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DFW Area Landscaper
02-06-2005, 11:35 AM
I just bought a little 50 gallon spray rig from Lesco for our applications business.

My old plan consisted of six applications per year.

Dec: Lesco 0-0-7 with Pre-M and 2-4D
Feb: Lesco 0-0-7 with Pre-M and 2-4D
Apr: Lesco 25-2-5 with Pre-M and 2-4D
Jun: Lesco 28-3-10 with iron and spot treat MSMA & Manage
Aug: Lesco 28-3-10 with iron and spot treat MSMA & Manage
Oct: Lesco 25-2-5 with Pre-M and 2-4D

Now that I have a 50 gallon spray tank, my plan was to add urea to the tank mix for my October and April applications. My real concern here is the April application. If we apply liquid urea in early April, how long will the green-up last? My gut feeling is that the early April app will fade off by May first, leaving the lawn looking less than ideal for four or five weeks. Heck, even the 28-3-10 application in June fades off about three weeks before we do the August application.

I'm considering contacting all existing customers and explaining that we plan to increase our applications from 6 per year to 7 per year, with an additional application in early May. Or possibly eliminate the December application and move it to May, which would make things a lot harder for us with no increase in revenue. Or does anyone think I'll be fine with a liquid urea app in early April and then no more nitrogen until early June?

Anyone have any input or suggestions?

Thanks,
DFW Area Landscaper

cemars
02-06-2005, 05:36 PM
Anyone have any input or suggestions?


I wished you had asked before you got your sprayer. At an average 2 gal/k rate, you will only be able to treat 4-5 lawns before needing to refill. Second, urea doesn't work great in a jet aggitated sprayer. It can be done but you will get frustrated trying to keep it from clogging your filters. If you are concerned about the application lasting for more than 2-4 weeks, look into a liquid slow release like Coron, it will last alot longer and mixes easy, no clogging.

Ric
02-06-2005, 06:16 PM
I wished you had asked before you got your sprayer. At an average 2 gal/k rate, you will only be able to treat 4-5 lawns before needing to refill. Second, urea doesn't work great in a jet aggitated sprayer. It can be done but you will get frustrated trying to keep it from clogging your filters. If you are concerned about the application lasting for more than 2-4 weeks, look into a liquid slow release like Coron, it will last alot longer and mixes easy, no clogging.


Cemars

The reason you are clogging filters is your mixing to much Urea per gallon. Raise your gallons per thousands rate and you will solve your clogging problems.

DFW

Longevity of 46-0-0 Urea depends Soil Temperature, CEC and infiltration of your soil. Pounds of Actual Nitrogen and Gallons per thousand applied also effect the longevity of urea. Wash it into the ground with a higher gallons per thousand applied and it will last longer. I get about 8 weeks out of a pound per thousand applied at 5 gallon per thousand on Sandy soil.

osc
02-06-2005, 06:51 PM
What kind of grass you got down there?

Ric
02-06-2005, 07:55 PM
What kind of grass you got down there?


I believe Both DFW and I have St Augustine for the most part. However DFW has a lot more Bermuda which requires a lot of Nitrogen. BTW I don't use pure Urea as my Nitrogen source. However To be competitive we must use some Urea. It is the Cheapest form of Nitrogen. All that Scotts 29-2-3 is nothing more than Urea. You pay big bucks for it and it is one of the cheapest Fertilizers to make. I buy 46-0-0 for $ 8.50 a 50 lb bag. That 23 pounds of actual Nitrogen for 8.50 or $ 0.37 a pound. Home owners Buy 29-2-3 in 30 lb bags at Walmart Discount store for How much??? 30 lb of 29-2-3 has about 8.7 pounds of actual Nitrogen or about $ 3.22 my cost on Nitrogen. You do the math.

cemars
02-06-2005, 10:40 PM
Cemars

The reason you are clogging filters is your mixing to much Urea per gallon. Raise your gallons per thousands rate and you will solve your clogging problems.


Fortunately I don't have this problem as all of my tanks are mechanically agitated. I did however hear this complaint on a regular bases during my 6 years at Lesco. And at 5 gal per 1000, a 50 gal tank would only treat 1-2 lawns!

DFW Area Landscaper
02-07-2005, 01:53 AM
A fifty pound bag of urea thrown into the tank and applied at 2 gallons per thousand would be just under 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet.

Think I'll have problems with clogging if I try to mix in a 50 pound bag of urea? I sure hope not, but I don't know.

There are lots of reasons why I went with such a wimpy, small sprayer. But it really boils down to the fact that this spray rig only weighs 600 pounds when full. With leaf spring helpers, it can ride in my Nissan Frontier, which is the only crew cab that can be parked in my garage. Were it not for freezing temperatures, I could have bought a 200 gallon paddle driven unit and kept in the back of the F-150. I can get an F-150 in my garage, but I have to have a crew cab as my personal vehicle because of my kids.

Yes, we'll have to refill this thing every five or six stops. The plan is to bring along a 100' water hose and hook up to the customer's faucet when we run out. If customers start complaining about that, I'll have to make my employee drive all the way to my home to refill. I really doubt most folks will complain. It still ought to be a gazillion times faster than pushing a spreader and refilling a 3.5 gallon backpack at every stop.

Ric, 98% of the lawns I service are bermuda. Pure clay soils around here. Low nitrogen with bermuda shows a lot worse than with St Augustine.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

timturf
02-07-2005, 05:49 AM
A fifty pound bag of urea thrown into the tank and applied at 2 gallons per thousand would be just under 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet.

