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Ex-golf guy
11-02-2009, 07:39 PM
First, please, please don't turn this into a Z, T, or even PG thing. In your replies I'd be curious to hear which machine you're using, but I don't care why.:nono:

How are you actually servicing your typical properties, once you've had them for awhile and weed control is under control?

Do you spot treat with a trim function of your machine while you're laying down the fert?

Do you go back over the lawn to spot treat after fert? With the machine?

Do you still blanket spray at least once a year, or is it spot spray only once you have a handle on things?

Everybody talks about the increased productivity, but rarely are actual methods discussed. Just curious to hear what everybody's typical stop consists of.

a plus bob
11-02-2009, 07:49 PM
I spread and spray at the same time if I see the lawn doesnt have many weeds I spot spray.I usually will hit the edges first because most weeds are along the edge.I have a spot spray button that I hit if I see weeds while spreading.New lawns get a blanket spray.

americanlawn
11-02-2009, 08:00 PM
We do not blanket spray unless it's needed. Been treating some properties over 20 years, but even a 2-year old account may not need blanket spraying - even in the fall cuz they're nearly weed free.

We very rarely go over the lawn (after we spread the fert) with a backpack sprayer. In fact, our pickups don't even carry one, cuz we can "spot treat" while in cruise control (not getting off the machine). Our ride-ons have "trim function", full spray, and hand wand. So it depends on the property as to which we use. Might treat many acres in a day, but maybe only use 20 gallons all day long. Just depends on what's needed. We very very seldom spread, and then retreat the property with BWC (broadleaf weed control). Hope this helps.

rcreech
11-02-2009, 08:04 PM
Z

Spread and spray at the same time

Blanket spray 2 times/year

Ex-golf guy
11-02-2009, 08:14 PM
Thanks guys, and everyone else keep the answers coming...

My biggest question was whether or not most guys were comfortable spot spraying at the same time as their fert app.

turf hokie
11-02-2009, 08:24 PM
First, please, please don't turn this into a Z, T, or even PG thing. In your replies I'd be curious to hear which machine you're using, but I don't care why.:nono:

Z-Max and PG Ultras, the PG Ultras are on the way out the door though (they are old and tired). And we will actually pull hose, and/or push sometimes, All depends on the property and needs.

How are you actually servicing your typical properties, once you've had them for awhile and weed control is under control?

Do you spot treat with a trim function of your machine while you're laying down the fert?

Spot treat as needed while ferting, no point in having the machine that can do both if you are going back over the property twice

Do you go back over the lawn to spot treat after fert? With the machine?

Do you still blanket spray at least once a year, or is it spot spray only once you have a handle on things?

Blanket only when needed. (and generally only on new lawns the first time. We will only treat areas that are needed.

Everybody talks about the increased productivity, but rarely are actual methods discussed. Just curious to hear what everybody's typical stop consists of.

See answers in quote

grassman177
11-02-2009, 09:37 PM
i spray the weeds as i go if it is a lawn i can see easily ove r the hopper(i am short) sometimes i spread , then spot treat after to make sure i dont miss any weeds. i do spray the whole yard at least 1 time, most 2 times per year for weeds.

i no longer even carry backpack sprayers except for round up, i can use a trim or full spray to touch up depending on the needs of the lawn and size of the patch of weeds.

hope this helps,

RigglePLC
11-02-2009, 09:39 PM
Permagreen Ultra. I am with Creech. Blanket weed control twice per year. Spread and spray at the same time. Lawns under 10,000 sqft--usually spread with push spreader or hand spray with hose. If narrow gate, lots of flowers, or slope is too steep, I use the hand gun and hose or small hand spreader--then finish flatter open areas with PG.

FdLLawnMan
11-02-2009, 09:41 PM
T3000
I tried the spot treatment only for a year. Went back to blanket applications spring & fall with much better results. I spread fert and spray at the same time. When doing the midsummer applications I spot treat a weed on the move.

rcreech
11-02-2009, 09:57 PM
T3000
I tried the spot treatment only for a year. Went back to blanket applications spring & fall with much better results. I spread fert and spray at the same time. When doing the midsummer applications I spot treat a weed on the move.

:laugh: I hear ya!

I tried to spot spray a couple lawns a few years ago and got tired of having to circle around and get weeds!

It was taking too long as I sometimes didn't see them until it was too late!

I think we do a better job and give the customer what they are paying for by blanket spraying!

FdLLawnMan
11-02-2009, 10:51 PM
:laugh: I hear ya!

