when to spread compost over yard

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by cpt87gn, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    When topdressing with compost, only a 1/4" is usually applied at a time. Most of the fines drop right down to the soil. Larger pieces are washed in with irrigation. The turf is never smothered, In fact, when I look at what I have just applied I usually think there is not enough. But then I remember the times I have applied the same amount to sidewalks by mistake and they are covered with compost.

    Top dressing with compost has many benefits for lawns. But it may not be a good fit for many companies and can be cost prohibitive for their clients. There are other options available that will provide similar results more economically.

    That being said, there is nothing like the benefits of good compost for all plants.
  2. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Horse manure isn't compost.

    Plenty of people on the organic forum apply compost as a topdressing without smothering turf. Where not talking about the nutrients being directly plant available here. The microorganisms in the soil break down the compost and it's nutrients, who in turn make them plant available. It's probably a different thinking than what you're used to.
  3. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643


    Do you have any pelletized compost or worm casting available yet?
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    You know I do! :)

    And for any tree guys dealing with compacted soils there is now a great vertical mulch compound available.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    One of the best things you can do for thatch is to cover with compost. Remember - thatch is living and dead roots and stems. Applied this time of year it will begin its way down through the thatch, helping to digest OM along the way.

    Living roots will be feeding off of it, but not causing huge lateral growth at the surface. Rather the roots will eventually grow downward as they should. More dead material will digest and feed the turf in the process. Plugging , of course, speeds this up.

    Now - if we just stopped feeding in the early spring... "Thatch" would be a non-issue
  6. cpt87gn

    cpt87gn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 218

    if i compost soon .im in san antonio texas which is raining as i type will it do the lawn anygood for next season . the lawn should be going dormant soon or should i wait till it starts to grow agine
    and is it a good time to apply scotts winterizer now
  7. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Hey buddy I missed this post. I look forward to the call. :) Things here are super busy, evening is best. :waving:

    my "way more soluble npk than synthetic ferts" comment was like this... say you apply a compost that has just .7% soluble N at 1/4"... this is about 400 lbs dry weight compost per 1,000... the math leads to know that you just applied 2.4 lbs soluble N per 1,000. And in the original post he was asking about compost/manure. Manure has way more soluble N than .7%. 'Tis all I was saying. (the compost I use has .7% soluble N by dry weight)
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    X% of nitrogen in manure dissipates into the atmosphere as thermophilic composting occurs.
    That's the exact reason why for generations-on-end American farmers have argued for the right to spread green manure onto fallow land, and disk/incorporate it into the soil later only when it achieves a satisfactory status of decay.
    In many areas of the country, they are allowed to do this to varying extents.

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