Compost Top Dressing

Compost Top Dressing admin February 21, 2023

Compost Top Dressing for Lawns

Organic Soil Treatment

When we top dress a lawn with compost, we add millions of organic microbes to the soil, as well as a rich food source for the existing microbes. The nutrients in the compost are readily available to be picked up. Compost adds microscopic life to the soil, enriching the soil food web and feeding the plant life. Microbes will digest the organic matter in the compost and release the nutrients back into the soil. This will create a living soil.

The healthier the soil, the less we see issues with weeds, diseases, and insect pressure. A healthy soil will allow for deeper digging roots that are less susceptible to heat and drought stress.

Compost can be spread by hand, with a wheelbarrow and shovel, but this is a taxing and time-consuming process. With our compost spreader, we can top dress your lawn with much less work. After just a few days, the compost is generally no longer visible, after being worked into the soil by wind, rain or other moisture, and microbe activity.

Organo-Lawn uses a special machine to apply organic compost. This machine will spread the compost evenly over the whole lawn. This will benefit you by not having uneven clumps of compost on the lawn. The compost top dressing is applied approximately 1/8-1/4 inch over the lawn. Organo-Lawn can apply to any Boulder or Fort Collins lawn with access for the machine.

When Should Compost Be Done?

  • Compost can be applied at any time of year.
  • If the compost is put down over the summer months, it is important to water the lawn shortly after the compost is put down to avoid any drought stress.
  • If compost is put down in the spring or fall, it can be paired with aeration to work the compost down into the soil more quickly, but aeration is not critical.
  • If the lawn is thinning, we can also apply seed at that same time if done in spring or fall.

Limitations and Information about the Compost Service

  • Watering is strongly recommended to start working the compost into the soil and reduce the chance of any drought stress caused by having the new compost on top of the lawn.
  • The special compost spreader will only fit into gates that are 36” or larger. If you have a gate that smaller than this, we will not be able to apply the compost to the area inside the fenced area.
  • The compost spreader spreads at a 6-ft wide path. If there is a stretch of lawn that is narrower than 6 feet wide, we will not be able to spread compost on that area.
  • The compost spreader will tip over on steep hills so we will not be able to spread compost on steep hills (slopes are ok).
  • The compost spreader cannot go up or down steps or stairs. If the only access to part of your yard is down steps or stairs, we will not be able to do those areas.

Benefits of Compost

  • High quality organic compost will add important organic matter for the microbes in the soil to feed on.
  • Giving the microbes more high-quality food will result in a lawn that is less susceptible to stress and diseases like Necrotic Ring Spot.
  • With poor soils and heavy clay content in Colorado, compost top dressing is an excellent way to improve soil quality and increase soil fertility and organic matter.
  • Compost can help level out the pH of soil.
  • Compost is teeming with beneficial microbes such as bacteria, amoeba, protozoa, and fungi.

Compost Application Season

Compost top dressing for lawns

Organo-Lawn can apply compost any time of year to your Fort Collins or Boulder lawn. Compost can be greatly beneficial when seeding a lawn; or reviving a lawn with low microbial activity.

Schedule an Expert Lawn Evaluation

Organo-Lawn is your local professional lawn care expert and can set up a conditioning program for your lawn. Call today to talk to one of our professional lawn care technicians. (303) 499-2000 Boulder or (970) 225-9425 Fort Collins

FAQ – Compost

Will compost level out my lawn?

The compost will be about 1/4-1/3 inch over the lawn. It will take regular applications of compost and aeration to level out a bumpy lawn. Following the 1-2-3-2-1 watering technique will also help alleviate over or under watering the lawn that can create unevenness.

Do I need to do anything after the application?

It’s a good idea to water the lawn after the application. This will work it down into the soil more quickly. Watering will be very important if compost is done during hot weather. Because the compost absorbs water  you may need to water an extra sprinkler cycle just once.