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View Full Version : how much do i charge for applying fertilizer?


mg10117
05-29-2007, 01:59 PM
New to the business and need some help. I cut a ladies lawn for $55.00, its .75 acres. She wants fertilizer down. I bought 3 bags of 24-5-11 % from lesco. That was $53.46 in fertilizer. How much would you charge to for the fertilizer and application of it? I could really use some help... She wants an estimate now...

Matts lawn care
05-29-2007, 02:23 PM
Do you have a license?

J&R Landscaping
05-29-2007, 02:35 PM
In most area's, you need a license to apply fertilizer. Be carefull, from what folks around here say the fines are quite steep if you get caught.

LindblomRJ
05-29-2007, 04:32 PM
Funny you should mention fines.

Every quarter the Department of Ag sends out a newsletter to all the pesticide applicators. On the last page they have an enforcement section. Details fines and the situation.

One the caught my eye: A LCO sprayed a lawn with winds in the 20 to 33 MPH range, causing drift onto the neighbors lawn. For this incident he paid $550.

Another company was selling RUP without a dealer license. The fine was $2,700.

Nathan Robinson
05-29-2007, 04:46 PM
why would you use that analysis at this time. Wait and see how much sedge pops up! This should be good. 1 acre is $150.00. I will not stop for less than $36.00 though(4k). My price for 10 k is $51.00. See how the price goes down as the property gets larger. I would charge $117.00. Then never buy such expensive fertilizer again. There is nothing in there except fert and why do you think you need a pot and phos right now. I know. The commision! lol... pull a soil sample and address what needs to be done and relize that no soil is depleted in phos and potash. 1 in a million lawns have a potash def and thats it..

Bill S
05-29-2007, 05:30 PM
30K sq ft would be $75.00 per application with herb/pest. Since you bought at Lesco I am quite certain they will not sell you this, just straight fert.

My advice, leave the fert biz to the pros that do it all day long. The ones that have the proper insurance and licenses.

mg10117
05-29-2007, 06:13 PM
Thanks for all the feedback!! In my area we dont need a license to apply fertilizer, just pesticides ext...Although, I am in the process of obtaining a license through the state. Until I pass my test, I'm just fertilizing... but a quick question about everyone's responses. Did they include the price of the material, or do is still have add that in??? Sorry a little confused. The following were your responses:

4K = .09 acres.....$36.00

10k = .23 acres.....$51.00

30K = .69 acres.....$75.00

32.7K = .75 acres.....$117.00

43.5K = 1.0 acre......$150.00

Do these include the cost of product?

If not, which ones or do I have to add that in?


Thanks again...

angelosantojoe1
05-29-2007, 10:35 PM
i charge $2.27 per 1k sq foot

mg10117
05-29-2007, 11:21 PM
Thanks angelosantojoe1, but 2.27 / 1K square ft seems kind of low. Does that include the cost of the product too? Also, do you use this same formula for all types of fertilizers, pesticides ext..

Allens LawnCare
05-30-2007, 09:18 AM
Do you have a license?

Good point....if you don't. Don't bother no matter how easy it is

AndyTblc
05-30-2007, 09:58 AM
He just said he don't need a license in his area, only for pesticides.

mg10117
05-30-2007, 10:37 AM
Thats correct. In my area you only need a license for pesticide not fertilizer...I was just hoping to get some info on how different guys are pricing there application with cost of material, thats all. I would appreciate any advice...Thanks again...

RonB
05-30-2007, 02:23 PM
New to the business and need some help. I cut a ladies lawn for $55.00, its .75 acres. She wants fertilizer down. I bought 3 bags of 24-5-11 % from lesco. That was $53.46 in fertilizer. How much would you charge to for the fertilizer and application of it? I could really use some help... She wants an estimate now...

Sounds like a good customer and since and you're going to be there already - I'd just charge her the cost plus maybe $10 per bag to spread.

Give her a quote of $85 for 3 bags, spread - you might have to return it - lol.

Like someone else said, buy the cheap stuff. It all comes from TRA anyway.

mg10117
05-30-2007, 03:11 PM
thanks RonB ... seems like a good way to approach it...i think i will go with that...do you use same math on seed, lime ext...(an additional $10.00/ bag, on top of the cost of product?)

RonB
05-30-2007, 03:42 PM
If all it takes is opening a bag and spreading - yes.

When giving her the price I'd say, " for the fert, picking it up, and spreading will run you ..

Point out that you're picking it up since most don't even consider it. For me it's not really a money-maker, just good customer relations - and does keep the grass needing a cut.

bullethead
05-30-2007, 07:30 PM
You're in business to make MONEY, charge her what you need to - to make a reasonable profit. She is willing to pay because she does not want to screw with it. Nothing to feel guilty about. Charge her a fair price for your time, mark the material up 30-40% and feel good about it.

