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Mixing my own top dressing.

Hello all. I hope you have all had a good summer so far. It is that period in the Yr again when I come on here to ask for advice. 

I am just about to scarify, aerate, top dress and over seed my lawn. What I really want to know is can I use sharp sand in my top dressing rather than horticultural sharp sand? Horticultural sharp sand is rather pricey at 120 a tonne or just under. I have 2 tonne of my top soil left over from my lawn and would like to sieve this down to 5mm and mix with sand.

Oh, and this is just for a lawn. Not a fine lawn as I have kids but I do want a really good looking lawn. 


Thank you all


Regards Lee 

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  • If the sand is bone dry then there’s no reason why not. Personally I’d use the sand on its own ( unless your soil is very sandy anyway), mix in  some top soil if you’re trying to get rid of it.

  • Hi Sean. Thanks so much for the reply and advice. I shall start checking out builders merchants for the driest possible sharp sand. 


    I have a 300m2 lawn and started scarifying it by hand but gave up a 3rd of the way through. Are any electric scarifier's any good does anyone know. 


    Thanks all. 

    • PRO

      I’d very cautious using sharp sand unless you know it’s provenance.

      Good sharp sand will have been washed, inferior sharp sand may have high salt content if it’s dredged.

      My limited knowledge suggest this will not help grass or plants  

      • PRO

        Dredged sand and gravel has caused problems with steel reinforcement in concrete due to the salt.

      • PRO

        Sharp sand has no place in a lawn, they used to use it to make clay bricks as it compacts. If you were to look at it under a micoscope you would see that it is angular in nature and this is why it compacts. 

        Sports sands that they use on golf/bolwing greens etc are round in nature and don't tend to compact

        And as Gary has pointed out there is also the high salt content...

        Get a decent 70/30 soil sand mix, it will be much cheaper mixed at the quarry than you could ever do it for.

  • PRO

    How do you intend to actually mix it?

    I no longer have direct access to a concrete mixer, so unless I beg, borrow or steal one odd bits of mortar and concrete have to be hand mixed.

    However when there was a concrete mixer readily available mixing compost and the like was one of the jobs it was used for, to mix and break it up to get rid of the lumps.


  • Hi. Thanks Gary. I know Travis perking sell washed sharp sand. Will see if it has the ingredients online or on one of there small bags. 

  • Hi Andrew. To be honest, I was actually planning on passing the topsoil through a frame with 5mm mesh on on a roller on a wheel barrow to mix it through. Like the idea of a mixer though. 

    • PRO

      You mentioned two tonnes of top soil, doable, but hard graft and time consuming.


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