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topsoil over new lawn? help!

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by Clueless but keen!, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Clueless but keen!

    Clueless but keen! Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,​
    I have laid grass seed and it has started to grow. (about 2" tall and very thin) ​
    However the soil underneath is very lumpy and bumpy so can i sprinkle topsoil over the top and rake it level?...Would the existing new grass grow through it?...Or would that kill the grass which has already grown?​
    I still have some grass seed leftover if needed?​
    Would appreciate any help.​
    Many thanks in advance.​
     
  2. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    Welcome to GC :sign0016:

    I am a bit of a newbie at this myself, so can't offer any advice, but rest assured that one of the resident experts will be along shortly to help :)

    Meantime, have a wander around the forums, and hopefully you'll get to meet all the regulars - - very friendly bunch, if a bit on the nutty side (we don't get let out very often!) :biggrin:
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      Hello and welcome to the forum :)

      You will probably do more harm than good by spreading topsoil over emerging grass seedlings. How big are these lumps and bump? A photo would help us :dbgrtmb:
       
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      • clueless1

        clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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        Hello and welcome.

        Don't sprinkle topsoil on and then rake it. That will just blitz your new grass.

        I'd just live with it for the time being. Once the new grass is a bit stronger you'll be top dressing anyway, and by then the ground will have settled further so the more permanent lumps and bumps will be known by then so you'll have a better idea what you're dealing with.

        When you do your first top dressing, still don't use top soil. I use sharp sand or silver sand. The grass can find its way through that much easier, but again, not until its built up some strength.
         
      • Clueless but keen!

        Clueless but keen! Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks for the replies, I really do appreciate your time.

        I could upload a pic in the morning, but i think the above comment nailed it!

        Basically I raked it and walked it in a few times before laying the seed, however my son decided to walk on it a few days afterwards when it had just been watered. Not only is it bugging me to look at, but now when i water it, there are little puddles from his footprints! Frustrating to look at after all my hard work, but kids will be kids!

        I think I will research 'top dressing' and wait til its time to do that.

        I am a complete newbie so you will probably be seeing a lot more of me on here cos Im young and clueless but I want a nice garden for bbq's etc! I am doing the whole garden! And have taken pictures since day 1 of my progress! (will happily share if anybody is curious) haha.

        Thanks again. :ThankYou:
         
      • clueless1

        clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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        If a youngster is heavy enough to make significant dents in it, then I'm afraid the soil was too loose anyway.

        When the grass is a bit stronger, I'd take a roller to it first. That will squash it down a bit without leaving massive great dents, but as it sounds like it was too loose to start with, I suspect you're going to end up with a slightly wonky lawn. Whether this matters or not is as much about whether you want a bowling green or not. If you just want a functional and decent looking lawn for the kids to play on, then as long as the mower goes over it ok, then its usually fine.
         
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        • Clueless but keen!

          Clueless but keen! Apprentice Gardener

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          He's nearly 8 and hes a lunatic! But yeah I think you are right it was probably too loose to start with. Im sure the mower will go over it fine, however the vision in my head is a really nice smooth lawn eventually!

          I will do my homework and look into 'top dressing' and a 'roller' for when the time is right.

          Thanks again for the quick and helpful reply.
           
        • clueless1

          clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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          Don't read too much about top dressing. There are some obsessive perfectionists out there that will put you off by describing an insanely complex routine and then saying its essential to follow their way to the letter.

          The main point of it is to provide loose material and free draining conditions at the surface so the grass can be healthy.

          I could fill several pages with what I've read from the experts, but that would be dull and pointless unless you are trying to recreating wimbledon or something.

          Here's my way.

          Buy several bags of sharp sand or silver sand. Space them out evenly all over the lawn. Slash the bags open with a sharp knife, and pour their contents out right there. Save the sacks (heavy duty sacks ALWAYS come in handy at some point).

          Kick the sand piles about. Dive on them, whack them with something. Anything you like. Just have fun. The idea is to distribute the sand all over. Then using a sweeping brush, brush it in until your grass starts to appear again. If there are significant dents to fill in such that the grass is still buried after sweeping it all even, don't worry. Its the first year for the grass, if it doesn't make it through in certain patches, just seed those bits again.

          Above all, don't get hung up on the idea of instant perfection. It will take a few months to fully green up and be fairly even, and next year you'll have to top dress again, only then it would probably be wise to use more than just sand, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
           
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          • Clueless but keen!

            Clueless but keen! Apprentice Gardener

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            Thanks again for the reply. Really appreciate it.

            Can you please just confirm 'when' I should do this?.. ie now, or when the grass is stronger and healthier?

            Many thanks in advance!
             
          • clueless1

            clueless1 member... yep, that's what I am:)

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            Wait til the grass is a bit stronger. A few weeks should do it.
             
          • Clueless but keen!

            Clueless but keen! Apprentice Gardener

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            Excellent, thanks again for your help.
             
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