Spreader settings

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premium747
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Spreader settings

Post by premium747 » September 3rd, 2020, 9:38 pm

I've been having trouble finding a good resource spreader setting. I've got a Scott's Classic drop spreader, and I can't seem to find a setting conversion site or chart that's not product specific. Of course, I've tried the Scott's online tool, but it doesn't have some of the products that I use.

Any advice/guidance would be appreciated.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Spreader settings

Post by MorpheusPA » September 3rd, 2020, 9:55 pm

What products are you trying to use that aren't listed? It might help somebody who uses a drop (I don't, but...) to convert.

northeastlawn
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Re: Spreader settings

Post by northeastlawn » September 4th, 2020, 8:31 am

I used to have a classic drop spreader that finally died on me, it was a perfect size for my small lawns and best of all, folded up nice and small when I wasn't using it. I am still looking for a used one on Craigs List to replace it.

I found that it was really good for dropping BSF (Milo), because BSF would gunk up the Wizz thats already pretty much disposable.

The thing with drop spreaders is you have to really know the area your applying product to and weight out the product. Then you start on a lower setting and gradually increase the number.

To avoid stripes you should plan on using 1/2 the product up going in one direction, then the other half going perpendicular. It usually took me about 3-4 BSF apps to get a number figured out.

I remember the number was about 15 for BSF (Milo), for granular pre-m and grub-ex I preferred the Scotts Wizz spreader.

premium747
Posts: 6
Joined: August 29th, 2020, 5:55 pm
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Grass Type: Kentucky Blugrass
Lawn Size: 1000-3000
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Re: Spreader settings

Post by premium747 » September 19th, 2020, 7:04 pm

Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize anyone had responded. I got a scale (from Amazon for $15) and weighed out the application amount. Then I just started at a small setting and did several passes. That seems to have worked and I've adjusted as needed.

It's crazy to me that there so much science on the one hand, but on the other hand, it's just trial and error (at least for new guys like me). Thanks again.

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MorpheusPA
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Location: Zone 6 (Eastern PA)
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Re: Spreader settings

Post by MorpheusPA » September 20th, 2020, 9:20 am

About half of science starts with, "I wonder what happens if I mix the red stuff and the blue stuff?" Well, at least until about the year 1800.

It's still trial and error at every level, you just get to be a much better hand at hiding it. Every setting on my spreader is still some guesswork, every time, but I have a generally good feel at where to start. You'll develop that as well.

I'm glad it worked out! Always feel free to ask questions, though, and always check back. Usually somebody will respond, even just with general advice if we don't have a specific answer.


edslawn
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Re: Spreader settings

Post by edslawn » September 20th, 2020, 10:00 am

premium747 wrote:
September 19th, 2020, 7:04 pm
Thanks for the replies. I didn't realize anyone had responded. I got a scale (from Amazon for $15) and weighed out the application amount. Then I just started at a small setting and did several passes. That seems to have worked and I've adjusted as needed.

It's crazy to me that there so much science on the one hand, but on the other hand, it's just trial and error (at least for new guys like me). Thanks again.
It sounds like you are figuring it out. Welcome to the mad scientist club!

One other suggestion... An important change that I made while learning all this is to start keeping a lawn journal detailing everything I do with details on seasonal cycles and conditions. For me, this is Google Keep, a simple note taking app on my phone that helps me keep a log of all of my activities. I also set up separate notes for the chemical recipes and related notes (e.g. pre-emergent application, weed killers).

Super helpful to have my notes to refer back to over time.

Hammbone81
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Re: Spreader settings

Post by Hammbone81 » October 5th, 2020, 7:50 pm

I drank the "lawn care nut" kool-aid about 10years ago. I'm a Mechanical Engineer by profession, so as you can imagine, I dove head first into spreader setting stuff. I have a Spyker and use a lot of commercial stuff or organic stuff that isn't really intended for lawns - no spec sheets on any of it. At first, my calibration process was extremely complicated. To make a very long story short, after I re-evaluating my method and math over and over, I finally simplified my method and I can dial in how much product I put down pretty dead-nuts! I'm no longer afraid to try new products. In about 15-20 minutes, I can take a few data points, plug them into my spreadsheet, and have a curve. I can select my row spacing and desired N/M and go. It makes it easy to select a row spacing that lines up with lawn mower swaths. If you need to help a friend or neighbor, adjust the spacing in the spreadsheet according to their spacing and it'll tell you want to change the setting too. Or if you need to make row adjustments because of heavy vs light product, same thing.

One resource that was very helpful with me developing my process was LSU Ag Department publications. They used to have a lot of great resources on spreader calibration (mostly rotary). I think they did a lot of spreader companies product development R&D for them.

Regarding cutting your application rate in half and going two directions: I might recommend cutting your application rate in half and going the SAME direction but overlap 50%. This was a tip from LSU. The logic is; if going 1 way will make stripes, then going 90° to it will cause plaid. So just go one way and tighten your rows. I use this same process when spraying. Works great!

I started typing up my method in hopes that perhaps it could be an article some day. Never finished it and I don't know how to submit stuff for article consideration.

edslawn
Posts: 97
Joined: July 2nd, 2019, 9:22 pm
Location: South Central PA
Grass Type: Northern Mix
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
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Re: Spreader settings

Post by edslawn » October 10th, 2020, 11:05 am

Hammbone81 wrote:
October 5th, 2020, 7:50 pm
One resource that was very helpful with me developing my process was LSU Ag Department publications. They used to have a lot of great resources on spreader calibration (mostly rotary). I think they did a lot of spreader companies product development R&D for them.

Regarding cutting your application rate in half and going two directions: I might recommend cutting your application rate in half and going the SAME direction but overlap 50%. This was a tip from LSU. The logic is; if going 1 way will make stripes, then going 90° to it will cause plaid. So just go one way and tighten your rows. I use this same process when spraying. Works great!
Good tip!

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