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View Full Version : Topdressing of Bermuda Lawn With River Sand


chaser2587
06-06-2010, 12:22 PM
Here is my bermuda lawn that my wife and I topdressed yesterday with 6 yds of river sand. Hopefully this backbreaking work will pay off and I will have a smooth lawn to enjoy. Here are some pics!

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5539-1.jpg

We finished the right side before the rain
http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5548-1.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5545-1.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5547-1.jpg

Front lawn before topdressing
http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5534-1.jpg

After topdressing...
http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5543-1.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5544-1.jpg

cgaengineer
06-06-2010, 10:27 PM
Man Chase, that looks great! I know you worked hard and I am sorry about the heavy rain, happened to me as well.

cgaengineer
06-06-2010, 10:34 PM
That empty lot across the street looks just like the one across from me!

Firefighter337
06-06-2010, 10:50 PM
I want your jap maple for my yard.

cgaengineer
06-06-2010, 10:58 PM
I want your jap maple for my yard.

Take a trip to Loganville, GA when Growers Outlet is open again and you can get them for $8.

Firefighter337
06-06-2010, 11:02 PM
Take a trip to Loganville, GA when Growers Outlet is open again and you can get them for $8.

Good Gracious, that is an insane deal. The prices around here are something in the neighborhood of 18" - 24" , $60 low and $105 high.

cgaengineer
06-06-2010, 11:04 PM
They had green and red at that price and it was about 2' tall.
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Firefighter337
06-06-2010, 11:24 PM
Wow. I just emailed them to see what they have left. They close up June 13th. I should be done with sod on Tuesday and beds prepped Weds and Thursday.

I have a great connection with a local nursury for 3-7 gallon loropetalums, indian hawthorns, and tea olives. I am also putting in some watermelon red and nanchez crape myrtles. But I really want 2 purple lace leafs and 2 green jap maples too. I'll let you know.

Chaser, great looking job.

chaser2587
06-06-2010, 11:36 PM
I want your jap maple for my yard.

Thank you it's one of my favorites.

chaser2587
06-06-2010, 11:37 PM
Man Chase, that looks great! I know you worked hard and I am sorry about the heavy rain, happened to me as well.

Yeah the heavy rain sucks... but THANK YOU for all of your help and advice! I've picked your brain and asked you a billion questions. Now I can't wait for it to green up!!!

cgaengineer
06-07-2010, 12:00 AM
I purchased 3 gallon lorapatelums for $14 at a local nursery and at the same nursery I got a B&B natchez that was about 15' tall for $80...it had a 2.5' tall by 3' wide rootball.

Growers had 3 gallon tea olives for $12 and I picked one up for the rear deck...I have never smelled a tree that smelled so good, look into banana bushes, they smell good too...purchased 3 of them for $6 each and they were 3 gallon too.
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cgaengineer
06-07-2010, 12:02 AM
Yeah the heavy rain sucks... but THANK YOU for all of your help and advice! I've picked your brain and asked you a billion questions. Now I can't wait for it to green up!!!

Give it 4 days and you will see a green fuzz...did you get the fert down?
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Firefighter337
06-07-2010, 12:12 AM
I purchased 3 gallon lorapatelums for $14 at a local nursery and at the same nursery I got a B&B natchez that was about 15' tall for $80...it had a 2.5' tall by 3' wide rootball.

Growers had 3 gallon tea olives for $12 and I picked one up for the rear deck...I have never smelled a tree that smelled so good, look into banana bushes, they smell good too...purchased 3 of them for $6 each and they were 3 gallon too.
Posted via Mobile Device

I am not sure about the tea olives. But my 3 gals on loro's are 8.50 and they are filled in nicely. But in turn, I pay out of the arse on other types of shrubs you pay pennys for.

