View Full Version : Granular or Spraying???

01-19-2001, 02:14 PM
I just recently retired from teaching high school. I started mowing the last two years of my teaching career. I purchased what I think is the right mowing equipment. The first week of February I will be attending a week long course on lawncare and IPM. I am thinking about treating lawns as well as the mowing. My question is, should I buy a tank and concentrate on treating lawns with spray, or concentrate on using granulars. It looks to me as though the liquid treatments would be the most profitable in the long run. I am located in the northern Kentucky area. Fire away and give me your advice.

01-19-2001, 07:29 PM
A lot will depend on how much you're ready to spend on equipment. Starting with a granular approach and spot spraying weeds with a back pack sprayer is probably the least expensive way to start. This will work fine for most smaller residential properties. Granular weed/feed products are ok but not as effective as liquid for making contact with weeds and killing them. As far as the feed side is concerned, grass doesn't care. Granular will give you more affordable slow release options. Many companies do both depending on what's needed and weather conditions. They will start granular, go liquid when weeds need to be taken care of, then go back to granular. Others spray all season. How many treatments per season can also influence your decision. Talk to your local Lesco, they can help.

01-19-2001, 09:16 PM
Thanks Greengeezer,

I plan on starting small. I just retired from teaching school, but started the mowing portion of the business two years ago. My thoughts were to buy a 150-200 gal. spray outfit on a skid.

01-23-2001, 03:22 AM
I like spraying better, more flexability and options. I have a 200 gal with tree spray gun & deep root fertilizer injector. Very good profits in spraying with excellent results. If you have the extra cash go for it, if not do granular for a year or 2 then by the tank, that's what I did.

lawrence stone
01-23-2001, 06:26 PM
What kind of lawnmowers did you buy?

01-23-2001, 07:29 PM
Checkout Weshauffer. They have a small 200 gallon skid setup that uses a 12 volt pump, comes with 300 feet of hose on rewind reel and all. Ideal little setup for just spot spraying weeds and using granular fert apps.

I went with same setup only with Honda motor and a pump capable of 550 psi, OVERKILL. The 12 volt setup would have worked just fine for me and would have saved me about $1,200.

I do use a hose end sprayer on mine. This allows me to just carry water in the tank. I can change and spray different chemicals all from the same tank with just one visit. Keep in mind I do not do a vast amount of lawn spraying. I only spray with this rig when I cannot do it with a backpack. So if doing alot of all spraying you would want a chemlawn gun or equal.

But, in my mind granular fertilizer and liquid spot spray is a better way to go. In my opinion it is better for us as applicators, better for our egology, and better on our pocketbooks.

01-24-2001, 08:06 PM
Check out those electric units. They're fine for using on small residential properties. I found out that with 300' of hose pulled up a hill that the spray pressure dropped big time. Also if you're ever going to spray fert and weed kill, they don't have much agitation to mix the fert. For spot spraying or carrying water like Skookum does they'll work fine. But if you're going to do more, get one with more power. Arrg....

01-25-2001, 02:54 AM
A 200 gallon 12 volt system cost how much? It will limit you on what you will be able to do in the long run such as deep root fertilizing & tree spraying, no PSI. 300 foot of hose up hill....well, I bet I could pee harder.

How is applying granular herbicides safer on the enviroment & pocketbooks than spraying? Actually, almost 100% of herbicides sprayed on the turf stays on the turf if watered in correctly, opposed to granular which is often spread onto paved aeras, shrub beds, ponds, and so on.

As for $$$, this has been covered before, Bayleton for example cost $5.65 per 1000 granular. In sprayable WS packs it cost $2.55 per 1000, over $3.00 per 1000 additional profit.

A good high PSI rig also allows you to offer other options. Deep root fertilizing cost $0.12 per .5 gallon injection,, most companies around here charge $50 and up per tree. I spoke with one member here a while back and he said he does $14,000 in about 2 weeks doing deep root fert.

My sprayer cost $2800, tree gun $107, deep root injector $150 I think, and I bought a deicated trailer for $700. Hope this gives you an idea of cost for this type of set up.


01-25-2001, 12:49 PM
Thanks Kirby, You saved me some typing. Your right on with you last post.

We use both liquid and granular. We started using liquid because 1 it was cheaper on pre-emergent apps and 2 we couldn't find the nitrogen rate we wanted formulated on granular. With liquid, you make what you want. In the late spring and summer we will use slow release granular. We always use backpacks for spot treating weeds, as I don't won't to contaminate my hoses because we spray our ornamental beds with the same sprayer. If you have and area with alot of weeds get a Wide Angle Flat Polijet Nozzle part# 40 74 513) from Solo for your backpack and you can treat a 1000 sqft per gal. It has 4 to 6 ft. spray pattern.


[Edited by PLS on 01-25-2001 at 11:51 AM]

01-25-2001, 04:58 PM
Do both with a perma green unit.

