Is it possible to only do dry fert?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Djk83, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Djk83

    Djk83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I'm wrapping up my second full season. Thinking about doing my own thing. Would it be possible and effective to use dry fert only and backpack the weeds?
     
  2. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    Nothing wrong with granular fert. That's all I use. Backpack is good for spot treatment so if that's all you need you will be fine. However may times a lawn will need a blanket application and that's not something you are going to do with a backpack unless you maybe get a motorized one and the lawn is within it's limits.
     
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,080

    Lots of people started out that way. But the equipment is not suitable for big jobs--and your customers know this. They will think you are unprofessional. So...be ready to counteract this opinion. You are competing with TruGreen and many other companies with snazzy equipment and clean white trucks.
    You need highly competent, friendly personal service, more friendly and more personal than any competing company.
     
  4. Djk83

    Djk83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    Cl&t how do you apply your blanket coverage or treat areas with weeds?
     
  5. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,150

    There are still a few companies in my area that are living in the stone age.. What I mean by that is they are still pushing spreaders on big acreage properties. These guy's do one blanket broadleaf app. in the spring and nothing after that. They dont even hand-can on any other rounds. I've picked up a few of their customers. I decided to go with the ride-on way and could'nt be happier. I do a spring and fall spray blanket app. on almost all of my properties. Then on the rounds that I don't blanket I can do spot apps. The fall blanket app. keeps me from running around in the spring taking care of weed complaints.

    In your case you can get started with a push spreader and a back pack. You can set up a backpack to cover allot of ground. 32k is possible at a pint per k with a 4 gallon sprayer. I personally don't feel comfortable at that rate. I did'nt like my results with my PermaGreen Magnum at a quart per k. I made a spray boom and added a pressure regulator and apply at 1/3 gal. per k. I get real good control at that higher rate. I'd recommend setting up your backpack for a 1/3 gal. rate. A 4 gallon backpack would be able to cover a 1/4 acre at that rate and you won't be constantly re-filling.
     
  6. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    Actually around here TruBrown does mostly granular apps. It looks like they have been getting away from liquid for awhile now, maybe because of problems with leftover mix and rinsate or some other environmental reason.

    With a skid sprayer.
     
  7. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 793

    I've been using dry fert and a backpack sprayer for 6 years. You need to know your limitations. I don't do jobs over 12,000 sf, nor do I take lawns that are totally full of weeds. In my area there are thousands of potential customers and I know my niche. I find the smaller sized lawns are much more profitable (especially 5,000 sf). On a long day I need to refill my 4 gallon backpack sprayer once. Key is to use quality fertilizers that keep the lawns thick and lush. I also tell my customers to mow at 3". Since I only use 2 gallons of herbicide concentrate per year, I spend the extra money and use T-Zone. Works very well for me. I also aerate every lawn in the fall and tell my customers adding seed will help their lawns look even better next year.
     
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    For blanket applications I was thinking about getting a tank sprayer that fits in a brodcast spreader with a boom attachment like the one gregson clark sells
     
  9. BikePilot

    BikePilot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    I have the unit you are talking about that I am using for select properties and apps. It works good and you can find one used in good shape for a lot less than gregson clark wants. I have only experienced one problem with this unit in the 80lb lesco spreader. If the tank has more than 5 gallons of water/chemical mixture then it can be very hard to maneuver on thick lawns or rough areas. Sometimes when you walk across a lawn you don't really notice every lump or divot, but when pushing this thing you will feel them all. If you have more than about 5 gallons this setup can be very top heavy and take some effort to keep from tipping and the pause in walking will cause you to apply to much chemical to the area you got off balance in.

    I have never used a ride on and thought buying a good used lesco ride on spreader and mounting this tank/boom to give me a ride on setup. It would have lower initial cost for me compared to the actual ride on units that spread and spray.
     
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    In the long run you will save money with a skid. Your clients will be happier because you will do a better job. I will still spot spray with a BP
     

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