1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

top-dressing mix ?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by TEXAS DEALER, Dec 23, 2003.


    TEXAS DEALER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I am wanting to put together a top-dressing mix in #50 bags
    for my customers. I have the following products available:

    1. composted cattle manure
    2. composted cotton burrs
    3. alfalfa meal
    4. cottonseed meal
    5. greensand
    6. rock dust
    7. lava sand
    8. kelp meal
    9. humate
    10. dried molasses

    Our soil has a ph of 7.5 to 9.0 and is either heavy clay or cliche,
    also we have alot of chemical fertilizing companies who use
    herbicides every time they spray and use high salt urea.
    {also our water has a high sodium content.}
  2. I guess the top 4 ingredents would be the base or bulk of the topdressing material. After getting its anyalsis ( ex 1-2-1), you could add some of the other ingredents, like greensand or rock dust, depending on results and what your trying to accomplish.

    wouldn't add any sand, PERIOD!!! Can see some benefit of humate, molasses, and kelp meal.

    sure david would have better input

  3. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    This is a great question! From the list of ingredients, probably kelp meal is the most expensive, so you might be tempted to use less of that. Don't. The dried molasses is a problem waiting to happen. As soon as that stuff sees any humidity in the air, it starts gluing itself the everything.

    From that list I want it all. Five pounds of each makes 50 pounds. If you eliminate the molasses, you can add 5 pounds of anything else and have a great product.

    The sands on this list are not at all like beach sand. These are very good organic stimulators and get a lot of good publicity in the Dallas area. Any Dallas area soil amendment without greensand or lava sand will sit on the shelves while the products that have them move out the door. If you were selling the product in San Antonio, those sand ingredients are neutral or even less important.

    TEXAS DEALER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    What kind of application rate and how often?
  5. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    Can you tell me how the topdressing will be applied? And how will you sell it? by that i dont mean, in a store, i mean, what do you consider its best features as opposed to other topdressing mixes or no topdressing. it sounds like a great idea.

    application rate would be 1 cubic yard per thousand feet square.
    i charge 300 dollars to apply top dressing at this rate for front lawn only. my topdressing isnt as good as what you are making however it is compost based and contains a lot of organic matter and good food for the benificial microbes.

    TEXAS DEALER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    It would be applied through a fertilizer spreader.
    I will sell it as a soil activator ,comparable to a product by
    natural guard called "soil activator" that comes in a 20#bag and
    sells for $11.95 a bag. This product is mostly humate.
    I am trying to sell a better product for around $10.00 for a
    50# bag.
  7. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I think $10 is a great value for such a robust material.

Share This Page