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View Full Version : Besides compost & tea ,what organic fertilizers do you recommend?


replenish&subdue
02-16-2009, 06:16 PM
I am looking into Nature's Plus but would like your input since the market is flooded with organic products.

ICT Bill
02-16-2009, 06:47 PM
you are right there are a lot out there. some things to consider.

do you see much meat in the ground or have you ever fed meat to your plants or garden? a lot of ferts use meat meal as an N source

Feather meal is another, I would compost feathers but I don't think I would put them in my garden to rot

Several national franchises I have spoken to, say that the grains used as fertilizers in pellet form attract animals like rodents, rabbits, racoons, dogs, etc.

Composted chicken manures and other manures seem like a good choice as long as they are composted completely. down side, they often have a pungent smell

Look for ferts that are high in organic matter, it is food to get the soil food web going

NattyLawn
02-17-2009, 09:43 AM
Several national franchises I have spoken to, say that the grains used as fertilizers in pellet form attract animals like rodents, rabbits, racoons, dogs, etc.

Composted chicken manures and other manures seem like a good choice as long as they are composted completely. down side, they often have a pungent smell

Look for ferts that are high in organic matter, it is food to get the soil food web going

You've made the statement about attracting animals a few times now. Are you talking about in the warehouse for storage, or actually on the customers properties?

dishboy
02-17-2009, 11:35 AM
The Only grain I have seen attract critters is cracked corn which birds and squirrels enjoy. My Dogs love soy if you spill a pile on the ground or they will lick the spreader , but once spread is a non-issue. I have not noticed any critter activity on Soy, alfalfa, Wheat, or corn meal once applied.

Kiril
02-17-2009, 12:21 PM
Anything that comes from a viable waste stream.

dishboy
02-17-2009, 12:34 PM
Anything that comes from a viable waste stream.


"Trolling for an argument I see."

Kiril
02-17-2009, 12:40 PM
"Trolling for an argument I see."

No, but it appears you are. Would you care to explain what is wrong with my statement? Plenty of perfectly viable fertilizer sources that come from waste streams. Should I assume since you question my post that you have information to the contrary? If you do, please enlighten us.

dishboy
02-17-2009, 12:55 PM
No, but it appears you are. Would you care to explain what is wrong with my statement? Plenty of perfectly viable fertilizer sources that come from waste streams. Should I assume since you question my post that you have information to the contrary? If you do, please enlighten us.

Whenever anybody posts on use of grains you immediately start your rant..............just another example. I do & have used waste stream products but that was not the topic I was commenting on.

Kiril
02-17-2009, 01:05 PM
Whenever anybody posts on use of grains you immediately start your rant..............just another example. I do & have used waste stream products but that was not the topic I was commenting on.

Yes DB, my post was a rant. :rolleyes: :hammerhead:

Anything that comes from a viable waste stream.

BTW, I was replying to the OP not you ... but then you don't care about that do you.

Smallaxe
02-17-2009, 01:46 PM
IMO the use of grains is not cost effective. It has to rot, b4 the plants can use it, so why not use stuff that is already rotted.
Compost really supplies a lot of what plants need and should reduce the need of expensive vitamin pills. Whether NPK or grain meals They should be looked at as vitamin pills not sustainance.

JDUtah
02-17-2009, 01:50 PM
I take multi vitamins ;) Just teasing.

dishboy
02-17-2009, 01:54 PM
IMO the use of grains is not cost effective. It has to rot, b4 the plants can use it, so why not use stuff that is already rotted.
Compost really supplies a lot of what plants need and should reduce the need of expensive vitamin pills. Whether NPK or grain meals They should be looked at as vitamin pills not sustainance.

I see a turf response in two to three weeks, I doubt the grains rot in that time frame. What is your annual cost on compost for 1000 sq. ft. ?

Smallaxe
02-17-2009, 02:08 PM
I see a turf response in two to three weeks, I doubt the grains rot in that time frame. What is your annual cost on compost for 1000 sq. ft. ?

Then how does it work without decaying and releasing nutrients stored in it body?
But yes the decay process starts almost immediately if moisture is present.

Annual cost per k of compost on turf is variable by large margins based on the need for the turf combined with cost effectiveness for customers' desire to pay. The cost of 10 to 20 lbs of meal per k as recommended is a lot more than I would ever pay in the use of compost.
$50 for 6k is the largest app at any given time last summer.
Results almost immediate and all the overseeded spots germinated and grew wonderfully. Only on app last year for that place.

"One size fits all" - or - "More is better"; are ideas that are no more applicable to organic than it is to synthetic.

dishboy
02-17-2009, 02:17 PM
Then how does it work without decaying and releasing nutrients stored in it body?
But yes the decay process starts almost immediately if moisture is present.

