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  #1  
Old 06-14-2009, 12:14 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is offline
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Looking for a faster and more productive way to top dress compost etc.??

I did a lawn seed install last Thursday and I spent most of time using a grain shovel to top dress and my BP blower to actually blow the compost out of the 4 wheeled dump cart. BP blower works for a thin layer but is very messy and coats the surrounding areas with compost. Grain shovel is very consistent but very slow.

What I have found are these spendy gas powered units but I like to go with something that would be a go between the 2 extremes.

www.topdresser.ca

http://www.compostwerks.com/EcoLawn-Applicator.php

http://www.turfcodirect.com/index.ph...b&tid=1&pid=29


Possibly a walk behind earthway type spreader that is modified in some way to reliably distribute screened compost. The turfco unit looks like it would be very reliable and would not require any screening of compost. Just need an intermediate stop gap method that will take me to the next level. If this part of the business gains more traction I would probably buy a high end unit but for now I can't justify the expense.

Any input?
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:02 AM
RAlmaroad RAlmaroad is online now
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You can build a effective spreader for compost/spagnum peat moss. During the winter I use January/February to spread spagnum peat and a little cow manure on my lawns. The grass is dormant. You could adapt it to be pulled with a lawn tractor or mower. Use a 1/2 sheet of 3/4" plywood and cut two (2) 24" circles. Cut a 10"X10" opening an hinge and lock on one piece. Make it sturdy as it will get a workout. Buy 1/2" rabbit wire for the grate. I used 4 threaded rods with bolts to support the two circles together. On each of the two circles attach a length of 2X4's extending 2" beyond the circles placed 90 degrees apart. This is your rumble for shaking the peat or compost. Attach your rabbit wire using 3/4" staples and air gun. Put a length of 1" galvanized pipe through the center and a couple of PVC spaced outside of the pipe and attach a tongue similiar to a push reel mower and you're finished. I piddled with the design for a few days.
Fill it half way through the door and pull it over the lawn. It will shake out by the tumbling of the material. I put a couple pieces of broken cinder block parts inside to help break up the material. You can make it any length you'd like. I used 36" rabbit wire so I would not have to cut it. Buy 7' of wire. Hope it will help. You'll have to clean out the bigger pieces of stuff in the peat moss. I didn't use compost and it may not go through the 1/2" wire but maybe some larger gauge mesh such as chicken wire would be available. Just take the principle and adapt it.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:02 AM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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I have one of these http://www.earthandturf.com/100sp.htm

Bought it last summer, it paid for itself by October. It's a great machine and is built to last.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:07 AM
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Exact Rototilling Exact Rototilling is offline
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Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
I have one of these http://www.earthandturf.com/100sp.htm

Bought it last summer, it paid for itself by October. It's a great machine and is built to last.
phasthound,

In ball park figures what did that unit set you back? The Turfco unit is just over $7k.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:47 AM
Turboguy Turboguy is online now
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RAlmaroad

Your home made spreader sounds like something that might be a good project for some people but as good as your instructions were I have read that a dozen times and am not quite following what you did. Probably just me but if you get a chance why don't you take a few pictures and post them in case someone wants to try that.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:25 AM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Quote:
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phasthound,

In ball park figures what did that unit set you back? The Turfco unit is just over $7k.
It was about $6,800.00.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:59 AM
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cgaengineer cgaengineer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboguy View Post
RAlmaroad

Your home made spreader sounds like something that might be a good project for some people but as good as your instructions were I have read that a dozen times and am not quite following what you did. Probably just me but if you get a chance why don't you take a few pictures and post them in case someone wants to try that.
24" circles on both ends, wire to form a drum. From bottom to top:

Wood circle, wire, wood circle.

Here is a picture of one:

http://www.emeraldseedandsupply.com/lawn/index.html

This one runs about $750-$1000 and would do exactly what you want

http://www.abcgroff.com/lg/et2.htm

What I did with my own lawn was spread manure as evenly as I could with shovel, hit it with power rake and then run over it with a mulching mower...worked pretty well, but it was time consuming...you probably could avoid the power rake step and use just the mower.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:31 PM
godjwood godjwood is offline
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do you guys offer the topdressing as part of your regular fertilization program? (fertilizer, weed control, aerating, overseeding, etc?)

do you generally topdress in the fall or spring?

or do you only do it on problem lawns?
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by godjwood View Post
do you guys offer the topdressing as part of your regular fertilization program? (fertilizer, weed control, aerating, overseeding, etc?)

do you generally topdress in the fall or spring?

or do you only do it on problem lawns?
Topdressing is in addition to those. Topdressing with sand in the south or warm season grasses is done in the spring during green up or in June when green up has occurred and grass is growing quickly. With compost topdressing I would think you could do it anything the lawn is green.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:14 PM
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terrapro terrapro is offline
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Topdressing is in addition to those. Topdressing with sand in the south or warm season grasses is done in the spring during green up or in June when green up has occurred and grass is growing quickly. With compost topdressing I would think you could do it anything the lawn is green.
In the hot of the summer sun the dark of the compost can hold to much heat and sometimes burn the grass.
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