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Do most of you guys also do shrubs?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by GreenHor7, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 724

    Mostly trees and shrubs, only on here to learn more about turf issues.

    Everything I charge is by hours regardless. If it's a set price, it's based on how many how hours it will take to complete. If I were to give a price per shrub it's just the price of the job divided by the number of shrubs.
     
  2. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    OK.... I've always thought of my self as a pretty good shrub guy. I pay attention to pH, and make some adjustments, say some aluminum nitrate for hyrandrangas, some ammoinuim nitrate for rhodies and azeallias, that sort of thing. That was all I ever did, and it seemed to work well. I'd even throw down some Holly Tone every other year. The most important thing with ornamental shrubs is scouting and diagnosing problems like scale and birch leaf miner early.

    Now, I have one new customer. The guy has to have spent $15to 20k on his shrubs, along with a weeping birch here or there. Expensive specimens.

    He wants deep root feedings. First off, I think it's completely unecessary. But, this is what he wants. If I tell him he doesn't need it, he'll cancel. So, now I guess I have to do deep root feedings.

    What injection system would you recommend? How often, and when should these feedings be done? Disease and infestation treatments are one thing.... that I know how to handle. I'm just scratching my head over this deep root feeding thing. I don't even have a clue how to price it. If the guy insists, which he does, fine. But what the heck, I have no clue what injection hardware to get, or how to charge for it. Any advice most welcome.
     
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    I charge by my time, $40 per hour. However, by the time someone calls me it is because their entire property needs my type of personalized attention. As an example, a property with 2M of lawn, 1M of shrubs and ground cover is $185 per month. That price includes fertilization, weed control, insect and disease control as well as pruning of the shrubs. BTW, the shrubs are all Bonsai evergreens, so no hedge trimmers.
     
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    Because I am usually doing highly customized applications in small areas, my equipment is scaled down accordingly. I do root feedings on shrubs and trees that are not responding to liquid drenches on the surface. I use a 12" X 1/4 stainless steel needle, made from thick wall 304 SS tubing. Deep root feeding is a misnomer. The roots that will uptake materials are in the first 6-8" of soil. So I inject there. I use low volume injections applying 1 lb of N P and K + micronutrients per M. If you have a substantial area to do, the root feeding needle attachement for the JD-9 gun is good. I price all of my fertilizers and chems based on a 30% margin. So if I use 20 LB solution grade 20-20-20, at $1 per LB, that is $67 for the fertilizer + another $80 for the 2 hours it will take me to do this. I will not bring cheap stuff onto my client's property and I will not work at cost. If that were my plan, might as well work for a "landscaper".
     
  5. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 724

    I have a set-up similar to gd's. I have a hydraulic sprayer that I use for larger jobs but I keep an electric backpack sprayer with my regular maintenance equipment set up to do injections (Merit). I use a "Robco" spray gun, they sell them at 'Oldham Chemicals' there's a local branch but they're based in Memphis. They sell an adapter an small diameter SS tube and 4-hole tip for doing ant treatments or something. I was on a super-tight budget when I rigged this up so instead of buying the SS rod I used a 1/8" galv pipe nipple, cut it to the length I wanted and tapped the threads in the end for the tip. With a 60" nipple I made one long one so I don't have to stoop over and short one (but I rarely use it).

    For the ferts I use "Growth Products" liquid materials and mix the components together however I need. It's a little slow to do it that way but you can look at it as an easy way to custom blend. I usually just use Nitro-30 + Micros, there's usually plenty of P & K in the soil.
     
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    Nice set up, PHS. Most of my equipment is custom made. My SS needle is custom made. It has a flange on the other end, so it will go under the Teejet 13/16" nozzle cap. I ise a MeterJet gun coupled to my B & G hand can for Merit and a 4' SS wand attached to my Maruyama MS074 if I am running liquid fertilizers. Here, the soils tend to have lots of P, but low K, Mg, and micronutrients because of all the granular 10-30-10 and 16-16-16 the "landscapers" use. So I inject potassium nitrate, magnesium sulfate and Feature, a soluble Fe and Mn formula. The 20-20-20 is the first application if the landscape has never seen fertilizer in its life.
     
  7. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    Our standard program for T/S is 5 gal of 18-3-6 Green Flow SRN with Micros and 2.5 gal of 12-0-0 Feromec to 200 gal of water applied at 2g/M spring and fall for new plantings or plantings expressing stress from environmental conditions. We are injecting at 80 psi 4-6" deep. Having said that there are a BUNCH of guys around here broadcasting Lescos 14-14-14 Ornamental into landscape beds and side dressing trees.
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    Don't you just hate that? So-called pros doing what a DIYer can do. In addition, some nutrients such as P are useless unless applied to the root zone of a tree or shrub. I remember from my soil science classes that P does not leach down 4-6 inches. Excess P simply runs off and the consequence of that happening is non-horticulturists dictating what you, the professional may or may not do. There is a lot of P pollution of the coastal waters here caused by EVERYONE broadcasting ag grade 16-16-16 on everything. I know homeowner like my father who does things like that. I know golf superintendents who do that.
     
  9. boats47

    boats47 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 240

    I have to agree with Doc, there are alot of guys out there that don't understand the biological chemistry and don't think about the right way to get the job done. There is alot of waste and pollution for this simple fact, to bad. Someday......
     
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,802

    In my location it is because applications have to be cheap, fast and dumbed down. I do not know of many certified applicators who actually step outside of their office or A/C'd truck and hold a spray gun. They send out an $8 worker(Philipino immigrant) who does not read or speak English. Everything is done in an amateur way. Fertillze? You will see one or several of these workers either throwing granules by hand or cranking a spreader purchased from Home Cheapo. I am probably the only LCO in the state that does liquids. I also do not apply anything not needed. My turf fertilizer is usually 50lb 46-0-0, 10-25 lb 13-0-45 and soluble micronutrients for an acre. I do this monthly, because I am on a client's property monthly. I can see weeds, insects or disease long before the client calls me to say the lawn or plants are dying or there's weeds.

    Would some of you please move to Hawaii and show some of these turkeys how things should be done? I also hate seeing granules on low cut bermuda and zoysia. The granules sit on the leaves and stolons burning the grass, then the front-throw reel mower picks ip the granules.
     

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