Spreader for Topsoil

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by turfman33, Oct 1, 2003.

  1. turfman33

    turfman33 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    Ok I don't know id I's in the right forum here. Is there a spreader that will sieve the soil, (for topdressing), and lay it down for you?


  2. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    No, there isnt. Im trying to find a way to apply compost with something other than wheelbarrows and shovels which is the only way for a small op to spread topsoil. I want to know if the compost roller works but since they are so hard to find i expect they dont. So until I find a supplier of compost in pellet form I have to use this labour and cost intensive method of application.
    I am speaking to the small operator, Im sure golf courses and the likes have ways of using machinery to spread anything.
  3. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

  4. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    ty for links ! One of the biggest lawn care companies in Canada will apply compost in pellet form using a drop spreader for 300 bucks or so. (so thats like 17 dollars american) ya, the only disadvantage i can think of is if the process killed the micro organims (no idea) and that it will be a great soil amendment but not level out your lawn if that is part of the reason u wanted to topdress.

    p.s. 300 bucks for 3000 sqr feet. This large Canadian co. built a factory in Alberta to turn compost into pellets which is great however they also keep it all for themselves, heh. So they are the only lawn care co. to widely offer compost topdressing. Application method was central to profitablity here.
  5. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    I see u r in BC.

    Rexius Express blower trucks blow bark mulch and include compost as one its applications. I've seen the bark and would fully believe compost would be a piece of cake for it.

    Rexius is in Oregon and I would guess there might be one or two of the contractors in BC using them. A subcontracter deal would be easy.

    Otherwise regular topdress spreader. There is a pic here on another thread....
  6. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    Get out the Yellow Pages and look up



    insulation, blown in

    These folks can pick up small-large amounts of compost, deliver it to the site, and blow it in. The blowing rate should be about 5,000 square feet per hour. Hourly retail rates vary but should be about the same as you charge per hour.
  7. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 424

  8. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    ive seen it done with a v-box salt/sander.
  9. dylan

    dylan Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 273

    Here are some old links with lots of info on topdressing and topdressers.



    Here are the highlights:

    I topdress around 45 lawns a season and have done so for the last few years
    My procedure for spring or fall topdressing

    1) mow as low as the mower will go. This ensures that the seeds will get adequate
    sunlight and makes draging easier.
    2) dethatch and remove debris to provide a bare seed bed.
    3) areate to provide more seed to soil contact and loosen the soil. also gets the compost
    4) overseed (2-5 lbs/ 1000sq ft) rate depending on thickness of turf
    5) topdress. I use a topdresser purchased from a golf course, holds about 1/3 of
    a cubic yard, has a 5hp kohler , a conveyor belt and a spreading brush. a real crowd stopper.
    It drags a mat behind it. The mat is specially designed . It has 1"x12" steel bars
    with holes at each end. Cable links all the bars together and forms a 4'x4' mat.
    The straight edges cut the high spots and level low ones. better than chain link fence.
    I usually apply between 1/2 and 1 cubic yard of compost or triple mix per 1000 sq ft.
    To figure the amount of material there are two easy methods.
    a) LxWxH
    10'x 10'x 2"
    =10'x10'x .17
    =0.6 cu yd

    b) or use the chart:
    Depth/ 1000 sf ft / 1 acre
    1" 3.1 yd 135 yd
    .5" 1.6 yd 69 yd
    .25" .78 yd 35 yd
    .125" .40 yd 18 yd

    Just measure the yard and multiply the sq ft by the desired number of yds to achieve
    the correct depth.

    I have found that 1" coverage is too deep and too expensive.
    Between 1/8" and 1/4" (1/2 - 3/4 cu yd / 1000 sq ft) is usually good.
    Any less than 1/8" is not worth the effort of steps 1-4.

    6) Final drag to level and to work the compost into the holes.
    7) water, water, water
    8) patience, compost disappears in a wk or 2 but real thickening is not seen until the
    bluegrass comes up in a month or so. Notice the deep green from the N in the compost.

    Why topdress?
    1) remove bumps, lumps, level lawn, etc (no rolling)
    2) fill in bare spots, repair damage
    3) nutrients, micronutrients
    4) organic matter
    5) CEC
    6) water retention
    7) profitable
    8) loosen soil and relieve compaction
    9) disease prevention
    10) high seedling germination rate
    11) pH modification
    12) decompose thatch
    13) improve soil
    14) stimulate growth
    15) improve drainage
    16) warm soil in spring

    Remember that a yd of compost weights over 1000 lbs and is usually easier if delivered unless you only need a yard or two. I use the bucket on the tractor to load the topdresser and that saves hours of shovelling.
    Other sites of interest include:

    Attached Files:

  10. dylan

    dylan Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 273

    Here are some pics of the gear you will need to do topdressing and I'll post some before and after pics when I find them.


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