I tried to spot spray a couple lawns a few years ago and got tired of having to circle around and get weeds!

It was taking too long as I sometimes didn't see them until it was too late!

I think we do a better job and give the customer what they are paying for by blanket spraying!

Isn't that the truth. Your going at least 5 miles an hour and spreading at the minimum 12 feet and you are supposed to see those little baby weeds. I don't have time for that screwing around.

mdlwn1
11-02-2009, 11:02 PM
Im kinda shocked to hear that some of you who do a lot of business blanket spray 2x per year. Maybe we need some harsh laws to reduce this? I've never had to do this in 20 years. Please dont take this negatively, but there are lots of ways you can re-think your program a bit to include one THOROUGH blanket app if needed. How many times do you fert? How many pre apps do you do?......please dont answer.

ted putnam
11-03-2009, 12:59 AM
Im kinda shocked to hear that some of you who do a lot of business blanket spray 2x per year. Maybe we need some harsh laws to reduce this? I've never had to do this in 20 years. Please dont take this negatively, but there are lots of ways you can re-think your program a bit to include one THOROUGH blanket app if needed. How many times do you fert? How many pre apps do you do?......please dont answer.

Like you, I've got a feeling there is a lot more blanket spraying done than is necessary. Of course, most of my properties are in the 10-20k range residentials, not multiple acreage sites. I do 2 blankets of pre-emerg per year. I use Lesco 3-way at the same time with a hose and gun. Other than that, we spot spray(usually with a back pack) I use almost no 2,4,D except for those 2 apps. One in the Spring and one in the Fall. The weeds I have to spray when spot spraying require expensive, specialty herbicides and would be too expensive to blanket spray, not to mention the fact that it's just not necessary. I even dig and pull weeds. I've even had some people tell me they were impressed because they have never seen anyone that worked for a Lawn Care service actually bend over and dig or pull a weed. I'll do it because the results are immediate and there's no turf damage, not to mention environmental concerns. JMO

Hanau
11-03-2009, 01:10 AM
Im kinda shocked to hear that some of you who do a lot of business blanket spray 2x per year. Maybe we need some harsh laws to reduce this? I've never had to do this in 20 years. Please dont take this negatively, but there are lots of ways you can re-think your program a bit to include one THOROUGH blanket app if needed. How many times do you fert? How many pre apps do you do?......please dont answer.

When you're in the hammering business every problem seems like a nail.

greenskeeper44
11-03-2009, 07:02 AM
2nd year in business and have been blanketing in the spring and spot sprayed the rest. Seriously considering doing 2. its just tough to get them all and very time consuming to spot spray weeds. It was easier to spot spray when i was smaller but now I have grown i and just takes too long and i dont feel like im giving the customer what they want.

Ryan

foreplease
11-03-2009, 08:28 AM
Permagreen Ultra. I am with Creech. Blanket weed control twice per year. Spread and spray at the same time. Lawns under 10,000 sqft--usually spread with push spreader or hand spray with hose. If narrow gate, lots of flowers, or slope is too steep, I use the hand gun and hose or small hand spreader--then finish flatter open areas with PG.

Over the long term have you seen a difference in level of control between the hose and gun yards and the PG? I know you have your volume down fairly low on hand work but it is still bound to be much higher than the PG rate. So that is what I am getting at: the delivery volume question. I am afraid things may come to a head if I ask over in the current "which herbicide should I be using (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=294745)" thread. It's all teed up for that debate at the #28-29 post area. I am just interested in what you think though, I don't want to light the fireworks over there.

CHARLES CUE
11-03-2009, 06:59 PM
made my own sprayer on the back of my JD tractor to spray liquid on 1/2 acre or more. I do 2 blank apps spring and fall i cant in mange spot spraying big lawns you would never get them all i do spot spray hard to kill weeds like violets alot
but am moving on going to granular for the most part this year so going to buy a ride on
Charles Cue

rcreech
11-04-2009, 12:09 AM
Weeds emerge at all times of the year.

I am in the business to take weeds out of lawns and I DO NOT want any call backs as I also would like to make some money!

Again...my lawns look good and are thick for the most part, but 2 blankets are a MUST!

Otherwise I am going to get fired!

It is totally legal for two apps also...so really no room for discussion IMO! You do the apps you think are needed and I will do mine!

The broadleaf products we use have no long term residual so of course multiple applications may be needed!

