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causalitist
04-08-2008, 02:45 PM
hi guys, i've been on lawnsite for 2 years now, in business 3.5 years now. i have ~40 residential mowing accounts.. this spring i decided to go into fert n squirt as well, i dont have my license yet, but i am subbing out all the spraying this season, doing the fert myself, trying to get alot of customers until next spring when they finally offer the spray test again..

just looking for a few pointers.. my lawns fall between 5-15k in size, right now i have 10 fert/squirt customers but i havent even added it to all my advertising materials yet.. that'll be next spring.

im thinking 2 backpack sprayers should work for my first year.. should i get engine driven ones ? are the hand pump ones a pain in the butt to spot spay all my lawns 3 times a year?

i was thinking either 2 backpacks, or a pack and a synergy .. worried about drift with the synergy though. and a 120 gal truck tank just to refill the backpacks.

also, i want to be spraying low volumes, i noticed that trimec is the only one that says you can put down as little as 1/2 gal per ksqft .. i only want maybe a 120 gal tank in the back of my truck max... so low volume is key.. how does that work? is it ok to mix stuff like speedzone stronger and only spray 1/2 gal per thousand sq. ft.? or is that volume needed?

would you say having trimec classic as my standard chem is a good (cheap!) desicion??
and speedzone for hard to kill stuff?

any other suggestions? i plan to max out at 150 fert/squirt customers, so would this be a reasonable set up? it will be a 5 app fert with 3 spot sprays w/trimec classic.. me and one employee, him with the fert, me with the backpack..

any suggestions or comments on my ideas, or the feasibility of my herbicide choice and application method?

thanks

causalitist
04-08-2008, 08:58 PM
anyone? here, i'll make it shorter.
for my area, what yould you guys carry in your arsenal? trimec classic for hot weather, speedzone for cold .... what about grassy weeds? whats a good reletively inexpensive grassy weed post emergent?

any other tips in regards to backpack spot spraying 20-60 yards @~12k each? a pain in the butt? do-able with an engine driven backpack sprayer?

Whitey4
04-08-2008, 09:07 PM
OK, I'm confused. Your aren't certified, and said you would be subbing out your squirts, but then you ask what equipment you should be using for them and what materials you should be applying. That was why I didn't reply after the first post.

If all you are doing is ferts this year, stick to granular. Your property sizes don't demand a spray operation.... not until you are doing pesticides. Why ask about Trimec when you can't legally apply it? Clarification please.

Shades of Green LService
04-08-2008, 09:54 PM
Not sure of prices in your area but, Lesco 3 way is reasonably priced. You could also spike it w/ quicksilver or octane for tough to kill weeds. A couple of backpacks and a commercial spreader of your choice should be fine until you get more experience and your biz grows. Do alot of research and ask a lot of questions. Read the lables. also, i think your off to a good start by asking about products you may be using in the future. It's never to early to learn about and familiarize your self w/ produts you considering in the future.. Good Luck.

LwnmwrMan22
04-08-2008, 10:01 PM
I'm a sole proprietor that does the full service commercial accounts.

Most of my accounts are banks, motels, gas stations, small strip malls and restaurants.

I personally use a PermaGreen Magnum. I've got a 24' enclosed trailer, with a V-nose in the front. I can put my 21" push, 36" walkbehind, 60" ZTR and 72" ZTR in the trailer, and run my Magnum out the front door in the V of the trailer.

I run Momentum FX2 from Lesco in the Magnum at 1 oz per 1000 sq ft. I run a 10-0-20 65% slow release with 10% iron as my fertilizer. Again, with the commercial accounts, they're not as picky about their turf, as long as it's green. I run the low N for a variety of reasons.

Anyways, if you have the funds for it, I would suggest getting a ride on spreader as quick as you can. Last thing you want to be doing after mowing 40 lawns is pushing 150 more. The ride on units are quite fast, with relatively no effort, at least compared to dragging a hose or pushing a spreader.

Plus, and this is what allowed the purchase past the wife, eventhough I only use the machine about 70 hours per round, is that when I get home at night, I'm not falling into bed, I've still got energy to spend some time with the kids.

mow2nd
04-08-2008, 10:05 PM
yea i'm lost.................take the class and pass the test.................that's step 1, when you're done with that just back pack em till you get enough customers to justify a rig.

CutNLawns
04-09-2008, 12:48 AM
Passing a class does not make you instantly experience and completely knowledgeable. Asking questions to gain knowledge is a great tool and if you can tap into someones "experience" to answer questions before you make mistakes, waste money, ect...you are off to a great start.

