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As a guy starting out a new lawn business....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jon99, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    Can I make a go if it by strictly mowing??? Or do I need to fertilize as well???? If I get into the fertilization end, is spreading dry going to be enough or will I need to eventually get into the liquid application??? Do spread fertilizer, do I need to get a license??? Where can I learn as much as possible about this part of the business????

    Thanks again..
  2. RMDoyon

    RMDoyon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    Although many folks do strictly mow, I think you'll find that people calling for regular maintenance are going to want fertilization at some level.

    In most states you need a license to apply pesticides commercially, that includes weeds & feed fertilizers. I'd recommend getting your license in any event. Call you local cooperative extension office for info.

    Slow-relase granular products fertilizer apps are preferable for feeding the lawn but liquid is where the real money can be had, not only through additional services (ornamentals, insect control) but in the flexibility liquid adds to your pest control arsenal.

    Finally, you will find much of what you need here a Lawnsite. Use the search feature and enjoy.

  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    And then again theres that old saying.


    99.9 % of my income is derived from just mowing. I'm doing better than I was at my old job. Could I make more? Sure. Would it take more time? Yes. I've bought equipment to "mow" with so that's what I do. I do it well. I do average $50 to $60 an hour doing it. If I couldn't average that pushing a fertilizer spreader then I'd feel like I was getting behind on the mowing or spinning my wheels.

    The above advice was good though. If your gonna do this then get all the licenses and be prepared for whatever comes along.

    And..........your at the right place to learn all you need to get started..........keep reading.
  4. ADMowing

    ADMowing LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 175

    I agree with Homer! Do one job and do it well! We just mow, weedeat, edge and blow off hardscape. When other apps are needed, we refer people out -- tree trimming (we do in winter months here in Florida and are licensed and insured to do it too!) But fertilizing, pest and weed control, we leave to other professionals.

    Sometimes we DO refer tree trimming out. We've got cards for painters, maids etc..... Customers are always asking us. Each customer has a job and we refer them to other customers if the job fits.

    Since we see so many people every day it is really nice. We know what's going on in the community because we're out there.

    Personally, I think that if you are making the bulk of your money with the basics. Why not stick to that and leave the extras to someone else??? My opinion for what its worth!

    Take care and good luck!

    A & D (Alex & Debbie)
  5. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 544

    i dont agree that liquid is more profitable than granular, seems to me that a tank sytem cost alot more than a spreader.. also up keep on a tank system cost more, they are also more prone to failure, they are also more labor intensive....
  6. Jon99

    Jon99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    strickdad- Thats my concern right there... I can go out and spend a few hundred bucks on a spreader and not have a problem with it, especially when I figure in possible repair costs to a spraying system... My fear is that I don't want to lose accounts because I am not prepared to put down dry fertilizer...

    If all that is holding me back from doing this is a spreader and a license, seems like its something I should do..
  7. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    All we do is mowing n trimming .... I sub out all tree work, fert n pest, landscaping
  8. RMDoyon

    RMDoyon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 230

    I am not advocating spraying liquid FERTILIZER. By all means, use granular slow-release.

    What I am saying is a tank system's advantages over granular express themselves when application flexibility and ornamental services are in place.

    For example, I just sprayed 40 gallons (about 4000sf) of shrubs and trees on Friday using my 200 gal tank in about 30 minutes, cost $8.56 in materials and billed the customer $59. If I had to do that with my backpacks I'd still be there.

    An example for strickdad:

    Momentum 0-0-7 costs me $15.75 for a 30# bag.
    That's $1.73 per 1M.

    Momentum liquid costs me $37.04 per gallon.
    That's $.38 per 1M at mid rate.

    In my case, with this difference in material cost my sprayer is payed for in 10 applications that's just at cost!

    Add to the fact that Momentum needs to be applied to damp grass and it cannot rain for 48 hours makes for PITA timing.

    I realize that this is an extreme example and few of my customers are in need of 100% broadcast applications of broadleaf weed killer but you get my point. Every product I've purchsed in granular form costs less per 1M in liquid formulation.

    When I picked up a new customer mid-season with 28,000 sf of weedy turf I began to do the math and realized that an investment in liquid equipment was worth investigating.

    If you have never sprayed with powered equipment you don't know what you are missing.


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