I hope the Jap maples are in and available. I will be traveling to Loganville. Might even go to the dekalb farmers market before hand and go to loganville on the way back.

cgaengineer
06-07-2010, 12:26 AM
Call them and make sure they have some before you head this way. If for some reason you can't make it I can pick up a couple for you.
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cgaengineer
06-07-2010, 12:28 AM
I did get some 3 gallon indian hawthorne at a nursery that was going out of business, they looked pretty bad when I got them and a year later almost dead with a fungus but I treated them and fertilized and they bounced back nicely...growing like crazy now!
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Firefighter337
06-07-2010, 12:30 AM
Call them and make sure they have some before you head this way. If for some reason you can't make it I can pick up a couple for you.
Posted via Mobile Device

Ill let you know. If they have them, I am going to probably get 6 or 8. I also want to get some of their knockout roses and lantana. Crazy deals there.

I am taking a vac day from the fire house on weds. Today is my 1 year wedding anniversary. So we need a little excuse to take a day trip to atlanta or somewhere. So I am definately going some where Thurs or Fri.

cgaengineer
06-07-2010, 12:35 AM
Yes their lantana is a deal...catch them at the end of the season and you can get some good deals on hastas. Last year I got 3" pots for $.50 each. Best deal yet were sky pencils for 3 for $10 one gallon size and 3 foot tall.
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cgaengineer
06-07-2010, 12:38 AM
We totally hijacked Mr. Mosleys thread, sorry Chase!
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chaser2587
06-07-2010, 08:03 AM
Give it 4 days and you will see a green fuzz...did you get the fert down?
Posted via Mobile Device

No. The ground/sand is waaaay to soft after all of the rain. Although this morning it was pretty green and less sand showing. I plan on hitting it with the fert tomorrow.

chaser2587
06-07-2010, 08:04 AM
We totally hijacked Mr. Mosleys thread, sorry Chase!
Posted via Mobile Device

That's ok, I will forgive you. You know I wouldn't let just anyone hijack my thread...

T56 Impala
06-08-2010, 04:39 PM
Where did you get the sand from? I'm in Roswell and really need to do this to my front yard once I fix the damage done by Weed Man!

chaser2587
06-08-2010, 04:52 PM
Where did you get the sand from? I'm in Roswell and really need to do this to my front yard once I fix the damage done by Weed Man!

Mulchman LLC off of hwy 140 in hickory flat. Should be a hop and skip from you if you are in roswell.

T56 Impala
06-08-2010, 05:25 PM
Not far at all! Thanks for the info. Quick question, how do you calculate the amount you need for top dressing? When my in ground system was installed, they left some pretty decent low spots around the perimeter of the yard. With all the work we have had do around here over the last 3 years, the whole yard is pretty beat up. (Landscaped the back yard TWICE. See http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=282579 )

chaser2587
06-08-2010, 09:06 PM
Not far at all! Thanks for the info. Quick question, how do you calculate the amount you need for top dressing? When my in ground system was installed, they left some pretty decent low spots around the perimeter of the yard. With all the work we have had do around here over the last 3 years, the whole yard is pretty beat up. (Landscaped the back yard TWICE. See http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=282579 )

No problem... glad I could help you out. Do you know what the square footage of your lawn is? If so then... take the square footage of the area you want to cover and multiply by the depth of material you plan to spread on the lawn and divide by 324.

For example...
(4000 sq ft.) x (0.5") / 324

wrager
06-08-2010, 09:08 PM
http://www.sandmantopdressing.com/

Also can look on Craigslist.

gnoles
06-12-2010, 11:00 PM
Chase,

What was your soil like beforehand? I'm sitting on a new subdivision (old pasture) and I'm looking at a lot of clay. I like the idea of river sand, as I already know where to get it locally.

I appreciate the pictures, and hope you'll post some progress shots as the dressing settles and your bermuda pushes through.

chaser2587
06-12-2010, 11:37 PM
Chase,

What was your soil like beforehand? I'm sitting on a new subdivision (old pasture) and I'm looking at a lot of clay. I like the idea of river sand, as I already know where to get it locally.

