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Rick13
10-26-2012, 10:56 PM
So I just got rid of My BillyGoat OS900 Hydrostatic SP Overseeder today....because I've seen ,"The Light"!!!

I've overseeded a few yard beginning of October and the results are very impressive!!!!

I will get a few pictures up so everyone can see, but what's worked the best here in Northern IL is to spread new grass seed out of a spreader in the dry, thatch, dead areas of the lawn.

Then spread a new layer of organic compost over the whole yard, laying between 1/4" to 1/2".

Next have the customer water their lawns 20 minutes every other day. Why every other day? With organic compost down on top of the existing yard, the moisture will stay in the ground, dead thatch area, and the new organic compost will keep the seed moist and in two to three weeks new grass!

Using the Ecolawn Compost Spreader has made reseeding super easy and the customer's who have had it done are amazed with how they get this new, deep, green that comes out in their lawns....after a treatment of organic compost.

The BillyGoat was a great machine, but with 11 blades trying to bury the new grass seed into the ground....where some of it gets buried and some of it does not. And the mess of dry thatch that's left in the yard from the slit seeder....it was too much work for "Ok results".

With Ecolawns Compost Spreader, reseeding has become super easy with maximum results!

You can check out My Website: BestRockfordYards.com (http://BestRockfordYards.com) under "Services" goto "Organic Compost Spreading" and see a video I made of the Ecolawn Compost Spreader. [Note: Its a little over 3 mins long].

The video is put together quickly so I could show customer's what their lawns would look like after spreading organic compost (I will be working on a new videos this winter so I can change My Website up some more :laugh: ).
And in a day or two I will be able to post some before and after pictures of the yards with new seed and organic compost so you can see some of the results!

If you're wondering what I traded the BillyGoat OS 900 Hydrostatic SP Overseeder for??? I ordered a BillyGoat Force 13 Wheeled Blower and a BillyGoat MV650SPH (Honda) Commercial Vacuum with hose kit....coming next week.

Smallaxe
10-27-2012, 11:03 AM
With 1/4" - 1/2" of compost covering, there's no reason to slit-seed at all... the seed will do just fine sitting on top of the soil , if you're actually covering with 1/4" -1/2" of compost...

Rick13
10-27-2012, 07:44 PM
Correct Smallaxe!

I have replaced the slit seeding operation with broadcasting seed with a spreader.

Then with My Ecolawn Spreader....lay 1/4" to 1/2" of organic compost on top of the new seed/spread the rest of the organic compost through out the yard....so now the new seed is buried.

And then the customer needs to water or better yet....rain from up above.....and their yards look amazing (within 3 weeks)!!!

You can see where the grass is filling in, and the customer's dead/thatchy area's are now growing new grass and starting to fill in their bare spots.

I will have some pictures up tonight....Before and After Shots.

But long story short....spreading the organic compost on top of new grass seed has given me My Best Results when coming to Reseeding, fixing, or thickening up customer's yards.

And I don't think I will ever use another slit seeder again!!! Their results are too iffy!

Rick13
10-27-2012, 10:20 PM
1st Picture: A typical Northern Illinois Yard after The Drought of 2012

2nd Picture: Broadcast grass seed and lay organic compost over yard and seed

3rd Picture: Three weeks later, customer would water every 2 to 3 days for 20 to 30 minutes each day.

As you can see, the yard is coming in very good! Now I need to post these to My Website!!!!

Rick13
10-27-2012, 10:23 PM
Here's another set of Before and After Pictures: Reseeding with Organic Compost Spreading, same customer.

1st Picture: A typical Northern Illinois Yard after The Drought of 2012

2nd Picture: Broadcast grass seed and lay organic compost over yard and seed

3rd Picture: Three weeks later, customer would water every 2 to 3 days for 20 to 30 minutes each day.

As you can see, the yard is coming in very good! Now I need to post these to My Website!!!!