Annual cost per k of compost on turf is variable by large margins based on the need for the turf combined with cost effectiveness for customers' desire to pay. The cost of 10 to 20 lbs of meal per k as recommended is a lot more than I would ever pay in the use of compost.
$50 for 6k is the largest app at any given time last summer.
Results almost immediate and all the overseeded spots germinated and grew wonderfully. Only on app last year for that place.

"One size fits all" - or - "More is better"; are ideas that are no more applicable to organic than it is to synthetic.

My current feed source comes in at @ $7.00 per thousand or $36.00 for 6K annually. This is for the heavy rate cited above. I imagine my labor costs for that 6K is less than half as oposed to spreading compost.

replenish&subdue
02-17-2009, 02:23 PM
Small axe,so are you saying forget natural fertilizers and just use compost. I would love to make it as simple as possible. Still don't understand how you all spread the compost. It seems folks were excited about the ecospreader but I don't hear it being promoted. The bull spreader "looked" good to me but I was told he no longer sells it. Why is that? I am not likely to shovel it on my customers yards (big yards,lotta yards)

Kiril
02-17-2009, 02:24 PM
My current feed source comes in at @ $7.00 per thousand or $36.00 for 6K annually. This is for the heavy rate cited above. I imagine my labor costs for that 6K is less than half as oposed to spreading compost.

I apply compost once per year, at most twice. In my case you have imagined wrong.

Kiril
02-17-2009, 02:33 PM
so are you saying forget natural fertilizers and just use compost. I would love to make it as simple as possible.

You amend your compost with the nutrients (preferably from the waste stream) needed to address soil deficiencies which are most likely due to historical mismanagement or simply asking more from your soil than it can produce naturally. When you are using the "organic fertilizers" or food grains you are not really doing much of anything for the soil, but instead you have simply replaced your synthetic with the organic alternative. The goal is the build up your soil so it can sustain the plants growing in it naturally with little or no inputs.

dishboy
02-17-2009, 02:36 PM
I apply compost once per year, at most twice. In my case you have imagined wrong.

Since I did not list my labor time or cost how did you arrive at that conclusion?

dishboy
02-17-2009, 02:38 PM
doublepost.......................................................................................... ........

dishboy
02-17-2009, 02:55 PM
You amend your compost with the nutrients (preferably from the waste stream) needed to address soil deficiencies which are most likely due to historical mismanagement or simply asking more from your soil than it can produce naturally. When you are using the "organic fertilizers" or food grains you are not really doing much of anything for the soil, but instead you have simply replaced your synthetic with the organic alternative. The goal is the build up your soil so it can sustain the plants growing in it naturally with little or no inputs.

I believe you can let the microbes digest your materials in a compost pile or in the ground either way they get digested and they both improve the soil.

Kiril
02-17-2009, 03:15 PM
Since I did not list my labor time or cost how did you arrive at that conclusion?

Based on past posts about your program. People who sell programs don't normally bill T&M ... no?

Fertilizer cost for my Organic program is around $2.00 per K per appl. This is much more exspensive than I can price synthetics. I still fert five times.

Note, your numbers are a bit off based on what you posted in this thread.

$2 x 5 = $10/k or $60/6K annually

So lets assume your at $50 labor/k. That makes a total of $60/k and does not include time/gas to drive to the site. Am I close?

Even if I am off, I am fairly certain everyone here has a pretty good idea how long it takes spread fertilizer.

Now compost on the other hand is a different matter altogether and the time it takes can widely vary depending on many different factors. I personally can spread a yard of compost with a wheelbarrow and rake in about 20 minutes or less depending on walking distance. In the event you are not up to the math, that is 1200 square feet at 1/4" depth.

Kiril
02-17-2009, 03:21 PM
I believe you can let the microbes digest your materials in a compost pile or in the ground either way they get digested and they both improve the soil.

Well, no not really when all you are doing is meeting the needs of your plants with your feeds. Is it helping to build the soil, to some extent perhaps, but nothing like what compost will do. So I suppose if your goal is to keep the system at a point where it will always need your 5 step program, then I guess you are on the right track, but it certainly isn't a sustainable one.

dishboy
02-17-2009, 04:04 PM
Based on past posts about your program. People who sell programs don't normally bill T&M ... no?



Note, your numbers are a bit off based on what you posted in this thread.

$2 x 5 = $10/k or $60/6K annually

So lets assume your at $50 labor/k. That makes a total of $60/k and does not include time/gas to drive to the site. Am I close?

Even if I am off, I am fairly certain everyone here has a pretty good idea how long it takes spread fertilizer.

Now compost on the other hand is a different matter altogether and the time it takes can widely vary depending on many different factors. I personally can spread a yard of compost with a wheelbarrow and rake in about 20 minutes or less depending on walking distance. In the event you are not up to the math, that is 1200 square feet at 1/4" depth.