FdLLawnMan
11-04-2009, 12:44 AM
Im kinda shocked to hear that some of you who do a lot of business blanket spray 2x per year. Maybe we need some harsh laws to reduce this? I've never had to do this in 20 years. Please dont take this negatively, but there are lots of ways you can re-think your program a bit to include one THOROUGH blanket app if needed. How many times do you fert? How many pre apps do you do?......please dont answer.

You ask questions but don't want me to answer. Good luck ob that. There are laws regulating the amount of 2,4-d that can be applied and I am following them. I have a lot of lawns over 10,000 Sq. Ft. and if you spot spray them all the time you will miss to many weeds. I know, as I have tried it. Like Rodney said, you don't make money on callbacks. We deal with non-irrigated lawns on heavy clay soils. I apply the correct amount of fertilizer recommended by the state and my lawns are as thick as any lawn in the area. You do what you want, but I am going to blanket twice a year.

rcreech
11-04-2009, 06:45 AM
Im kinda shocked to hear that some of you who do a lot of business blanket spray 2x per year. Maybe we need some harsh laws to reduce this? I've never had to do this in 20 years. Please dont take this negatively, but there are lots of ways you can re-think your program a bit to include one THOROUGH blanket app if needed. How many times do you fert? How many pre apps do you do?......please dont answer.

mdlwn1,

How many applicationtions do you provide/year?

TurfRyder
11-04-2009, 05:08 PM
Once the lawn is nice and thick a single blanket app a year is all you should need. A good fertilization program is key. Quality fert applied at the right times along with favorable weather conditions will go along way at keeping weeds at bay and from getting established.

rcreech
11-04-2009, 09:40 PM
Once the lawn is nice and thick a single blanket app a year is all you should need. A good fertilization program is key. Quality fert applied at the right times along with favorable weather conditions will go along way at keeping weeds at bay and from getting established.

I only go over my lawns 4 times/year and ONLY 2 of them have broadleaf apps. If I were doing 6 or 7 apps I can see where you can spot on each app but I only get 2 chances keep in mind!

I agree and this would work...but in the real world (atleast where I live), we have dry spells and weed DO germinate all year!

I will just stick with my 2 app program as it has gotten me this far with awesome weed free lawns.

RigglePLC
11-04-2009, 09:46 PM
Tony,
I use about 2.8 gallons per thousand sqft--because I usually mix fertilizer and surfactant with my herbicide as a liquid when I am using my skid sprayer. I feel it results in a little better weed control than the Permagreen, because I can get in closer to flowers and narrow areas. And I seem to cover edges near the road better with a hand gun. A 6 nozzle boom sprayer would probably get lower volume and more even coverage--but again--curving flower beds, skinny areas, steep slopes, around trees and mailboxes would be tricky with a boom.

FdLLawnMan
11-04-2009, 10:41 PM
I only go over my lawns 4 times/year and ONLY 2 of them have broadleaf apps. If I were doing 6 or 7 apps I can see where you can spot on each app but I only get 2 chances keep in mind!

I agree and this would work...but in the real world (atleast where I live), we have dry spells and weed DO germinate all year!

I will just stick with my 2 app program as it has gotten me this far with awesome weed free lawns.

I have 3, 4 or 5 step programs. My lawns are not irrigated and they are big. I have to kill the weeds when I get a chance. I know what works and my program works. Rodney and I totally agree on this one. Bottom line, customers want green grass and weed free lawns and they want it pretty cheap.

timturf
11-04-2009, 10:54 PM
I only go over my lawns 4 times/year and ONLY 2 of them have broadleaf apps. If I were doing 6 or 7 apps I can see where you can spot on each app but I only get 2 chances keep in mind!

I agree and this would work...but in the real world (atleast where I live), we have dry spells and weed DO germinate all year!

I will just stick with my 2 app program as it has gotten me this far with awesome weed free lawns.

So how can you make any money that way?

DUSTYCEDAR
11-04-2009, 10:55 PM
spread and spray at same time

rcreech
11-05-2009, 06:26 AM
So how can you make any money that way?

Please tell me you are kidding!

Grandview
11-05-2009, 06:54 AM
So how can you make any money that way?

I charge enough.

timturf
11-05-2009, 09:07 AM
Yes, you must charge properly for the service you provide., not the number of visits!

Can you do that in 1 - 8 visits?

I believe 4 visit is the minimum, thou I have consider 3 visits. Less on a very low maintence turfgrass area.