I appreciate the pictures, and hope you'll post some progress shots as the dressing settles and your bermuda pushes through.

Red clay, probably some rock. I've had to dig a couple of landscaping beds around the house and it's either clay or rock. River sand is the way to for bermuda or zoysia. I mowed today for the first time (1 week since application of sand). I meant to get some pics today but forgot, hopefully I can get some tomorrow. I will definitely keep you and anyone else who wants to watch the progress up to date!

DeerJohn
06-28-2010, 05:48 PM
Thanks for the pictures. I live in West Texas and I have been contemplating topdressing my lawn using sand similar to what Chase has done.

I have a Bermuda lawn and mow with a Trimmer Reel. My yard is not too uneven but enough that in some places I get some scalped areas. Looking around on the internet I see that everyone is saying to topdress in Spring and/or Fall. Do you guys see any harm in doing this in the summer season? I see that Chase did his in early June.

Also, I am seeking any tips and advice that you guys can bring to the table.

chaser2587
06-28-2010, 07:19 PM
Thanks for the pictures. I live in West Texas and I have been contemplating topdressing my lawn using sand similar to what Chase has done.

I have a Bermuda lawn and mow with a Trimmer Reel. My yard is not too uneven but enough that in some places I get some scalped areas. Looking around on the internet I see that everyone is saying to topdress in Spring and/or Fall. Do you guys see any harm in doing this in the summer season? I see that Chase did his in early June.

Also, I am seeking any tips and advice that you guys can bring to the table.

As long as the turf is growing vigorusly then topdressing a bermuda lawn with river sand will be just fine. You definitely DO NOT want to do it in the fall. Your turf won't have enough time to recover. Also, watch the weather... I had a couple of downpours after I got mine down. It washed some of my sand away and put me back at square one in a few areas. But in the flatter areas the sand stayed and the turf is very smooth! On the other hand you don't want to catch a summer drought... The perfect situation would be to get a few light rain showers.

cgaengineer
06-28-2010, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the pictures. I live in West Texas and I have been contemplating topdressing my lawn using sand similar to what Chase has done.

I have a Bermuda lawn and mow with a Trimmer Reel. My yard is not too uneven but enough that in some places I get some scalped areas. Looking around on the internet I see that everyone is saying to topdress in Spring and/or Fall. Do you guys see any harm in doing this in the summer season? I see that Chase did his in early June.

Also, I am seeking any tips and advice that you guys can bring to the table.

Never topdress a warm season lawn in the fall...you will look at sand through the winter. Now if you are talking about compost have at it...topdress anytime.

chaser2587
06-28-2010, 07:28 PM
HEY!!! Shouldn't you be out mowing lawns?

agm
06-28-2010, 09:28 PM
So I'm a little confused. What is the sand for and what does it do? I, personally, have never heard of this.

cgaengineer
06-28-2010, 10:01 PM
HEY!!! Shouldn't you be out mowing lawns?

I should be but I had to do some errands today. I did get my cat 26 and 27 study material at UGA today as well.
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chaser2587
06-28-2010, 10:44 PM
I should be but I had to do some errands today. I did get my cat 26 and 27 study material at UGA today as well.
Posted via Mobile Device

ah... so you are lucky that u got to go to sacred ground today. I started mowing my lawn after I made that smart elec comment to you and I got the right side of the driveway done and all of a sudden a hurricane came through! I thought we were going to lose the crape myrtles. I'm about to go check the rain gauge. Have you gotten any rain today?

chaser2587
06-28-2010, 10:47 PM
So I'm a little confused. What is the sand for and what does it do? I, personally, have never heard of this.