I like the flexibility that granular fert offers. I can carry five different types of dry material in my truck, and be able to custom treat each lawn on an individual basis. If you mix up 200 gallons of a high N fertilizer, and come to a lawn that you want a low N fertilizer on, you will have to do one of two things. A. COme back with a different mix, or B, reduce your rate of application. Here is the problem with reducing the rate of application. If you have a herbicide mixed in the tank, you will not be applying enough herbicide, and essentally wasting all that herbicide.

Another thing about spraying is IPM. If you mix up 200 gallons of fert with weed control, then each and every lawn that you treat with that load gets a blanket application of weed control, whether they need it or not. That is not IPM friendly, and wastes money and herbicide as well.

Of course, you can say mix straight fert one day, and fert plus weed control the next, and plan your route accordingly, but that can add a lot of excess travel time in, as well as a few wasted trips.

You will use less herbicide if you are using a perma green unit. You can shut the liquid off if you come to an area of the lawn that is weed free. Try doing that with a spray rig. You use less herbicide=$$$ savings.

I don't generally use fungicides, but I would think that I could use the liquid through my spray tank. There is the cost savings.

I have one of those cheap 20 gallon sprayers nounted in the bed of my truck that I make my mix in for the day. I will then fill the perma green unit up from that. So, my mixing time is greatly reduced.

Another benefit is that you don't have to dedicate a truck or trailer to hauling a apray tank around. You can use just about any pickup to haul your bags of fert, and spreader. WIth a 200 gallon spray rig, well that is a different story. You can also take along the fert that you will need, along with the spreader on your mowing day, and treat the lawn after you finish mowing, saving a trip. That is how you can make the real money.

01-25-2001, 05:43 PM

We're practically neighbors. I live in Waverly, Ohio.

Use granular for on the lawn for fert and crabgrass preventer and liquid on post emergence for broadleaf control. Granular post emergence is not very effective. Ofcourse, you'll get a pesticide applicators liscence for the herbicides.


01-25-2001, 06:26 PM
The 12 volt spray setup I mentioned from http://www.Westheffer.com , is made for spraying lawns in a dry fertilizer / liquid weed control proram. I recall it was about $1,500.00. It uses a pump that has about twice volume of most 12 volt pumps that we are use to. It pumps up to 4.9 gpm where most only pump up to 1.8 or so. It is always been my understanding that the preferd setup for spraying lawns was low pressure, high volume, which this setup does do. It is made to fit sideways well forward of the wheel wells on a pickup, so you can have the entire rest of the bed available for bags of fertilizer.

When I was looking at it, I was assured that it was very capable of spraying lawns just like it's bigger brothers. I was told it was developed to be a lighter unit to handle and operate. Main exclusion was the use of a heavy hose and the noisy gas motor. Seems Westheffer had LCO's that wanted something that was quiet and did not have to have that big heavy hose. It was also developed to fit into trailers and vans without worry of gas motor exhaust.

I did not get it myself since I too, like others mentioned in above posts, wanted a rig I could use maybe later for rootzone ferts, tree spraying, firefighting?, etc... But, the intended purpose of my post above is it fits perfectly as just a quality made small operation sprayer or for just spot spraying.

POCKETBOOK? - I made no mention of granular pesticides. I mentioned use of granular fertilizer. Makes no difference how much your liquid product costs. It could cost only .50 a 1000 sqft and you spray a 30,000 sqft yard it cost you $15.00. Sure that is no big expense, but if you only spot sprayed say about 2,000 sqft it only cost you $1.00!

Plus, in this senerio, which I can see no one disputing this,you place LESS chemicals in or on the planet earth, you yourself or your crew was exposed to about 90% less pesticide at time of application, likely less exposure at time of mixing due to lower annual use, which leads to lower cumulative lifetime exposure! Lawn spraying is not that old of a business in this nation. It will be many years before the final cumulative exposure problems may show up from the new pesticides that we are spraying today. Why are so many of the old ones that used to be sprayed gone today? #1 reason is safety for applicator and egology.

Liquid fertilizer is generally easier on the pocketbook than granular, but at not the same results. Most sprays are a quick green which require more apps. If paid by apps, then knockin down some bucks. If paid for season, spending too much time to do apps as well as keep up with irregular growth when mowing. I just think a slow release granular is the way to a steady growing green lawn at a better cost than slow release spray fertilizer.

Now of course there are no perfect properties and no two accounts are alike, so these ideas may or may not fit your LCO. But they do mine.

Jim Gaudioso
01-25-2001, 10:19 PM
If your in the market for a tank unit give BMI a call at 863.655.2228 ask for Rich. Their units(frames) are made of aluminium and they have some very good prices. They can also make just about any custom equipment you might need.
I also want to put in my two cents about lawn applications.
i would use granular for all your fert needs and liquid broadleaf for weed control. if your lawns are large 1 acre and up buy a perma green unit or equivalent. From experience trying to spray those lawns with a hose will kill you. If there small use a 200 gallon skid unit. Like the other guys said you can use it for other types of applications and you can always sell it later if you out grow it.