Think I'll have problems with clogging if I try to mix in a 50 pound bag of urea? I sure hope not, but I don't know.

There are lots of reasons why I went with such a wimpy, small sprayer. But it really boils down to the fact that this spray rig only weighs 600 pounds when full. With leaf spring helpers, it can ride in my Nissan Frontier, which is the only crew cab that can be parked in my garage. Were it not for freezing temperatures, I could have bought a 200 gallon paddle driven unit and kept in the back of the F-150. I can get an F-150 in my garage, but I have to have a crew cab as my personal vehicle because of my kids.

Yes, we'll have to refill this thing every five or six stops. The plan is to bring along a 100' water hose and hook up to the customer's faucet when we run out. If customers start complaining about that, I'll have to make my employee drive all the way to my home to refill. I really doubt most folks will complain. It still ought to be a gazillion times faster than pushing a spreader and refilling a 3.5 gallon backpack at every stop.

Ric, 98% of the lawns I service are bermuda. Pure clay soils around here. Low nitrogen with bermuda shows a lot worse than with St Augustine.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

DON'T fill from CLIENTS faucet, get it DON'T fill from CLIENTS faucet!!!!!!!!

vegomatic40
02-07-2005, 07:06 AM
I'm with Tim on this one. Not sure what Texas' laws are regarding filling on a customers property but suspect that it would be frowned upon, even with some customers willing to let you do it, you still have no back-flow preventer etc.
As far as the turf fading between app's, you might look at a stabilized release Nitrogen source like Umaxx. I've had good success with it (even at 1/2 lb N/1000 ft..) It's not cheap at $18 -$20/ 50 lb. but nothing good ever comes easy.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-07-2005, 08:32 AM
if i caught u filling up form my water U WOULD BE GONE

ThreeWide
02-07-2005, 10:07 AM
Seems that DFW and I are facing similar scenarios.

I recently contemplated buying a 50-gallon sprayer, but opted for the 100-gallon unit. Someone on this site posted it for sale, and the timing was right. My Tacoma can handle the weight as long as I'm not pulling a trailer.

I can spray 50 to 75k out of that tank depending on the circumstances. And no, I do not plan on refilling at a client site. There are regulations against that.

My unit will be used for primarily blanket weed control apps. Most of the turf we have here is Bermuda, which fares much better with granular Nitrogen programs. You need an abundance of slow release N, and I don't see that happening by using liquid. Surge growth can be a problem with liquid N on Bermuda. Using UF, SCU, or something similar will produce more consistent results.

I cannot argue about the liquid products being lower cost, that is simply one of the advantages.

Grassmechanic
02-07-2005, 02:17 PM
A fifty pound bag of urea thrown into the tank and applied at 2 gallons per thousand would be just under 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet.

Think I'll have problems with clogging if I try to mix in a 50 pound bag of urea? I sure hope not, but I don't know.

DFW Area Landscaper

If your sprayer has a basket strainer (which it should) just fill it with the urea. Take a hose and dissolve the urea into the tank with a slow stream of water. Urea will dissolve quickly and stay in solution. You'll never clog a filter.

kootoomootoo
02-07-2005, 09:08 PM
""Yes, we'll have to refill this thing every five or six stops. The plan is to bring along a 100' water hose and hook up to the customer's faucet when we run out. If customers start complaining about that, I'll have to make my employee drive all the way to my home to refill. I really doubt most folks will complain. It still ought to be a gazillion times faster than pushing a spreader and refilling a 3.5 gallon backpack at every stop.""

this should be fun.............keep us informed.

SWD
02-07-2005, 10:22 PM
In the state of Texas, a licensed applicator can fill from any potable water source provided an air gap is maintained from the filling device and the tank.
An air gap is fine as a backflow prevention method.
The problem I see is if a spill over 25 gallons occurs with the 2,4-D.
TCEQ, TDA, SPCB and the EPA all have to be notified. That is why my residential spray rig is an ultra low volume 15 gal rig that rides on my 36" wb with a 6' boom.

DFW Area Landscaper
02-09-2005, 04:36 PM
So far, no problems refilling from the customer's faucet. On average, we can fill the 50 gallon tank in about 10 to 11 minutes. Sure beats making the employee drive all the way back to my house to refill.

If anyone calls to complain, I've already checked with the city. Fifty gallons of water costs less than a quarter. That should shut them up. The complaint I'm already expecting to hear is about the yellow coloration left by the Pre-M. God that stuff is messy!

This spray rig is awesome. I love it. It's saving us a ton of man hours over spreading and backpacking every lawn. We were filling the backpack on just about every stop for the first two years of the business. What a pain that was. Not only that, but our cost per application has been reduced by over 50%. We're also spraying atrazine for post control of poa annua, which we weren't doing before due to time constraints.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

William J. L.
02-10-2005, 09:57 AM
We would do that for the back packs with the customer's permission...but if your out there filling 50 to 200 gallon tanks at the customers house....that would not only be unprofessional but very balzy.

slow release
02-10-2005, 12:08 PM
I agree that filling/mixing at a customers house is unprofessional and potentially hazardous. Accidents can and do happen. Very bad PR when it happens in your customers driveway!!!

ThreeWide
02-11-2005, 08:21 AM
DFW,

Here is an idea that I have considered regarding carrying extra water. Since you only have a 50 gal tank, you might simply carry an additional portable water tank on that same truck. One reason I have not yet done this is because of overall weight issues with my truck. When I get larger truck, this won't be a constraint.

Below is a link to a company that sells these types of tanks. Just something to consider.

Tank Depot (http://www.tank-depot.com/product.aspx?id=125)