Nost responsible thing to do is spot spray, but blanket app at least once a year generally is needed. Bottom line, what level of weeds are acceptable to you and the client. I stress their will be some weeds, few, because only the severe lawns get blanket sprayed.

12-15 gpa should work just fine!

foreplease
11-05-2009, 09:35 AM
Tony,
I use about 2.8 gallons per thousand sqft--because I usually mix fertilizer and surfactant with my herbicide as a liquid when I am using my skid sprayer. I feel it results in a little better weed control than the Permagreen, because I can get in closer to flowers and narrow areas. And I seem to cover edges near the road better with a hand gun. A 6 nozzle boom sprayer would probably get lower volume and more even coverage--but again--curving flower beds, skinny areas, steep slopes, around trees and mailboxes would be tricky with a boom.

Adding fertilizer does change things. I have only sprayed fertilizer through my boom a couple of times and was extremely careful. I do not have the ideal set up for that. Most of what I do is wide open, other than chain link fences. For weed control, I find it easiest to calibrate my hose and gun rate as an increment (2 x) of my boom rate or else I cannot work out of the same tank mix.

I do a lot less spraying than most people here do. It takes me a long time to get set up and checked out. 100% control 100% of the time on athletic fields is not really practical or achievable. Still, I am like everyone else in that I want to be effective and use what I have found works for me.

Thanks for the detailed answer.

lawnrx
11-07-2009, 09:48 AM
I have a z-spray and love it. But I still tank spray my pre-m and three-way. I tried to use granular pre-m but the control was not what i expected. fire weed was a big problem. when you guys say that you blanket spray, do you tank spray or spray with your z-spray/PR?

a plus bob
11-07-2009, 01:20 PM
Blanket spray= whole lawn

Spot spray = spray only weeds not whole lawn.

If I do a lawn with my Z there is no need to pull out the hose from my truck unless spraying a very steep hill or around a pool etc.Next year I plan to spray most of my pre-mergent instead of dry.

rcreech
11-07-2009, 08:14 PM
I have a z-spray and love it. But I still tank spray my pre-m and three-way. I tried to use granular pre-m but the control was not what i expected. fire weed was a big problem. when you guys say that you blanket spray, do you tank spray or spray with your z-spray/PR?

I am surprised you get better results with liquid vs granular!

I have not compared myself...but Ohio State shows much better results with granular then liquid.

Are you sure you are comparing the same AI and rates? Do you know what the SGN was on the fert, as it is a big player with pre's?

Have you compared granular to liquid in the same year side by side?

ted putnam
11-07-2009, 08:54 PM
I am surprised you get better results with liquid vs granular!

I have not compared myself...but Ohio State shows much better results with granular then liquid.

Are you sure you are comparing the same AI and rates? Do you know what the SGN was on the fert, as it is a big player with pre's?

Have you compared granular to liquid in the same year side by side?

Rodney, keep in mind that I don't have a degree in turf management and all I really know is what I have learned through experience and CEU's taught by "experts" from various Universities over the years but... The way I understand it is that when the application is performed evenly and correctly weed control apps (be it post or pre-emergent) are better in a liquid form. It provides a more "uniform" coating than random prills do.Like I said, this is just what I have been taught. This is one(but not the only)reason I still spray my pre-emergence with a hose and gun but use the Z-spray for dry apps and occasional spraying.

rcreech
11-07-2009, 09:41 PM
Rodney, keep in mind that I don't have a degree in turf management and all I really know is what I have learned through experience and CEU's taught by "experts" from various Universities over the years but... The way I understand it is that when the application is performed evenly and correctly weed control apps (be it post or pre-emergent) are better in a liquid form. It provides a more "uniform" coating than random prills do.Like I said, this is just what I have been taught. This is one(but not the only)reason I still spray my pre-emergence with a hose and gun but use the Z-spray for dry apps and occasional spraying.

If working for you that is great! I am not saying at all that liquids don't work, but OSU studies show better efficacy with granular pre's and below are a few reasons I remember them stating:

1) When spraying product gets on grass blades and product doesn't enter come in direct with the soil soil (which is where it is needed) and clippings must be returned.

2) With the product being on the blade it is more prone to photodegredation since it is on the leaf blade.

3) Although through coverage is very important...there is absolutly no difference when using liquid vs granular if the SGN and rate is used correctly, because once a rain activates the product and gets it into the soil profile it will have the same "coverage" as a liquid application.

