Drought Seeding 2012

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Rick13, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    So I just got rid of My BillyGoat OS900 Hydrostatic SP Overseeder today....because I've seen ,"The Light"!!!

    I've overseeded a few yard beginning of October and the results are very impressive!!!!

    I will get a few pictures up so everyone can see, but what's worked the best here in Northern IL is to spread new grass seed out of a spreader in the dry, thatch, dead areas of the lawn.

    Then spread a new layer of organic compost over the whole yard, laying between 1/4" to 1/2".

    Next have the customer water their lawns 20 minutes every other day. Why every other day? With organic compost down on top of the existing yard, the moisture will stay in the ground, dead thatch area, and the new organic compost will keep the seed moist and in two to three weeks new grass!

    Using the Ecolawn Compost Spreader has made reseeding super easy and the customer's who have had it done are amazed with how they get this new, deep, green that comes out in their lawns....after a treatment of organic compost.

    The BillyGoat was a great machine, but with 11 blades trying to bury the new grass seed into the ground....where some of it gets buried and some of it does not. And the mess of dry thatch that's left in the yard from the slit seeder....it was too much work for "Ok results".

    With Ecolawns Compost Spreader, reseeding has become super easy with maximum results!

    You can check out My Website: BestRockfordYards.com under "Services" goto "Organic Compost Spreading" and see a video I made of the Ecolawn Compost Spreader. [Note: Its a little over 3 mins long].

    The video is put together quickly so I could show customer's what their lawns would look like after spreading organic compost (I will be working on a new videos this winter so I can change My Website up some more :laugh: ).
    And in a day or two I will be able to post some before and after pictures of the yards with new seed and organic compost so you can see some of the results!

    If you're wondering what I traded the BillyGoat OS 900 Hydrostatic SP Overseeder for??? I ordered a BillyGoat Force 13 Wheeled Blower and a BillyGoat MV650SPH (Honda) Commercial Vacuum with hose kit....coming next week.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    With 1/4" - 1/2" of compost covering, there's no reason to slit-seed at all... the seed will do just fine sitting on top of the soil , if you're actually covering with 1/4" -1/2" of compost...
  3. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Correct Smallaxe!

    I have replaced the slit seeding operation with broadcasting seed with a spreader.

    Then with My Ecolawn Spreader....lay 1/4" to 1/2" of organic compost on top of the new seed/spread the rest of the organic compost through out the yard....so now the new seed is buried.

    And then the customer needs to water or better yet....rain from up above.....and their yards look amazing (within 3 weeks)!!!

    You can see where the grass is filling in, and the customer's dead/thatchy area's are now growing new grass and starting to fill in their bare spots.

    I will have some pictures up tonight....Before and After Shots.

    But long story short....spreading the organic compost on top of new grass seed has given me My Best Results when coming to Reseeding, fixing, or thickening up customer's yards.

    And I don't think I will ever use another slit seeder again!!! Their results are too iffy!
  4. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    1st Picture: A typical Northern Illinois Yard after The Drought of 2012

    2nd Picture: Broadcast grass seed and lay organic compost over yard and seed

    3rd Picture: Three weeks later, customer would water every 2 to 3 days for 20 to 30 minutes each day.

    As you can see, the yard is coming in very good! Now I need to post these to My Website!!!!

    P1. Drought Yard of 2012 (small).jpg

    P2. Spread Grass Seed and Organic Compost throught out yard (small).jpg

    P3. Three weeks later, new grass (small).jpg
  5. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Here's another set of Before and After Pictures: Reseeding with Organic Compost Spreading, same customer.

    1st Picture: A typical Northern Illinois Yard after The Drought of 2012

    2nd Picture: Broadcast grass seed and lay organic compost over yard and seed

    3rd Picture: Three weeks later, customer would water every 2 to 3 days for 20 to 30 minutes each day.

    As you can see, the yard is coming in very good! Now I need to post these to My Website!!!!

