Top Dressing Tips
- As a general rule, your layer of top dressing should be 2-3 inches thick. This will help to inhibit evaporation and weed growth and provide consistent coverage with less chance of developing bare spots in the future.
- Measure the total area of your yard to be covered with top dressing. Call or visit suppliers who can help you determine the amount of top dressing needed to cover the area. Typically, one ton of granite or rock covers about 120 square feet.
- It is NOT advisable to put a layer of black plastic beneath your top dressing. Over time, the edges will dry out and curl up and may become unsightly. In addition, black plastic prevents air and water from reaching plant roots.
Four Things You May Not Know About Mulches
- Mulches cover and cool the soil. During the summer, cooler soil temperatures help to improve root growth.
- Water evaporates more slowly from soil surfaces that are covered and cool. Mulches help to reduce water use by reducing evaporation so more water stays in the soil for plants to use. They also help to reduce salt buildup in the soil.
- Mulches help water to penetrate the soil more effectively, reducing runoff from planted areas. Reduced runoff keeps water where plants can use it.
- Mulches help to keep sunlight from reaching weed seedlings in the soil. Less sunlight means less weed growth. Weeds use water that would otherwise be available for landscape plants. Fewer weeds means more water for your plants and less maintenance time for you.