Maybe different parts of the world react differntly...but getting a good, even uniform application using a SGN of less then 215 will give better results then liquid here in OH anyway!

ted putnam
11-07-2009, 10:39 PM
If working for you that is great! I am not saying at all that liquids don't work, but OSU studies show better efficacy with granular pre's and below are a few reasons I remember them stating:

1) When spraying product gets on grass blades and product doesn't enter come in direct with the soil soil (which is where it is needed) and clippings must be returned.

2) With the product being on the blade it is more prone to photodegredation since it is on the leaf blade.

3) Although through coverage is very important...there is absolutly no difference when using liquid vs granular if the SGN and rate is used correctly, because once a rain activates the product and gets it into the soil profile it will have the same "coverage" as a liquid application.

Maybe different parts of the world react differntly...but getting a good, even uniform application using a SGN of less then 215 will give better results then liquid here in OH anyway!

#2-I agree with more or less

#1- I don't agree because prills will not come in direct contact with soil either unless you have thin turf. Clippings don't necessarily have to be returned(although I recommend that anyway) as long as rain/irrigation occurs before mowing/ bagging. You would have to do that with dry as well unless you want to bag the prills.

#3- I don't agree because the way it was explained to me the random prills are not evenly distributed to the point that they are uniform. They leave heavy an light areas of coverage. Eaxample 2 prills may be 1/4 inch apart and the next closest may be 3/4 inch away. This will leave heavy and light coverage. Although this may be adequate in most cases, it is far from uniform and in extreme conditions(such as overall weed pressure or weather) can lead to breakthroughs. Prill size is definitely a major factor in a dry application just as adequate water volume(as a carrier) in a liquid application is.

lawnrx
11-08-2009, 07:42 AM
My problem is not the pre-m as is the post emergent. some weeds are not controlled by per-m like fire weed. and it takes a good spraying of 2-4-d to control them. when I spray with a hand gun I find that using 2gal per-k gave me great control vers 1/3gal on my Z. I think it is because of gal per-k. my turf is thick and maybe the Z-spray is spraying to light to drip down to where this weed is germinating. I'm an owner operator and my business is growing. I want to keep up with clients and keep giving great service. Using my Z-spray all year around will do just that. I need help from you guys. Should I increase gal per-k on my z nozzle? And go ahead and us granular per-m and blanket spray with the Z????????

rcreech
11-08-2009, 08:45 AM
lawnrx,

I personally go 1/4 gallon/k and have no problem with weed control and if you look on here you will find many talks on volume of carrier.

Try and increase the pressure (10 psi) a little and atomize the droplet size a little more. With the AI tips you can run higher pressure and you will be just fine...but as always be careful on "windy" days. You should have no trouble getting a kill out of the Z using your current volume!

rcreech
11-08-2009, 08:49 AM
#2-I agree with more or less

#1- I don't agree because prills will not come in direct contact with soil either unless you have thin turf. Clippings don't necessarily have to be returned(although I recommend that anyway) as long as rain/irrigation occurs before mowing/ bagging. You would have to do that with dry as well unless you want to bag the prills.

#3- I don't agree because the way it was explained to me the random prills are not evenly distributed to the point that they are uniform. They leave heavy an light areas of coverage. Eaxample 2 prills may be 1/4 inch apart and the next closest may be 3/4 inch away. This will leave heavy and light coverage. Although this may be adequate in most cases, it is far from uniform and in extreme conditions(such as overall weed pressure or weather) can lead to breakthroughs. Prill size is definitely a major factor in a dry application just as adequate water volume(as a carrier) in a liquid application is.

Ted,

I will agree to disagree!

I guess it really doesn't matter as I said they all work...OSU just says they get better efficacy with granular!

Personally...I would no use liquid becasue the efficacy isn't the same, it COST MORE and I don't want to handle water in March! :nono: It is still freezing here then!

grassman177
11-08-2009, 12:00 PM
we run 1/2 gal per k out of our Zs and have no problems, i think if you are spraying more than just braodleaf it needs to be higher vol up to at least 1/2 gal. we use dry pre emergent and have blanket sprayed right along with it and had great results. you should try it, i think it will work great

lawnrx
11-08-2009, 03:38 PM
Thanks guys... I'll try to increase the volume some. If this works as well as you say, this will give me the extra time I need. Just want to keep my service top notch.

americanlawn
11-08-2009, 04:41 PM
Sh$t -- somebody just got a STEAL on a nearly new Z- Intermediate for $5900 on ebay. :usflag::canadaflag:

Anyways.. If you do not thoroughly cover the weeds, they ain't gunna die. That's why we like Z-sprays & T3000's. That's also why we switched away from PG units.

