Compost Topdress, mixed with sand or straight

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, May 20, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I was wandering, I was out pricing for compost at a local landscape supplier, they had something called Erthfood or something like that, It was about $20/30lb bag I believe. It wasn't cheap. They also sold it in bulk, which they were out of, and they sold it as a "topdress" with sand mixed in.

    When you do a compost topdress do you use straight compost or do you use the compost/sand mixture? I blieve that the mixture is used for leveling your yard.

    Does anyone here do that much (topdressing with sand)? I have had customer after customer ask if I performed that service but I have always been told you need a certain machine to do that to get it level in all the spots. That is something I have never done and never been around but I like the idea of being able to offer it, especially with all the inquiries that I have recieved.

    Thanks,
     
  2. mbucuk

    mbucuk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    We use a leaf compost/sand mix for topdressing. Its about 85% compost/15% sand and screened to 1/2". The mix spreads much better than the straight leaf compost, especially if the moisture content is too high which is generally the case with the material from our local suppliers.

    As far as the process: First we core aerate the lawn, then we use a topdresser to spread the material. Once the material is spread we generally have to go through with a drag mat and rakes to work it into the lawn.

    The process has been working pretty well. This is my first season in business, and we aerated and topdressed about 64,000sf of lawn this spring. I've been charging out core aeration with topdressing and overseeding at $100/1,000sf this season, but I think that will probably increase in the future.
     
  3. mbucuk

    mbucuk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Oh yeah, around here straight leaf compost is around $21/yd and the compost/sand mix is $22-25/yd
     
  4. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    what kind of topdresser do you use?
     
  5. mbucuk

    mbucuk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    turfco self propelled. I think they call it a mete-r-matic. You can find them used from golf courses, they use them to topdress the greens with sand.

    Mike
     
  6. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    awesome, there are plenty of golfcourses around here.
     
  7. fastcat

    fastcat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    is it ok to use mushroom compost to top dress fescue.
     
  8. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I asked about this before and if I remember correctly the problem with mushroom compost is that it is pretty nuetral, not much good or bad stuff inside.
     
  9. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    we live in florida, the sand capitol of the world, even our worm casts have sand in them. wake up take a shower and you will still have sand on you some how. its like the orange color from your soil, it never ever goes away!!


    and sand and rock dust are very much needed in a health soil, compost alone is not the only way or the best way in my opinion. there needs to be a diverse mix of compost feed stocks along with minerals and other soil building stuff. whats the soil test say that you need??????????
     
  10. fastcat

    fastcat LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    i thought that mushroom compost had a lot of nutrients in it.
     

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