The main reason is to level/smooth out the lawn. I use a TruCut P20 reel mower and I cut the lawn at 1/2". So with the lawn being cut so low any bumps or dips in the lawn causes the mower to hit the dirt therefore scalping the lawn. Putting river sand down over a bermuda lawn will significantly reduce the bumps in a lawn.

cgaengineer
06-28-2010, 10:49 PM
We have not have any significant rainfall in over 2 weeks.
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cgaengineer
06-28-2010, 10:53 PM
Send me your address again Chase, I have a book I'm going to send you.
Posted via Mobile Device

chaser2587
06-28-2010, 11:00 PM
I sent it to you...You are too kind!!!

I just checked and we got another 3/4". Plus the 3/4" we got earlier today... so that puts it up to 1.5" for the day :clapping: Although I'm not sure this last reading is accurate, it basically rained sideways the whole time..lol. Sorry to hear you haven't got any rain in 2 weeks. I feel your pain though, the heat stress on my yard is starting to look really bad.

onebreezer
07-05-2010, 10:47 AM
Mulchman LLC off of hwy 140 in hickory flat. Should be a hop and skip from you if you are in roswell.

Tht topdressing looks very thick. It covers the turf almost completely. How is the turf coming thru? Has any of it died out?

chaser2587
07-05-2010, 10:05 PM
Tht topdressing looks very thick. It covers the turf almost completely. How is the turf coming thru? Has any of it died out?

NO... none of it has died out. I had bare spots in my lawn to start with and those spots have taken awhile to fill in. Some of those spots haven't filled in all the way yet, but the bare spots are making progress since the heat wave has slacked off. Overall the turf came through great! You could almost say the process of the grass coming back through was sped up since we had 2 downpours right after we got it down. Some of the sand got washed away, especially on the slopes, but it was greened up 75% by the time a week had passed.

cgaengineer
07-05-2010, 10:08 PM
Post some pics Chase...
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chaser2587
07-05-2010, 10:18 PM
I don't have any that are updated! I've been out of town. I will try to get some tomorrow.

toasted
07-05-2010, 10:40 PM
In for pics...

chaser2587
07-05-2010, 10:42 PM
I did find these though....

These were taken exactly 1 week after applying river sand to my lawn.


http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5553.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5554.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5555.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5556.jpg

toasted
07-05-2010, 10:45 PM
Nice! You mentioned that the rain had taken some material away...

Is the lawn still smooth and even or did it get pocked up from the rain?

cgaengineer
07-05-2010, 11:00 PM
It looks great!

It will get pocked up but it doesn't make a big difference with a reel with a roller on the front.
Posted via Mobile Device

chaser2587
07-05-2010, 11:06 PM
Believe it or not it is still smooth. The hills that are in my yard got the brunt of the material washing away. And yeah it sucks that some of the sand got washed away, but the rain made ruts where the sand was and that has been the bad part. But in the flatter areas it turned out fine. I didn't do my back yard so I still have that turf to compare my turf that has been topdressed with and the difference is night and day.

onebreezer
07-06-2010, 08:37 AM
So then can you compare? Is it greatly more level now than before? Was the back as lumpy as the front. Results? How much time did it take you? What size area did you do?

chaser2587
07-06-2010, 08:55 AM
So then can you compare? Is it greatly more level now than before? Was the back as lumpy as the front. Results? How much time did it take you? What size area did you do?

Absolutely... the difference is like a gravel road to start with and now it's like a paved road. It is much more level now than before. The only places where i have trouble are the ruts the water created when washing the sand away. But these ruts aren't very wide or deep, and i actually don't get scalp marks at these places just longer grass where the mower dosen't go all the way down and just passes over it. It took 1 full day of "hard labor" to get 6 yds of sand down over 4000 sq ft. If you wanted to take it easy...you could make it an all weekend project, but I wanted to get it down rather than wait. Another thing I noticed between the back and front yards is the color of the grass. The front... where the river sand was applied... is a much deeper green than the back, there is a stark contrast between them.

toasted
07-06-2010, 12:15 PM
Not bad at all.... Must feel like heaven to mow it!

