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DeepGreenLawn
09-27-2008, 02:09 PM
OK,

I have been frequently visiting the synthetic forum more and more intrested in how the prices of fert and stuff are going. Now they are saying that it is looking more and more bleak as time goes on especially with todays economy. I believe that this is a lot of "THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!" mentality but there is still some truth and probability to a lot of it.

SO, this also comes back to next year.

I am wanting to get my compost going and CT, starting with CT and then working towards compost. My question/concern is...

How much more complicated is it to make/apply compost than synthetic fert. I understand that they are two different things... but we are looking at it with this frame of mind.

Next spring we are doubling our marketing and bringing on help to sale it. This then will result in a major influx in business. This ofcourse is a good thing. Now... the problem comes with the fact that synthetic bagged ferts appear to be much simpler to apply and manage. Application wise you throw it in tank/spreader and go. Compost you have to make it (in my case), screen it, transport it, and spread it with heavy machinery (or by hand, I am not vouching to spend the money for the "heavy" machinery).

What I am trying to ask is how hard/predictable is compost. I know Tree is and has been doing this down south and I am still awaiting the time to be able to go down and see this all in person. I attempted to make my own on a local horse farm but it got to be more of a hassle than I preferred tiptoeing around their operation to make mine and then the fear of them kicking me off the property at any time was not very fun to have on my shoulder.

My plans for when we do get it going, and we will get it going, is to have some land just outside of town, or inside, I figure the way things are going that there might be some good locations cheap, that will be easily accessible for LCOs to drop off their vegetative waste. Charge them to dump the said waste and then turn it into compost on site. Have the operation working so that I can do it on a small area of land and then ship it out to other storage sites strategicly placed throughout my routes (this is another story). Ideally the income of the waste coming in will supply the production site and the income going out will run the main business.

Problems/issues to think about...


It takes money that we don't have and we don't want to go further in debt with the economy the way it is.
It is going to cost a bundle to get this up and running.
I have a feeling that a lot of LCOs will be going out of business due to the economy.
It is going to require a lot more workers = a lot more money.
Time... it will take time to get the compost finished...


I don't know... if you noticed from the list the big problem is money... maybe we do one more year bagged organics and synthetics until we can raise the money to start the operation with cash? But then there is the issue of fert prices/availability next year...

any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.

I know I have gone through this before... just seems to be a big step and want to have all my ducks in a row.

Thanks,

JDUtah
09-27-2008, 02:33 PM
Haha, you could always follow my process..

Try something half @$$.. post pics.. get ripped... get mad.. leave.. come back.. try it a little better.. get advice... adjust accordingly..

Money on the other hand.. yeah, about that...

DeepGreenLawn
09-27-2008, 03:04 PM
Bill made a good point on another thread... the cost of running my compost operation would probably be pretty close or less even than the cost of buying bagged fert next year... this year we have been buying as needed... bought a pallet from Barry and that was our biggest purchase this year. Still have a little left over but not too much. Next year with the growth of the business we will be spending a WHOLE LOT more on fert and the cost of the operation to make my own will probably be more of a blessing than a burden I would think...

wallzwallz
09-27-2008, 03:21 PM
DGL do you have a topdresser yet? If you plan on composting all these yards I would think a topdresser is a must have to make any money. I found some compost and did a topdressing by hand, F that S. I won't do any more till I buy a topdresser LOL. Me personally, I would make the compost making the last part to take place. Get the customers, buy the compost for now ,get a brewer and topdresser and when you have most kinks worked out in the system and the customer base established then get your compost facility going. Just my 2 cents, good luck whichever way you go.

ICT Bill
09-27-2008, 03:27 PM
This is a business decision plain and simple

What is your cost on the current program, this should be broken down on a per customer basis? Meaning, 100 customers, average yard 3000 sq ft,equals 300,000 sq ft, cost per 1000 is? It should also be broken down into segments, fuel, man hours, product, equipment needed, insurance, etc

You now have a cost to do business at each site, an average. You then break it down into changes in the program, what costs go away and what costs are new

You can then compare profit margin from one to the other, long term you will be well ahead on profit by changing your model to your own inputs, short term you have a lot of one time costs to change the model

What you are trying to do long term is build assets and customers, these are tangible sellable things. Property right now is getting towards affordable, 20 years from now it will be paid for and a great asset. A composting facility and the equipment to do it with will lead you to many projects and small businesses that you could not even imagine right now. These are businesses that create more assets