I will address these in the order you post.
1. My billing is based on time and material as these are my cost. Does the customer see this? No, they only see the price I show them per application.
2.You are looking at old costs and old application rates. This year my cost is 7.00K for a annual program on a new customer.This is four applications. Existing customers require 1 to 3 applications defending on various factors. My labor application time is 12 minutes for a 6K yard. Gas and fuel is a non factor since I fertilize after I mow so I am already there. So my direct cost are coming in around $22.00 for a 6K yard annually. This is cheaper than your yard of compost.

dishboy
02-17-2009, 04:11 PM
Well, no not really when all you are doing is meeting the needs of your plants with your feeds. Is it helping to build the soil, to some extent perhaps, but nothing like what compost will do. So I suppose if your goal is to keep the system at a point where it will always need your 5 step program, then I guess you are on the right track, but it certainly isn't a sustainable one.


How do you know that all I am doing is meeting the needs of my plants. What about other inputs , mulched clippings, mulched leaves, N from a thunder/lighting rain storm? Since the top layers of the soil in my lawns looks like black compost I would say that meeting the needs of the soil is not the only thing going on here.

treegal1
02-17-2009, 04:14 PM
Small axe,so are you saying forget natural fertilizers and just use compost. I would love to make it as simple as possible. Still don't understand how you all spread the compost. It seems folks were excited about the ecospreader but I don't hear it being promoted. The bull spreader "looked" good to me but I was told he no longer sells it. Why is that? I am not likely to shovel it on my customers yards (big yards,lotta yards)

one old and one new ecolawn, love it, just love it!!!

but if its just a small yard or a one time app or start up maybe it gets done by hand....

and why are you not getting more for the acre per year???? I can get as much as 2100$ per acre per year if I want, most year 2 yards are around 1800.......

Kiril
02-18-2009, 01:20 AM
This is four applications. Existing customers require 1 to 3 applications defending on various factors. My labor application time is 12 minutes for a 6K yard. Gas and fuel is a non factor since I fertilize after I mow so I am already there. So my direct cost are coming in around $22.00 for a 6K yard annually. This is cheaper than your yard of compost.

OK, if you say so. Wonders how much it would cost for you to apply 1/4-1/2" of your feed meal and if you would get even close to the same benefits.

BTW, do you travel? I need some cheap labor and at $22/6K T&M&Overhead I could make alot of people happy, not to mention a very nice profit margin, even with my compost material costs.

dishboy
02-18-2009, 12:01 PM
OK, if you say so. Wonders how much it would cost for you to apply 1/4-1/2" of your feed meal and if you would get even close to the same benefits.

BTW, do you travel? I need some cheap labor and at $22/6K T&M&Overhead I could make alot of people happy, not to mention a very nice profit margin, even with my compost material costs.

1.Why would I want to bury someones yard in feed when the customer is quite happy with the results from 15-20 lbs K. IMO 1/4-1/2" of any material is obtrusive and definitely not a selling point.
2.$22.00/6k does not account for profit, just materials and prevailing wage. So what does your labor cost to spread five yards of compost on 6K. How many 6K yards can you do on one of your truckloads of compost. My 1ton carries 6 yds of material. Large volume(1200 ft a yard application rate)kind of limits production, no? How many yards can you personally do in in a eight hour day? How long does the customer have to deal with the eyesore after you compost? Do customers with dogs and small children object to a brown lawn and compost in the house?
Hustling wheelbarrows of compost is not a job description I aspire to although I am sure"compost "does a soil good".

treegal1
02-18-2009, 12:20 PM
just 2 things I want to know, dishboy,

1 do you have any soil tests from your area???

2 have you ever top dressed with a proper topdresser????

lawncuttinfoo
02-18-2009, 12:39 PM
Now compost on the other hand is a different matter altogether and the time it takes can widely vary depending on many different factors. I personally can spread a yard of compost with a wheelbarrow and rake in about 20 minutes or less depending on walking distance. In the event you are not up to the math, that is 1200 square feet at 1/4" depth.


What is your secret?
It takes me about 2 hours per yard of compost with a wheelbarrow. Wow, I'm doing something wrong.

starry night
02-18-2009, 12:57 PM
What is your secret?
It takes me about 2 hours per yard of compost with a wheelbarrow. Wow, I'm doing something wrong.

He's the "John Henry" of the compost spreaders.

treegal1
02-18-2009, 01:02 PM
What is your secret?
It takes me about 2 hours per yard of compost with a wheelbarrow. Wow, I'm doing something wrong.

80 yards one day 2 men and a machine........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1i6eOsoO4E&feature=related

ECOLAWN:weightlifter::weightlifter:

Kiril
02-18-2009, 01:18 PM
1.Why would I want to bury someones yard in feed when the customer is quite happy with the results from 15-20 lbs K. IMO 1/4-1/2" of any material is obtrusive and definitely not a selling point.

