When we built our raised garden beds a few weeks ago, we had some compost/soil mix left over, so we top-dressed the patch of lawn under our pear tree, to make it happy. Since then, the grass there has been growing like crazy, needing mowing twice as often as everywhere else. Of course, it's the shadiest part of our yard, too, and the grass always seems to grow faster there.
So I decided to do a compost experiment on two equivalent sections of lawn. They get full sun most of the day, and they're Julia's soccer space. On June 8th, I added compost to the grass on the right side of the sidewalk and raked it in.
On Friday, June 22nd, I tried to take pictures to show that the right side was longer than the left. It's also greener than the left. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't quite do it justice... and Lee mowed before I could get a better picture.
The left picture below is the untreated side of the yard, and the right is the side that was top-dressed. Can you see the difference? The right is definitely greener, and though you can't really tell from the photo, it's also longer.
My friend, Mark, the Super Master Composter, tells me
Because the carbon in compost will continue to break down over time, topdressing every year with about 1cm of compost is very beneficial. Generally, the ratio is one-third compost, but this amount would overwhelm a lawn, so regular, light applications is the way to go.
If the soil is quite depleted, topdress three times a year, or core aerate in autumn and apply a double shot of compost to topdress plus fill the plugs.
with a shovel and raking it in.
Have a happy lawn!
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