    P4. Drought Yard of 2012 (small).jpg

    P5. Spread Grass Seed and Organic Compost through out yard (small).jpg

    P6. Three weeks later, new grass (small).jpg
  6. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,332

    I like the concept. The video looked like a monkey having it's way with a football. Does the spreader have a slower gear? Could you idle back? If you idle back, it will spread heavier and narrower, so you could probably make one pass. If there was a source of compost locally I would love to experiment with topdressing, but to my knowledge none is available. May look into making my own, only problem is that I would have to drive 30 miles 1 way to some of my farm ground to have room to make a pile.
  7. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Looks awesome!!!

    To do a job, do you load the empty compost spreader on your trailer and drop it off at the client's house. Then with the empty trailer get the compost?

    How much time does is normally take; from dropping off the spreader, to loading the compost at the facility, spreading the compost and cleaning up the driveway? How many lawns is normal in full day?
  8. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    Thats great but if you were having "IFFY" results with your slit seeder then you were doing it wrong or the machine was not working properly.

    Besides that, what you are looking at in your so called "Drought damage" pictures is in fact Insect damage, probably sod webworm from the look of it.

    I don't know if you are a chemical applicator or not but that's first year stuff.

    I guarantee you that with one slit seeder, one man, and enough seed, I can make more money than anyone here in one day and have awesome results and probably never touch a hand tool like a rake.

    Slit seeders are arguably the most profitable lawn machine per hour used out there.
  9. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    The slit seeder was a good machine...and when I mean "iffy" results....it did the job but it caused a lot of clean up (good thatch) that should stay in the ground to help keep moisture in the soil. Very time consuming. Only 26" wide and having to run the machine two different directions.

    Now I take a spreader, broadcast seed through out the yard (usually 15 mins). Then start moving compost (three hopper fulls = One Cubic Yard). And I can move about 10,000 pounds in 3 hours....and that's working steady...not trying to kill myself. And these yards are usually pretty big...8,000 to 10,000 sq feet. One cubic yard is about 1,000 pounds of organic compost.

    I believe spreading compost is the way to go, if you can get the material. It is for me.

    A compost plant is only 10 mins away for me (the sales rep. said it's some of the best he's ever seen....this is traveling all over the USA and Canada), so now what I'm trying to do is educate customer's what their new option for yard care is available to them. Hence the website, quick video, and a lot of pictures.

    I put this all together so I can get ready next Spring. That's what I am working towards.

    I just got the machine on October 1st. I've done 5 yards and all with the same results.

    Cadzilla, I don't think it's from insect damage....its on a hill, in fact there were still aeration holes from Spring that had not closed up yet on the hill area. I know bugs can crawl down those aeration holes, but we haven't had any rain until just some this month.

    Once the yard was reseeded with a broadcast spreader, then a layer of 1/4" to 1/2" of organic compost material was added he got new grass growing in three weeks (well really before...I just made it out there three weeks later).

    I can do two yards a day, if time permits. I've moved/shovel off my dump trailer into the compost spreader around 10,000 pounds in 3 hours. It takes 3 minutes to fill the compost spreader and about 1 minute to spread the compost.

    Yes, if I idle down I can control the width of compost. Plus I can control how much I am putting down on how large I open the hopper door that drops the compost into the two discharge wheels up front.

    I know everyone has their own "ways" of reseeding. I've tried all sorts and this is the easiest by far....and I'm an owner/solo operator.

    I am working on hooking a carrier on to the rear of the dump trailer (7'x16') so I can carry as much organic compost materiel as possible.

    So far, the 5 customer's are super happy and now I have to just spread the word.

    And thanks for everyone's idea's...they are all very good.

    Oh yeah....the video is something quick off of a cell phone...but we've just bought a camcorder so better videos coming soon....and I'm not in the business of selling movies....just making people's grass better looking.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    You can always tell which people have never put down compost for seeding and the quality of the soil(hence the plants) thereafter...

    Profitability is definately simpler with a slit-seeder than bringing out compost and spreading it around... the expense tied to compost is huge for some lawnsand not everyone can come close to affording it...

    For Spring seeding, compost over seed would win hands downagainst the slit-seeder... germination under compost in the Spring would be so much faster...

    Just a few considerations in regards to seeding methods... it doesn't help to just discount one method/preference over another...
    "All or Nothing",,, "One Size Fits All",,,,and "More is Better"... have no place in the thinking of professional horticulturalists... :)

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