You are missing the point, but whatever, I didn't expect you to get it anyhow.

2.$22.00/6k does not account for profit, just materials and prevailing wage.

That is what I said. $22/6K for T&M&Overhead. At those prices I could provide you with nearly unlimited work.

Lets do the math. $7/K/year for 4 applications, or a $1.75/K/app. Exactly how much material is this per application (in volume) anyhow?

So we now have $7/K/year and for a 6K yard that is $42/6K/year JUST for material.

So at your $22/6K/year, you not only are working for free, but you will be paying me $20 for every 6K you do. That works for me. :laugh:

I rarely "hustle wheelbarrows" anymore, or hustle anything for that matter. My business now is primarily consulting. On occasion I will "hustle a wheelbarrow" if needed, and I do have several long time clients that I will do over seed and compost for once a year, oh and I still have one maintenance account (done as needed) for the same reason (like family client).

As far as time and all that other crap, it depends on who is doing it. Like I said, I can personally "hustle" and spread with a rake 1 yard of compost in about 20 minutes. Heavy compost applications get about 1/2" of material, lighter at a 1/4". Compost gets delivered directly to the job site at whatever quantity I need. If the client is doing the work, then they can order the material themselves. How many yards of material can I move and rake in 8 hours ... figure it out yourself (and you can round to 30 minutes to make it easier).

As far as customers go, never had a complaint with the occasional exception on material costs, and considering in almost every case it is the only "fertilizer" application made for the entire year, they get over the cost real quick.

Kiril
02-18-2009, 01:22 PM
What is your secret?
It takes me about 2 hours per yard of compost with a wheelbarrow. Wow, I'm doing something wrong.

Bustin ass and small lot sizes. Average lot size out here is about 1/4 acre.

dishboy
02-18-2009, 02:10 PM
You are missing the point, but whatever, I didn't expect you to get it anyhow.



That is what I said. $22/6K for T&M&Overhead. At those prices I could provide you with nearly unlimited work.

Lets do the math. $7/K/year for 4 applications, or a $1.75/K/app. Exactly how much material is this per application (in volume) anyhow?

So we now have $7/K/year and for a 6K yard that is $42/6K/year JUST for material.

So at your $22/6K/year, you not only are working for free, but you will be paying me $20 for every 6K you do. That works for me. :laugh:

I rarely "hustle wheelbarrows" anymore, or hustle anything for that matter. My business now is primarily consulting. On occasion I will "hustle a wheelbarrow" if needed, and I do have several long time clients that I will do over seed and compost for once a year, oh and I still have one maintenance account (done as needed) for the same reason (like family client).

As far as time and all that other crap, it depends on who is doing it. Like I said, I can personally "hustle" and spread with a rake 1 yard of compost in about 20 minutes. Heavy compost applications get about 1/2" of material, lighter at a 1/4". Compost gets delivered directly to the job site at whatever quantity I need. If the client is doing the work, then they can order the material themselves. How many yards of material can I move and rake in 8 hours ... figure it out yourself (and you can round to 30 minutes to make it easier).

As far as customers go, never had a complaint with the occasional exception on material costs, and considering in almost every case it is the only "fertilizer" application made for the entire year, they get over the cost real quick.

Your right the material I quoted was for one application not four, so 42.00 for the year is correct. But that is still dirt cheap IMO.

bicmudpuppy
02-18-2009, 06:10 PM
15-20#'s /m of an organic grain product is how much actual fert? The most I have seen talked about for any kind of meal is 10%N. Organic nitrogen is VERY slow release (not a bad thing, but it must be factored).

Waste stream materials are talked about a lot, some one pro/con a little more about products like Milorganite, or the similar product coming out of TX lately (I can't remember the name, but almost identical in analysis). There have been a lot of negatives about Milorganite over the last few years about chlorine content, etc. Some studies have shown that the chlorine is very mobile and not a factor, but others claims have been that as an organic product it is counter productive because the chlorine is in a high enough concentration to do as much or more damage than synthetic ferts.

roccon31
02-18-2009, 07:24 PM
ive used a milorganite product in the past, works very well. however, im currently in the nofa course, and they are pounding it into our heads that biosolids are bad.......heavy metals, and pharmaceutical problems are the reasons.

JDUtah
02-18-2009, 07:40 PM
ive used a milorganite product in the past, works very well. however, im currently in the nofa course, and they are pounding it into our heads that biosolids are bad.......heavy metals, and pharmaceutical problems are the reasons.

But if you gold enough lead poisoning will help you be happy and the pharmaceuticals will keep you healthy! :drinkup:

I thought they kept a pretty good check on that stuff?

Pristine1
02-18-2009, 07:52 PM
What is your secret?
It takes me about 2 hours per yard of compost with a wheelbarrow. Wow, I'm doing something wrong.

