View Full Version : Rookie Mistakes
12-21-2000, 10:17 AM
I'm starting to add lots more fertilzer customers than I had anticipated. This will be my second season. I have my license. Is there any advice you guys can give me for avoiding rookie mistakes in the application business ? I don't want to mess up too many lawns ! Tough to get business when your references are all striped !! I've been using all Lesco stuff and I pretty much go by their schedule. I also have reference manuals to look up disease and weeds that I do not recognize. (Pretty much everything ouside of crabgrass). What is a good, basic 4 / 5 / or 6 step schedule ? Exactly what formulations do you use for basic applications ? Do you test all lawns first ? Thanks.
12-23-2000, 11:32 AM
I like to use a broadcast spreader instead of a drop. I start at one corner of the yard make a pass then on the next pass let it overlap only about a foot. Once I make all the passes I will go around the perimeter once. I use a fert. that is high in N to green it up, and it increases the mowing freq. obviously. Not sure if this is of any help.
I prefer to set my rate of application slower and make a second pass or criss cross and then do a clean up pass around the perimeter. Most labels suggest this anyway and I know it takes more time but when you're using a ztr to spread with, it's pretty quick and you get a more even application with no stripes. A drop spreader is good for small areas where you can't sling fert or chems around because of adjacent shrubs, flowers, pools etc.. Drop spreader is not good any other time for obvious reasons.
Talk to the Lesco guys. They will help you with all your questions. Also, use this forum.
01-03-2001, 12:05 AM
NOt sure where you are in the South East but many go with 6-7 apps throughout the season in those areas. This will give you more visits but better timing for applying control products and the ability to monitor pest problems easier (IPM). I would encourage using balanced fertilizers with 25-50% slow relaease Nitrogen, and applying at 1/2 to 3/4 pounds of Nitrogen with your treatments. Youcan very these amounts using higher amounts of Nitrogen in active growing periods while dropping to lower Nitrogen levels during stress periods, drought,heat, etc. Email if you'd like I can discuss more with you there over time. Good Luck!
01-03-2001, 12:47 AM
Forget a drop spreader unless you are magic! The Lesco rotary is fine. One direction is fine also. I try to throw back to almost the outside wheel mark. Two directions is ideal, but as your customer base grows, you wont have the time or energy for two directions. Remember, "underlap" shows up more than overlap! Lesco material is fine, and priced good since they have their own fert factory, no middle man! Try to get a brocure from some of the big Companies. Have them do an estimate on your lawn! They will have the basics outlined for you. Remember, they have to keep employees busy 12 months applicating something! If you landscape, mow, etc, this is just a supplement for you. You can generally get the results with far fewer apps than the big guys. I am also in the southeast. I start in Feb. just so I can get all first pre-m apps done by mid March. Fescue lawns get 19-3-7 +pre-m on first. Bermuda/zoysia get 0-0-7+ pre-m. Both get broadleaf control if weather is ok. WARNING! Pre-m turns your whole life yellow! Your trucks, your teeth, your clothes, even your underwear!Make sure to blow off walks, drives, patios. I am actually switching to dimension this year for that very reason. SECOND WARNING! Fe also stains big time. The first year I sprayed it, I had to sand a whole fence. I did know it stained prior, and tried not to hit it, but the splash off the ground cost me much sweat. Fe will also kill a chemlawn gun and pumps! I still do fewer apps than the big guys, charge more, and the lawns look good, at least until the "shake and bake" arrives. One more thing to save you $, Spreaders I have that suck:
Earthway pro push spreader, Busy Buzzer self propelled, Lesco Electric, Earthway with weed eater motor. Recommended spreaders: Earthway bucket shoulder spreader, Spyker electric, Lesco stainless. Later "The Turf Doctor"
01-26-2001, 10:18 PM
I agree with the Lesco spreader, a deflector helps with a direction. In your area can you use Dimension instead of pre-m? dimension is a far superior product. Non staining, longer window of protection, you can overseed sooner ect.
03-11-2001, 10:22 PM
Whats up with that busy buzzer spreader. Sounds like a unit not to buy. It looks like the tires are pretty small for the weight is carries. Things don't dry out up here until August, the thing will become a lawn fixture when it sinks up to the frame. Any thoughts why it is so bad?
03-11-2001, 11:20 PM
You amy consider TEAM PRO as well. I use it in Ill. and have great success. It does not stain either. I prefer slow release granules for fertilizer. Higher PCSCU in summer months to prevent burning.
03-12-2001, 12:20 AM
Dont tip over the spreader.
I would reccommend using a slow release granular and spread back to your tire marks. but then decrease your rate by half. Then you can see where you are spreading too, Instead of guessing.
03-12-2001, 11:52 AM
Tak ethe time, learn how to really calibrate, and you will do well. http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?postid=89626#post89626
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