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Granular or Liquid?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Jbh0724, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. Jbh0724

    Jbh0724 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    I am a new applicator and am doing granular as well as liquid spot spraying with a back pack sprayer. Seasoned pros: what have you found to be the pros and cons of either an all granular or an all liquid program? Or have you had better results with a mix of the two? This year the only liquid will be for post emergence. I'm granular for pre and fert. Primarily based in cost of equipment as I am able to spot spray without purchasing a skid sprayer. However, I am open to all suggestions as using a back pack is extremely time consuming. Especially since many of my customers lawns a covered in weeds.
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  2. LawnsharkMB

    LawnsharkMB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    I don't have a lot of experience but from what I've seen you can't give the best results without being able to blanket spray post emergent herbicides. I did the same thing last year- granular pre and fert with spot spraying. By the time the weeds I could see and spot sprayed died out every thing I couldn't see was becoming visible.

    Tractor supply has a 25 gallon sprayer with a boom that is made to mount on a four wheeler. I'm gonna mount it to the front of my 40" toro grand stand. $400 for the sprayer.
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    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    I spray about 50 acres per round. Liquid Pre-emerge cost $835. Granular $2500. That is for bermuda treated with barricade in Feb and April. Those #'s are approximate (per round), but you get the idea. WG is even cheaper. If you pre is done right, your need for post should be limited and can probably be handled with a back pack. Save your money and start spraying.
  4. Jbh0724

    Jbh0724 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    So is cost the major issue with granular. Are you guys seeing better or worse results when using liquid. I am all for a cost savings, just not at the expense of results. Also, how does the switch affect timing of applications?
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  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,218

    Down south, they do not want fert with their pre-emergent; it would be too early.
    Up north, fert with pre-emergent is the norm for good results, naturally it costs a bit more. Granular fert with slow release is best as it is longer lasting (usually). Do the weed control with a skid sprayer. Backpack is time-consuming and the weed control is not fully satisfactory. The best quality firm uses granular fert supplemented with blaket spray of weeds at least in early summer and fall. Back pack as needed during other rounds. You may have to use a non-2,4-D product to avoid going over the yearly limit. Perhaps use Horsepower for back pack sprays (non-2,4-D).
  6. Jbh0724

    Jbh0724 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    So pre and post emergent is best to be blanket sprayed with a skid and slow release granular fert is preferred?
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  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Granular slow-release with fertilizer... yes...

    I tend to think that liquid fertilizer would tend to grow more thatch,,, in that it MAY be more likely to encourage roots to go above the surface of the soil for food and water... obviously granular has to DISSOLVE to be use and it dissolves at the surface, so the same problem may exist ,,, either way...

    Still need a rational solution to that issue... I know that earthworms and some bugs help in that fashion and of course soil structure plays an important role,,, but it is very possible that not enough N is getting into the rootzone quickly enough to encourage ALL root to grow downward...

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