I have to agree with Kiril, spreading compost on a lawn....as long as the pile/truck is close enough, could be easily done at 1yd/.5 hrs. Its not rocket science, get a big enough shovel, and run that wheel barrow. Is it grunt work? Yes. Is it a very important part of an organic program? Yes. Is it a money maker YES! Or you could always go out and buy a blower truck and do it in minutes!

There are quicker ways to get it done, but in reality, if you are low on funds, you do what it takes to get it done.

Pristine1
02-18-2009, 07:59 PM
80 yards one day 2 men and a machine........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1i6eOsoO4E&feature=related

ECOLAWN:weightlifter::weightlifter:

Was that your crew or a claim by ecolawn? Pretty good numbers on that!

roccon31
02-18-2009, 08:03 PM
ive been here 2 days, and they must have told us 50 times that milorganite is bad to use. im new to this, so this was news to me. i thought it was "organic". apparently not by the nofa definition.

replenish&subdue
02-18-2009, 08:04 PM
O.K.,now your getting back to the original thread subject. So why not the ecospreader? Anyone have one besides Treegal. I am not going to have my workers spread with shovel and wheel barrel.
And anyone know other compost spreaders besides the eco for $5000? Sounds like a market that needs to open up. A little competition.

phasthound
02-18-2009, 08:37 PM
ive been here 2 days, and they must have told us 50 times that milorganite is bad to use. im new to this, so this was news to me. i thought it was "organic". apparently not by the nofa definition.

NOFA does have their own definition.
They are great guys, they know a great deal.
There is no one true path.
Learn as much as you can.
Decide for yourself.

roccon31
02-18-2009, 10:11 PM
like someone (ict bill i think) posted a couple weeks back, the amount of info in the course will make your head spin!!!! today was CT and soil day, todd harrington spoke today- VERY MUCH full of info! if i had 1/1000th of that guys knowledge of CT, i'd be a wealthy man. i got to sit with him for an hour at lunch, and the group of folks at the table were hammering him for info which he shared at will. i definately learned ALOT.

and for the record, NOT ONE mention of "buy my franchise" or "buy my products". from anyone. just knowledgeable people sharing very good info.

my head hurts....:hammerhead:

bicmudpuppy
02-18-2009, 10:45 PM
And anyone know other compost spreaders besides the eco for $5000? Sounds like a market that needs to open up. A little competition.

Change your terminology and start searching. You don't want a SPREADER. That is a term that has crossed over from the synthetics market. You want a TOPDRESSER. $5,000? New? How much ground do you need to cover? Does it need to be self propelled or can it be towed? Do you already own a turf truck for other purposes. I could put my hands on a truck mounted top dresser in good shape for around $3,000. A good pull unit can be found for the same, but closer to the $5,000 is a better number. We are talking about a unit with a live bed and spreader brush at the end. Self propelled units are getting harder and harder to find. The good news is that if you can find one, the parts are readily available to maintain them and they are easy to work on. They are also VERY reliable and durable. A walking unit can be had from anywhere from about $1500 to $3000 depending on the unit and it's condition. Can someone kick me a link to the unit that has been referenced? I would like to compare. I have an old walking unit and two tow units that we use for sand top dressing. Scaling them back for compost would be easy. I have used top dressers almost closed to apply Milorganite and 10-10-10 type products. It can be done and the application is as uniform as the operator.

replenish&subdue
02-18-2009, 10:54 PM
Thanks,for now on it is a top dresser. I am looking for a self-propelled. Turfco sells a 'top dresser' but I heard not good for compost but sand like material. I like turfco products (have two of their aerators). I would almost buy the eco'spreader' but that is why I'm on this thread to see what else is out there and who can speak well of the eco spreader with experience. I liked the bull spreader but they stopped selling.??

bicmudpuppy
02-18-2009, 11:28 PM
Searching got me a picture of the eco spreader........:nono::nono::nono:

You do NOT want a broadcast top dresser. Yes, it will cover a little bit more area in a pass, but unless your mix is VERY uniform, throwing the product side to side is going to produce uneven coverage (the Turfco models are broadcasts too). I am attaching a picture of my walking top dresser. The round cover behind the machine is hiding a nylon rotary brush very much like a sweeper brush. This brush can be set to make actual contact with the live bed, or just miss it. Either way, the majority of the product is dropped into the brush and then thrown out. My two pull behind units do not have the brushes, but the bed moves faster and the pattern is uniform so, I don't complain :) You might get better results buying a truckster and top dresser together, used from a decent turf dealer. A cushman Jr with a topdresser in decent shape might be had for under $3000. The machine pictured has a hopper that is about 30" at the top.

starry night
02-18-2009, 11:39 PM
What's that white powder in the picture? Something that you top dress in New Mexico?

bicmudpuppy
02-18-2009, 11:40 PM
The Toro truck mounted unit looks like this.
http://www.toro.com/golf/images/cm_td_1800_s_xl.jpg

The towed model in action:
http://www.toro.com/golf/images/cm_td_2500_l_xl_cs.jpg

It is spreading sand, but with the brush, you can imagine what it would do with compost.

