Compost is commonly used as a top dressing for lawns. So what then is the difference between compost and ‘lawn dressing’?


Compost is an organic, natural fertilizer, made with decaying plant matter, food scraps and even cardboard mixed and left to rot in a heap or bin.
It enriches the soil as it breaks down, helping to feed plants and lawns and keep them looking green and healthy.

The decaying matter that makes up compost is full of nitrogen an other micro-nutrients. By the time it’s ready to spread over your lawn, it will support a thriving micro-environment full of beneficial micro-organisms, fungi and bacteria that make the minerals and existing nutrients the soil more bio-available for plants – including your grass.

You’ll see the result in thick, green, healthy plant growth and lush lawns. However, that’s if your soil is already good. Poor, depleted soils need more, and that’s why lawn dressing was developed.

Lawn Dressing

Lawn dressing offers the same results, only better in certain situations. Lawn dressing is a mix of compost and nutrient-rich top soil. The top soil adds the missing nutrients and minerals in the soil for the micro-organisms in compost to break down.

Lawn dressing is also formulated for lawns, ensuring that the soil is at the correct Ph for optimal growth.

Lawn dressing vs compost

  • It usually takes three to four months to get good compost from the time you throw your food scraps, plant material and other organic matter. You can speed up the process by adding earthworms to your compost bin. However, unless you have good soil that has not been depleted of nutrients and is already at the correct Ph, it is better to opt for pre-mixed and ready-to-spread lawn dressing.
  • Lawn dressing comes fully prepared in a bag, with the exactly right balance of nutrients and micro-organisms for your lawn. It starts acting to enrich the existing soil and fertilize your grass as soon as it is laid down.

There’s really nothing to beat the value-for-money that home grown compost offers. However, pre-made lawn dressing is both a convenient and often essential alternative.