Small business is not for the faint at heart, Hand wringing never created anything but worry, know what you costs are, project them out, look at the bottom line, can you break even and build assets that will be worth much more later

I own part of a bar/restaurant with a buddy, it has never made money but has always broken even more or less. The property that it is on and the business that it does is worth much more than when purchased 7 years ago, it is almost paid off and has become an asset to build other businesses with, think long term and know your costs

growingdeeprootsorganicly
09-27-2008, 04:04 PM
good advise bill.

deep ur complicating this much more then it is, keep learning, go visit tree and see how simple she makes her compost, im assuming she has a front end loader of some kind to turn it? unless she has a real turner to do it

you need a tractor to make any type of volume, you should pull enough material off your lawns/property's to get you started?

i would take only seasonal clean up materials from other landscapers
not grass clippings only

find a small free/ cheap piece of land somewhere? and start piles, stay away from the manure till you know how to properly blend/compost it, you don't need acres yet

DUSTYCEDAR
09-27-2008, 04:44 PM
never bet the farm on anything as u will lose have a backup plan

Smallaxe
09-27-2008, 05:45 PM
Right now I buy 40lbs bags of compostted manure from the local box stores instead of syn ferts.
Not a risky business decision for me at all. As long as the results are there and no big price tag everybody is happy.
It also supports the local farming community. Just as Milorganite has the potential to keep Lake Michigan cleaner, and defer the costs of new water treatment plants.

Compost Works better on sandy soils than synthetic ferts because it holds moisture, provides feed and habitat for the necessary microbes to feed the plants.
Syn ferts on sandy soil can actually be dangerous without irrigation, and it will still leach and evaporate, while adding nothing of permanent value to the soil. Compost is not permanent perhaps, but is long lasting enough to be considered that way. :)

DeepGreenLawn
09-27-2008, 07:22 PM
we have a back up plan established... got that taken care of a few treatments ago... our back up plan is our main plan and the compost is the backup plan? I can't buy compost as there is only crap around here to buy... no pun intended. I have to make my own to get a quality compost...

DeepGreenLawn
09-27-2008, 07:24 PM
Right now I buy 40lbs bags of compostted manure from the local box stores instead of syn ferts.


that can't be cheap... that seems to me like buying bags of mulch rather than bulk...

Compostwerks LLC
09-27-2008, 07:47 PM
I have reduced my compost spreading labor costs considerably with a compost spreader. This is a very good one (http://www.ecolawnapplicator.com). If you have questions about the machine, I'm happy to help (I own one).

When you consider that compost top dressing can serve several functions at once, it will become more economical than you think. I believe that it needs to be presented to your custmors in this fashion;

Topdressing about 1/4 inch of compost per year can;

-Deliver most nutritional requirements.

-Significantly reduce watering requirements.

-Act as a pH buffer and eliminate lime apps.

-Address soil compaction issues.

-Act as a vehicle for seed to soil contact.

-Address most biological requirements.

-Reduce/eliminate thatch.

I'm sure I am missing some points, but I'm sure you get the drift.

Peter

treegal1
09-27-2008, 09:04 PM
deep what am I going to do wyh you, and they say chicks cant make up there mind. you said you got a pallet of barrys stuff??? read to me the label one time slow, never mind we both know its just A) composted something B) high N plant mater. and that stuff that has all the glass in it??? what do you thing would happen to it if you washed all the good stuff out of it and sprayed or watered in into the lawn???? pm me if ya want to talk about that..

ok ok so you will have some less than to be desired stuff left over, feed that to the worms then wash off the casts off the glass and chuck the glass??? how does that sound??

now back to this giant investment??? WTF the only big ticket item is the top of the line to dresser, notice all the big boys and girls have that eco lawn, stop it just get that out of your head for now, maybe in the summer of next year, dont drop a sh*T load of cash on any land just yet!!! listen to me, I am dumping land and houses like a fire sale, rent is so cheap and you should not have to pay for it any ways!!! the horse people will have to get your paper singed sooner or later, its easy they let you the land and you use it, as far as the machine and big trailers, we have just down sized some, only one large trailer now! not 4 and we only have a 3400$ farm tractor left in the fleet, that alone saved us a lot in tangible taxes. tree work is slow, landscape is dead, lawns are the only thing that has not changed save for the fuel, and they all have to be green & alive. also the new in vessel composters that the can man phill has made are self loading and unloading( a little slower than I would like) but they dont need a 30K $ machine to turn!! most of the horse and sh*t farms we take care of we just use some pvc or drain pipe to get the air it needs to it, we have also just recently done the back yard compost experiment, it went real well 4 barrels and 2 old pick bed lines and we can make 7 yards in a month or 2, from mostly waste, grass waste and the usual trim stuff.so it can be done the free way for the most part, yes there is more labor, don't worry your computer brother will need work soon, mine just got fired from a 7 year old computer gig, big white fat smuck, now his bills are getting paid with tomato's and compost.

