How To Top Dress And Level Out A St. Augustine grass Lawn. Get your lawn thick and level in one step (2023)


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How to get rid of Crabgrass:

How to fill in thin and bare areas:

What are chinch bugs:

Compacted soil:

What are sod web worms:

How to treat and identify grey leaf spot fungus:

What is thatch:

How to fertilize your lawn and shrubs part 1:

How to fertilize your lawn and shrubs part 2:


Hi I'm Chad, with Turf Organics and today, I'm, going to show you how to properly top dress a St Augustine lawn.

This is actually a little bit different than a normal.

Top dressing has a really thin layer, but a thin top dressing.

That something is a top dressing machine would do would be more to sustain um healthy soil if you already have a good base and you want to keep that there- that would be a nice thin layer, but we have a lot here in the Jacksonville and St Augustine area is really really poor soil.

So what we need there is a thicker layer because we're not trying to just put a thin layer on top we're actually trying to replace a lot of this Sandy anaerobic soil.

This is a thicker top dressing if you're really struggling with getting color out of your lawn even after fertilizing or hiring companies.

This is absolutely something you need to do we're using command soil.

This is some of the best soils.

Now you don't have to use command, but if you can get a hold of it, I would highly recommend this technique.

Of top dressing can be used with any soil, but command is absolutely the best.

So here we've already put the Mounds around in the lawn again we're doing a thick top dressing uh.

But what we've done is we put Mounds all around the lawn here and, as you can see, we've already spread some.

So this is what we're going to be looking for.

I mean we completed this strip here, where it's a nice thick layer.

You still have grass poking through and it's not damaging so I'm going to show you how to do is properly top dress.

This lawn using your best friend a hard tooth rake.

This is the only tool you'll need to do this often you'll be using both sides of it and I'll show you, because it's really really useful.

It makes this job a lot easier, top dressing, St Augustine grass is not easy.

It's a tall, thick bladed grass just doesn't want to spread evenly and I'll.

Show you how to do that today.

So here we're doing a whole front yard.

You don't have to do a whole area.

You can use smaller areas, but this is a good about how much the soil should be spread apart.

We know that from experience, but as a homeowner, you may want to do one bag at a time to kind of figure it out.

Actually we're going to start here with this pile um.

This is kind of new and around so I take the two side of the rake and I kind of just go around and spread it out.

To give me a little bit of room there, all right so I've kind of got it spread and got a good base.

You're going to flip it over this back side of the rake is going to be your best friend.

This is what you're going to want to use 90 of the time and you're going to kind of what I like to do is just go a little bit back and forth right in the middle here and and you're not pushing down hard.

The hardest part is I hold underneath the rake, because I'm floating it I I'm, not shoving it down.

Now, if you want to do a lighter layer and get it down, you know you could do something like that uh, but it's really really not needed.

So you want to kind of do about where the base of the soil is here.

You kind of want to keep the rake flowed, so I kind of move around um I walk around I want to clean up the edges.

First, get this dirt to kind of see how far it'll spread and again I'm just staying right here on top of the soil I'm keep it kind of floating out so semen, you kind of get it spread around and you just keep going it don't have to be perfectly level.

Do not worry about that mother nature will settle it and see this was one bag spread out fairly quickly, nice and thick? This is a good.

What's here, let's, let's look! This is a good inch and a half two inches of soil here in this area.

Again, if the area is more bare, it can be thicker as applied, but I wouldn't do any less than this.

This is a really good base that we have here and you can see there's plenty of grass poking up, so the grass isn't going to be choked out um or harmed in any way.

A lot of people are really concerned about that, but I promise you the thicker the better, and that way you don't have to keep repeating this process, because it's hot, it's not fun um, so I like I, always say: let's just do it right the first time and get it done, and that's absolutely what we're doing here.

What I'll do is I'll rake out a couple more and kind of show you that way.

You can see these piles all kind of blend together and then two, if you need, if you put too much dirt in one area, it's too thin.

That's what it's for you see it's kind of thick already in here.

I need a little bit of soil here, grab and pool, grab and pool Bend back side of my rake, my best friend, and come around clean.

That up now see I'm still going to be light a little bit on the area.

That's okay, I'm gonna, come back with another bag and fill that up I'd rather you'd, rather do it.

They can have to come back and apply more than trying to spread one area too thin.

So then I kind of have these piles that were all together now I have a big dirt area, I kind of need to blend this whole area and again I'm using my technique, I'm throwing my rake out, bringing it back, but, as you see I have it picked up I kind of I'm, leaving it on one plane so whether it's too low or too high there it's kind of evening it out see it's a little.