Grass Kickin
05-30-2007, 09:32 PM
Bullethead, I like your response. I think far too many guys are just happy to get work that they think someone else could snatch away from them that they are afraid to charge what they should. I'm a professional and in this business to make money and support my family. That is the way I look at every job. Does a doctor give me a break when I walk in the office? Hell no and he makes me wait 45 minutes to see him. I am a doctor of the outdoors and I charge what I want....you guys should too.

mg10117
05-31-2007, 12:18 AM
bullethead, thanks for advice. I just need some clarification. For (32 K square ft or .75 acres) i need roughly 3 bags of fertilizer. That totaled $53.46, add a 40 % markup makes the total $75.00... Is this what your recomended total is to purchase and apply in this situation? or do you add in additional costs? I want to make a reasonable profit, I'm just not sure what reasonable is. I dont want charge too much and lose business, but on the other hand I dont want to cheat myself out of making a good living either...Thanks again for any responses...

thesargent
05-31-2007, 03:22 AM
man i cant stand the way people jump down your throat when you mention fertelizer. its rediculous. in my state you dont have to have licence for fet. you dont even need a licence for herbicides, unless you advertise that you spray herbicides. but if your spraying for a regular customer, you need no licence. believe me on this one because if looked into it, more than once. but every state is different so be sure and check your state regulations. people just need to ease up a bit.

bullethead
05-31-2007, 04:36 PM
bullethead, thanks for advice. I just need some clarification. For (32 K square ft or .75 acres) i need roughly 3 bags of fertilizer. That totaled $53.46, add a 40 % markup makes the total $75.00... Is this what your recomended total is to purchase and apply in this situation? or do you add in additional costs? I want to make a reasonable profit, I'm just not sure what reasonable is. I dont want charge too much and lose business, but on the other hand I dont want to cheat myself out of making a good living either...Thanks again for any responses...

No, you need to add in your price for your labor as well. What is your hourly billing rate. Is it goping to take an hour of your time? Let assume it does to buy it and then spread it. Lets assume your hourly labor billing rate is $45/hr. Then bill the client 1hr of labor $45+ marked-up materials $75 = $120.

Nathan Robinson
05-31-2007, 04:39 PM
look at your 30k and then look at you 32.7 k. whoa! implement a plan...

RonB
05-31-2007, 07:29 PM
No, you need to add in your price for your labor as well. What is your hourly billing rate. Is it goping to take an hour of your time? Let assume it does to buy it and then spread it. Lets assume your hourly labor billing rate is $45/hr. Then bill the client 1hr of labor $45+ marked-up materials $75 = $120.


Everywhere is different but there is no way anyone around here would pay $120 for 3 bags of fert.

Spreading 3 bags I would charge $30 plus fert cost - take all of about 15-20 minutes to spread. I usually buy 15-20 bags and just hold'em till someone ask for it, then spread on a cut visit.

mg10117
05-31-2007, 11:13 PM
Nathan, your right! drastic differences, right?...there not my prices. I dont have any yet. They were the prices that people provided in this specific thread. I just put them all side by side, to compare and show how different everyones prices are. didnt realise how much variation there is out there for applying things to lawns. I just want a fair price. not too high...not to low...but a plan that it easy and matches price w/ size evenly dispersed... ya know? like $10 or $15 to apply each bag, plus materials. or what ever a you guys think the best way is to fairly calculate it. Thanks again...

All Season Bill
06-04-2007, 09:28 PM
i charge $2.27 per 1k sq foot


That's ok but start with a minimum and then add on the $2.27. In some states $30 is fair in other states it could be $35 or even $40. I know companies still charging $25. That's too low for me.

You can make more money on the smaller lawns because of the minimum. I've made $200 out of one $18 bag of fert because the lawns were so small in this one neighborhood!

cm82pa
06-04-2007, 11:54 PM
This may sound stupid, but call a fert company(tru-green, chem lawn), I had to do this before. Don't feel bad about a lot of businesses do that, not just LCOs, I managed a Transmission shop for two years, if a car would come in (uncommon foriegn thing or very new) I would call the dealer before quoting the customer. Sometimes you would find you left money on the table with your quote. A lot of compaines use "feelers" where they cold call companies and ask general price questions just to have an idea what to charge. I love when other Lco's leave literature on my door, it like free "heres what we charge...if you get more than us then you talk better/work harder good for you, if your not raise your prices man!!!!"

TMlawncare
06-06-2007, 12:34 AM
The problem with pricing is the fact that he is just spreading fert. He is not doing a full fert plus weed control round on this lawn. He is not using any type of weed control so the customer will be unhappy with the results and blame the applicator. If you streak the fertilizer and the lawn looks like crap so will the applicator. Better off leaving this service to the pros.

TMlawncare
06-06-2007, 12:39 AM
[QUOTE=thesargent;1847342]man i cant stand the way people jump down your throat when you mention fertelizer. its rediculous. in my state you dont have to have licence for fet. you dont even need a licence for herbicides, unless you advertise that you spray herbicides. but if your spraying for a regular customer, you need no licence. believe me on this one because if looked into it, more than once. but every state is different so be sure and check your state regulations. people just need to ease up a bit.[/QUOTE

In Oregon you have to be a licensed applicator to use herbicides "for hire." So if you do an application on your customers lawn your doing it illegally.

All Season Bill
11-17-2007, 03:30 PM
The problem with pricing is the fact that he is just spreading fert. He is not doing a full fert plus weed control round on this lawn. He is not using any type of weed control so the customer will be unhappy with the results and blame the applicator. If you streak the fertilizer and the lawn looks like crap so will the applicator. Better off leaving this service to the pros.


You are absolutely right! If your not spraying weeds or if you don't know how to handle a spreader without striping...take some seminars or give it up...because your customers will.

Nate@TLCS
11-18-2007, 04:56 PM
stop a guy from your local tru-green and offer him $10 for his price list. Tru-green is the worst low-freekin ballinist company in the world, but their price list will be competitive in you area. I know residentially in my area $120.00 per acre with the minimum being $32.00 (2kft2)(fert and w/c). License is a good Idea reguardless of state restrictions, you can learn alot.