He mentioned he was subbing the spray this year and will take the test when it is available next year so he can do the services himself. Sounds to me like he is planning ahead for next year. I don't understand the confusion. The standard answer of "get certified" to every new guy who asks a specific question or just seeks information is getting pretty old.

causalitist
04-09-2008, 11:21 AM
OK, I'm confused. Your aren't certified, and said you would be subbing out your squirts, but then you ask what equipment you should be using for them and what materials you should be applying. That was why I didn't reply after the first post.

If all you are doing is ferts this year, stick to granular. Your property sizes don't demand a spray operation.... not until you are doing pesticides. Why ask about Trimec when you can't legally apply it? Clarification please.

read the whole post.

right now i sub out all my squirt to "spring green" of racine wisconsin.. i do the fert myself

i missed the last spray test of 2008, preregistration ended a week ago.
i plan to get maybe 20 fert/squirt customers this summer, then take my test next spring, and start doing them myself.

im reading labels like crazy, educating myself with anything i can find... PRIOR to being an applicator.

causalitist
04-09-2008, 12:02 PM
Passing a class does not make you instantly experience and completely knowledgeable. Asking questions to gain knowledge is a great tool and if you can tap into someones "experience" to answer questions before you make mistakes, waste money, ect...you are off to a great start.

He mentioned he was subbing the spray this year and will take the test when it is available next year so he can do the services himself. Sounds to me like he is planning ahead for next year. I don't understand the confusion. The standard answer of "get certified" to every new guy who asks a specific question or just seeks information is getting pretty old.

ya, from what i've heard the test is really easy, and i want to really know my chemicals and thier applications.. i printed out 20 pdf labels off lesco.com to study the applications.
sounds like 2 backpacks and a good spreader are fine for starting..


"lwnmwrman22" -- do you use lower nitrogen because you also mow those properties???
i am concerned about this, this is my first year doing fert, and in the years prior a few of the lawns i mowed were so friken long every single week, a huge mess. i dont bag, and hate to double mow if i can avoid it.
Should i be worried about this if i apply 30-x-x to 15ksqft or 20-x-x to 10ksqft ?? thats the standard rate, but will i regret it when i go to mow??? hahaha

really though, that could make my spring really suck. as a mower/and fert applier , what would you suggest to avoid a hayfield every week? i'm thinking at least 50% scu ... does the nitrogen content matter if i always cut the N number in half and apply to that ksqrft ??

Also, My main question was in regard to volume sprayed per ksqrft
i will buy a reletively small tank for my truck, so water will be limited. i need to decide what herbicides i can even use so then i can figure out all my pricing so i can redo all my brochures etc.
spray volumes:
trimec classic 0.5 - 6gal per Ksqrft...and $0.44 per Ksqrft @ 1.5oz per
speedzone 0.1(wow) - 4gal...........and $0.70 per Ksqrft @ 1.5oz per
confront 0.12 - 5gal......................and $0.56 per Ksqrft @ 0.5oz per
trimec plus 1 - 3gal......................and $1.02 per Ksqrft @ 3.0oz per
q4 0.5 - 5gal............................and $2.34 per Ksqrft @ 3.0oz per

i would not be able to use trimec plus, as carrying 200gal for 20 lawns is too much water for me. q4 is nasty expensive.

my question is, you guys with synergy sprayers, do you not use trimec plus , or trimec classic, or is it fine to modify spray volumes?

LwnmwrMan22
04-09-2008, 07:17 PM
Yes, I run the low N because I mow these properties as well. I will not take on a Chem-Lawn / Tru-Green yard anymore to mow. They have to switch to me for apps as well because of the hayfield mentality.

Again, I'm only commercial, albeit higher end commercial - banks are my niche, so they're not having weekend picnics barefoot in the grass, they're only concerned that it's green.

That's where I use the Iron as well. To help with getting the green without the Nitrogen.

I'm not familiar with your sprayer you're going to use, but with my Magnum, I carry a 65 gallon stock tank in the back of my truck to fill, and can get about 5 Magnum tank fulls a day before I have to fill it again.

causalitist
04-09-2008, 08:37 PM
Yes, I run the low N because I mow these properties as well. I will not take on a Chem-Lawn / Tru-Green yard anymore to mow. They have to switch to me for apps as well because of the hayfield mentality.

Again, I'm only commercial, albeit higher end commercial - banks are my niche, so they're not having weekend picnics barefoot in the grass, they're only concerned that it's green.

That's where I use the Iron as well. To help with getting the green without the Nitrogen.

