months old) in order to enhance the nutrient level of your soil. 

Consider following the three methods of spreading topsoil for a fertile ground – topdressing, leveling, and constructing garden beds. Also, consider taking a test to determine the pH level of your lawn so that you understand the level of nutrients your yard requires. The right time to add topsoil to your lawn is also crucial in order to receive adequate sunlight and fewer weeds for better plant growth and soil fertility. 

What are the Best Topsoil Products to Spread?

To choose the best topsoil, you should be aware of the popular brands that offer the most effective products, which will also assist you in the long term. 

  1. Scotts® – Scotts believes in providing a world of safe green spaces by inducing strategies and products that will improve the surface of your lawn or garden. It offers products like Scotts® Premium Topsoil, rich in sphagnum peat moss and organic matter that helps maintain a garden while improving the soil’s condition.
  2. Michigan Peat – Michigan Peat offers a varied range of topsoil products from different retailers, such as Garden Magic Top Soil. They provide topsoil that involves a blend of dark, reed sedge peat and sand. This combination helps in enhancing moisture retention and can be used for topdressing. 
  3. Timberline – Timberline works with mulches, soils and soil amendments that offer products made from quality by-products. Topsoil from Timberline helps in patching lawns, on established lawns or gardens to improve soil condition before you start planting your favorite flowers and vegetables. 
  4. Organic Valley – The topsoil available from Organic Valley includes a heavy base of organic composted materials with the purpose of patching bare spots and enhancing the growth of your plants ( indoor and outdoor).
  5. All American TopSoil – This ready-to-use topsoil is available at Walmart for all those gardeners or landscapers who wish to employ the same topsoil for vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees. It is all-purpose topsoil that can be utilized in gardening, lawn seeding, and landscaping. 

What are the Benefits of Spreading Topsoil to Garden?

Since topsoil can be spread using three of the most effective ways, the process comes with advantages and benefits that make all the considerations, time and money invested worth it. Edenapp mentions the benefits of topsoil through the following points.

  • Topsoil helps in preventing evaporation and locking in moisture so that your plants are still hydrated even when there is a drought. 
  • Topsoil has the ability to render a well-drained surface for your lawn, ensuring your plants never run out of moisture while promoting root growth and expansion.
  • Topsoil includes good bacteria and microbes that reduce the likelihood of bad bacteria getting in and flourishing. 

 Lawn care is all in the details, and we take care of every single one to give you the lawn of your dreams. Contact us today!

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