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BigEd
03-07-2001, 01:06 AM
Went to the local Lesco today(first time)asking about soil samples.They were very friendly and helpful.We then talked for a long time. Then they set me up with a soil probe and free soil sample bags.Then all I have to do is bring them the sample and 12.00 bucks,they send it out and when it comes back(10 days) they discuss the results with you and set you up a fertilizer plan either a 3,4,or5 step plan depending what I can sell to the customer.Anybody else do it this way?I think it sounds great.How much do you guys charge the customer for the soil test?

KirbysLawn
03-07-2001, 01:22 AM
Well not exactly free...the bags are purchased and mailed to the lab. Pay first and mail them yourself or pay later and have lesco mail, same difference.

As for the rest sound like a usual Lesco experence, very good! I mail my soil samples in a USPS Priority mail box for $3.20 all together, saves money on postage v/s mailing each bag.

Ray

kutnkru
03-07-2001, 09:17 AM
Not to deter you from establsihing a repoire(sp) with your local Lesco Srvc. Center, but depending on your budget and the willingness of your clients, you may want to check with your local Co-operative Extension Ofc. They will perform the same soil analysis usually for around $2-3 per account.

Good luck this season!
Kris

sgreanbean
03-07-2001, 09:30 AM
no kidding!
i was approached buy several companys last year trying to get me to buy their products (poer equip companys) lesco was one of them. the guys seemed real nice and honest. thay sent me a catalog and some flyers but i did not persue them, maybe i should!soil samples would be a good idea for me. has every one had a good experience with them?

thefarmer4
03-07-2001, 09:59 AM
kutnkru,

My extension office sends them to Cornell and they charge me $10 or 12 bucks.

Does your local extension do the analysis right there?

Green Finger
03-07-2001, 09:59 AM
I went to Lesco also and inquired about the soil testing. I was very interested in their program but after reading this post; I think it might be a little bias.

They get the soil tested, they read the results and they reccomend their products for the lawn.

Thinking about it the Co-op idea is not bad.

kutnkru
03-07-2001, 10:36 AM
tis true, tis true.

I just spoke with our local Extension Ofc and this is what they had to say about soil samples:
1.DO NOT TOUCH THE CORES WITH YOUR HANDS!!!
she could not stress this fact enough.

2. Make sure that all cores are 6-8 inches in depth.

3. Place them in an extremely clean container.
she recommended Zip-Lock freezer bags.

4. Take enough samples from various points of the lawn areas so that you will have enough to fill a 2cup measuring cup.

5. Mix the samples around in the bag so that they are not sorted by front/back lawn areas etc.

6. Place them on a windowsill to dry on a paper towel.
she stressed not to use newspapers.

7. After they reach Cornell it could take up to 2 wks for results.

FYI
Kris

kutnkru
03-07-2001, 10:38 AM
Are available thru their offices as well. forgot to mention that.

Good luck this season!
Kris

thefarmer4
03-07-2001, 11:00 AM
Should we wear rubber gloves and use a little piece of dowl rod to get the soil core out?

also I've always pushed the grass and thatch out of the way before taking samples, should this be done?

kutnkru
03-07-2001, 12:00 PM
I personally just used cores from when we had aerated for the customers.

I would advise that if this is something you wish to pursue seriously, that you invest the $30-40 for one of those stand on aerators that takes two cores at a time. They look like .u. tubes underneath the footpeg. thses should also give you the optimum depth they have requested.

As far as gathering the core samples for packaging, we just scoop them up with a hand trowel and place them into bags this way.

No. I would not remove the grass or thatch. Give them the entire sample. This will allow them to determine the turfgrass type and aid in the evaluation of the overall lawn that much more efficiently.

Hope this helps.
Kris

kutnkru
03-07-2001, 12:01 PM
...

[Edited by kutnkru on 03-07-2001 at 04:04 PM]

equipguy
03-10-2001, 10:30 AM
I have to disagree with the co-op decision for the samples, LESCO makes real easy. They have great Ideas on how to impliment a soil testing program and you are NEVER forced to use their products. Their soil sample report can be made out to have your customers name right on it, this really gets your customers attention and helps in the up sell. LESCO use CLC labs for their testing they are said to be one of the best in the country. You will get recomendations from CLC with your test, so that leaves LESCO out of the LOOP. Give them a try.

Craig Turf Management
03-11-2001, 05:02 AM
I use LESCO products exclusively. I do a soil test for every property that I maintain, otherwise I'm flying blind. I do all of my soil tests in december when I'm sitting on my butt doing not much of anything else, and I have my soil tests back before I apply lime, which I do in january. This gives me time to fine-tune my fert. plan before I do my first round of crabgrass control in feb.
There is no pressure to buy from my dealer. They will make recommendations based on the results of my tests, and help develpo a fert plan, but I can leave with that information an buy my materials from WAL-MART, but I don't. In my experience, LESCO has a wonderful product that I can buy at a good enough price to still have room for a nice mark-up. I have said before, that LESCO's best product doesn't come in a bag. It's those guys working the counter who want you to succeed.
As far as soil probes etc. I don't rely on them. A lab calibrates their equipment on a regular basis. Their equipment doesn't ride around on a truck, and doesn't sit on a shelf 11 months out of the year. Whether LESCO, or your ext. agent, pay for a pro soil test, then charge it to your clients.
Sorry so long, Bill

Mscotrid
03-11-2001, 09:14 AM
kutnkru
"No. I would not remove the grass or thatch. Give them the entire sample. This will allow them to determine the turfgrass type and aid in the evaluation of the overall lawn that much more efficiently."

My experience with soil testing using Kansas State or Lesco they will tell you to remove thatch and other debris. Unless you wish them to do a Plant pathology or nutrient test which requires a different size sample to begin with, they will seperate and throw away all foriegn matter.

Lesco soil testing bag allows you to check which type of grass is on the lawn the soil came from. The testing kit from K-Stae you fill in the name of the turf.

Many generic soil test, lesco included are basic in design. If your having severe problems on the turf you might want to do extensive soil and plant testing.

John DiMartino
03-11-2001, 09:44 AM
When I pull a sample,I use one of my old Cup cutters for the holes in the green,works great,and perfect size sample,every time.

HBFOXJr
07-31-2001, 10:29 PM
The lab that does the Lesco tests will deal with you privately. I like them much better, results, info, timeliness instead of Rutgers. Money well spent and I get $35 for the service. People like to pay for it too. Not a huge money maker but a huge problem solver if you are know soils, turf and fertlity. Using it and folowing recomendations pays big dividends as upsells for what they need and hel[ps deliver results customers expect of a profesional.

leeslawncare
07-31-2001, 11:11 PM
IWe use lesco an we pull 3 to 6 soil samples from each client .combine them in the bag an you will get a more stable result . i charge 25.00 for the test . hope this helps

EJK2352
08-01-2001, 12:46 AM
I have an account w/ CLC Labs in Westerville, Ohio. They are the lab Lesco uses. They are a great lab,timely with results & are willing to answer any questions. I would set up an account and just deal with them directly. Their phone # is 614-888-1663 ;) ED