You know thicker in some areas and thinner than others, but that's okay with doing that that technique, but the lower areas are getting thicker soil and the higher areas are getting less soil and that's how you'll help balance out the yard here.

I know and to be honest, I'm making this look easy.


Do this a lot you're, not gonna, find it as easy as I can, and that's okay.

But as long as you have the right tools, then you're working on the right technique as you go along we'll kind of get it, but don't feel you need to go this fast.

This is this is what I do for a living.

Big reason to use command is.

This is literally the perfect texture soil, as you can see not much clumping, and you can see how easy it is for me to push that so I will actually also say the soil is making me look a little bit better than I am but to work with the the right tools in the right.

Soil makes the job a little bit easier.

So, second of this pile it's a little bit too too much in this area.

I'm just gonna.

Take it drag it away with that tooth.

Ah, get away drag all this extra away.

Here we go there.

We go got all that excess soil out of there being up on the lawn.

It's a good, even cut.

At least you want to see.

You're gonna go wow, it's a lot of dirt yeah.

It is, but also within two weeks.

Most of this is gonna settle.

This long is going to look very different in two weeks, so they're really only going to have a week to week and a half where their whole front yard looks like dirt um.

So it will settle very quickly because you're, probably seeing this and thinking wow all they're going to have- is a dirt lawn and they will, but only for about a week.

Results will be worth it again for these new builds sandy soil and anaerobic soil, you're fertilizing.

Now we do this after an aeration, so we have aerated the yards to put holes all in the ground, so our soil is falling deep down in those holes.

So this so we're going to get results.

A lot quicker than rather waiting mother nature to put that soil where it needs to be the holes in the ground are allowed to sink in.

So this these results are going to be a lot faster, I'm just going to start using this nice nutrient soil.


This is a long-term result.

Now, if I fertilize, this Shard, some of the best fertilizer in the world, I'm going to give you six months results most of them, give you two to three and a lot most of them, a lot less too.

So this is an investment.

This will last five to ten years here in the soil and every time now that we can fertilize this customer's lawn.

They have good soil that promoting microbial activity organic matter, then all that good lawn stuff now they're going to get better results from our service and the long be more protected in the winter and in drought, and they have a way better base.

I mean, like everyone says, that's going to be true here as well, and you can see that I'm talking and doing this is really going to come together here and again, most of you'll be doing smaller areas, so you won't need this was 20 bags in this front yard.

Here we go so I'm not completely done a couple areas.

We need to touch up and and finish up and look at and then usually I go over it one more good time, but it's 90 done here.

It was done pretty quickly.

Um and the results are going to be Immaculate.

The one looks like dirt, but in the next week and a half to two weeks it won't it's gonna, thicken up green up extra growth very, very quickly.

Thank you.

Now some people will be filling in areas like this.

This is actually a bare area.

Now we were top dressing, a thin lawn, but this is a bare area.

What you can do here is lay it definitely thicker in these little bits of grass that are in there.

That's okay, if they're covered up and so everything but thicker so I'll show you.

Where we see here in the front yard is uh, you can see all the grass and everything poking up here.

We won't see that and that's because the area is going to be bad, that's, okay! The same thing see we're doing a little bit lighter.

Now we want to make sure this stays it's pretty thick in this area.

It's insane technique back of that rake hit in I'm gonna, do a little slower, so I'm trying to be a little more precise, trying to get it going a little bit thicker.

Thank you.

There we go hey man, that's it for that area.

I just want to show you there's no grass poking up there.

The area was there: the grass was compacted growing low, that's okay, it will settle, grass will poke, it will fill in and you'll have an awesome launch.

The number one rule is: please be patient.

This is not going to be fast results.

This will take time.

I can't tell you how long shady areas will take longer full sun airs will be quicker.

It depends your soil, your water, your irrigation, your fertilization schedule, but I promise you.

This is the right path.

This is the step one to getting this there.

This will help fill in no matter what you do.

This will help fill it in by 50.

Faster I can promise you I've experienced it a million times, even if you're not taking care of the lawn.

The right way doing the soil is better than doing nothing at all guaranteed.

This has been how to properly top dresser St Augustine lawn.

If you have any questions or anything, please leave them Below in the comments and I'll do my best to answer everyone's questions: I'm Chad with Turf Organics, and you have a great rest of your day.

Thank you, foreign.


How do you thicken Saint Augustine grass? ›

Augustine does best in sandy, acidic, well-draining soil. Keep the pH level between 5.0 and 8.5 for a thicker and fuller lawn. Add topsoil to bare spots and grade the yard to keep water from pooling. If you have clay soil or if it's just poor draining, you can aerate or mix and till it with compost or pine bark.