chaser2587
07-06-2010, 12:47 PM
Pretty much... Chris can back me up on this by saying... it's not concrete smooth, there's still some bumps but most of the bumps that were there before are now humps. Yes it's nice to have a smooth lawn to mow and not have the mower bouncing all over the place, but the main goal was to eliminate scalping the lawn with the reel mower. Mowing with a reel mower is fun regardless whether the lawn is bumpy or not. It's the results of the cut you get when you are finished that makes it worth it to go through the effort of topdressing.

onebreezer
07-06-2010, 07:45 PM
what size area have you topdressed? How much time did it take you?

avguy
07-06-2010, 07:57 PM
Chase...I've been following this thread and waiting for the after pics...your lawn looks great!

Trivia question for you.... if you were going to do it again but this time you were going to top dress 1.25 acres...would you do it the same way? Scott

chaser2587
07-06-2010, 08:36 PM
what size area have you topdressed? How much time did it take you?

4000 sq. ft

Roughly 9 hrs. but we had to wait out a few thunderstorms. It's definitely an all day project.

chaser2587
07-06-2010, 08:42 PM
Chase...I've been following this thread and waiting for the after pics...your lawn looks great!

Trivia question for you.... if you were going to do it again but this time you were going to top dress 1.25 acres...would you do it the same way? Scott

Thanks Scott! It's filled in alot more now. I will try and get some more pics for you all to see.

Heck NO!!!:dizzy: I would rent a topdressing machine for that much. More than likely do it in sections if I had that much to do. If I was smart I would've got a tractor with a bucket and spread the sand out in small piles over 4000 sq. ft. It was a job within itself getting the sand from the main pile out to the yard, much less spreading the sand.

cgaengineer
07-06-2010, 10:51 PM
Thanks Scott! It's filled in alot more now. I will try and get some more pics for you all to see.

Heck NO!!!:dizzy: I would rent a topdressing machine for that much. More than likely do it in sections if I had that much to do. If I was smart I would've got a tractor with a bucket and spread the sand out in small piles over 4000 sq. ft. It was a job within itself getting the sand from the main pile out to the yard, much less spreading the sand.

I told you to use that tractor when you asked...
Posted via Mobile Device

chaser2587
07-06-2010, 11:30 PM
I told you to use that tractor when you asked...
Posted via Mobile Device

OH!!! You called me out on that one! :laugh:

I thought I saw where you were mowing your lawn at 1" now a days... is that true?

cgaengineer
07-07-2010, 12:13 AM
OH!!! You called me out on that one! :laugh:

I thought I saw where you were mowing your lawn at 1" now a days... is that true?

Actually its probably 1.25" and I hate it...I think I'll hit it with the reel tomorrow. It has a white haze over it from ragged and tattered grass blades...not healthy for my turf.
Posted via Mobile Device

chaser2587
07-07-2010, 07:57 AM
Actually its probably 1.25" and I hate it...I think I'll hit it with the reel tomorrow. It has a white haze over it from ragged and tattered grass blades...not healthy for my turf.
Posted via Mobile Device

Are you using your rotary? I"m probably going to start using my rotary on the back yard.

onebreezer
07-08-2010, 08:05 AM
Just curious. I run a topdressing operation in Augusta, Ga. I would have charged you about $490 for a turn key job. I machine spread the sand, rake it in and drag it with a drag mat, core aerate it, and clean up the mess. Materials included. Would that have been worth $490?

cgaengineer
07-08-2010, 08:13 AM
Just curious. I run a topdressing operation in Augusta, Ga. I would have charged you about $490 for a turn key job. I machine spread the sand, rake it in and drag it with a drag mat, core aerate it, and clean up the mess. Materials included. Would that have been worth $490?

