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  #1  
Old 12-11-2004, 06:20 PM
Ohio ProTurf Ohio ProTurf is offline
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Liquid Fertilizers

Wondering if anybody uses liquid fertilizers with one or more of their rounds. I have been using a granular only program for fertilizers, but have been playing with the idea of using a liquid fert(.25#N per M) /iron/herbicide combo for my second round next season.
I really like the flexibility of using granular products (being able to adjust the rate from lawn to lawn if I need to), but being able to make one pass over the lawn for round 2 would definitely be a time saver when things are really busy Mid-Spring.
My main concern is maintaining a quality program from a fertility standpoint. I don't want to jeopardize quality for sake of efficiency. I'm not so worried about the effect of switching to a liquid on Round 2 for my customers who are getting all 5 of our applications. I'm more concerned with the ones who are only taking 4 of the 5. These folks skip Round 3. I wonder if I would notice a drop-off in quality on these lawns, since most would go from May to late August/ early September before another application of fertilizer. I am very comfortable with the release characteristics of slow-release granular materials. Will .25#N from a slow-release liquid source continue to perform from May to late August?
If anyone has any input, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks in Advance
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2004, 07:20 PM
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James Cormier James Cormier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio ProTurf
Wondering if anybody uses liquid fertilizers with one or more of their rounds. I have been using a granular only program for fertilizers, but have been playing with the idea of using a liquid fert(.25#N per M) /iron/herbicide combo for my second round next season.
I really like the flexibility of using granular products (being able to adjust the rate from lawn to lawn if I need to), but being able to make one pass over the lawn for round 2 would definitely be a time saver when things are really busy Mid-Spring.
My main concern is maintaining a quality program from a fertility standpoint. I don't want to jeopardize quality for sake of efficiency. I'm not so worried about the effect of switching to a liquid on Round 2 for my customers who are getting all 5 of our applications. I'm more concerned with the ones who are only taking 4 of the 5. These folks skip Round 3. I wonder if I would notice a drop-off in quality on these lawns, since most would go from May to late August/ early September before another application of fertilizer. I am very comfortable with the release characteristics of slow-release granular materials. Will .25#N from a slow-release liquid source continue to perform from May to late August?
If anyone has any input, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks in Advance
1/4 lb of N to last from May to august, I dont think that would work no matter how you apply it.

Liquid really comes down to are you set up to do it. Do you have large storage tanks in your shop and set up with a filling station to get it into your spray tanks, Remember your water will increase alot so you gotta factor that into your costs, as well as time filling those trucks everyday.

Then the added liability in having a "tanker" truck driving around all day with all that juice. And finally you gotta be ready for the perception with going out in neighborhoods pulling hoses and spraying lawns, Thats not as common as it was a few years ago, I think alot of the general public view that as not being environmentally responsible ( I know its not true ) way of doing lawn care these days.

Just a few things to consider. I miss the results of those days , but that dosnt mean Im going back to those days

Jim
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2004, 02:14 AM
Neal Wolbert Neal Wolbert is offline
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Have to agree that 1/4# won't last very long. Slow release liquid nitrogen products are available for sure. N-Sure is one we've used a lot of in the past. 1 to 1 1/2# N from N-Sure and 1/4 to 1/2# N from urea should last 10-12 weeks if irrigation is normal in the summer. Pretty expensive though. The last N-Sure we bought was $7.50 a gal. in 275 shuttles. Each gallon contains 3# N. Our company is all liquid and we get by with 5 apps. in the Northwest, but we don't use N-Sure anymore. Neal
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2004, 09:50 AM
Dman1214 Dman1214 is offline
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Ohio

If I could put some perspective on your inquiry. We had 16 "tanker" trucks and would spray lawns that had weed concerns at the rate of 3gal/ooo ft2. In our 5 app program we would spray most of Rd 1 (coverage for pre-emergent), R2 and Rd 4 - depending on weed populations. The rest would be granular applications - we marketed our services as being able to do the best of both. My experience was that when you introduced any CRN source, the cost was prohibitive and we were somewhat limited on the fertilizer analysis we could offer (can only dissolve so much in water - esspecially a cold water source, without precipitate (fallout). It was my experience you can apply a better overall fertilizer with granular formulations, micronutrients being the exception (ex. a foliar liquid Fe source is far more effective than a granular one).

We had a 5000 gal holding tank and took in full tanker truckloads (4000 gal) of fert - usually a 20-0-6 formualtion. Neal's shuttle tanks an an option. You can also make your own using 46-0-0 urea, Poly-N, and 0-0-62. However, this is time consuming and requires excellent mechcanical agitation in your tanks - a hot water source would be best but not practical.

