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Looking for a faster and more productive way to top dress compost etc.??

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    This is true, and why I didn't mention it when I knew it is beyond me...I woulf think though if you could get the compost under the blades of grass in the shade of the leaves you would be fine.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. terrapro

    terrapro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,234

    I know you did, consider it in addition to your statement. :)
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    I had actually learned this some years ago using black dirt from Home Depot. I had used some of this dirt in a low spot. All the grass in the natural soil lived, but right next to it in the black soil it cooked the seedlings.
  4. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,777

    Good lord!! My spelling in the last few replies is terrible!
  5. pt03

    pt03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    Easy enough to build one if a person has some metal working equipment. We built three but we went a bit heavier so that they could stand up to some abuse. The spread is rather thin I think but a second crossway application gets it into the 1/4 inch depth. If I screened the compost finer and got it drier it would probably go down thicker on the single pass.




  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    links are not working for me.
  7. pt03

    pt03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I've been pondering this entire niche service area. To be really efficient one needs a faster method of getting the compost in the spreader etc. The hydraulic dump trailer looks like the ticket but no way I will be towing that with my smaller trucks. I'd be doing good to get 1.5 cubic yards in my current truck and trailer.

    How are some of you pricing your topdressing? I work solo but even on projects where you spend all day at I don't like to work for a lower rate. For the lawn install last week with a full top dress I charged pretty close to my full power equipment rate for labor and I did not pad the material cost. I was surprised they accepted my quote. I had my supplier deliver 4 cubic yards of compost and had them dump it on the property the morning of for a $40 delivery charge. I shoveled all but a half of cubic yard into my 4 wheeled cart.

    I can see the demand for this but I am absolutely swamped with work during the spring rush from mid April to Memorial weekend every year with no days off doing aerations and power rakings. It seems to follow aeration season from what I can tell. Is demand for top dressing higher in the Spring or Fall?

    Picture is from: http://www.compostwerks.com/CompostTopdressing.php
  9. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Hey pt03
    I'm wondering how the above worked out for you as I'm litterally thinking about making one myself, modifying just a little to connect to my john deere garden tractor. :)

    Looking around now for some place to order the compost :walking:
  10. pt03

    pt03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    They work well but I have nothing to compare them to other than the shovel, fling and bad back method. :) We thought of pulling them with the garden tractor but never tried it.

    I found it is better not to stuff them full, 2/3rds max seemed to work best. Most of the compost falls out when the tumbling stuff hits the screen in the front so having it too full didn't work as well.

    The other thing I found is that when on a slope, one must go up and down the slope. Going crossways puts the compost over to one side of the unit and makes for an uneven application.

    The people that have used them said they worked well for them and an average front yard took less than two hours for them to do. I don't know if they took any beer breaks in there or not.


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