Top Dressing

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Strawbridge Lawn, May 23, 2003.

  1. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Thinking ahead to the fall and need a tow behind top dresser that will apply 1/2-1" compost over seed. Anyone use or recommend such a towed unit. Material Capacity .5-1.5 CU YD

    Thanks in advance
  2. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    Turfco makes some of the best topdressers on the market. Ours is over 15 years old and still runs perfect.
  3. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Thanks, went to their home page and it looks as though the smallest model may be the closest to what I am looking for.
    I target lots below 14K sqr ft so the more compact the better.
    I could use some better pictures from their home page though.
  4. dylan

    dylan Member
    Messages: 276

    i have one of these. works great. i do properties as small as 1000 sf ft up to one acre. wouldn't be without one

  5. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236


    That looks great!!! Went to their website and saw that there is also a new overseeder to put on the front of it... :)

    They didn't list any prices for that topdresser... could you give me an idea??? What are you dressing with? Will it handle any material like sand or much equally as well??? It would be great to core aerate then overseed and topdress with that machine...

    How are you loading your material into the topdresser???

    Thanks, Clay
  6. dylan

    dylan Member
    Messages: 276

    They run 5000-7000 canadian. can be picked up used from golf courses cheaper. they run forever. I spread a mix of half compost and half triple mix. Adds lots of om to the soil and levels low spots as well. It used to spread sand at the golf course where i bought it. i just open the chute all the way to get 1/4" coverage. about 1/2 to 1 cu yd per 1000 sq ft. I do about 30-50 lawns a year but am aiming for 200 this summer. Already done almost 40. we core aerate, topdress, overseed, drag, starter fert and set up automatic watering system.
    depending on the size of the job, we shovel it in off the ground, from the truck or use a loader on a tractor.

    here is some more info from one of my previous posts on topdressing.

    1) Mow as low as the mower will go. This ensures that the seeds will get adequate sunlight and makes draging easier.
    2) Manual or chemical weed removal.
    3) Dethatch and remove debris to provide a bare seed bed. 4) Areate to provide more seed to soil contact and loosen the soil. This also gets the compost deeper into the root zone. 5) Overseed (2-5 lbs/ 1000sq ft) rate depending on the thickness of the existing turf 6) Topdress. I use a topdresser purchased from a golf course, holds about 1/3 of a cubic yard, has a 5hp kohler , a conveyor belt and a spreading brush. It is a real crowd stopper.
    It drags a mat behind it. The mat is specially designed . It has 1"x12" steel bars with holes at each end. Cable links all the bars together and forms a 4'x4' mat. The straight edges cut the high spots and levels low ones. I usually apply between 1/2 and 1 cubic yard of compost or triple mix per 1000 sq ft. To figure the amount of material there are two easy methods. a) LxWxH 10'x 10'x 2" =10'x10'x .17 =17/27 =0.6 cu yd b) or use the chart: Depth/ 1000 sf ft / 1 acre 1" 3.1 yd 135 yd .5" 1.6 yd 69 yd .25" .78 yd 35 yd .125" .40 yd 18 yd Measure the yard and multiply the sq ft by the desired number of yds to achieve the correct depth. I have found that 1" coverage is too deep and too expensive. Between 1/8" and 1/4" (1/2 - 3/4 cu yd / 1000 sq ft) is usually good. Any less than 1/8" is not worth the effort of steps 1-4. 7) Final drag for leveling and to work the compost into the holes. 8) Water with automatic system. Two to three times per day for ten minutes each for two weeks. Reduce to once every second day for a week, then every third or fourth day and finally nurse the new grass all summer by watering once per week as deep as possible.
    9) Having patience is the final step. The compost disappears in a week or two, but real thickening is not seen until the bluegrass comes up in a month or so. Notice the deep green from the N in the compost.

    Why topdress? 1) remove bumps, lumps, to level lawn, (Rolling makes weed problems worse) 2) fill in bare spots, repair damage 3) supply nutrients, micronutrients 4) supply organic matter 5) add CEC 6) improve water retention and availability
    7) warm soil in spring 8) loosen soil and relieve compaction 9) disease prevention 10) high seedling germination rate 11) pH modification 12) decompose thatch 13) improve soil texture
    14) stimulate growth 15) improve drainage 16) crowd out weeds with vigorous growth
    17) rejuvenate old, tired lawn Remember that a yd of compost weights over 1000 lbs and is usually easier if delivered unless you only need a yard or two.
  7. Clay

    Clay LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    Thanks Dylan,

    Great response!!!

  8. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660


  9. dylan

    dylan Member
    Messages: 276

Share This Page