KS_Grasscutter
10-28-2012, 12:52 AM
I like the concept. The video looked like a monkey having it's way with a football. Does the spreader have a slower gear? Could you idle back? If you idle back, it will spread heavier and narrower, so you could probably make one pass. If there was a source of compost locally I would love to experiment with topdressing, but to my knowledge none is available. May look into making my own, only problem is that I would have to drive 30 miles 1 way to some of my farm ground to have room to make a pile.

mikesturf
10-28-2012, 09:13 AM
Looks awesome!!!

To do a job, do you load the empty compost spreader on your trailer and drop it off at the client's house. Then with the empty trailer get the compost?

How much time does is normally take; from dropping off the spreader, to loading the compost at the facility, spreading the compost and cleaning up the driveway? How many lawns is normal in full day?

Cadzilla
10-28-2012, 10:30 AM
Thats great but if you were having "IFFY" results with your slit seeder then you were doing it wrong or the machine was not working properly.

Besides that, what you are looking at in your so called "Drought damage" pictures is in fact Insect damage, probably sod webworm from the look of it.

I don't know if you are a chemical applicator or not but that's first year stuff.

I guarantee you that with one slit seeder, one man, and enough seed, I can make more money than anyone here in one day and have awesome results and probably never touch a hand tool like a rake.

Slit seeders are arguably the most profitable lawn machine per hour used out there.

Rick13
10-28-2012, 11:10 AM
The slit seeder was a good machine...and when I mean "iffy" results....it did the job but it caused a lot of clean up (good thatch) that should stay in the ground to help keep moisture in the soil. Very time consuming. Only 26" wide and having to run the machine two different directions.

Now I take a spreader, broadcast seed through out the yard (usually 15 mins). Then start moving compost (three hopper fulls = One Cubic Yard). And I can move about 10,000 pounds in 3 hours....and that's working steady...not trying to kill myself. And these yards are usually pretty big...8,000 to 10,000 sq feet. One cubic yard is about 1,000 pounds of organic compost.

I believe spreading compost is the way to go, if you can get the material. It is for me.

A compost plant is only 10 mins away for me (the sales rep. said it's some of the best he's ever seen....this is traveling all over the USA and Canada), so now what I'm trying to do is educate customer's what their new option for yard care is available to them. Hence the website, quick video, and a lot of pictures.

I put this all together so I can get ready next Spring. That's what I am working towards.

I just got the machine on October 1st. I've done 5 yards and all with the same results.

Cadzilla, I don't think it's from insect damage....its on a hill, in fact there were still aeration holes from Spring that had not closed up yet on the hill area. I know bugs can crawl down those aeration holes, but we haven't had any rain until just some this month.

Once the yard was reseeded with a broadcast spreader, then a layer of 1/4" to 1/2" of organic compost material was added he got new grass growing in three weeks (well really before...I just made it out there three weeks later).

I can do two yards a day, if time permits. I've moved/shovel off my dump trailer into the compost spreader around 10,000 pounds in 3 hours. It takes 3 minutes to fill the compost spreader and about 1 minute to spread the compost.

Yes, if I idle down I can control the width of compost. Plus I can control how much I am putting down on how large I open the hopper door that drops the compost into the two discharge wheels up front.

I know everyone has their own "ways" of reseeding. I've tried all sorts and this is the easiest by far....and I'm an owner/solo operator.

I am working on hooking a carrier on to the rear of the dump trailer (7'x16') so I can carry as much organic compost materiel as possible.

So far, the 5 customer's are super happy and now I have to just spread the word.

And thanks for everyone's idea's...they are all very good.

Oh yeah....the video is something quick off of a cell phone...but we've just bought a camcorder so better videos coming soon....and I'm not in the business of selling movies....just making people's grass better looking.

Smallaxe
10-28-2012, 11:11 AM
You can always tell which people have never put down compost for seeding and the quality of the soil(hence the plants) thereafter...

Profitability is definately simpler with a slit-seeder than bringing out compost and spreading it around... the expense tied to compost is huge for some lawnsand not everyone can come close to affording it...

For Spring seeding, compost over seed would win hands downagainst the slit-seeder... germination under compost in the Spring would be so much faster...

