Comparing Slow release Fert to Fast release? What do the bigger Ap Co. use....?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Exact Rototilling, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Okay for starters and a bit of background here goes - in 2012 I put down more fertilizer than all other years combined.

    No Ap license required in Idaho for fert. Despite federal law - Idaho does allow limited use of non- mechanized spraying of herbicides. I did very little spraying in 2012 due to wind, rain and logistics. What little I did was with a Solo BP sprayer.

    So my fertilizer question is one of my fert client said my product lasted much longer and it didn’t force the grass to grow a foot in 10 days and I only put down (2) two applications of fert. The Fall application of fert was skipped due to logistics and exhaustion on my part but frankly the client said the lawn still looked great and he wasn’t concerned....FWIW.

    This client was started out with a Plugr 800 series aeration in the Spring which does in fact open up the soil more than other machines with more plugs.

    This client claimed another Co. treated it in 2011 and total cost was around $600-$700. I only put down 2 heavier applications of slow release synthetic product 20-7-14 and another heavy application of an DPW organic base bridge product 14-2-5 that IMO blows away Milorganite in pattern sectional tests on my own lawn. Lets just say his total cost was much much less.

    What is a normal number of applications from the Big Co. per growing season for cool season grass and is fast release product normally used?

    Also I’m trying gather info on the other Application Co. on fertilizer applications but how many applications is the norm. If I use a slow release synthetic or a slow release bridge product that cost me more in product costs how does one not end up leaving money on the table...?

    In the eyes of the client a single AP is just a single AP and not worth more....? How does one draw a distinction. I’m assuming the Big Ap Co. are using fast release products.

    :waving:
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,780

    In my opinion...customers seldom appreciate the virtue of slow-release nitrogen. Its tough enough getting them to pay a few cents more for Scotts fert which is has only about half of the nitrogen coated for slow-release. When I worked there in 1982 we were a mostly urea and muriate of potash company.
    If customers wanted slow release...they would ask for it. And not mind paying more for it at the store.
     
  3. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    I just give each customer a price per season, not per app.
     
  4. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,197

    Around here, you can use a slow release application late spring/early summer so you do not risk burning lawns in the heat of the summer. The other apps are mostly herbicide with fert and micros.
     
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,780

    Whoops! Pardon me. "When I worked there..." I was talking about TruGreen...not Scotts.

    When self-employed, it was hard to justify paying more for slow release when the customers didn't care. Sometimes they even like that big burst of dark green and rapid growth. Sigh.
     
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    That's a very valid point. I found myself this year telling my clients, "okay...you won't see a green up for 10+ days". The other problem with slow release is if the client bags clippings and some of the fert is pulled up in the catcher then it's wasted vs a product that dissolves quickly.
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  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    This issue of the number applications either fast or slow could get murky. I think I have way to make it less baffling for the client.

    Last year I was going to push edging only accounts either weekly or bi-weekly here in land of scalped, tapered to zero with a sliver of turf hanging on for dear life hanging over the edge of sidewalk or driveway....with a touch of surface moss.

    I'm known for my vertical crisp edges in the area so why not sell a application plus edging package. I'd be on the property weekly or bi weekly for edging anyhow and I make adjustments to fert input as I see fit and also keep up on spot spraying. The trick is to time spot spraying 2 days before client mows. Was also going to offer mower blade sharpening so I the client has to do is mow.

    I honestly don't want my company application tag on a lawn with horrid edges anyhow.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    **edited version of the above post** :hammerhead:

    This issue of the number applications either fast or slow could get murky for the client to understand. I think I have a way of making making it less baffling for the client.

    Last year I was going to push edging only accounts either weekly or bi-weekly here in land of scalped, tapered to zero with a sliver of turf hanging on for dear life hanging over the edge of sidewalk or driveway....with a touch of surface moss. Very few can edge here to save their lives and it’s one of my pet peeves along with scalp mowing with a dull blade.

    I'm known for my vertical crisp edges in the area so why not sell an application plus edging package. I'd be on the property weekly or bi weekly for edging anyhow and I can make adjustments to fert input as I see fit and also keep up on spot spraying. The trick is to time spot spraying 2 days before client mows. Was also going to offer mower blade sharpening so all the client has to do is mow.

    I honestly don't want my company application tag on a lawn with horrid edges anyhow.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    A full pound of N/k, with 46% slow-release means almost a 1/2 pound of N/k of quick release... If there was the correct Fall application the previous season, then .5 lbsof N/k will be plenty to give it a boost after all the Spring rains are completed...
     

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