View Full Version : General questions
11-22-2010, 08:26 PM
So, to start let me say I took and passed the pesticide test last week, so I'm a certified applicator in NC. I'll pay the $75 tax (er license fee) in January, and get my license. With that out of the way I have a few questions. They might be stupid, and if they are just give me one of these :hammerhead:
As far as fertilizer spreaders go, what do y'all recommend? I've heard Lescos good. Anything else I should look at?
Backpack sprayers. I've looked at Stihls. Should I look into other brands? Anything in particular I should look for in a sprayer?
Any other peaces of equipment I should look into getting?
I plan on getting up and running this coming season. I'll mainly be mowing, but want to add fertilizing/weed control as part of a package deal or add on service.
How do ya'll go about writing contracts for weed control? I would think for pre-emergents it would be pretty strait forward. You'd write in X application at X time of year. But what do y'all do about post emergents? Do you say you'll do up to a certain number of applications a year?
Are there any good reference materials y'all can recommend for identifying pests, weeds, and diseases in turf grass/ornamentals? The ornamental and turf grass book they give you to study for the pesticide test had some info, but I'd like something a little more comprehensive.
11-22-2010, 10:13 PM
Also look at Spyker spreaders, and SP Systems backpack sprayers. Spyker's 288 is a champ, and the SP2 sprayer is solid and dependable.
Otherwise keep reading here and use weedalert.com as a reference.
You'll also distinguish yourself from the pack if you research fertilizer N sources heavily.
If you do not have a copy already go online to somewhere like Gemplers and get a catalog. Start with some safety equipment, such as gloves, spray chaps, dust mask, goggles, long sleeved shirts, first aid kit, eye wash kit, spill kit for the truck, fire extinguisher, broom and pan, plastic bags, labels, pens, zip lock bags, measuring cups, a two gallon water tank or larger, measuring spoons, possible a chemical apron, face shield, folder with plastic inserts to hold the various labels of product you will use.
Well that is a start. Not what you where expecting, but things you will need sometime in your application career most likely.
Spreaders, I believe CubCadet Commercial made a lot for Lesco, so try finding a dealer on line, or the local John Deere Landscape. For back packs, I would expect a good 1 Gallon hand can would work for now, when you grow then a back pack you could grow into.
Reference guides, you are in one of the best states as far as I'm concerned, so try your NC State University. http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/Default.aspx
They have a great book called Turfgrass Pest Management for $12 I think. http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/Extension/Publications.aspx#EP004041
Another book I would suggest is Nick Christians, Second Edition Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management.ISBN 0-471-45478-8 not a cheap book.
11-23-2010, 11:34 AM
I started with a low end spyker spreader, and an electric backpack sprayer.. also about 10 x 5 gallon water cans. The spreader seems to matter a lot more than the sprayer. Definately get something with neumatic tires... if you're ready to go pro.. I too would recommend the spiker 288. I've owned an andersons SR2000 (the other favorite) and don't like it..
That should cover the equipment.
Just never stop learning, and ALWAYS follow the label. the 1st time you kill a lawn, I guarantee you'll later find that you didn't follow the label as well as you thought. :)
And have fun.. I think it's actually a FUN way to make a living.
11-23-2010, 07:58 PM
If you are just doing the fertilizing on the side and mowing as the major part of your business, then maybe start out with some lower priced spreaders and backpack sprayers. The best 4 gallon sprayer I bought was from Lowes for $30 on sale in the winter (normally $89). I also bought a couple 1 gallon sprayers for Round Up and Trimec Plus.
If in the future you decide to do more fertilizing, then move up to more expensive and dependable spreaders, etc. You can always use the old, cheaper units as back up if your "good" spreader breaks and it needs to be serviced.
Contracts; I do a yearly contract just stating what I'm responsible for (fertilizing, weed control, optional core aeration, optional grub control). I don't go into how many times I come out or what weeds I'm treating.
Do lots of searches on this site, it will help more than any book you will ever read. Also do interent searches for local extension offices, Indiana has a great one that has a periodic email stating what diseases, insects, etc. are going on and how to treat them.
11-24-2010, 10:12 PM
'preciate the help y'all. This is an awesome site. It's making my start up process so much easier.
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