Just a few considerations in regards to seeding methods... it doesn't help to just discount one method/preference over another...
"All or Nothing",,, "One Size Fits All",,,,and "More is Better"... have no place in the thinking of professional horticulturalists... :)

Cadzilla
10-28-2012, 11:20 AM
I'm not saying your method won't work. It obviously does and has been done that way since Moses seeded his yard back in Jerusalem.

It's just old school, labor intensive and you're sortof limited in the size of properties you can handle. Kudos for finding machines that make life easier for your method though. I am all for that and do the same thing.

Any excess thatch that comes up is coming up for a reason, and can be spread out with a blower which is what I do, or raked lightly and left in containers at the clients curb.

That is most certainly insect damage Rick. The fact that you have a thatch problem on the lawn or any lawns backs that up too. Chinch and sod webworm target thatchy lawns iMO.

At the end of the day that lawn looks very nice. Good job.

suzook
10-28-2012, 12:57 PM
Not knocking slig seeders, but compost on seed IMO is just as easy, and has better results than a slit seeder. His is it more labor intensive?

I'm not saying your method won't work. It obviously does and has been done that way since Moses seeded his yard back in Jerusalem.

It's just old school, labor intensive and you're sortof limited in the size of properties you can handle. Kudos for finding machines that make life easier for your method though. I am all for that and do the same thing.

Any excess thatch that comes up is coming up for a reason, and can be spread out with a blower which is what I do, or raked lightly and left in containers at the clients curb.

That is most certainly insect damage Rick. The fact that you have a thatch problem on the lawn or any lawns backs that up too. Chinch and sod webworm target thatchy lawns iMO.

At the end of the day that lawn looks very nice. Good job.

Cadzilla
10-28-2012, 02:19 PM
Not knocking slig seeders, but compost on seed IMO is just as easy, and has better results than a slit seeder. His is it more labor intensive?

You don't have to install the topsoil. I could leave my chair right now grab my seeder and five bags of seed and seed an acre and be back in my chair five hours from now and make 3000 to 4000 dollars.

Like I say theres nothing wrong with the soil and seed methods but they are obviously more labor intensive than straight slit seeding.

There are also times where installing topsoil is absolutely necessary. I sub that out.

Rick13
10-28-2012, 07:13 PM
Wow!!!

At $3,000 for 1 acre that's $14.52 a square foot! :laugh:

At $4,000 for 1 acre that's only $10.89 a square foot!! :nono:

I'll go after those $3,000 yards!!!! :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead: :confused:


I think both ways are good....slit seeding and organic compost spreading!!! I didn't mean to make anyone mad... I was just showing what my results were.

I feel Organic Compost Spreading is like health food for your yard! It's has a lot of benefits and that it has great end results...and at the end of the day...the customer wants results.

grassman177
10-28-2012, 07:47 PM
the concept is not new, but i am glad you found what works for you. in many cases, it is agreat way to go, but too time consuming for sure, what about when you have to reseed 200 lawns? that would take longer than a year to do if you do only 2 lawns per day. see what i mean

Cadzilla
10-28-2012, 07:57 PM
Wow!!!

I didn't mean to make anyone mad... I was just showing what my results were.



I must be missing where you made anyone mad. *shrugs*

Cadzilla
10-28-2012, 08:03 PM
Wow!!!

At $3,000 for 1 acre that's $14.52 a square foot! :laugh:

At $4,000 for 1 acre that's only $10.89 a square foot!! :nono:

I'll go after those $3,000 yards!!!! :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead: :confused:



I don't go off of a square foot but 1000 sq ft increments and your math is all wrong. I hope you are charging the right price for your hard work and double checking your math.

$4000.00 for one acre is more like 91 cents per square foot. 3000 is about 68 cents psf.

Rick13
10-28-2012, 10:39 PM
Is an acre 43,560 sq ft?

Rick13
10-28-2012, 10:45 PM
2 yards a day x 30 days = 60 in a month

I might be able to do 3 or 4... I just got the machine.

