September 25,
  With the Maryland SoccerPlex 
A weekly newsletter to keep you informed about EVERYTHING Turf at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
This week we will look into topdressing and its purpose!
What is Topdressing?
Ever get curious of why sometimes at the Maryland SoccerPlex we have piles of sand in the parking lots? Those piles of sand are used for a practice known as topdressing! Topdressing is the application of a uniform thin layer of soil or finely granulated organic materials over the turf surface of a field or lawn. It is done to assist in creating a proper growing environment for the turf, helps reduce thatch, and it also levels the playing field when there are minor variations in the surface.

The most common materials used for topdressing are soil and sand. As we know there are many different types of soil and sand, so when choosing the soil or sand being used it is important to match the topdressing material as closely as possible with the natural field material. For example, if your field is a sand-based field, when topdressing the sand used should match the already present sand so it does not cause layering issues which will disrupt drainage and rooting in the already present turfgrass.
How much? Depends...
The amount of topdressing materials that need to be applied depends on why the field is being topdressed. When topdressing after seeding or overseeding a light layer of 1/8 of an inch to 3/8 of an inch is the ideal amount. But when topdressing to help alleviate soil compaction, a heavier application is needed to fill the aeration holes. If one were topdressing to completely change the soil profile that can take many different heavy applications over a period of time until eventually a sand-cap would be built into the field.

When applying a topdressing application, it is important not to dump all the sand immediately, but instead make multiple light passes throughout the entire field in multiple applications so the field is evenly topdressed and is able to slowly adapt to the new soil composition instead of just smothering the plant to death.
Next Week
Check in next week as we look into turf blankets and what they are used for!
Ask Us Your Questions
Do you have a burning turfgrass related question? Ask us! We will be happy to answer it in future iterations of Turf Talk - just email us at, subject line Turf Talk Question.
Many Thanks to Fine Earth Landscape, Inc. for 
Their Continued Support of the Maryland SoccerPlex.

Learn more about Fine Earth here.