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

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

  1. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 621

    While delivering a customer 5 yards of compost he asked me if I knew of a better way to spread it over turf than his method of a wagon & shovel. That's when I started researching this whole world of equipment. I've owned 3 Turfco Mete-R-Matics & still have 2 & also have the Eco-Lawn 100. Go with the Eco like Rick suggested & you'll be fine so as long as you can keep the moisture content down. Too much & it will be an overweight headache. I've posted much on this in the past if you know of a way to scour thru my posts.
     
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    For me it was that I had a great opportunity to buy a Mete-R-Matic in excellent condition. I knew there were athletic fields I worked on that needed this service - and I knew I had a great supplier who could blend and screen to my specifications.

    Keep in mind you do not have to put down straight compost with the machine you choose. I use mostly sand and compost mixes but have used several different materials.

    DA your machine will do a great job applying bagged infield products, such as Turface, if you have any well maintained baseball fields in your area. Anyone who has done it the way the manufacturers suggest would be amazed to see there is an easier way with better results. Those are typically 12,000 sq ft on full size fields fwiw.
     
  3. turf&tree

    turf&tree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    I bought an ecolawn 200 this spring. I use mainly bagged pelletized leaf compost in it. Nice and dry. 60 lbs per m. Called Easy-Flo.
    To use bulk it has to be REALLY DRY our city makes really nice compost for $10 a yard, problem is they keep it outside untarped. I have nowhere to store it that's dry. I am looking into a cheaper bagged product around $10 a 50lb bag, and the rate is 25 lbs per m.
    But small axe will probably find some bullshit reason for not topdressing since its after all ORGANIC.
     
  4. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    I got into Top Dressing without really knowing that it had a name. I had some customers who had some thin lawns and one of them asked me what I should do, so I suggested that we apply some compost at time of seeding. When I looked into it, that is when I discovered top Dressing. I completed my first job almost 3 years ago and just was doing it about 15 times a year with rakes and wheel barrows. I then decided after pre-selling several jobs and receiving a lot of interest from people that I would start Carolina Top Dressing. I currently rent a Eco-Lawn 150 with the intent to purchase a 200 in the next couple of months as now I am switching my focus to lawn leveling with sand on the Bermuda lawns until next spring. I made the investment into a 7X14' PJ Dump Trailer as it would be used for the new company and for Redden Lawn & Landscapes LLC. It has been a good business decision and the only thing I think I would do different is go ahead and buy the equipment. I looked again last night and have spent $3,100 on spreader rental this fall and the latter part of the summer.
     
  5. turf&tree

    turf&tree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    It's a beautiful thing isn't it.
    The 200 was pricy. I got the demo for $6000 out the door. Couldn't tell you if that is a good price or not.
    I used to throw the bagged stuff with a lesco drop spreader 2 bags at a time.
    Now I do 10,000 sq ft in 15 minutes.
    Great money maker and I can do it from my closed trailer. No shoveling. Load 8 bags at a time and go.
     
  6. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    I wish you two guys lived close enough that we could talk about trading some equipment time.
     
  7. turf&tree

    turf&tree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    How do you like your Turfco? I looked at those but they seemed out of my price range.
     
  8. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 621

    I bought my first one for $1700 & it was in great shape. Found it on ebay for $2900 & drove 200 miles & made them an offer & got it. It really does a beautiful consistent job but keeping the 3 belts syncd will drive you crazy. For leveling & sand work the Eco doesn't carry the weight as well. Sand is difficult to keep dry.
     
  9. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,895

    Not sure if you meant me too or not. I love mine. It was in outstanding condition when I bought it, which I think was 2002. Not sure but I only paid $800 for it and it still looks and works great. I have a hard time trailering it with what I have.
     
  10. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,844

    I like this post. I just can't mentally get past the obstacle of having to haul bulk compost to a work site, then shovel a spreader full 6 times or more. That is hauling around a lot of material and equipment. I would MUCH rather use a bagged material that is reliably good stuff. What bagged material do yall use out there?
     

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