The cushman version:
http://products.jacobsen.com/img/products/1538.jpg

Or, put it on a green gator:
http://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductCatalog/GT/media/images/attachment/TopDresser_48596_a.jpg

treegal1
02-19-2009, 04:11 AM
BC you have got to be kidding or drunk, a drop spreader for residential landscapes, so how do you do the beds and trees and other stuff in a landscape, run it over??? and that many passes, thanks for killing the productivity of topdressing!! and un even?? that's just false and un guided info, i do a nice even job with the ecolawn. and it will fit in a mini van if need be. truck mounted what?? can you run that over a septic system???pic 2 of that toro?? yeah nice stripe!!! how even is that?? maybe for a sand pit of a GC somewhere in a desert but for what we do in residential turf. nah you got me POed on this one. have you ever spread pure worm casts or manure with a brush yeah that's what i thought. well good luck with that fan blower for CT, its just hot air from the same source.......

Mr. Nice
02-19-2009, 09:05 AM
...........!

replenish&subdue
02-19-2009, 09:06 AM
Amen,sister. It will not be practical for residential yards. The eco is the only choice I see. Still don't want to fork out the grands.
This is an opportunity americans to develope a better compost spreader to drive down competition.
Tree-gal,how well does it work? If it works so well,I thought you were going to be a dealer?

treegal1
02-19-2009, 09:12 AM
I am a dealer, and yes it works great, the old yellow one worked good but if you park them side by side then you really see the R&D the ecolawn has put into the machine.

new drive belt, better agitator, nice controls better wheels.

bicmudpuppy
02-19-2009, 09:16 AM
TG, Yeah they've got a miss in that picture, but a good operator wouldn't. A miss with a broadcast isn't any better than a miss with a drop spreader. Maybe that ecospreader has enough internal agitation to throw what your putting down. I've seen broadcast top dressers like that plug or get a "skip" w/ damp sand, let alone organic material. The brush on those may be fun to clean after spreading a damp material at the END of the day, but your not going to get a miss. As to beds, etc., your using that broadcast spreader to throw into the beds only? I would think that hand spreading would be the only reliable method in beds. That or a mulch blower. I was starting to respect most of what I was hearing, but now I am hearing the one pass and blow out of the property crap I hate from the residential chem guys. Those machines I pictured will hold from 1/2 to 1 yard of material. At the light rate, 1/2 yard of material would cover only 1000sq' at best. The picture I saw of the ecospread doesn't look any bigger than 1 yard, but it could be. Most have been talking about 5-6000sq' residential yards. A drop spreading top dresser is going to be a lot faster/ more efficient than a wheel barrow. I think if you ran the ecospreader across pavement to see pattern, you would be dissapointed. It doesn't matter what you are applying, or the unit being used, you should still be making two trips in opposing directions. Yeah, I know, I live in a different world. I do two directions, throw back to the wheels, with every application I do, but doing it right isn't profitable in the commercial application world.

Kiril
02-19-2009, 09:19 AM
ive used a milorganite product in the past, works very well. however, im currently in the nofa course, and they are pounding it into our heads that biosolids are bad.......heavy metals, and pharmaceutical problems are the reasons.

Remember, we are talking landscapes here, not food crops. :)

Prolawnservice
02-19-2009, 09:21 AM
So are they;)

treegal1
02-19-2009, 09:21 AM
Remember, we are talking landscapes here, not food crops. :)yep for food its a no go, for lawns biosludge on!!!!!!!!!!

Kiril
02-19-2009, 09:23 AM
As to beds, etc., your using that broadcast spreader to throw into the beds only? I would think that hand spreading would be the only reliable method in beds. That or a mulch blower.

Broadcast with a shovel as well, or depending on time of year, dump and spread.

Mr. Nice
02-19-2009, 09:23 AM
are we florist or landscapers? gee...

wheel barrel, couple rakes, and a few people...? and your good to go.
you only make it as hard as u want. the key is many hands.
im sure you can find plenty of people to help a week or two for some monies under the table..?

i had family and a few friends come help when it was time last fall to get
the topdressing done. do not try to solo this job unless you like lots of
work:weightlifter: and want to be at one house all day?

we made a few thou. it was easy money from my point of view. yeah it was
a lot of raking and such but...should be nothing new to any real landscaper?

one or two running barrels and dumping, the rest raking it out..
goes very fast that way, just dump small piles here and there as you go along and not full barrels at one time...unless?

when starting out top dressing lawns start small, and get'er done...

