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aerate and top dress?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by haynes504, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. haynes504

    haynes504 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    hey guys, i've got a customer who has a fairly large, little over an acre, yard of centipede. they've asked me if i would be interested in aerating the yard and then top dressing it with sand. i don't own an aerator so i was gonna rent one from a local company here. what's the easiest way to spread the sand in order to top dress it? trying to figure out how long it would take me and one helper to get it done. do you guys have any efficient ways to spread sand fast? how much sand do you normally apply? thanks
     
  2. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    Check around with your local golf courses and see if they have a top dresser you can rent from them. That would be your best bet to do a quality even job and not break your back.
     
  3. haynes504

    haynes504 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    thanks bob, that's exactly what i was trying to avoid (backache). hope i can find one for rent, good customer of mine and like to try and do what i can for them.
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,768

    Run, don't walk. You don't want this job. Too big.
     
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,768

    An acre of topdressing...well lets calculate that.
    An acre is 43,560 sqft
    At 1/10th inch deep that would be 4,356 cubic ft
    At 27 yards per cubic ft that would be 161 cubic yards
    At 7 yards per truck that is about 23 truckloads

    You will probably want to bid at about 3 to 4 times:dizzy: mowing cost.

    Are you listening, Turfco Bob? Someone should invent an aerator that would pulverize the cores so that you could aerate and topdress in one step. And if possible apply seed after the aeration and soil pulverization.
     
  6. Son's Lawn Maintenance LLC

    Son's Lawn Maintenance LLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    None of the local rental companies rent anything larger than a 24" walk behind. Without a top dresser u will have to hand throw the sand through the yard and then rake it in. Send me a pm. I might can help u
     
  7. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 615

    Riggle, your math is a little off. Your math is accurate for 1/10th of a foot deep top dressing but at 1/10th of an inch it's only 13 yards of sand.
     
  8. Carl Bert

    Carl Bert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Yup it's 13.444 yards. It's still a lot to spread, but not quite 23 truck loads.
     
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,768

    So...divide by 12 and its still a lot of sand. Whoops.
    So if that is 13 yards and that equals 13 tons--approx.
    And if you used a Lesco spreader and applied 50 pounds at a time.
    That would be 538 spreads, returns to pile, refills and returns to left-off point.
    I think.
    So...if an acre is 208 feet on a side, and we agree that the longest trip to refill would be the diagonal to the far corner (295 ft), and if we assume the average distance traveled to refill would be half of that (147 ft).
    And if we suppose that the average speed of the operator is 3 mph which is 264 feet per minute. Then it would take .56 of a minute or about 34 seconds. Add the coming and going trip and that is 68 seconds.
    Times 528 equals 35,904 seconds.
    Then we have 10 hours, just in back and forth travel time. Approx.
    That is without accounting for the actual spread time, and the time to shovel the sand into the spreader.
     
  10. yardworkswi

    yardworkswi LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    Are you listening, Turfco Bob? Someone should invent an aerator that would pulverize the cores so that you could aerate and topdress in one step. And if possible apply seed after the aeration and soil pulverization.[/QUOTE]

    an option similar to what Riggle said above would be to aerate then let the plugs dry for a few days and then drag a chainlink fence to break them up and disperse. This will not work as well as top dressing with sand but would cost much less. I did it on my own property and it worked pretty well. I then over seeded and ran a poly roller with just a little water in it (just to get seed into soil not to recompact the lawn you just aerated). Double up the chainlink fence take a 10ft piece and fold it in half to get a little extra weight it will break them up better. Not sure if this is an option but figured I would throw it out there. Otherwise good luck I know someone on CL in my area offered rental of a topdresser last summer and it was very pricey.
     

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