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Can I add topsoil to my existing lawn?

Updated July 19, 2017

If your garden suffers from a patchy or threadbare lawn, consider applying topsoil to stimulate growth and increase lawn coverage. Topsoil can be applied by a professional -- many local lawn care businesses offer this service, often for a low price -- or you can have a go yourself with a little knowledge of lawn care and maintenance.

Lawn preparation

Whether you plan to hire a professional or apply the topsoil yourself, mow the existing lawn as short as possible. Collect the grass clippings to expose the soil. If adding the topsoil yourself, buy seed, topsoil and compost at a local garden centre, nursery or DIY shop.

Adding lawn seed and topsoil

Sow lawn seed into the grass at two to three times the recommended amount, as listed on the seed bag. Be sure to choose a variety that is right for your lawn. For example, choose a shade-tolerant seed blend if your garden receives little sunlight, or a tough blend that can tolerate heavy foot traffic. Next, combine topsoil with finely ground organic matter, including leaves, grass clippings and compost, to the topsoil to increase nutrient content. Cover the area with 7.5 mm (1/4 inch) of this material.

Lawn maintenance

Water the reseeded area every day to keep the seeds moist until they germinate. Do not allow foot traffic across the new seedlings and topsoil for at least one month. Allow the grass to grow at least 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) before mowing. Don't cut the grass too short when mowing, to promote continuous growth. One month after planting, spread fertiliser on the area, cutting the recommended rate of fertiliser in half for the first treatment.

Lawn care tips

Compost your new lawn two to three times a year to promote growth. Put down a layer 7.5 mm (1/4 inch) thick and water this heavily. This ensures that your lawn stays lush and green and the soil stays nutrient-rich. Monitor the area for any weeds and diseases, as the wind may blow in weed seeds or pests. Speak to a lawn care specialist to determine the best way to eradicate weed or pest problems, and act immediately so that the problem doesn't spread to the existing lawn.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Baker holds a Masters of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing and has been working with Demand Media Studios since 2002, specializing in health, education, food and travel topics.