We used to blanket spray all lawns in 'late spring' and 'early fall', but in recent years, we switched our "late spring app" -- to "fert + spot spray" instead of blanket spraying (unless they have heavy weed pressure). This has worked out very well for us.

Most customers appreciate this -- plus we offer "free service calls" if they are not happy with the weed control.

But I have no problem with blanket spraying lawns in early fall when spraying 3-way products....especially since dicamba has some soil residual regarding weed control. (thanks FD & rc)

My 2 cents

ted putnam
11-08-2009, 10:01 PM
Ted,

I will agree to disagree!

I guess it really doesn't matter as I said they all work...OSU just says they get better efficacy with granular!

Personally...I would no use liquid becasue the efficacy isn't the same, it COST MORE and I don't want to handle water in March! :nono: It is still freezing here then!

Rodney, I wasn't trying to change how you do things or start an argument with you in any way. Chemlawn spent thousands and thousands of dollars back in the 70's researching this subject and developed the Chemlawn gun because of it. Lesco now owns the patent on that gun and we pay $80+ for a $5 piece of plastic because of it. There are many copies, but Chemlawn was the original... What you do works great for you and many others I'm sure. Why would you want to change a strategy that works for you? While we're on the cost thing. I've checked into it and for me, in this area of the country, it would actually cost me about 20% more to apply dry pre-emergence/fert vs. spraying liquid. Maybe it's a southern thing, I don't know. All I know is I'd have to pay extra for that "convenience".

rcreech
11-08-2009, 10:12 PM
Rodney, I wasn't trying to change how you do things or start an argument with you in any way. Chemlawn spent thousands and thousands of dollars back in the 70's researching this subject and developed the Chemlawn gun because of it. Lesco now owns the patent on that gun and we pay $80+ for a $5 piece of plastic because of it. There are many copies, but Chemlawn was the original... What you do works great for you and many others I'm sure. Why would you want to change a strategy that works for you? While we're on the cost thing. I've checked into it and for me, in this area of the country, it would actually cost me about 20% more to apply dry pre-emergence/fert vs. spraying liquid. Maybe it's a southern thing, I don't know. All I know is I'd have to pay extra for that "convenience".

Ted,

I in no way thougth that you were arguing! I was just stating what OSU stated and I put a lot of confidence in Dr Street's data.

I am sure that the data may be different for different areas as we are dealing with totally differnet weather patterns and climates! I am sure that Kiril could tell both of what would work best in our areas since he knows more about where we live then we do~! :laugh:

I havn't checked for 2010...but here it was quite a spread last year. It is very adventagous to use a granular fert with pre (which is what works best in our area anyway).

MnLefty
11-09-2009, 02:40 PM
Multiple levels to this discussion... here's a few points from my neck of the woods.

1.) liquid vs. granular pre-m control. I don't have any university data to support it, just local chatter, but as long as both are applied correctly there shouldn't be any problems beyond normal hotspots. Liquid coverage does ideally need to get up to that 1.5-2.0+ gal/k to make sure product is delivered down to the soil. Of course we do need to be comparing apples to apples when a.i. rates are considered. An amazing number of Minnesota licensed applicators would struggle to figure out equal a.i. rates/acre trying to compare say barricade 65wdg and a 15-0-5 with .38 barricade.

2.) Cost between liquid and granular. Again this will be local as everybody's prices will vary from region to region. Around here which is cheaper depends on which pre-emerge you choose to use, and whether you accept using a generic product. Dimension on fert is cheaper here, compared to spraying Dimension 2EW or Ultra, especially if you have to make a separate fert app. If you can spray uflexx with your dimension it's not too bad. With post-patent dithopyr becoming more available, that gap will close more too. Barricade is opposite. Spraying a generic prodiamine 65wdg with uflexx or similar will usually be cheaper than spreading a Barricade/fert combo product.

Then you've got your time/labor costs to figure as well. If you're looking at a bunch of small residentials there's probably not a big difference between hose spraying pre-m and fert, vs. spreading with a ride on. That might even be quicker with the hose if they're small/difficult/whatever. If you're talking acres, then spreading with a ride on will obviously be faster/less labor...

Long story condensed, if what you're doing works, stick with it and re-evaluate from time to time based on your own conditions. If you're struggling with it there are many ways to try to improve what you're doing.