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  #11  
Old 08-30-2009, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
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Do you mean that it costs a lot to perform this service and the customers may not be willing to do that?

What makes it a costly service?
It's a slow process, we have 9 to do so far, not a service I promote a lot as it's quite labor intensive.

You need to cut the grass very short, then remove all thatch, rake in your top dressing, rake in seed, roll then spray. I have landscape rakes that attach to the tractors but they do not do as good a job as a hand rake unless the customers lawn is uneven or has bumps, then the tractor excells as it levels everything.

Top dressing in our climate is done in September and October, it's a pretty big business here and some companies specialize in it.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2009, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Do you mean that it costs a lot to perform this service and the customers may not be willing to do that?

What makes it a costly service?
I think it is fairly labor intensive and the "pre-made" topdressings are very expensive. Some of large population areas that have this service offered by a few contractors seen to have developed a process just for this service. They have large commercial duty drop spreaders with raking attachment for even distribution and who make their own top dressing.

I am trying to develope a service process for small population areas that will produce dramatic visual results quickly. Market a "Keep up with hte Jone's" attitude at a reasonable cost that instills quality and value added feelings.

Steve
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2009, 08:34 PM
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[quote=picframer;57102]It's a slow process, we have 9 to do so far, not a service I promote a lot as it's quite labor intensive./quote]

How do you store your top dressing? Bagged, covered, piled?

Steve
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2009, 09:40 PM
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I have no personal experience with anything other than manure but I do know that manure stays mostly most when it is uncovered and even composts nicely. At the very worst you may have to water it down on occasion to keep it moist but I don't see that as being a problem as long as you have an occasional rain and with snow, etc.. I have however seen regular compost piles outside, uncovered but don't know how the compost turned out.

I have to ask though, what kind of manure are you going to be using (chicken, turkey, horse, cow, swine, etc.). As I am sure you know already, different types of manure have different chemical consistencies. Very different. But I am sure your research has revealed this to you. Plus the difference in chemical consistencies, there is also a great difference in odor. Unless you have a good place in a VERY rural area to do this, I doubt that you would be too interested in using any poultry or swine manure due to the odor. But like I said, I am sure this is all old news to you.

Keep us posted, this is rather interesting.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:25 AM
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[quote=swstout;57104]
Quote:
Originally Posted by picframer View Post
It's a slow process, we have 9 to do so far, not a service I promote a lot as it's quite labor intensive./quote]

How do you store your top dressing? Bagged, covered, piled?

Steve
I ordered 18 yards, it will be delivered this week and we will cover it with a plastic tarp, for lawns requiring 4 yards or more, we have it delivered. My supplier Kel Anne Organics stores it uncovered.
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  #16  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:27 AM
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I think it is fairly labor intensive and the "pre-made" topdressings are very expensive. Some of large population areas that have this service offered by a few contractors seen to have developed a process just for this service. They have large commercial duty drop spreaders with raking attachment for even distribution and who make their own top dressing.

I am trying to develope a service process for small population areas that will produce dramatic visual results quickly. Market a "Keep up with hte Jone's" attitude at a reasonable cost that instills quality and value added feelings.

Steve
My cost is $29.80 a yard, I charge clients $49.00 a yard plus labour.
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  #17  
Old 09-01-2009, 09:43 PM
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Default Topdressing

[quote=picframer;57121]
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Originally Posted by swstout View Post

I ordered 18 yards, it will be delivered this week and we will cover it with a plastic tarp, for lawns requiring 4 yards or more, we have it delivered. My supplier Kel Anne Organics stores it uncovered.
Topdressing is not offered in my area except in 2 cu. ft. bags at Lowe's. Very expensive!

I am looking into producing my own, so storage is of prime importance.

The carbon content of South Carolina soil is only about 1% so Browm organic material is important. Leaves and pine needles will supply the carbon if I have enough Green organic mater for the needed nitrogen. I am looking at a 20:1 ratio which will require a 1 part Brown organic matter to a 2 part green organic matter. At 1/4 inch topdressing this will require 0.8 cu. yd. per 1,000 sq. ft. I have almost 3 acres of wooded land with hardwood and pine trees in abundance and have a inexpensive source of cow manure for the misture.

Any help will be greatly appreciated

Steve
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:38 AM
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[quote=swstout;57210]
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Topdressing is not offered in my area except in 2 cu. ft. bags at Lowe's. Very expensive!

I am looking into producing my own, so storage is of prime importance.


Steve
That would be expensive I suspect.

There are three companies here that make Organic soils so I guess I am fortunate as I don't think I could ever produce enough to cover the lawns we do.

I have seen two of the operations although I haven't asked any detailed questions on how they are making it, I deal with a place called Kel Anne, the owner Mike is a super fellow, when we met in the spring he was telling me they go through something like 50,000 yards of product a season, it's a pretty big operation.

My experience is limited to playing around in my back yard over the years, I know covering it with a tarp in the winter is critical to keep the heat in and it has to be kept moist, not wet.

I'll see if I can find some info from Mike and will email it to you, I talk to him pretty much every day.
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  #19  
Old 09-02-2009, 05:14 AM
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Thanks, I apprediate it,

Steve
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  #20  
Old 09-02-2009, 05:20 AM
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Thanks, I apprediate it,

Steve
I have been searching for a spreader to speed this process up....OMG $13,000 was the cheapest, this is such a big market here I am going to see if the rental places have anything
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