phasthound
09-27-2008, 09:32 PM
deep what am I going to do wyh you, and they say chicks cant make up there mind. you said you got a pallet of barrys stuff??? read to me the label one time slow, never mind we both know its just A) composted something B) high N plant mater. and that stuff that has all the glass in it??? what do you thing would happen to it if you washed all the good stuff out of it and sprayed or watered in into the lawn???? pm me if ya want to talk about that..

Um, what are you talking about? He bought one pallet of Nutrients PLUS OMRI listed 4-4-2 composted poultry manure without the bedding litter. Read the label as slow as you like. What high N plant mater? What glass?

growingdeeprootsorganicly
09-27-2008, 09:38 PM
barry,

where's the warning label on the bag, use ASAP!!!! after receiving if not stored in temps under 50 f or it will go anaerobic in bag and stink like strait ammonia?

phasthound
09-27-2008, 09:50 PM
barry,

where's the warning label on the bag, use ASAP!!!! after receiving if not stored in temps under 50 f or it will go anaerobic in bag and stink like strait ammonia?

Charlie,
Out of 9,000 tons of product sold this year containing 4-4-2, nobody but you has reported this problem. I personally have had 4-4-2 stored in my non-climate controlled warehouse for my own usage for a year with no odor issue.
If your product got wet, it would begin to degrade, but honestly I am not aware of the problem you state happening to anyone else.

treegal1
09-27-2008, 09:52 PM
Um, what are you talking about? He bought one pallet of Nutrients PLUS OMRI listed 4-4-2 composted poultry manure without the bedding litter. Read the label as slow as you like. What high N plant mater? What glass?some organic ferts have a soy or some corn base, as far as the glass thats the compost from cobb sh*t hole in GA. so i was correct in that it is composted manure of some sort...................

Prolawnservice
09-27-2008, 09:54 PM
barry,

where's the warning label on the bag, use ASAP!!!! after receiving if not stored in temps under 50 f or it will go anaerobic in bag and stink like strait ammonia?

I had a couple bags that may have gotten wet do that to me too, but I had two pallets left over the winter that were fine in the spring.

phasthound
09-27-2008, 09:58 PM
some organic ferts have a soy or some corn base, as far as the glass thats the compost from cobb sh*t hole in GA. so i was correct in that it is composted manure of some sort...................

Your comment was in reply to the post regarding product bought from me, Nutrients PLUS 4-4-2. Composted poultry manure, no soy or corn base or glass.

If you are not referring to this product, please be clear about it.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
09-27-2008, 10:01 PM
guess it's just my bad luck of the draw? possible too much moister in product to Begin with? wasn't dried enough before bagged? then warmed in bag then the rest is history.....

growingdeeprootsorganicly
09-27-2008, 10:08 PM
just to be clear about it.... i have no problem with the product it's self......just upset with the result of spoilage with my batch

treegal1
09-27-2008, 10:08 PM
Your comment was in reply to the post regarding product bought from me, Nutrients PLUS 4-4-2. Composted poultry manure, no soy or corn base or glass.

If you are not referring to this product, please be clear about it.I thought I was clear about it, that other stuff, meaning not yours. the other products you market do they have a plant material in them???

ICT Bill
09-27-2008, 10:45 PM
barry,

where's the warning label on the bag, use ASAP!!!! after receiving if not stored in temps under 50 f or it will go anaerobic in bag and stink like strait ammonia?

I do believe that Charlie needs to get a life, girl friend, vacation, cruise, hobby, go fishing.........or something. BZZZZZZ

that was easy

BTW CHARLIE, strait is something other than straight

I do believe we have another, GERRY, OMG !

treegal1
09-27-2008, 10:52 PM
........new kitten, purrrr

that changes a lot of things,,straight dope, or strait dope...............