60 a month divided by 200= 3.3333 months.

If and when I get there.... I will let you know....but it won't happen this year....starting to get cold here.

But thanks, it gives me something I need to look into. Maybe I will have to go from solo to hiring someone? That would help if I need to speed up my organic compost spreading process.

Rick13
10-28-2012, 11:00 PM
Organic Compost Is Health Food For Your Yards!!!!!

Smallaxe
10-29-2012, 07:57 AM
Another aspect of composting for seed,,, is when you read of people, scalp-mowing, aerating, de-thatching, removing dead plant material, slit-seeding, and watering 2-3 times per day...

When you see LCOs doing ALL those things to every lawn they seed, then you can recognize that spreading compost over broadcasted seed becomes a lot cheaper... :)

Cadzilla
10-29-2012, 09:28 AM
Another aspect of composting for seed,,, is when you read of people, scalp-mowing, aerating, de-thatching, removing dead plant material, slit-seeding, and watering 2-3 times per day...

When you see LCOs doing ALL those things to every lawn they seed, then you can recognize that spreading compost over broadcasted seed becomes a lot cheaper... :)

The customer mows the lawn. The customer waters the lawn. The dethatching happens as you slit seed and in thirty years I have removed dead material from two lawns.

Again. I like the method and it is worthy and worthwhile but to say it's cheaper than slit seeding is just wrong.

Adding topsoil is time consuming, labor intensive and or equipment intensive. Not to mention the cost of the topsoil or compost.

To answer Ricks earlier question. Yes, an acre is 43560 sq ft. Unless you sell work at Tru Green.

Smallaxe
10-29-2012, 11:25 AM
I wasn't talking about what you're doing... I was referring to what many other LCOs are talking about doing... no one ever claimed that it is,,, "...cheaper than slit seeding..."

Putting down topsoil is not a good idea at all(except when necessary)... eventually you have layering of different types of soil and the lawn is elevated each time...

compost is completely different than topsoil...
those 2 seeding strategies have nothing to do with one another AND the long term effects are completely different...

Cadzilla
10-29-2012, 11:52 AM
When you say "Compost" what exactly do you mean? What is it made of or from and you talk like you have some guaranteed analysis.

Or could it be that the "Compost" is just as random as topsoil, which is actually compost in my opinion is it not?

So what are we really talking about here.

Not trying to be a dick. Just opening up the conversation a bit.

The OP is even talking about "Organic" compost.

That sounds a lot vague to me.

Splain please.

Rick13
10-29-2012, 06:54 PM
The organic compost that I buy is made from yard waste.

Grass clippings, tree branches, leaves, plants, etc. It shouldn't have glass, rocks, or trash and in Rockford they won't take any soil either. So if you were trying to get rid of dirt....the compost plant won't take that.

The compost plant has a large end loader that scoops up the yard waste bags, drops them into a giant grinding machine that spits out a fine waste material. They will do this process a few times until it's super fine material.

Then the end loader will scoop up the super fine waste material, and place it in a large field. They will take a bulldozer and turn the yard waste over and over. Not sure how many days they keep turning the field of yard waste over.

Then they will scoop up the yard waste material from the field and now it's turning into compost, run it through the grinder and sometimes they add lime to the compost to make it drier so it's easier to spread.

I don't want to ask the people at compost plant their compost making process, because they got mad at me when I took a few pictures....they thought I wanted to start my own compost plant....which I don't.

But they have a good gig there....you pay to get rid of your yard waste, and then they grind it up and make compost. And then they charge you to come and take their waste....so they are making money on both ends. It's a great business!!!!

Smallaxe
10-30-2012, 09:55 AM
There's no real secret about how to make compost and the quality of the compost is dependant upon the care taken to do it correctly, more than anything else...
They are correct to not allow dirt tobecome part of the process and that is where you would get into trouble applying it year after year...
Good compost smells like fresh earth and doesn't have identifiable material in it...

Around here it sells for $27/yd, delivered, which makes it a very expensive overseeding strategy that most people don't understand(including LCOs)...