Mr. Nice
02-19-2009, 09:24 AM
kiril,

you read minds too....:confused:

Kiril
02-19-2009, 09:25 AM
yep for food its a no go, for lawns biosludge on!!!!!!!!!!

Personally I wouldn't use it on food crops (human waste and all), but we also should consider other sources of heavy metals and pharms .... like your irrigation water.

bicmudpuppy
02-19-2009, 09:32 AM
I am a dealer, and yes it works great, the old yellow one worked good but if you park them side by side then you really see the R&D the ecolawn has put into the machine.

new drive belt, better agitator, nice controls better wheels.

That cloud of dust I see in the picture doesn't go with anything wet enough to have caused the brush on the drop spreader to even get dirty. Humidity will put enough moisture in sand to make the broadcast top dressers keep a good operator on his toes watching for the skips that happen from clogging moisture. Another reason why golf courses prize dry sand so much. The drop spreader is going to beat the wheel barrow and put it down evenly without the man power hand raking would require. Looking at your picture again, if you were putting down 1/8" depth your going to be empty in 75'? That looks like a 1/2 yard hopper.

bicmudpuppy
02-19-2009, 09:36 AM
What's that white powder in the picture? Something that you top dress in New Mexico?

Yeah, but the distribution is terrible. Wind moves it around a lot so the coverage is very uneven. The application equipment is unreliable as well.

Smallaxe
02-19-2009, 03:24 PM
Small axe,so are you saying forget natural fertilizers and just use compost. I would love to make it as simple as possible. Still don't understand how you all spread the compost. It seems folks were excited about the ecospreader but I don't hear it being promoted. The bull spreader "looked" good to me but I was told he no longer sells it. Why is that? I am not likely to shovel it on my customers yards (big yards,lotta yards)

This thread moves quickly...

Compost for me is a good base and soil ammendment.
We have had many discussions about the building of the soil releases bound nutrients via the microbial populations.

So the reduction of fert is the first step. Not washing away nutrients and growing anaerobic organisms, through overwatering, is the second step. IMHO

Organic ferts are useful of course. I like Milorganite for example. I just don't consider ground up ceral grains to be fertilizer, unless the grandson doesn't finish his oatmeal and it ends up on the compost pile. :)

Smallaxe
02-19-2009, 03:29 PM
R&S,

I forgot the second part. Use a wheel barrow with 2 people. One to push and the other to broadcast. Easy to fill and transport around the yard and goes very quickly without any after raking or blowing. Once you get the hang of it.

replenish&subdue
02-19-2009, 07:56 PM
I just discovered the top dresser by earth & turf. Spreads evenly and no dust cloud. Can anyone advise?

treegal1
02-19-2009, 08:02 PM
that dust cloud was wood flour, compost does not do that... JUST FYI........... it has a O % moisture.......

treegal1
02-19-2009, 08:04 PM
I just discovered the top dresser by earth & turf. Spreads evenly and no dust cloud. Can anyone advise?

yes you will make 4 passes for every 1 I make:nono:

bicmudpuppy
02-19-2009, 08:28 PM
yes you will make 4 passes for every 1 I make:nono:

That pattern does not look to be 10' wide, and if your broadcasting and not overlapping back to center, your not getting anything close to even coverage. Is your product so uniform that there are no heavy vs light materials in the compost? A well mixed material through a drop spreader doesn't get "sorted" by the casting. A broad cast spreader throws the heavier particles farther and the light stuff stays in close. Even with throwing back to center, you do not get even coverage. I have had commercially mixed fertilizers that run fine in a small spreader be a total disaster in my a machine like my Lely. You throw a 70' wide path and the lighter vs heavier particles become obvious. The ecospreader would be faster, but I think you have to admit your losing precision. If your previous precision was rake and a wheel barrow, then maybe you haven't lost anything. If your operator can't walk a straight line and run the machine, then it doesn't really matter how precise the machine is. When we top dress with sand (like in the picture), sometimes we skip half a row. The material is going to be drug with a mat and then a broom after the application.

treegal1
02-19-2009, 08:57 PM
That pattern does not look to be 10' wide, and if your broadcasting and not overlapping back to center, your not getting anything close to even coverage. Is your product so uniform that there are no heavy vs light materials in the compost? A well mixed material through a drop spreader doesn't get "sorted" by the casting. A broad cast spreader throws the heavier particles farther and the light stuff stays in close. Even with throwing back to center, you do not get even coverage. I have had commercially mixed fertilizers that run fine in a small spreader be a total disaster in my a machine like my Lely. You throw a 70' wide path and the lighter vs heavier particles become obvious. The ecospreader would be faster, but I think you have to admit your losing precision. If your previous precision was rake and a wheel barrow, then maybe you haven't lost anything. If your operator can't walk a straight line and run the machine, then it doesn't really matter how precise the machine is. When we top dress with sand (like in the picture), sometimes we skip half a row. The material is going to be drug with a mat and then a broom after the application.
dude your losing me fast...... lets see here halp circle pattern with the heavy stuff flying farther than the light stuff???? if its legal ship me some of what your.........

next and this important!! its compost!!! fine screened to pass 1/8 inch. i dont want to go any farther on this subject.

and then the next thing, most of my yards get 6-8 apps of 1/4 inch done in 2 passes. now tell me what i missed and then that will be the third and last time you second guess me. now run along with your NPK FERT and try and listen and look at the pic and words that are here in my hand.....