How do I level my lawn with top dressing? ›

For shallow areas, typically only 1-2cm lower than the rest of your lawn, you can apply a top dressing directly. Put a thin layer over the problem area and spread it across evenly. Push the soil down to compact it with your feet or a flat side of a rake. Water the soil a little and leave it to settle.

What is a good top dressing for St. Augustine grass? ›

For top-dressing a St. Augustine lawn, use either sandy loam soil or clean free-flowing sand. This is a product that I like to use in my St. Augustine repair jobs.

How thick should lawn top dressing be? ›

To amend a home lawn, ¼-inch is the recommended layer of topdressing. That means you need 0.77 cubic yards of material to topdress 1,000 square feet. To find the amount of material needed for your yard, multiply the square footage of your yard by 0.77, then divide by 1,000.

What is the formula for lawn top dressing? ›

Applying the right topdressing for your lawn

So go for a topdressing mixture consisting of two parts loam, one part peat and four parts sand. Loam-based soil usually falls into the perfect middle. For it, you can use a mixture which contains three parts loam, one part peat & three parts sand.

What is the mixture for leveling lawn? ›

A typical mixture is 40 percent sand, 40 percent topsoil, and 20 percent compost. The sand provides good drainage, while the compost adds nutrients to the soil to promote grass growth. Mix a batch of leveling mix in a wheelbarrow or tub, using a shovel. Mix well so the sand and compost are fully blended with the soil.

What is the best soil for leveling St. Augustine grass? ›

It's also best to use a sandy fill (like river sand or pump sand). Avoid heavy silty or clay soils. Also do not use garden soils or topsoils that have been blended with high amounts of organic matter. Mow the lawn just before spreading the fill so the grass blades stand more upright.

What is the best height for St. Augustine grass? ›

Standard St. Augustinegrass cultivars (BitterBlue, Classic, Floratam, etc.) mowed with a rotary mower should be maintained at a height of 3.5–4 inches.

How do you fix bare spots in St. Augustine grass? ›

If your grass is a St. Augustine grass lawn, you'll want to sod or plug your bare spots. Purchase a few pieces of sod or enough plugs to cover your bare spots from your local garden center. Then prepare the area by applying a generous layer of Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Soil.

What season is best to top dress lawn? ›

Top dressing a lawn is best done during the growing season which is when your lawn is getting mown weekly, typically this is during late Spring/early Summer. Top dressing a lawn should only be done when the grass is actively growing.

How do you encourage St. Augustine grass to spread? ›

How To Get St. Augustine Grass To Spread And Grow Thicker
  1. Use The Correct Type of Soil. Before you do anything, you should make sure you choose the right type of soil. ...
  2. Use The Correct Mowing Height. Once you've planted your St. ...
  3. Use The Right Fertilizer. ...
  4. Properly Water Your Grass. ...
  5. Control Weeds. ...
  6. Let Sod Depot Help.

Can I put top soil on St. Augustine grass? ›

You would be better served applying compost to your yard, not topsoil. Topsoil is well, soil, so unless you need to even out low spots, topsoil won't really provide much in the way of organic matter or nutrients.

How do you fix thinning St. Augustine grass? ›

The best way to revive St. Augustine grass is to give your lawn 1–1.5 inches of water every week, provide your soil with the correct nutrients, and eliminate any pests that may be killing the St. Augustine grass.

What does Epsom salt do to St. Augustine grass? ›

Epsom salt is an organic compound that is full of beneficial minerals for lawns. Iron in Epsom salt, for example, helps grasses to grow healthy and strong. Meanwhile, the magnesium in Epsom salt balances the PH level in your grasses so that it doesn't become too acidic.

How do I get St. Augustine to fill in? ›

How To Get St. Augustine Grass To Spread And Grow Thicker
  1. Use The Correct Type of Soil. Before you do anything, you should make sure you choose the right type of soil. ...
  2. Use The Correct Mowing Height. Once you've planted your St. ...
  3. Use The Right Fertilizer. ...
  4. Properly Water Your Grass. ...
  5. Control Weeds. ...
  6. Let Sod Depot Help.

What can I put on my St. Augustine grass to make it grow? ›

Fertilizing your St. Augustine grass is a major key to its growth. Fertilizer high in phosphorous will help get the roots established post-installation, but it must have very low or no nitrogen. Later on, you should use a fertilizer with nitrogen to help improve the grass's growth rate.

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