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Drop Spreader vs. Topdresser

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by jegoodri, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. jegoodri

    jegoodri LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    Hey All,

    I'm starting a very small organic composting element of my business. I want to put compost down as a main element. The Lesco push drop spreader seems like it could do the job with a 36" spread but the Earth N Turf 24 D costs $300 more to spread at 22". Am I missing a problem that would come up using a drop spreader?
  2. jegoodri

    jegoodri LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

  3. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,740

    I have tried a Gandy push drop spreader that is made for applying Penn Mulch and I have tried spreading compost with it.
    Compost may go through for a few feet but then a sliver of wood gets caught or the material bridges. (And my compost is quarter-inch screened.) So I doubt the Lesco would work.
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    I can already see that any type of drop spreader won't work.

    I would love to topdress as well for $$, but the cost of these applicators is just unreal.
    That, and material transport, either bagged or bulk, is a pain.
  5. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,740

    I'm just about ready to get "unreal" with an EcoLawn this Spring.
  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Another option is to use a good granular organic fertilizer at 10-20lbs per K.
    Something like this has many of the benefits of compost and spreads easily with a regular spreader. If you apply after aeration, you will increase the benefits.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    Knowing those Eco lawns run well north of $5K, you have to have a lot of booked biz to justify. I have seen those machines, and they warrant a price tag closer to $2,500 IMO. There just isn't much too them.
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,740

    Different approach here. I build my business WITH machines. My first Walker mower: wasn't justified when I bought it. (several since) Brown bed edger: never shoulda bought it. LS core aerator: crazy as a loon. Didn't have the business without them. Never would have had the business if I didn't have the machine first. I am FORCED to market and utilize them. Compost spreader, same way.
    jeffsdrum likes this.
  9. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 984

    GREAT points Dirt - folks you can't build your business on the cheap. There is nothing you can use as a top dresser that is cheap. If it cost's you under 5K it is not going to work and if it is used and under 5K it is going to break and it will still cost you 5K. Unless you can build it you got to spend the $$.

    The cheapest way to do it is......
    Wheel barrow and heavy duty backpack blower (Redmax 8001 or 8050). Even this option is gonna cost you aboout $600 for the blower and $100 for the wheel barrow - but that is the only option that will work and not cost you and arm and leg. but you are gonna get post in your face - EVERYTIME and folks look at you like you are nuts but it does work and you can build your business so you can eventually get that dump and top dresser.
  10. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    I'm not saying that topdressing is not worth it. I have done some by hand, and love the results. All I am saying is some (not all) of those machines are grossly overpriced.
    I will pay a fair price for a good value. Not too many good values in the topdresser line right now, though.

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