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Fertilizer Application

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by FINN, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. FINN

    FINN LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 280

    I intended to apply Lesco 18-24-12 with a Lesco rotary spreader over approx 60k area. I dialed the spreader using the lesco calibration guage to #15 as indicated on the bag. Each bag covers 12/k . I expected to use about 5 bags of product at this rate. I only used 1.25 bags. Its been awhile since I applied fert... ..but.....i could tell right away something was not right. The spreader is new.

    I am confused to say the least. I tried to do everything buy the book. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    I would look at whether the third hole was closed or perhaps you had several holes clogged.
  3. FINN

    FINN LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 280

    Third hole was open. I noticed the agitator was scraping the bottom of the hopper on one end. I have since raised it. I dont think it was enough to have that much of an adverse effect. It was still doing its job its just had some friction from the hopper.
  4. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    did you overlap correctly? (to the nearest tire mark?)

    those calibration guages are pretty much just 'ball park'. Obviously in your case not really even in the same ball park...
    1.25 bag (62-65lbs) must have just barely seen any product shooting out of that spreader. As mentioned be sure product was not clumping causing blockage....or....just open up the spreader more.
  5. FINN

    FINN LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 280

    TSM - I didnt overlap as you suggest. I have applied fert on golf course greens in the past and was always taught to "throw" the pattern into the edge of previous pattern. This was supposed to reduce overlap. I did a search on lesco spreaders and noticed people talk about the 11-3 pattern and throwing the pattern to your last set of tire marks. I did notice the 11-3 and will try the overlap. It just seems like I am overlaping on the side that throws heaviest. I have always thought too much overlap could result in a burn.

    That being said it still see seemed like hardly any product was coming out. I didnt notice any clumps, everything appeared to be normal.

    Thank you for the reply.
  6. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    My next thought would be to see if the holes are opening properly when you push the lever forward. When you push the lever forward do the holes open to the mark ion the calibration guage?
  7. FINN

    FINN LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 280

    Sod King - I checked it out before I loaded the hopper. It opened to the correct calibration. My questions is does the loaded hopper have an affect on how well the holes holes open up?
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Not to be a smarta$$, but when you got the spreader, it says what numbers to set the spreader at.

    However, you should figure out the width of your spread pattern. Once you know how wide that is, figure out how long it takes 1 lb of material to run through the spreader.

    Once you have THAT figured out, take 1000 and divide it by your spread pattern width.

    Then, try to walk, ride, whatever kind of spreader you have, the distance that 1000 / your spread pattern with, within the time that it took for 1 lb of material to go through the spreader.

    I THINK that's the steps. :)

    If not, someone will correct me I'm sure.
  9. FINN

    FINN LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 280

    LM22 - I think my original post indicates that I set the spreader to the number indicated on the bag and I checked it with the calibration guage.

    I do think your idea of calibrating the spreader is the best cross reference for this situation. The product just wasnt coming out like it should have.

    thank you for the reply.
  10. sniggly

    sniggly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    This question is going to sound bad but I can't help it. Did you actually push 60ksqft before you realized you were having a coverage problem? That's an acre and a half (roughly). If you estimated 5 bags.........and you had only used one bag by the time you reached an acre...........???????????? Again...this is a question born out of constructive curiosity rather than condemnation. Which spreader are you using?

    Listen......that fert is not a fert I use.....but I do use Lesco fert's. I am one of those guys that want's to know the prill size before I buy a new product from them. Lesco doesn't always get it right.

    BTW.....the best 'measuring stick' for determining what kind of pattern your spreader is making is black asphalt.

    Bottom line is this.......once you have figured out how the spreader 'spreads' you are going to have to push that 60ksqft again......that sucks!

    Good Luck To You!

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