Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by millenium_123, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. millenium_123

    millenium_123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    I dont do much fertilizing but I do have a few customers who want me to do that pretty regularly. What am I supposed to charge for doing that, just the old fashioned way with a spreader. Thanks!
  2. fordnut

    fordnut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    I would say first you need to get soil samples and send them off.It will tell you what you need to put down.I charge $45 per hr. plus material.
  3. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    I can't tell you what to charge, because I don't know your costs, what your market will bear, or any of the other things that a business SHOULD USE to determine their rates. There's no way I can guide you on that, because I don't have nearly enough information on your situation to help you determine what rates you should charge.

    Please be cautious about getting into the application business friend. From the way you asked the question, I got the impression you don't know much about doing lawn apps and are probably not licensed to do it either. If you don't know how to properly select fertilizer blends, or how to apply them properly, you can cause yourself a lot of expensive problems. For example, if you put down a dino fert on a customer's lawn in the middle of a Summer heat wave, it wouldn't be too hard to cause a lot of expensive damage to the lawn. If you didn't know that conditions were prime for burning the heck out of that lawn, it's also a safe bet that you wouldn't understand what fertilizer would be a good choice for that lawn, under those conditions. You also probably wouldn't know the proper rate to apply the fertilizer you selected. To illustrate my point further, there are blends of fertilizer that will work well on lawns in the middle of Summer if they are applied at half-rate. Apply that same fertilizer at full-rate and you'll burn up the lawn.

    Another consideration you'll need to address is the weed issue. I don't know of any customer I've ever had that would be content if I just fertilized their lawn without controlling the weeds in their lawn as well. A lawn can only look so good if the weeds in it aren't controlled. To control weeds in a customer's lawn, you need an applicator's license.

    I hate to be a naysayer, but if you want to start offering lawn applications as a service, be sure to do a lot of homework before you start doing them. You should also get your license, so that you're legal. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    By the way. There's a lot of good information covering pretty much any topic in regards to lawn apps in this forum. Close to the top of the page, there's a search function you can click on. On the search page, type in any topic you can think of and read away. If there's anything you can't find an answer for, there's always someone that can answer it in the forum here.
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    Good Post Victor!

    We need to copy and paste this exact post and put it up everytime. Very good advice!
  5. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    I also second what Victor said. I might add that if you have the time, I would highly recommend working for a reputable fert and squirt business for a few months... even part time. Doing so would allow you to learn tons and put you light-years ahead of other mowing guys who are throwing some fertilizer on the side.

    Good luck.
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    I hope he realizes that I'm not trying to shoot his idea of offering lawn apps as a service down. I'm just trying to make sure he goes about it in the right way. As those of us that have experience with lawn apps know, there's a lot more to this business than meets the eye.

    An inexperienced applicator can cause themselves a lot of grief.
  7. Jerry Andersen

    Jerry Andersen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    victor check your aol email i sent you something
  8. millenium_123

    millenium_123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Thanks for the input. I totally agree with what you are saying. I left out one important point...mainly, the only fertilizing I do is if they already have the fertilizer. I just put it out for them. I don't normally charge very much for doing this since it only takes about 5 minutes and I don't have to go buy the stuff. A few other instances have been where I went to a lawn and garden store and they told me what I needed to buy to put out. Then I would charge the customer what I paid for the fertilizer plus a charge to spread it on the lawn. I have one customer who has a ditch out back and I just spray roundup on that to keep everything down, but again I'm not sure what to charge for it. THanks!!
  9. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    More bad news for you Millenium. I just wanted to make sure you knew that you're breaking the law by spraying that Round Up you mentioned. It's a pesticide. By law, you have to be licensed to use a pesticide. The fertilizers you mentioned using probably contain crabgrass preventers. I'm talking about the fertilizer your customers gave you to put on their lawns in the Spring. Crabgrass preventers are preemergent herbicides. Herbicides are pesticides. That leaves you breaking the law again. It doesn't matter if the customer supplied the fertilizer, or not. You're leaving yourself open for a nasty fine from your Department of Agriculture.

    Just trying to make sure you know what you're risking. These fines can be really expensive and "I didn't know won't get you out of trouble." All it would take, is for one of your competitors to see you and turn you in and you're done.
  10. millenium_123

    millenium_123 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Ok, thanks for the info. How would I go about getting licensed to do this?

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