View Full Version : ok something i don't understand

05-14-2003, 11:42 PM
if you need to do a soil test on each client how can you have a big spay tank and use the same formulations on so many different clients.. i know companies like trulawn and chemlawn just drive around spaying the same formulations on each yard till there tank is empty. how do they do this without adjusting to the different results of the soil test for each client?

05-15-2003, 12:04 AM
Good question, the answer is...................

Grass needs a few things to grow right?

Sun Light



In no paticular order.

Does it need this or that on this app?

05-15-2003, 12:12 AM
You can follow the big guys around to learn about marketing and making money. They cannot teach you how to properly care for individual stands of turfgrass. That you can only get from education and experience.

05-15-2003, 12:23 AM
Amen!!!! Jim. TGCL is a marketing company that happens to do lawn applications. They have to constantly market as they lose about 1/3 of their customer base annually.

kickin sum grass
05-15-2003, 12:24 AM
here how we do it. On app 2 we spray a liquid broadleaf mixed with a low n fert & iron. Everybody gets this and thats that cuz we are not going to make a special tank just for them. NOW here is where the personnalized program comes in. According to the soil test we will add additional nutrient in granular formulation. Example is if a lawn is low in k we will have a low n - high k fertilizer to supplement the liquid combo. Once the deficiencies are corrected usually the standard program keeps everything in check and no additional product is needed. Round 2 is used as an example, the extra nutrients, lime, whatever could be added in other applications as needed. Is it a pain to go over twice - yes but if that is what you have to do than do it. That is what will separate you from the "BIG" guys.

05-15-2003, 07:09 AM
The soil test gives you the annual nutrient requirements PLUS what is needed to correct deficiencies.

From the annual recomendations subtract the nutrients that your regular program provides. The remainder is what has to be added in by special app(s).

Example: If the site needs 4 lbs of K per year and your program gives you 2.5 lbs/yr an additional app of 5lbs/k of Lesco 5-10-31 will give you the total of 4 lbs of K per thousand per year that you need.

I sell that at the same price as my regular apps.

I include up to 25 lbs/k/yr of lime for pH maintenance. If the soil test shows we need 50 lbs/k I up sell the additional 25 lbs. at 85% of the normal app since it is a spreader setting change and not a separate trip.

My regular program has enough nutrient punch to raise fertility over a few seasons. But if speedier results, prior problems or dissatisfactions with others dictate a need for more immediate results, upselling additional apps as per the soil test does wonders for the lawn, the customers satisfaction and your wallet. And that is how it should be.

05-15-2003, 07:48 PM
Bravo Harold, that just wouldn't come out when I was posting, plus you explained it better than I would have.

I do pretty much do to a "T" what he wrote except for the lime and products used.

05-15-2003, 08:38 PM
Remember when Scumlawn first came out in the early 80's, and one of theur selling points was. "We custom formulate our products to suit YOUR lawns needs!"
Yeah, right! I bet they never did a soild test on a customers lawn in the history of the corporation! Their techs wouldn't know what a soil test is even comprised of!:rolleyes:

05-15-2003, 09:41 PM
Originally posted by Runner
Remember when Scumlawn first came out in the early 80's, and one of theur selling points was. "We custom formulate our products to suit YOUR lawns needs!"
Yeah, right! I bet they never did a soild test on a customers lawn in the history of the corporation! Their techs wouldn't know what a soil test is even comprised of!:rolleyes: Is that a test to check to see if there is dirt in it?;)

05-17-2003, 05:46 PM
Give me a break! There is no way anyone in this forum can convince me that every lawn should have a soil sample done. If that was the case then all your time and money would be spent pulling and sending off soil samples. Then, you could feel all smug and superior about putting down to the 1/16th of a # the perfect amount of NPK for each lawn...all the way to the eventual auction of your equipment. That is unless you have 15-20 customers or, you have tons of time on your hands and you are more interested in impressing customers with your vast storehouse of useless knowledge. There are better ways of doing buisness.
My personal preference is to pull samples at random from 5 lawns in each subdivision or area covered. Then I adjust NPK for each sub. with an overall average. This way I can maintain consistency and insure a good quality application. If a customer requests a soil test then I grant it gladly. Another good indicator is to be observant. Watch the lawns after app.s and make sure they are responding as you would expect. I have a customer who's lawn would not respond to treatment. Smelling a rat, I asked the customer if he had done anything "additional" to the lawn and he confessed that he had applied over 1000#'s of Dolomitic Lime to a 3000 sq ft lawn because "the guy on the radio said it was good for my soil." The pH was through the roof!
I'm not saying to be irresponsible. There is something to be said for consistency. Look at places like McDonalds. They don't thrive because they make the best hamburger you have ever had. They thrive because you know what you are going to get before you walk in.

05-18-2003, 01:39 PM

Quality turf needs proper soil chemistry, and the only way to know is thru soil testing. Expense of test is minimal, except for labor, but client pays for it!!!!!!! Good sound program can be accomplished in 3 to 5 visits!!!!!!!!!!

05-20-2003, 08:27 PM
vegomatic - the best you can hope to accomplish with the sample techinque you employ is, at best, an estimation.
I can and do pull samples from every turf area I maintain.
You don't want to believe, don't.
Tim - sound philosphy.

05-21-2003, 08:09 AM
You don't know what has been previously applied to each lawn, that's why your samplying method doesn't work!!!!!!!!

05-21-2003, 01:19 PM


05-21-2003, 02:06 PM
Welcome to Lawnsite Ilovegreen. PLEASE STOP SHOUTING AT US! It really won't help us to listen better to what you have to say. :D

05-29-2003, 08:22 AM
Darn it! And all this time doing it this way (22yrs.) I thought a growing customer base of happy people with green, weed-free lawns at a reasonable cost was the way to go. pH is not a real problem in my area guys. I have seen hundreds of soil samples and rarely am I surprised with the results. Soil profiles do vary quite a bit from region to region but not that much in a relatively small area. What works in NY or IN may be completely wrong for another given area. I've have worked in this industry all over the South and don't know much (or care to know) how "we do it up North. I'll just keep on growing and cashing the checks. Or is there some other hidden, higher goal to this business? Please...

05-29-2003, 02:41 PM
ph results are only one part of soil test results!!!!!!!1

05-30-2003, 01:18 AM
I got it Tim. Macro's and Micro's and all the other subtle parts are pretty much in line here as well and yes, I have sprung for the extra $ for "complete tests" as well. My turf responds...every time. If it doesn't, I dig deeper and find out why. Tests are done for free as they are rarely needed here. Biggest problem here is concealed limestone and thin soils and I would wager a large amount that a soil probe can't correct either of those problems. And as far as me "not knowing what was done to the lawn" I routinely question the homeowner on what was done to the property by them and ask for any copies of invoices left by other LCO's. That way I have far fewer surprises and since I have a extremely small cancellation rate (8%/yr people do move,die etc.) I know pretty much what has been done to the lawns. Not a rookie here and not buying all the geeky details that can let you loose sight of the big picture

05-30-2003, 07:09 AM
i agree with veg. why make a mountain out of a molehill? are u really charging enough money for your programs to pay yourself for all the extra effort? besides, successful programs , in my opinion, are 90% what the customer is doing, and the type of weather we are having. out of about 35 fert programs we have, only maybe 5 water like we tell them too. thier lawns are the best around, and they are in different areas, with different soil types, they get the same programs, the only thing that separates them from the others is they water properly.