The idea behind aerating your lawn is to create holes so that water, air and nutrients can more easily get to the roots. It also stops the top layer of the soil from becoming too compacted. Work your way around the lawn in a line with the aerator, making sure nowhere gets missed. Overlapping by up to 50 per cent is also a good idea. If you used a petrol driven aerating machine, you will have plugs of grass and soil on the top of your lawn. You can either leave them to break down or run them over with your lawnmower.
A bag of top dressing covers about 1–2 square metres. When you choose one, make sure it's a good quality soil, compost and nutrient mix, with no lumps and clumps. There are two ways to put the top dressing on the lawn: you can load it into a wheelbarrow and shovel it onto the lawn in piles about the size of a pillow. Or you can place the bags on the lawn, cut them open and pour top dressing out in piles. When handling top dressing always wear a dust mask, safety glasses and gloves.
Use the back of a steel rake to evenly spread the top dressing across the lawn. You want it to be 1–2cm deep across the lawn and down near the roots, not covering the lawn.
Once you're happy with the even level and spread of top dressing, it's time to water it in. You can either turn your sprinkler or reticulation system on or water the top dressing in well with a hose. Once the dressing is well watered in, don't walk on it or mow it for a week. But when you do mow it, you'll notice your lawn is healthier, richer and greener.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.