01-26-2001, 06:43 PM
Frist of all it is great to see that there are guys in KY. Who are on the forum.
I am in central KY(45 miles south of Lexington)

I have been in the spraying side of the lawn care buisness for over 5 years. I use 100 % liquid herbicides, and apply granular fert in the fall.

There is a place in Lexington that sells all types of spray rigs their are Ryan's Ag Supply. 859 233-0057 ask for Mike.
They can fix up about any way you want to go 12 volt or gas engine pump.

If you have any questions you can e-mail me.

Good luck

02-27-2001, 02:58 PM
does anyone have the 25 gal sprayer that fits on the walker mowers? I am planning on having 200gal tank for water and mixing 25gal herbicide in the sprayer tank. does he walker setup work OK?

03-04-2001, 03:55 PM
I'll be getting my pesticide license this month, and have a few questions.

First the only advantage I see with using a skid rig is the ability to offer deep root injection.

I can't imagine dragging a hose around a yard for blanket apps. Do people really do this? Wouldn't it be much easier to use a sprayer with booms.

I used to be a farmer. We had a 3000 acre small grains farm. We used a no-tillage program which required a lot of chemical applications. We had a 1000 gallon 100 foot boom pull behind sprayer. The booms had wind screens plus the booms were hydraulically adjustable for height. We could spray in almost any wind conditions with very minimal drift.

Now that I'm in lawncare, I would love to see a similar unit on a smaller scale. Not necessarily a tow behind unit. But something more on the lines of a ZTR mounted unit. I know there are units for ZTR's available but does anybody know of a unit with wind screens and adjustable height booms?

I will not drop 5 grand for a perma green unit. Although it looks like a nice unit. I also do not want to spend 2k or more on a skid unit that I feel is very un-efficient.

Being new to applying pesticides on such a small scale, I might need some enlightenment from those of you that do apply on a day to day basis. Tell me why I should want a skid mounted rig. Explain why they are efficient opposed to my limited view of them.

Would I be wise in taking an old JD110 garden tractor and building the sprayer I want? I could mount a 25 gallon tank to it, a 10 foot boom with height adjusted hydraulically by the original hydraulic deck lift. Pump by Northern. And fabricated wind screens.

All comments, feedback, and criticisms encouraged.

03-04-2001, 09:17 PM
I personally do not have a Walker sprayer and I really aint too wild about the idea. I think that the front mount is bad for the operator because of potential drift back in your face and also because of the corrosive effects of some pesticides on the metal as well as the air intake to the motor. The other thing is that spraying out front allows the wheels to pick up the liquid and I believe that this can concentrate the application as well as transmit it to places you may not want it.
I personally am going thru the eval. stages for a sprayer also and am leaning towards a skid mount or some type of rear disch pull behind unit for the Walker. Good Luck.

03-05-2001, 03:06 AM

I think the biggest reason for sprayers with a hose and reel like a skid mount are the versatility, better application control, and the speed, and the less use of a truck or trailer space as well as less equipment involved. Also with a skid unit you can off load it when it is not needed. Most LCO's do not have a need for a dedicated sprayer truck setup, bigger operations might, but a average size company already has plenty of pickups to haul a slide in skid unit.

Chances of having only large open areas without fences, courtyards, etc... are very slim. I think most LCO's likely spray smaller than 1/2 acre lawns where there are drives, walks, decks, swingsets, pools, sheds, etc. Most LCO's would be done and on to next account before you got a 10 foot boom to the backyard and you would still have a few spots that would need some spot spray.

03-06-2001, 01:56 AM

Thanks for the input. You brought up a few points that I hadn't considered.

03-09-2001, 07:52 PM

thanks for the input I hadn't considered that , only wish I read your post earlier since i already ordered the unit. maybe i can drive around backwards LOL . i'll see if the boom can be mounted over rear wheel

also is there a web site that has MSDS's for pesticides ??

03-09-2001, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by mountain
also is there a web site that has MSDS's for pesticides ??


03-11-2001, 01:11 PM
I agree with Scott. I use granular fertilizer and crabgrass pre. applications. Spring weather is very volatal. There are many days that you can spread granules when it is to breezy to spray. I also think the granular fertilizer is better. It may cost more, but you can sell your use of premium quality products to your customers. You get what you pay for.

for broadleaf control, I spray. I do a couple of total coverage spray apps. per year, per property. After that the broadleaves should be under control and you can go to spot treatments. Spot treatments are a win/win situation. You charge a minimum fee of $XX with the understanding that if weeds become a big problem a higher charge or a total app. may be needed. 99% of the time they are not though. You save chemicals and cash in on the spot treatments.

The best thing to remember though is be flexable with your programs. Most customers will listen to what you have to say, but some have an idea of what they want and can afford. Remember, you aim to please!!