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Fert apps

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by guntruck, May 9, 2001.

  1. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 527

    I know everyones cost here is different, but in general what is maybe a good way to charge for just going out and putting down a weed and feed? At 25.00 a bag maybe double it 50.00 and charge an hour labor 40.00 and drop in overhead for the hour and half including travel 10.00 and maybe charge the customer 100.00 for 26,000 m/sf? This may be way off any thoughts?
  2. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Posts: 3,256

    I don't do any applications because I don't have an applicators license (wish I did, my lawns need something!), so take this for what's it's worth (not much!).
    Also I just do maintenance right now, so no materials involved in my biz, but my father-in-law is a mason and he charges 3X materials. From what I understand, this seems to be rather common.
    If this were the case, then with a $25 bag of weed-n-feed, you'd go for $75.
    I'd be interested to hear if this is about right. Guys??
  3. jnjnlc

    jnjnlc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 231

    This is an excellent question gun. I am interested in the answers as well. I was thinking today how to quote the very same thing. The cost of fertilizer varies so much with type and brand it is tough to quote this.

    I quoted a lawn earlier this year. The lawn was about 1/3 of an acre. I don't exactly remember how much I quoted for six visits with five fertilize applications throughout the year. This included weed control on the lawn and natural areas. I did not get the bid because Chem-lawn was lower. I was at this property recently and she had weeds every where. Not so sure she got the best deal.

    I try to figure the cost of the fertilizer plus an hourly rate. A minumum of one hour.

    Good luck. I hope someone else chimes in on this one.
  4. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 490

    1. Standard Pesticide Disclaimer applies.
    2. What weed and feed product costs $25/bag and covers 25,000 sf?
    3. Pricing 3X material costs is not the correct way to price your services. If you are spreading a $50 bag of insecticide, the charge would be $150.00. Now, what if you are spreading a bag of straight fert that costs $12? The price would then be $36. The thing is, it takes you the same amount of time to spread either product. On the first, you priced yourself out of the game, and on the second, you gave it away.
    4. The way I have set up my fertilizer pricing is as follows.

    A. Make a plan of materials that you will use, or think that you will use over the course of one season.
    B. Figure the cost per 1000 sf for each product.
    C. Average the costs for the materials.
    D. Add markup to material costs to cover your expenses for purchsing and transporting them.
    E. Measure the area to be treated.
    F. Mutiply the area by the material costs, plus the markup.
    G. Add on your labor charge for spreading. You will need to figure what it costs YOU to run YOUR business, and come up with an hourly rate.
    H. I will generally allot .5 hours for spreading a residential lawn under 15KSF.

    I would hope that you could do much better than 1.5 hours to treat 25,000 sf. It should be less than an hour.
  5. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    I also want to know where to get a bag of Weed and Feed that covers 26k ft. You do realize that you must have a commercial applicators license to apply any pesticides? We have people here that would turn you in at the drop of a hat.
  6. guntruck

    guntruck LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 527

    OK my mistake, i'll need to doulble those prices for 2 bags, i would assume that you would realize this KD when you read it but i guess some arent so quick. As far as jumping to the lisencing part for fertilization here there is none required. I have asked "the man" from the dpt of agriculture if i could apply weed and feed and i have his "ok" confirmation report in writing therefore i see no problem with putting it down. As far as people turning people in, i do nothing illegal and i mind my own business, i come here to learn and try to help a little, i think some others here should do the same.
  7. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Say what you mean, and mean what you say then!!!!!
    I was only trying to keep you out of trouble with fines if you were turned in. I thought that a applicators license was required anywhere pesticides were put down for money. I wasn't assuming that you do anything illegal, some people just do not know the laws and regulations. So, it is easier to let them know now instead waiting until they pay fines. If you start a thread on this site, its everyone's business.
  8. Bret Austin

    Bret Austin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    $7.50 per 1000sqft
    that's my normal charge for fertilizer applications
    this price range is competitive around here
    i would try to determine what the market will bear, by whatever means possible. then find materials that fit that budget. i'm not saying buy inferior products, but if you're buying prebagged weed n feed at a hardware store, you're not getting the best value.
    try your local elevator or farm store.
    i buy all my nitrogen, etc in bulk. i take two or three 55 gallon drums to the elevator and they fill them with whatever i want.
    last year i was buying bagged product and this year i reduced my costs by 30%. :)

    in the fertilizing business, it's volume volume volume.
    one account is not going to pay the bills.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    You may or may not realize this, but you really
    do not want to spread weed/feed for a customer and
    risk a $2500.00 fine-do you? We have the ODA
    (dept. of agriculture)here that spends all day going
    around looking for applicators. They will follow you
    for a while, then stop you for an inspection. The 1st
    thing they want to see is your pest licence.If you
    do not have one you are in serios trouble! I swear it.
    I have been stopped before. They use unmarked trucks.
    I call them the LAWN COPS.
    I will say that you are allowed to fertilize lawns
    without a licence, but no weed control.The odds may be
    low, but is it really worth it???
  10. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Matthew, we've already covered that base. Go back and read KD's and guntruck's exchange.

    KD, it varies from state to state. I'm on the GA, SC border. SC says, whatever, go ahead. GA will nail you.

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