So my question to you is: How do you get clients to accept such an expensive proposition??? :)

Cadzilla
10-30-2012, 02:10 PM
There's no real secret about how to make compost and the quality of the compost is dependant upon the care taken to do it correctly, more than anything else...
They are correct to not allow dirt tobecome part of the process and that is where you would get into trouble applying it year after year...
Good compost smells like fresh earth and doesn't have identifiable material in it...

Around here it sells for $27/yd, delivered, which makes it a very expensive overseeding strategy that most people don't understand(including LCOs)...

So my question to you is: How do you get clients to accept such an expensive proposition??? :)

Let me ask you a question smallaxe. Where do you think "dirt" as you call it, comes from?

Rick13
10-30-2012, 08:41 PM
How?

I explain that this is something their yard needs. Most people want to have a better yard than their neighbors. And if you can show them "good results", then they will pay for it.

And most people know if it's organic....then its usually good.

People will pay more of chickens that aren't kept in cages. They will pay more for beef if it's natural fed. And the same goes of spreading "organic" compost....its better for the environment...and some people it's a huge deal.

But I think most people like the thought of trying to do their part in keeping the Earth healthy.

But if the organic compost didn't work or show good results....then people wouldn't buy it.

In the car business....they say, "There's an ass for every seat". Meaning...even though that car is over priced, if you find that right person, they will buy it, no matter what. But it's finding that right person.

Organic compost spreading is not for everyone one, but if you get a few...for me, it's worth it!

Smallaxe
10-31-2012, 06:15 AM
Let me ask you a question smallaxe. Where do you think "dirt" as you call it, comes from?

For me , the term "dirt" is the mineral soil that is made up of pulverized rock... usually 'subsoils' qualify for this term becuz they are strictly parent material w/out any OM that would be sufficient to call it "soil"...

Soil, by my terminology, means a pleasant blend of mineral material that is structured and bonded together by enough OM to be noticable...

Compost, is simply decayed organic matter... whether itis leaves and twigs, whether it is grass and pumpkins, or manure and wood chips,,, organic matter is always decaying becuz the earth is filled with decomposers...

Whatever elements were gathered together by the original plants, are now part of your composted material... but that is not the important part... the important part is what the compost does for the 'soil' that people use to grow grass on...

The more that the ground resembles dirt, the more compost is needed to make it soil...that is why mulch mowing grass and leaves into the turf is just a standard routine for the knowledgeable LCO...

At least that is how I see the 'bio' sciences in my little world,,, and a deeper discussion on the topic is always welcome... :)

Cadzilla
10-31-2012, 11:58 AM
My simple explanation and understanding is that topsoil is aged compost and the dirt you speak of is subsoil.

The random nature of composted materials is no different than the random makeup and nature of any particular topsoil one would spread so I'm not sure what you mean when you talk about different soils building up over time.

Now I do deal with soil interfacing when sod is used but thats generally because there was no topsoil and it was planted over subsoil causing issues.

The microbial activity is different in composted materials well before they turn into a topsoil type material so in that sense youd probably see benefit from that.

Smallaxe
10-31-2012, 12:43 PM
My simple explanation and understanding is that topsoil is aged compost and the dirt you speak of is subsoil.

The random nature of composted materials is no different than the random makeup and nature of any particular topsoil one would spread so I'm not sure what you mean when you talk about different soils building up over time.

Now I do deal with soil interfacing when sod is used but thats generally because there was no topsoil and it was planted over subsoil causing issues.

The microbial activity is different in composted materials well before they turn into a topsoil type material so in that sense youd probably see benefit from that.

Topsoil is not aged compost... topsoil has mineral components that are permanent parts of the soil,,, such as sand and clay... they do not reduce in size until they are virtually nonexistant as compost does...

That is why, when you add topsoil year after year the elevation will rise... when you add compost year after year the ground level stays the same... the soil is enriched with OM and dirt is just mineral particles w/out OM...

I hope my comments make more sense this time... :)