Drought Seeding 2012

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Rick13, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Another aspect of composting for seed,,, is when you read of people, scalp-mowing, aerating, de-thatching, removing dead plant material, slit-seeding, and watering 2-3 times per day...

    When you see LCOs doing ALL those things to every lawn they seed, then you can recognize that spreading compost over broadcasted seed becomes a lot cheaper... :)
  2. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    The customer mows the lawn. The customer waters the lawn. The dethatching happens as you slit seed and in thirty years I have removed dead material from two lawns.

    Again. I like the method and it is worthy and worthwhile but to say it's cheaper than slit seeding is just wrong.

    Adding topsoil is time consuming, labor intensive and or equipment intensive. Not to mention the cost of the topsoil or compost.

    To answer Ricks earlier question. Yes, an acre is 43560 sq ft. Unless you sell work at Tru Green.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I wasn't talking about what you're doing... I was referring to what many other LCOs are talking about doing... no one ever claimed that it is,,, "...cheaper than slit seeding..."

    Putting down topsoil is not a good idea at all(except when necessary)... eventually you have layering of different types of soil and the lawn is elevated each time...

    compost is completely different than topsoil...
    those 2 seeding strategies have nothing to do with one another AND the long term effects are completely different...
  4. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    When you say "Compost" what exactly do you mean? What is it made of or from and you talk like you have some guaranteed analysis.

    Or could it be that the "Compost" is just as random as topsoil, which is actually compost in my opinion is it not?

    So what are we really talking about here.

    Not trying to be a dick. Just opening up the conversation a bit.

    The OP is even talking about "Organic" compost.

    That sounds a lot vague to me.

    Splain please.
  5. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    The organic compost that I buy is made from yard waste.

    Grass clippings, tree branches, leaves, plants, etc. It shouldn't have glass, rocks, or trash and in Rockford they won't take any soil either. So if you were trying to get rid of dirt....the compost plant won't take that.

    The compost plant has a large end loader that scoops up the yard waste bags, drops them into a giant grinding machine that spits out a fine waste material. They will do this process a few times until it's super fine material.

    Then the end loader will scoop up the super fine waste material, and place it in a large field. They will take a bulldozer and turn the yard waste over and over. Not sure how many days they keep turning the field of yard waste over.

    Then they will scoop up the yard waste material from the field and now it's turning into compost, run it through the grinder and sometimes they add lime to the compost to make it drier so it's easier to spread.

    I don't want to ask the people at compost plant their compost making process, because they got mad at me when I took a few pictures....they thought I wanted to start my own compost plant....which I don't.

    But they have a good gig there....you pay to get rid of your yard waste, and then they grind it up and make compost. And then they charge you to come and take their waste....so they are making money on both ends. It's a great business!!!!
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There's no real secret about how to make compost and the quality of the compost is dependant upon the care taken to do it correctly, more than anything else...
    They are correct to not allow dirt tobecome part of the process and that is where you would get into trouble applying it year after year...
    Good compost smells like fresh earth and doesn't have identifiable material in it...

    Around here it sells for $27/yd, delivered, which makes it a very expensive overseeding strategy that most people don't understand(including LCOs)...

    So my question to you is: How do you get clients to accept such an expensive proposition??? :)
  7. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Let me ask you a question smallaxe. Where do you think "dirt" as you call it, comes from?
  8. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408


    I explain that this is something their yard needs. Most people want to have a better yard than their neighbors. And if you can show them "good results", then they will pay for it.

    And most people know if it's organic....then its usually good.

    People will pay more of chickens that aren't kept in cages. They will pay more for beef if it's natural fed. And the same goes of spreading "organic" compost....its better for the environment...and some people it's a huge deal.

    But I think most people like the thought of trying to do their part in keeping the Earth healthy.

    But if the organic compost didn't work or show good results....then people wouldn't buy it.

    In the car business....they say, "There's an ass for every seat". Meaning...even though that car is over priced, if you find that right person, they will buy it, no matter what. But it's finding that right person.

    Organic compost spreading is not for everyone one, but if you get a few...for me, it's worth it!
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    For me , the term "dirt" is the mineral soil that is made up of pulverized rock... usually 'subsoils' qualify for this term becuz they are strictly parent material w/out any OM that would be sufficient to call it "soil"...

    Soil, by my terminology, means a pleasant blend of mineral material that is structured and bonded together by enough OM to be noticable...

    Compost, is simply decayed organic matter... whether itis leaves and twigs, whether it is grass and pumpkins, or manure and wood chips,,, organic matter is always decaying becuz the earth is filled with decomposers...

    Whatever elements were gathered together by the original plants, are now part of your composted material... but that is not the important part... the important part is what the compost does for the 'soil' that people use to grow grass on...

    The more that the ground resembles dirt, the more compost is needed to make it soil...that is why mulch mowing grass and leaves into the turf is just a standard routine for the knowledgeable LCO...

    At least that is how I see the 'bio' sciences in my little world,,, and a deeper discussion on the topic is always welcome... :)
  10. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    My simple explanation and understanding is that topsoil is aged compost and the dirt you speak of is subsoil.

    The random nature of composted materials is no different than the random makeup and nature of any particular topsoil one would spread so I'm not sure what you mean when you talk about different soils building up over time.

    Now I do deal with soil interfacing when sod is used but thats generally because there was no topsoil and it was planted over subsoil causing issues.

    The microbial activity is different in composted materials well before they turn into a topsoil type material so in that sense youd probably see benefit from that.

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