Top Dressing - How?

I hear people all the time talk about top dressing a lawn, but I don't recall hearing how to do it. When you have a relatively large lawn area (1/2 acre or so), what's the best and most efficient way to top dress with some kind of organic compost? Can I use a spreader, do I need to use a shovel, or is their some other method?
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1) Learn Spanish 2) Early one morning, go down to the local gathering place where illegal migrant workers gather waiting for jobs from local Landscape Companies. In my town that is the local communter RR parking lot. I also see them at Taco Bell. 3) Hire 2 of them for about 8/hr. 4) Have some leaf mold or other compost dilivered to your home. 5) Provide 2 shovesl and at least 1 wheel barrel for Juan and Julio. and 2 rakes. 6) Demonstrate the technique, which is fill the WB, position it to the section of lawn, fill a shovel with compost drag your hand across the top of the shovel spreading (broadcasting) the compost. 7) Have them rake in any excess compost, you only need about a 1/4 inch. I would core areate beforehand to really benefint from the top dress.

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First question is not how, but why and if.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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I just did that in the last weekend on my 1/4 acre lawn. I used a landscape rake to spread top soil on the lawn. The landscape rake is 4-ft wide. This makes the job go faster than using a small rake. Still this took me two days to finish my small 1/4 acre lawn (around 12 hours totally spent across two days -- 4 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday).
Hiring day labors to do this probably is a better idea than trying to do this yourself in a large 1/2 acre lawn -- I just cannot see how I can do this by myself in a 1/2 acre lawn even though I am heathy and do exercise every day.
I would like to use composts. But I could not find any place locally that sell composts in bulk. That was the reason why I use top soil instead. But after seeing the top soil that they sell in bulk, I have a feeling that I might be better off buying top soil or composts in bags. The top soil that they deliveried in bulk doesn't look that great -- I should have refused the delivery; but I could not tell the difference when the top soil is wet. Hope you have a better luck buying the good stuff.
Jay Chan
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