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Compost spreader?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by rwb, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. craigs lawncare

    craigs lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    mtdman, You hit it right on the head with that comment!

  2. dylan

    dylan Member
    Messages: 276

    Buying topdressers used is one option to save some money. I agree it hard to spend big dollars on a machine that will see minimal use. On the other hand, I'm glad they cost a lot of money because it really limits the competition. If they sold an amazing topdressing machine at walmart for say $300 bucks, EVERYONE would be topdressing.

    Could you rent one from a local golf course? They don't use them every day.

    If you compare one commercial wb or zturn against a topdresser they are both in the same ball park ($5000- $10,000)
    If you were topdressing lawns (say 1-3 per day) five days a week it would not take long to pay for such a machine. Especially because the opportunity for higher profit margins is better with topdressing. 3 lawns per day at $200 or $300 is $600 or $900. (these numbers for illustration only because 6-10 lawns per day is possible) You have to cut 20 $30 lawns to get $600.

    You just have to decide when to make the jump from the wheelbarrow and shovel and doing 10 yards per year to using some topdressing equipment and doing 250 yards per year.
  3. craigs lawncare

    craigs lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    Hey, renting from the local golf course is a great idea.
    Never actually thought of that one.
    I still think there has got to be a cheaper rout than several thousand dollars.
    Our local Quality Farm and Fleet has a small manure spreader that is probably 1/3 the size of a normal one. Has anyone used a manure spreader before?

  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    Any updates on the never ending search for a good spreader? The local Lesco guy suggested I just use a regular commercial drop spreader with loose compost. I don't know about that one. Although I have found a good supply of compost locally from the city. And I added a small paragraph to my Aeration page on my website about top dressing with compost, which has gotten me a ton of response without even advertising it. I'd like to get a program together before the fall. I need to find a good applicator, and decide whether to use real compost or pelletized compost. And find a supplier for pelletized compost in my area, if I go that route.

    I've inquired at a few golf courses, but no one has a small enough top dresser to use residentially.

  5. Duramax99

    Duramax99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    There is a company in pennslyania that makes pellitized compost. We just started using it this year in our organic program. We spread it with on e of those prize lawn big foot spreaders. It works great and is more conventional than using a tractor and a topdresser.
  6. Duramax99

    Duramax99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    You can do two things. There is a company in Pennslyvania that makes pellitized compost that is dehydrated. You can spread it with a Prize lawn big foot. This is a great alternative to using a tractor and topdresser. It is less time consuming has the same result and is inexpenisve, so it can be an easier sell to the customers because it will provide the same benefit as loose compost.
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Actually, I am thinking about spraying it on with my hydroseeder. If I can run 350lbs of lime and fert thru it, compost should be a breeze. Bowies tailgate mulcher straw blowers are made to suck and blow and might be another option.
  8. twwlawn

    twwlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    www.newerspreader.com I went out on a limb and got the spreader. Got tired of spreading compost or top dressing on lawns by hand. Could not find any helpful information and decided to take a chance and hopefully find something that will help me and others to apply compost or top dressings to lawn area's.

    I have put 35 yards of compost & composted manure thru this spreader, dry and wet. To test how much material comes out of the spreader, I tested it on my driveway, the depth of material was 1/4" to 1/2". With dry material there were no problems and the wet materials would ball up some, seeing that I installed the agitator and that helped and no more balling up.

    The spreader works okay, the lawns that I did first, new grass is coming up nice. I hope this helps in trying to find something low in cost.
  9. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    I've seen that before. What do you use to pull/push the speader? Hook it to the back of a rider mower? Also, how often do you have to refill it? The Lesco guy recommended a regular drop spreader, don't know if that would do the job.

    Duramax, are you talking Laurel Valley? I've had them in mind for a while, but they have no distributors anywhere around me in Michigan. I even went so far as to email them about shipping to me. And so far I've had no luck finding anything similar near me.
  10. twwlawn

    twwlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Mtdman, Pulling the spreader by hand with dry compost is ok if you got alot of energy, not with wet material, perfer to pull with tractor. Spreader will hold one wheelbarrow load plus a little, has a three foot spread path, area of coverage is between 500 to 600 sq. ft. per load. Regular drop spreader will clog up, tried and done that. I know that one LCO that buys the pellitized compost and spreads with a rotary spreader. He says it works but perfer's the loose compost as far as costs are conerned. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions, be glad to help.

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