Top dressing.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by grassyfras, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    What kind of top dressing do you guys use for lawns. I just want to top dress without putting any seed down. Im thinking of just using a regular compost mix that my nursery sells. I know a lo tof you guys yse a pelletized granunular mix. Do some of you just use straight topsoil? I dont like the thought of using just top soil beuause to me its junk inless your raising or leveling a yard or bed. Is compost to strong at 1/4 of an inch on a lawn???"?
  2. jschu13

    jschu13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Top post is a great material to use. I would recommend aerating before topdressing. And, no, 1/4 inch is not too much.
  3. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    We use the turfco Metre-Matic Finish greens topdresser. Its a beast expensive. but puts down 1/4 " of whatever (we use environmental compost from a rcycling company) $7 a yard . the machine spreads 1/3 yard in 2-3 minutes. 1 yard covers appr 1100 sq feet 1/4 deep. avg house around here 5 yards. It works miracles if only i could talk more into it
  4. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    how do you refill the Hopper? it seems like you have to refill it four or five times. do you have to shovel the compost into the hopper and how long does it take you?
  5. TLM

    TLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    We use the Turfco "Mete-R-Matic"
    We have two of them and a Earth & Turf.
    We can load by hand on the Turfcos and it takes about 5 mins with our sand/topsoil blend. It will hold about 12-13 cubic feet and the Earth & Turf is about double that size.

    We are getting a Dingo to speed up the loading and clean up of the job site.

    we do ALOT of topdressing in the ATL !! a smaller topdresser
  6. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    yes you have to refill the hopper by shovel or very small IE dingo bucket. 15 fills on 5,000 sq feet, it fills in a few minutes and empties in 2 0r 3. its a fair amt of work but easiest way to topdress subdivision homes . 1 yard covers 1100 sq feet 1/4 inch. thats 3 loads per 1,100 sq feet
  7. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    TLM, that Earth nand Turf Truflow 24D seems like the way to go when doing residental lots of .25 acres or under. it is not big, but cheaper than anything else and stores neatly (no dedicated storage).

    TLM/Chris, do you guys make lots of money doing that? what is the average per suburban lot you charge? Approximately, dont need exact figures.

    i called E&T and they said the 24D with S&H is just under $1K. how long will it take me to pay it off?
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I use a product called "Topper" by Kellogg,or I use composted weed free steer manure.
  9. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Well to be honest i have a hard time selling it to my customers and they badly need it. In my area kentucky bluegrass sod is laid on solid clay, maybe 1' of topsoil if that. we charge $75 per yard and use strictly organic compost. or a 60/40 mix od compost sand. So 5,000 sq feet of lawn is avg aroung here so 4-5 yards does the job. it adds 300-400 to the overseeding rennovation price on 5,000 sq feet. The benefits of the topdressing is truly amazing, Its just hard to sell the customers on it. these photos were taken of an empty lot in bad shape, using multiple aerations, 8 lbs of seed per 1000 sq feet , starter fert 1/4 " compost, and rolled with an 800 lb roller, Look at the thread HOWS IT LOOK under rennovating about a week ago it shows wht the turfco tow behind aerator and topdressing machine did. This empty lot was not watered, we aerated 4 times added 8 lbs of custom blended seed, starter fertilizer, topdressed 1/4" organic compost, and rolled with 800lb roller. those photos were not doctored
  10. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    How heavy does that 24d get when fully loaded? Is it a real bear to push around, or no more so than a spreader?

    I have contemplated top dressing for a long time. Problem is, for residential lots, it really is hard to get an affordable applicator that will be useful on a small lot. And, I'm not sure people will go for $300 to $400 to do this. I have a hard enough time just getting people to aerate regularly. But with all these new houses around here, with clay soil and crappy lawns, it is exactly what the doctor ordered.

    If this 24 D machine isn't that heavy to use, I might consider it. There's always a possibility of hooking it up to my walk behind to make things easier, I suppose.

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