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Compost top dressing NOW....20 degrees and windy!

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by OrganicsMaine, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Hi guys,

    I just dormant seeded and top dressed my last one for the year. Funny thing is that I got the place aerated last week before the deep freeze hit us. Now that it is pretty damn cold out there, and I have the compost spread I got to thinking(never a good thing!): Is there any negative implications with topdressing at this time of year? We will probably have snow cover within the next few weeks that will be with us until mid-late March.

    BTW I used a seed mix of TTTF and KBG, went down real heavy with it.
  2. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from southeast PA
    Messages: 398

    We have topdressed under similar circumstances for the last few years in December and January. Never noticed any negative effects. As long as the topdressing pile is dry and does not freeze I feel it is easy work.
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,058

    If you are applying compost to frozen ground, it will most likely add to the nutrient runoff problem.
  4. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553


    Even if it is buried under snow and thaws slowly like the ground? We just got our first very hard freeze in the last day or two, then it will go to 40 for a few days and then back down, so some freeze thaw action. Hopefully not too much runoff.
  5. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    PG, how did you keep your pile from freezing? I did notice that the majority of the pile that was under a tarp was not frozen yet, but the parts that were uncovered did have about an inch of frozen crust.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    That would be my concern as well in the spring assuming the ground is still frozen when your spring snow melt starts. I'm surprised you don't have snow yet. :dizzy:
  7. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Nope, no snow yet! I'm in southern Maine and on the water, so while we have certainly had a lot of snow at this time, it isn't guaranteed. One bonus is that it is a flat lawn, so hopefully, not too much runoff.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    If it is not finished compost and has N over 1% or 2% it will likely support snow mold growth and will look like crap in the spring

    Late fall/early winter compost applications are not a good idea, there is no microbial action going on, wait until spring or next fall
  9. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Ok, so late/early composting is not a good idea. Good thing is the compost is very finished so hopefully not too much snow mold. I'll be at this house early to rake out that snowmold ASAP!
  10. Barefoot James

    Barefoot James LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Bill, What about Feb composting over seed in KY? Grass starts growing in early March here.

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