For those that topdress lawns - how did you get started?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,869

    After checking out some topdress machines at the GIE this week...and knowing first hand the benefit topdressing lawns with compost can achieve, I have a renewed interest in possibly getting started with this type of work.

    For those of you that do this work, remember back to before you started. What prompted you to take a look into topdressing? Were customers asking for the service? OR, did you market to your current customers to get an 'interest list'?

    What made you take the leap to start? Certain amount of booked revenue? Certain number of commitments? Or just a blind leap?

    What equipment did you start out with? Any tips for the new guy, equipment wise?

    I know the biggest obstacle for me would be the labor and time involved to do the work. Very labor intensive, esp filling and refilling that topdresser hopper multiple times per lawn. Any tricks of the trade there?
    I believe I would be able to sell some jobs as my customers believe in me and my advice. Is there a good marketing brochure or resource available that I could send to my current customers, explaining the benefits of compost topdressing?

    Thx
     
  2. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    Use the dehydrated compost and spread it with your fertilizer or seed spreader
     
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,869

    I have thought about this...but I think I want to consider going all in with regular compost that is spread as a layer over turf as opposed to throwing a few beebees of dehydrated material out there. I want to have the topdress amend just as much as I want it to provide nutrients.
     
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Also interested but I wonder how many folks who want compost topdressing demand that clippings be bagged and hauled off and those who can't stand cool season grass above 3.25" and just have to have that low mowed look...?

    I don't do mulch or bark jobs but I'd be happy to do top dressing jobs if there was a market for it here and if it was lucrative.
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  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Seriously this is the best way to start. Few years back I asked about the Bigfoot HVO spreader...thinking that might be a good place to get ones feet wet.....?
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  6. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    I started in September 15. Purchased a dump trailer and currently rent a spreader from a local supply yard until i can pay cash for one. We presold several jobs. It has slown down the past week but still doing at least two a week
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  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,869

    What prompted you to get into this business segment? How did you go about booking work - did you pre book prior to investing in equipment, OR did you just go all in and bought stuff hoping the work would come around? How did you market the service?
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I'd like to see a video of the topdressers running back and forth to the truck/pile and see how many sq.ft. the machine lays down before running back to the truck/pile for another fill-up... :)
     
  9. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    Can you post videos from a phone?
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  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Hahaha,,, I can barely post a single picture... :)
     

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