I'm not familiar with your sprayer you're going to use, but with my Magnum, I carry a 65 gallon stock tank in the back of my truck to fill, and can get about 5 Magnum tank fulls a day before I have to fill it again.

thanks, i think i need to go that way too or ill be in trouble.

65 gallons isnt alot, thats around the size i want to be dealing with, but with some of these herbicides stating 1gal minimum volume per thousand sqrft, thats 65,000 sqrft .. not alot for a day of spraying ... so do you follow the 0.5 or 1 gal minimum volume for most herbicides, or is that not much of a concern as long as the amount of actual herbicide applied is within the proper range?

so how many gallons/thousand sqft do you have that thing putting down?

thanks

Whitey4
04-09-2008, 08:37 PM
read the whole post.

right now i sub out all my squirt to "spring green" of racine wisconsin.. i do the fert myself

i missed the last spray test of 2008, preregistration ended a week ago.
i plan to get maybe 20 fert/squirt customers this summer, then take my test next spring, and start doing them myself.

im reading labels like crazy, educating myself with anything i can find... PRIOR to being an applicator.


I did read it... but you clarified it for me. You are looking at next year, you never said that in the forst post, thus my confusion.

I would think a couple of backpacks would suffice. Get that down, and then look at truck spray tank systems. You will still use the backpacks, just not as much.

I would suggest staying FAR away from any 30-X-X fert. You can cut down the rate, but i still think it's too much N. Find better formulations instead. Top growth actually hurts turf if it's too accelerated. Too much N, too much top growth, not enough root development. The easy answer is soil tests, but many customers refuse to realise how useful they are, and don't want to pay for it.

I still think granular given your property sizes is a better way to go than to spray ferts, but other apps make sense with a spray system. Since I don't use a tank for apps, I won't comment on your other questions.

LwnmwrMan22
04-09-2008, 09:38 PM
I did read it... but you clarified it for me. You are looking at next year, you never said that in the forst post, thus my confusion.

I would think a couple of backpacks would suffice. Get that down, and then look at truck spray tank systems. You will still use the backpacks, just not as much.

I would suggest staying FAR away from any 30-X-X fert. You can cut down the rate, but i still think it's too much N. Find better formulations instead. Top growth actually hurts turf if it's too accelerated. Too much N, too much top growth, not enough root development. The easy answer is soil tests, but many customers refuse to realise how useful they are, and don't want to pay for it.

I still think granular given your property sizes is a better way to go than to spray ferts, but other apps make sense with a spray system. Since I don't use a tank for apps, I won't comment on your other questions.

This is the biggest selling point I have against the national guys using 46-0-0 urea.

LwnmwrMan22
04-09-2008, 09:40 PM
thanks, i think i need to go that way too or ill be in trouble.

65 gallons isnt alot, thats around the size i want to be dealing with, but with some of these herbicides stating 1gal minimum volume per thousand sqrft, thats 65,000 sqrft .. not alot for a day of spraying ... so do you follow the 0.5 or 1 gal minimum volume for most herbicides, or is that not much of a concern as long as the amount of actual herbicide applied is within the proper range?

so how many gallons/thousand sqft do you have that thing putting down?

thanks

I run the recommended rate for my herbicide, 1 oz per 1000. My Magnum covers just under 50k per 12 gallons, so I put 50 oz in each tank, tankfull being 11 gallons. 12 gallons and you're running fizz out the top.

I've had great success with the easier weeds (dandelions and such) but have rigged up a wand off of the bottle fill to target harder weeds such as creeping charlie.

humble1
04-09-2008, 10:06 PM
I want to ask you of the 40 mowing accounts how many will you be able to switch over to a full program once you are licensed? Also how much time do you spend on other landscaping jobs? The reason I ask, i am about good time management and being profitable. If you are wasting your day filling backpacks your profit margins will drop versus someone with a spay setup or a rider. If you run ZTR mowers you could put an electric spreader on the front or add a boom sprayer for broadleaf. And as far as post emergent crabgrass control there are none that are cheap. Acclaim or drive. Go to lesco.com and read up on labels, find your local store and see what they stock know the label know the law. good luck

causalitist
04-10-2008, 06:01 PM
awsome, so it sounds like backpacks the first year, until i get a bunch of customers, then a magnum.

i guess volume isnt much of a concern, good:)

how many fert/squirt customers do you think would warrent the purchase of one?
im guessing 75-100 .. that'll be in a few years.

how much are they?(everywhere just says "CALL!")

should i build my pricing around speedzone for cold weather and spot spraying hard to kill weeds, and trimec 992 for general hot weather use?

safe to say those are pretty standard and should work well for my first few years?

thanks alot guys.