Jim and Neal addressed the other considerations.

DMAN1214
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2004, 10:17 AM
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DUSTYCEDAR DUSTYCEDAR is offline
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if the customer wants the full program 6 apps in mine, i give them the very best service i can, anyone that only wants less than the full service gets just that.
meaning they dont want to pay for 6 apps they wont have the same materials on there lawn and it wont look as good as someone on the full program.
they r being cheep so why am i going to kill myself to make there lawn look as good as someone that is paying for 6 apps when they only want 4.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2004, 05:36 PM
cemars cemars is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dman1214
My experience was that when you introduced any CRN source, the cost was prohibitive and we were somewhat limited on the fertilizer analysis we could offer DMAN1214
As far as being limited on the analysis, you can create almost anything you want. For example, if you have a tank of straight Coron (28-0-0, 72% CRN) and bags of 0-0-50, DAP, and urea, what can't you make? I disagree with you on CRN being cost prohibitive, yes the materials are more but you save big on labor vs. a granular fert and liquid-broad leaf app. (unless you are using a PG or Z-Spray), not to mention no blowing sidewalks, filling spreaders, etc.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2004, 07:32 PM
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James Cormier James Cormier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cemars
I disagree with you on CRN being cost prohibitive, yes the materials are more but you save big on labor vs. a granular fert and liquid-broad leaf app. (unless you are using a PG or Z-Spray), not to mention no blowing sidewalks, filling spreaders, etc.
I believe the labor is a wash, either way.

Spraying you got, filling the tank,mixing all materials, bucket testing, pulling the hose out to the end of property before spraying, dealing with dragging hoses around trees,beds,cars,houses,plants then reeling the hose back in.

Granular you got loading truck, filling spreader, sure you passes are not as wide as spraying but you start right out from the truck spreading then work your way back to truck.

Back in the day when We started with spraying then switch to granular then back to spraying later in the year, I never saw production $$ change that much.

So if the materials are that much more for liquid crn, then I would agree its cost prohibitive.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2004, 09:36 AM
greg6775 greg6775 is offline
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spraying

Then the added liability in having a "tanker" truck driving around all day with all that juice. And finally you gotta be ready for the perception with going out in neighborhoods pulling hoses and spraying lawns, Thats not as common as it was a few years ago, I think alot of the general public view that as not being environmentally responsible ( I know its not true ) way of doing lawn care these days.

Just a few things to consider. I miss the results of those days , but that dosnt mean Im going back to those days

hmmm trugreen is the biggest company out there and they spray all day long i think some people that only push dry are the people that dont no how to spray or maybe that dont no how to fill a tank makes you wonder who these people are doing yards these days
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2004, 10:57 AM
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James Cormier James Cormier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg6775
Then the added liability in having a "tanker" truck driving around all day with all that juice. And finally you gotta be ready for the perception with going out in neighborhoods pulling hoses and spraying lawns, Thats not as common as it was a few years ago, I think alot of the general public view that as not being environmentally responsible ( I know its not true ) way of doing lawn care these days.

Just a few things to consider. I miss the results of those days , but that dosnt mean Im going back to those days

hmmm trugreen is the biggest company out there and they spray all day long i think some people that only push dry are the people that dont no how to spray or maybe that dont no how to fill a tank makes you wonder who these people are doing yards these days
My last year working for chemdog (1990) was the first year they dropped the spraying all apps, we sprayed rd 1 and again rd 4 but the rest of the apps where granular.

Nowadays I see far more spreading then spraying even from trugreed. And I would argue all day long that there are far more small companies out there that know soo much more about treating lawns then most applicators that work for trugreed. Your implying just because someone fills there truck for them they know what they are doing, or because they are the best marketing company they know turf??
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2004, 10:59 AM
Dman1214 Dman1214 is offline
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Liquid vs Granular

Just about the only reason to do liquid is for the weed control. Now, with the advent of the ride-on sprayer/spreader concept - going to granular makes sense. u can now get the weed control w/out a 2nd pass over the lawn. Why do u think the main reason TG/CL has stayed with liquid? The absolute most compelling resaon is that they cannot change over their equipment - too costly, too much training involved, too much employee turnover. etc. imagine one of their new hire lawn monkies on a z-sprayer? - I don't think so.
they have stayed liquid because of these reasons, at least they realize that the customer's #1 concern is weeds.
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