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Topdressing rates?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by David Haggerty, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. I've been applying compost as a topdressing for the past 3 days.
    It's a commercially made product from the city of Columbus.
    It's named Com-Til.

    Their fliers say it can be applied to a lawn at rates of up to 1/4"

    I've calculated my rates to be from .05" to .08"
    It looks like a lot! I'd think 3 times my heaviest rate would just smother the lawn.

    I don't want to apply it too thin and have poor results. But I wouldn't wnat to get it so heavy it could kill the lawn.

    Any comments would be helpful.

  2. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    i believe that with the exception of the real big guys here this is a topic in which the majority of us arent all that familier with. i will check in my folder when i get home and see what the papers say from when i was working for nutrasoils. maybe we need to start a thread on topdressing, and the pros and cons, the pricing, and like here the rate????
  3. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

  4. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    I charge $55 a yard for topdressing applied at 1/2", each yard covers 600 sf.
  5. From what I read from Penn State, I applied a relatively raw grade of compost.
    It had a sewer smell, enough amonia to make you dizzy, and obvious undegraded chunks of wood.
    But it makes the grass grow like crazy, and it was cheap enough. It was $9/yd picked up in Columbus.
    But I was covering close to 3800 sq ft with each yard! That's not going to have any long term soil improvement.
    I'd like to apply it more like Kirby does.

    I need to go to the CENTS show in Columbus this winter and find a few sources of better compost.

    Luckily it snowed the day after I finished. That should help the odor, and also help it leach into the aeration holes.

    I'll be paying attention to anything anyone could add to this thread.

  6. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 394

    if the compost you are applying is truly organic you don't need to worry about applying "too much" as it is not like inorganic fertilizers that will burn if applied too thick.

    My rule on compost topdressing is put on as much as you can, just before it rains, but not so much that the lawn looks like a dirt track. If applied properly one rain should get the blades up again.

    As for the smell of your compost it sounds like it was not done and I would be careful. Compost should smell sweet. The description of "ammonia and sewerage" it sounds like it wasn't fully composted. Find a better source or risk some issues.


    Crazy Moose Organic Lawn Care

    "Chemical-free since '83"

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