The Benefits of Topdressing Natural Grass with ESCS

by Scott Jenson, Utelite Corporation

Topdressing is the practice of applying a thin layer of sand, soil or organic matter to a natural grass surface. Topdressing can provide necessary improvements to the playing surface by filling and leveling low spots or depressions. Topdressing used in a maintenance routine can also be an effective means of addressing the soil challenges associated with established grass, such as over-compaction or lack of drainage, allowing for a better root zone.

The physical properties of lightweight porous Expanded Shale, Clay and Slate (ESCS) aggregates make it a beneficial topdressing material. ESCS particles are porous and absorptive which help restore the proper balance of air and water in the root zone. They improve the flow of air, water and nutrients allowing roots to grow deeper and recover more quickly from use. ESCS provides long-lasting benefits as it does not degrade, break down or decompose. It is easily combined with other topdressing materials, allowing flexibility in a topdressing maintenance routine.

As part of an effective topdressing maintenance program, finely graded ESCS should be applied 1 to 2 times annually. A uniform layer of ESCS is spread over a recently mowed and aerated natural grass surface to a depth 1/8 to 1/4 inch. The applied material can then be pushed into the cores left from aeration by brooming or dragging equipment. The treated area is then watered thoroughly and left to be cared for with normal natural grass maintenance practices.

Photo Gallery