ICT Bill
09-27-2008, 11:02 PM
Thank you TG

PURRRRRRR

Perspective, you are right

Say hey to King Phillip please

growingdeeprootsorganicly
09-27-2008, 11:06 PM
bill, gfys

got a life
got the most beautiful girl friend of 10 years and 8 year old child you could only wish to have
need a vacation
cruise would be nice
hobby, have a few
fishing yes... need to get back to doing more of that

sorry for the miss spell on straight...didn't know this was a test, another gerry? id rather be a him then a rip off artist/bandwagon product supplier, liquid cgm? you got to be kidding me under 40 a gallon you say?

note to self..... keep bashing and discrediting itc products....i hope most will finally get a clue and stop buying your lame promiss in a bottle

btw i know ur in bed with barry,, sorry things are hard now that he has to sell your junk

treegal1
09-27-2008, 11:07 PM
he says hello so does king phill, we just got done bathing animals, and new water for the fish,LOLOL although we ate our lawn mower today I think,:confused:

JDUtah
09-27-2008, 11:10 PM
although we ate our lawn mower today I think

Haha NO tree!! Was 'it' good?

treegal1
09-27-2008, 11:11 PM
ow, ah, oh, good night all.................yes very tender and spiced just the way I like it.........mojito

growingdeeprootsorganicly
09-27-2008, 11:21 PM
and bill if i said that about a product that your not in bed with would you have commited?

your trasparent as air with every thing you say

anyway you spell it your products are strait/straight cr#p for the money

DeepGreenLawn
09-28-2008, 12:17 AM
we just got done bathing animals,

who got the short straw to bathe ally?:(

DUSTYCEDAR
09-28-2008, 12:29 AM
OH WHAT FUN and yummy

treegal1
09-28-2008, 12:31 AM
the cat is easy it just gets put in a mesh dive bag and some baby soap, wash and rinse, blow dry and set the POed little monster free, is actually not bad at all, she is a good cat. we found out that the lawn mower was fixed and would not make little mowers, lime cilantro and just a dab of peppers......... phill did not say what it was till after we ate..........

DUSTYCEDAR
09-28-2008, 12:40 AM
gotta love mystery meat

Smallaxe
09-28-2008, 10:57 AM
that can't be cheap... that seems to me like buying bags of mulch rather than bulk...

Remember u don't need much.

(200lbs)5bags/k = $7/k , applied in 5minutes/k or so.

Extends mowing time a bit but allows to charge quite a bit extra because the bill says Fertilize, as well as mow. In the fall 1 bag of Milorganite covers 5k as a winterizer.

We are going into fall color season here and looking forward to our first frost soon. The winterizer looks like it is kicking in now as the color is continuing to get greener as the grass comes back to life after the heat.

The drought continues, but the heat has lessened. Lawn survived and is growing well on subsistance watering.

Synthetic ferts, typically kill lawns under those circumstances.

treegal1
09-28-2008, 11:11 AM
Remember u don't need much.

(200lbs)5bags/k = $7/k , applied in 5minutes/k or so.

Extends mowing time a bit but allows to charge quite a bit extra because the bill says Fertilize, as well as mow. In the fall 1 bag of Milorganite covers 5k as a winterizer.

We are going into fall color season here and looking forward to our first frost soon. The winterizer looks like it is kicking in now as the color is continuing to get greener as the grass comes back to life after the heat.

The drought continues, but the heat has lessened. Lawn survived and is growing well on subsistance watering.

Synthetic ferts, typically kill lawns under those circumstances.
deep lets say just for 1 sec that each bag costs 3 $, there is about 44 bags to a pallet, 132$ a pallet is not so bad some folks sell a pallet of compost/fert for 800$+. YOU COULD JUST GET SOME COBB POST AND SCREEN IT REAL FINE AND USE THAT!!! say a hole size of 1/32 of an inch, what comes back dirty with glass you feed to the worms and re run it in the screen again after a while it will be pure casts/ compost out one end and pure glass out the other, that stuff is 11% N, we got some big box dirt to fill a small planter, 3 cu feet, it was like 2.3 % N on the bag, black cow brand is .5.5.5 on the bag, scotts compost is 1.2 N on the bag, it costs 3.15$ per bag, do the $ per lbs thing again and then re forget about the N LOLOLOL.