How far do you travel? Does it include sand? Do you reel mow prior to topdressing?
Posted via Mobile Device

Firefighter337
07-08-2010, 01:54 PM
I am in augusta, ga. I have a customer that I will have contact you.

onebreezer
07-08-2010, 02:51 PM
I do not travel that far. I supply a variety of material choices. White sand, brown sand, peat moss additives, screened topsoil, compost, and combinations of those. My wife is with the FAA and she may be relocating to the Hampton area. If so who knows. I do not usually scalp first. I usually have the customer do that. The customer usually has the mower to do the cutting but not the topdresser and aerater. I do know a guy in your area that does scalp and topdress. I would be glad to share his number with you. You can vist my website at WWW.TURFTREATERS.COM and email me thru that site at edmoore@turftreaters.com

cgaengineer
07-08-2010, 04:17 PM
That guy would be my competition since I offer topdressing.
Posted via Mobile Device

onebreezer
07-08-2010, 05:05 PM
Oh sorry i did not know who i was talking to. So you topdress in the Atlanta area. Roswell? What is your process? Website etc?

Firefighter337
07-09-2010, 12:18 AM
Onebreezer,

I want to top dress my yard, Empire Zoysia in Martinez. Do you know of anyone that rents the machine locally? I have asked Reliable, Harry's, Lesco and Ewing if they know of anyone. Looks like I might just do it by hand. Roughly 3800 square feet.

cgaengineer
07-09-2010, 12:48 AM
3800 square feet is not bad by hand. No doubt its hard work, but its not impossible. Where is Martinez?
Posted via Mobile Device

chaser2587
07-09-2010, 07:57 AM
You could knock 3800 sq feet out by hand in a day. But if one were smart and knew it wasn't going to rain over the weekend do half on sat and the other half on sunday, imho.

Firefighter337
07-09-2010, 10:58 AM
FOR GET THAT. I want the machine and a dingo w/ the bucket attachment to fill it up with. I'll be done in 2-3 hours then.

chaser2587
07-09-2010, 11:13 AM
FOR GET THAT. I want the machine and a dingo w/ the bucket attachment to fill it up with. I'll be done in 2-3 hours then.

Yep... that's a smart idea. It's also good if your willing to spend the money to get or rent the equipment.

cgaengineer
07-09-2010, 11:24 AM
Keystone rental has a package deal with Dingo/Topdresser.
Posted via Mobile Device

onebreezer
07-09-2010, 05:33 PM
I have owned a Dingo. It will beat you to death trying to load a topdresser. It is just as slow as loading with a shovel. And it takes as long to clean up as it does to topdress the lawn.

chaser2587
07-09-2010, 06:51 PM
I know many of you have been asking for updated pics... so here they are. Also the lawn is under some heat stress. As I am posting we are getting a rain shower!

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5571.jpg

Still some areas that need to fill in...
http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5572.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5574.jpg

http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5575.jpg

I only did this one because everyone else who does a closeup of their yard puts a golf ball in the pic :laugh:
http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy348/chaser2587/IMG_5580.jpg

scottrees
07-10-2010, 03:37 PM
See, the trick is, get to be really good friends with the local municipal golf course groundskeeper. Get him good and drunk, then borrow his top dresser for the weekend.

Will P.C.
07-11-2010, 12:43 AM
I just found this site!

I live in Locust Grove in Heron Bay. The golf maintenence shop is about a 2 minute walk from my house. I am good friends with the superitendent and have access to all the equipment if needed.

When they first lay the bermuda sod, realtors, construction workers, etc. walk all over creating a bump yard.

I did my yard in 1.5 days. I found it easier to do it by hand and use this tool that smooths and levels the sand into the "rut" If your yard is already fairly level, then I would recommend using the machine.

I am not in the landscaping business, but top dressing can really make a yard shine. Now that my yard is even, I put a light coat of sand and peatmoss out after I plug areate.

BrunoT
02-14-2011, 04:59 PM
Keystone rental has a package deal with Dingo/Topdresser.
Posted via Mobile Device

Let me bump and hijack this to ask your opinion of Keystone. That where you got your toro? Toro's presence in this area of Atlanta seems to be fading. I noticed they're not "certified dealers" by toro. Not sure how much that matters.