1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Fertilizer Pricing

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by cvlm, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. cvlm

    cvlm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I Am Offering Fertilizer Application As An Adder This Year Could You Vets Give Me Some Ideas On How I Should Do My Pricing 95% Of My Accounts Are Small To Med Residential Newer Homes With Tall Fescue Thanks For Any Help You Can Give My. P.s. Yes I Do Have My Lic Thanks
  2. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    I price it by the 1000 sq. ft. Find out what your cost per 1000 is for the product, add in your mark-up and labor factor. Then all you need to do is multiply to sq. footage of lawn by your price per 1000 sq. ft. Establish a minimum, say 15, 20, 25 bucks, whatever works for you and go from there.

    For Example:

    If a 50 lb bag of fert will cover 10,000 sq ft you know that you need 5 lbs of fert per 1000 sq ft of turf. The bag cost $15 so divide that by 50 and come up with 30 cents/lb. 30 cents x 5 lbs product = $1.50 per 1000 sq. ft., your cost. 10,000 sq ft of turf will require 50 lbs product at a cost of $15.00.

    Now, say you figure it takes 15 minutes to fert 10,000 sq ft. and your labor rate is $40.00/hr so your labor portion is $10.00. You already know that your product cost is $15.00, add your labor and you're at a charge of $25 for 10,000 sq ft of turf, or $2.50/1000, without mark-up. Say you want to mark-up your product cost by 50 cents so you charge $3.00/1000 (or 30 bucks for the same 10,000 sq ft)with a $15 dollar minimum. Then all you have to do for all jobs is take the sq footage of lawn and multiply it by your charge per 1000. For example, a 6800 sq. ft lawn would be $20.40 per app. (6.8 x $3.00 = $20.40)
  3. shea

    shea LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    On the other side of the world in Tennessee,the industry norm is $150 per acre. After one acre, the price may decrease per added acre to approx. $110 per acre. Start your minimum price around $35...up to 3200 sq. ft.. Of course these prices probably vary across the country.
  4. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    Which comes out to be $3.44/1000 which is in the ballpark I was talking about. The per acre price works great if you do a lot of large lawns, many of us don't so it's easier to formulate your price per 1000 rather than per acre.
  5. shea

    shea LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    WoW!! That's really low. I'm on the other side of the world in Tennessee the industry standard around our area is $150 per acre. Usually everyone has a min. of $35 say up to 3500-4000 sq. ft.
  6. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    Lets do some math here:

    43,560 sq ft in an acre

    $150 divided by 43.560 = $3.44/1000 sq. ft.

    As I said, you can set your minimum at whatever you want but you still need to have a price per 1000 if you want to be able to easily plug in numbers when estimating.

    If you work in a high density area, it doesn't matter what the per acre price is if none of your lawns are over 5000 sq ft.
  7. shea

    shea LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    dkeisala..you make perfect sense. I won't argue about the formula at all. I was just blown away by the minimum you suggested. Sorry for the double post. Reaction to the min.. I guess.
  8. grnbld

    grnbld LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26


    How can you do a 6800 Sq Ft for $ 20.40? If you know your price for fert is $10.20 and labor is $10 that is $20.20 right there your barely breaking even. I know you said that the $10 was for a 10k lawn but time wise were not talking much difference bewteen the two. I beleive your missing some of the labor charge. You cant just charge for time on the job site. There was other time spent on that job. Drive time, loading fert into the truck, and paper work. This doesn't include gas, insurance, adverstising, office supply, maintenance, office workers, phone bill, licenseing fees, this list goes on and on. I believe that is a low price. How can you afford to pay for your expenses at that price?. If theres away please teach me.

    If you are bidding this as a one man crew you never be able to reinvest into your own company at that rate. I see alot of people bidding prices that blow me away. How can you make things work in 3 - 5 years in you have no money to pay for new equipment, repairs, ect.
  9. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    First of all - you can fertilize 6800 sq. ft. in 10 minutes so the labor isn't $10.00. Second, I'm not looking at making some kind of huge profit margin on fertilizer as I don't believe in making money by rapping people. Fertilization isn't my bread and butter, it's just a small part of my overall business and it's built into my annual maintenance contracts. I'd rather charge more for my actual maintenance services as these are what we are performing most throught the year. When we fertilize, it's typically in conjunction with the performance of our maintenace services so we're already there anyhow, it's not like we've made a special trip.

    I'm perfectly aware of what my costs are and I've been doing this for 10 years. I'm not giving anything away or losing any money. Maybe I could charge more but if the job came down to you or me, I'd get it on price because obviously I'm in a position to do it cheaper.
    MoWinmoneyy likes this.
  10. SpreadNSpray

    SpreadNSpray LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 363

    Didn't you say you were going to have a minimum of $35.00? So 6800sf would be $35.00 not $20.40.
    In my area 6800sf would go for around $47.00+
    Don't sell your self short unless your a millionaire from lawn care. I don't think you would be "rapping" anyone for charging the going rate.

Share This Page