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  #71  
Old 03-24-2011, 03:52 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
It will cost nothing to bring the 20lbs/1000 needed as it will fit on the seat of the vehicle that also has one man and a push spreader to do the job.
That is not the question I asked Barry. I can also fit a 20 bag of compost on the seat of my truck for considerably less than the cost of the product you mentioned. What is the cost comparison on a equivalent volume basis per 1000? You can forget about the shipping if you want.
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  #72  
Old 03-24-2011, 04:03 PM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
That is not the question I asked Barry. I can also fit a 20 bag of compost on the seat of my truck for considerably less than the cost of the product you mentioned. What is the cost comparison on a equivalent volume basis per 1000? You can forget about the shipping if you want.
Reread my post.
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  #73  
Old 03-24-2011, 04:09 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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I'll just make some assumptions so we can get a comparison.

Compost at $35/yard ~= $1.30 per cubic foot.

Assuming a 50 lb bag is 1.5 cubic feet, that is 18 bags/yard of product.

The cost of 18 bags of product using the price provide ($8.50/50 lb bag) = $153

Net cost difference on a volume basis = $118 more expensive for the bagged product per yard of product.
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  #74  
Old 03-24-2011, 04:44 PM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Appling the product I mentioned at 20lbs/k will produce the same healthy green turf that is as drought tolerant and disease resistant as applying 0.8yds/k of compost.

Compost is great, no doubt about it. I know it can be a good choice for some smaller LCOs. Will the lawn care industry embrace it as standard procedure. I don't see that happening.
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  #75  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:48 PM
dishboy dishboy is offline
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Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
Appling the product I mentioned at 20lbs/k will produce the same healthy green turf that is as drought tolerant and disease resistant as applying 0.8yds/k of compost.

Compost is great, no doubt about it. I know it can be a good choice for some smaller LCOs. Will the lawn care industry embrace it as standard procedure. I don't see that happening.
I'm thinking 20 lbs is good for around 10-14 weeks then it's a do over. I think the compost @ 1/4" would have longer legs , don't you? Personally I would be all over the compost if I had the appropriate spreader and access to a quality compost that allowed me to compete with myself.
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  #76  
Old 03-24-2011, 08:51 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
Appling the product I mentioned at 20lbs/k will produce the same healthy green turf that is as drought tolerant and disease resistant as applying 0.8yds/k of compost.
You can't be serious Barry? The product you mentioned is compost .... the product I mentioned is compost. How can you say 20 lbs of your compost product will perform any better or worse than 20 pounds of my compost product? Also, I am curious if you willing to put that "guarantee" in writing? If you are you might have a new client.

Furthermore, why would anyone in their right mind try to compare less than 1 cubic foot of compost to more than 21 cubic feet of compost? It is a disingenuous comparison at best.

Last edited by Kiril; 03-24-2011 at 08:57 PM.
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  #77  
Old 03-24-2011, 09:51 PM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Originally Posted by dishboy View Post
I'm thinking 20 lbs is good for around 10-14 weeks then it's a do over. I think the compost @ 1/4" would have longer legs , don't you? Personally I would be all over the compost if I had the appropriate spreader and access to a quality compost that allowed me to compete with myself.
Twice a year at this rate works well. Again, bulk compost does a great job, but it is far too costly and labor intensive for the overwhelming majority of LCOs. I'm only aware of smaller companies doing compost topdressing.
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  #78  
Old 03-25-2011, 10:23 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by phasthound View Post
Twice a year at this rate works well. Again, bulk compost does a great job, but it is far too costly and labor intensive for the overwhelming majority of LCOs. I'm only aware of smaller companies doing compost topdressing.
As I demonstrated in my price break down, when applying the two products at the same rate, it is considerably more expensive to use a bagged product over a bulk product.

In order for you to just break even, you would need to realize a savings in labor that is equivalent to the difference in cost. IMO, the difference in labor to apply 20 lbs of a pellet product vs. 20 lbs of a non-pellet product is negligible and you will not make up that difference in cost between the two products.
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  #79  
Old 03-25-2011, 11:32 AM
c2weech c2weech is offline
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Originally Posted by Dchall_San_Antonio View Post
c2weech I think your instincts are exactly correct. It appears that some Rodalians have occupied this forum and made convincing arguments for compost and compost tea to the exclusion of real, protein-based fertilizers like corn, wheat, soy, cottonseed, and alfalfa. Any argument in favor of sustainability should be directed to a forum where someone gives a rat's rear end. Organics in the Lawnsite context has absolutely nothing to do with sustainability. Lawnsite is a forum about profitability. The organic forum is a place to explore ways toward that end knowing the competition is from companies who really, REALLY don't care about sustainability. If someone wants to start a forum promoting sustainability, please approach the administrators.

Compost is the single most expensive thing you can put on a client's lawn. In my neighborhood the raw materials cost $35 per yard plus delivery. In order to compete, most of the yards I see with "compost" have substituted something that smells more like fresh manure than compost. Furthermore they have the grass buried in it. What is happening is the neighbors will point at that lawn for the next two weeks as the source of the stink in the neighborhood...and then the grass will die from smothering. Those lawn companies cannot stay in business like that. The will have nothing to mow. That grass may come back toward the end of 2012 but more like 2013 before they see a dense turf again. But even if it was used in a proper amount, the cost of materials is about $50 per 1,000 square feet. Add in your fees and you can't compete. Your clients don't have to be geniuses to see the economics of having TruGreen come out for a heck of a lot less and get some serious fertilizer.

If you want to compete, you absolutely have to offer fertilizer, not microbes.

Strictly speaking, organic lawn care does not use chemicals. For practical purposes; however, nobody is speaking that strictly. You'll have to discuss where your client lives along the line from full chemical program to a full organic program. Nobody is looking over your shoulder like the USDA looks over the shoulder of farmers and ranchers making an organic claim. If your client agrees to a full organic fertilizer program with occasional spot spraying of chemical weed killers, then that is his choice. I believe you can make money on a full organic program IF the client cooperates with watering and mowing. If they do not cooperate, you might have to hire people from India to come pull weeds for you. But I don't think you could have a chance of making money on a compost only program. Every day you'd be out hustling five $150 per 1,000 square foot compost jobs to new clients. With a real fertilizer program, you can keep a stable base of clients for which you apply relatively low cost fertilizers several times per season.

Re: low input lawn
Anyone who would like to see pictures of a very low input lawn, search the Internet lawn forums for a homeowner going by the handle of bpgreen. He lives in northern Utah and has a lawn full of native prairie grasses. He mows them like a lawn and it looks like a lawn. If you can find the pictures you'll be disappointed because it looks like your lawn or anyone elses lawn. Some of the grass varieties go dormant in the winter but some don't. It's a lawn. He never fertilizes and only waters under extreme drought conditions. He might water 5x per season in a dry year.

Thanks for the post and getting the debate back on track. I stopped reading with all the name calling and bickering that was going on.

Just to get more facts on the topic is there talk of Organic Fertilizers in the fertilization forum?

I love the idea behind the compost Soil health management and am going to implement it this year on my parents lawn as a test pilot.

Though I am still leery of the business feasibility of it and want more info on organic ferts. aspect.
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  #80  
Old 03-25-2011, 11:45 AM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
As I demonstrated in my price break down, when applying the two products at the same rate, it is considerably more expensive to use a bagged product over a bulk product.

In order for you to just break even, you would need to realize a savings in labor that is equivalent to the difference in cost. IMO, the difference in labor to apply 20 lbs of a pellet product vs. 20 lbs of a non-pellet product is negligible and you will not make up that difference in cost between the two products.
True, but that is not what my discussion is about.
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