NattyLawn
02-19-2009, 09:41 PM
I was also skeptical about the EcoLawn until Daniel gave us a demo. It spreads evenly and there was no difference between the fine castings and larger chunks. Chit came out all one via the conveyor. BUT, I think that bic is probably using this on a golf course, so uniformity and precise coverage might be necessary.

bicmudpuppy
02-19-2009, 09:46 PM
Tree, you took it personally, and it wasn't meant that way. If I had know you were a dealer, I probably would have guessed the knee jerk reaction. The Turfco machine mentioned earlier looks VERY similar, only larger to your ecospreader.

http://www.turfco.com/assets/images/CR10_2_sm.jpg

I have seen these units perform very poorly with just the addition of humidity, no actual moisture, when spreading SAND. Your telling me that the brush on a drop type top dresser is going to clog with the material you are spreading, but that it will pass through your spreader. From personal experience, you can't have it both ways. Even here, in the desert, I would not trust a turfco with compost, peat, etc. They do a good job of spreading sand IF you watch for build up of moist sand and the operator is paying attention. I think the above unit runs around $40k, but I haven't priced one lately. That hopper is also 4yds of material (6 TONS) and can be equipped w/ a material handler that would also convey mulch or compost into beds instead of spreading. A good used unit would run half of that. I did not intend to ruffle feathers or make this a personal affrontation. The ecospreader is supposed to be designed for what you are selling it for, and maybe it works. Excellent agitators and proper design to prevent the build up of moist material would make that possible. They tell me that the latest versions of the tufco (the one pictured) is better in this respect than what I have personally seen. I can't afford one, so I'm not going to demo one. My 6' drop spreaders are going to have to be good enough.

treegal1
02-19-2009, 11:17 PM
I tryed to get the new ecolawn to jamb up, trust me we went through almost every conceivable scenario, from 1/4 inch mulch to sand and casts, we and dry mixes of wet and dry. pahokee muck, duck weed, raw manure(in clods) and the ecolawn never faltered. we do have septic systems here, almost every yard, and they are shallow!!! so no more than 1800LBS at a time and I even try and avoid these when full......

replenish&subdue
02-20-2009, 12:08 AM
I like the eco but still,does anyone know and have a comment on the earth & turf. it fits through a gate,spreads uniform (as least on the video it was convincing). And thanks TG for testing and proving the eco for everyone.

bicmudpuppy
02-20-2009, 08:46 AM
I tryed to get the new ecolawn to jamb up, trust me we went through almost every conceivable scenario, from 1/4 inch mulch to sand and casts, we and dry mixes of wet and dry. pahokee muck, duck weed, raw manure(in clods) and the ecolawn never faltered. we do have septic systems here, almost every yard, and they are shallow!!! so no more than 1800LBS at a time and I even try and avoid these when full......

I will have to take your word for it. I do not foresee a use for anything that small. Everything I suggested, with the exception of the old, small walking turfco (very first picture from my maint. yard) is close to that much weight empty. Even the little turfco is 7 or 800 empty. IF I get a screener, having a big turfco would be a major plus, but the budget isn't going to allow it.

phasthound
02-20-2009, 10:21 AM
I like the eco but still,does anyone know and have a comment on the earth & turf. it fits through a gate,spreads uniform (as least on the video it was convincing). And thanks TG for testing and proving the eco for everyone.

I love mine!

treegal1
02-20-2009, 10:36 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaimEdAOLKI&eurl=http://www.earthandturf.com/entvids.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1i6eOsoO4E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A99RFXGj6A&feature=related

here so you can see.............

Barefoot James
02-20-2009, 10:46 AM
mud - you have to realize the ecolawn has a conveyer belt in the bottom - Like your turfco and an auger at the end - like your turfco and then drops it down on the wheel and it gets spread. tree has probably tested every unit on the planet and has been testing the ecolawn for about a year and forced the dude to make modifications before she signed up. So if you get a chance to try one - do it. Otherwise trust the tree.

replenish&subdue
02-20-2009, 12:08 PM
Thanks TG. Do you know of a 100sp top dresser spreading compost. The video had it spreading sand. I was quoted $6448 on that model. I would think you did your homework before going with the eco. How do you compare the three shown on the videos? What I need is a trade show to try each myself but I want one in March. Again thanks.