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Fertilizer and weed control

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by vallz, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. vallz

    vallz LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 44

    Hey Everyone, I'm starting to get things organized for the 2014 season and one thing I didn't provide last year to my clients was fertilization and weed control. This'll be my 3rd year in the business and I didn't want to mess with that aspect of the business at first, but now i realized how much money I could've made. This year I decided to provide this service to all my clients (35 residential) and have been working with the local john deere landscape about getting an idea of what and when to use certain stuff.

    So I wanted to see if you guys had any advice or tips on some questions I have (I've talked with the guys at john deere about some of these but I want to see what everyone else is doing and whats working vs whats not)

    - What's an ideal fertilizer program / schedule
    - best weed control option (backpack sprayer??)
    - do you have to be licensed for any part of this
    - any applying method advise

    I appreciate the input!
  2. mudball1224

    mudball1224 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    You will definitely need an applicator license. I dont know how your state is but here in PA you also need a business license.
  3. Chamber143

    Chamber143 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    Definitely get license. I am sure it is illegal in your area as it is in ours. You are doing the right thing though asking questions of your local providers. They can help you understand your area better than I can because of I am in another part of the country. Good luck though
  4. vallz

    vallz LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 44

    Is it just a general license? or are there different levels / types of licenses? All I will really be doing is a 7 application program with pellet fertilizer and spot weed spraying. I won't be doing any mixing or major applications of any sort... just the basics that'll keep the lawn green and the weeds gone.
  5. Chamber143

    Chamber143 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    Not sure how it is where you are but here in nc you have you nc pesticides license which covers you you fertilizer, weed control, fungicides, pesticides, others...as far as it goes though you need to research it further. Do not go out there and try to apply these without proper licensing. This is not only illegal but can be very costly if caught. Not to mention that others in you area who are doing it right will turn your ass in if they find out. CYA,CYA,CYA. This industry has a lot of requirements but it pays off to do it the right way.
  6. twomancrew

    twomancrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 940

    There are a ton of different licenses for pesticides. You will need to pass a core test and then a test specific to what you will be doing. All of this will be through the state extension office. My license is 3ot. Your's might be different on what you do. I can fert lawns and turf, I can remove pests from landscaping and I can do trees as well.

    Iowa has new laws about Atrazine and my old core book had nothing in it and I failed the test here recently. The new core bbok was $25 and the ornamental, turf, and greenhouse pest book was $13. My old books were from 20 years ago and were no longer valid. They were given to me.

    You will not pass in IA without buyingf the books and studying. Maye the OT test but not the core test. Every licensed appllicator in IA has passed the same Core test. You cannot spray without having the license in your hand. You literally have to hold it up in the air as you spray:rolleyes:
  7. vallz

    vallz LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 44

    I appreciate all the feed back! I hope to still provide this service to my clients this upcoming season, but is getting licensed a long process? its midway through February and the season really doesn't start tell late march so would i be able to obtain one in that time frame? Also, what are some general requirements for getting a license.. i know it will vary from state to state a little, but just the general stuff.
  8. aaronmg

    aaronmg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 357

    I think if I were in your shoes... Subcontract it out and add 10% to your customers. I'm starting my own business this year and I'm finding that to start the weed and feed portion will probably end up costing me around 50k or so....
  9. vallz

    vallz LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 44

    Just wondering, but did you come up with 50K? I'm just going for the most basic and simplest license out there. I only plan on providing a 7 fertilizer program and then just spot spraying weeds.
  10. aaronmg

    aaronmg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 357

    I'm not gonna do the math for you but for my setup for around 150-200k in sales this is my setup.

    30k for truck
    8.6k for for spreader/sprayer (Ground Logic xc)
    550 for push spreader (80# Spyker)
    750 Uniforms
    4250 200 gal. Space saver ( Gregson-Clark)
    150 Yard Signs (1000ct with stakes)
    130 Stihl Back Pack Sprayer
    90 Solo Backpack Sprayer
    700 in License fees and recertification fees

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