Lesco Fertilizer Question?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Husky05, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    I have about 40 Residential accounts and 4 commerical accounts that I do fertilizing for. I live in Pittsburgh and buy all my fertilizer from a Lesco dealer. The program I use is as follows:

    Spring 19-0-6 Dimension (Fertilizer + Crabgrass Control)
    Late Spring 21-0-12 Momentum (Weed and Feed)
    Late Spring Grub Control
    Fall 21-0-12 Momentum (Weed and Feed)
    Late Fall 21-3-21 Winterizer
    Late Fall LIME

    Going in order from top to bottom the prices I get for this per bag is $18.48, $30.01, $52.45, $28.28, $19.63 each bag is 12,000 ft2 except for the grub control and the winterizer.

    My question is, is there anywhere else I can buy Lesco Fertilizer cheaper. I have been adding my reciepts up for this past season for my taxes and I personally think (I could be wrong) that this fertilzer is expensive. The reason I say this is because the other day I was at Home Depot and I walked out into thier garden section and I noticed that they sell Lesco Fertilzier but as I looked at it closer it was completely different. It was fertilizer that was made for the Midwest states/part of the country. Why they are selling those products in the Northeast is beyond me.

    Also, part of this posts question is, I have been doing these estimates all week. My typical residential account is 10,000 square feet and I would get 46.16 per application ( six total) or $277.00 for the year. This is $127.00 in material and $150.00 in labor. A few of my customers got quotes from companies like tru-green, or davey's they are anywhere from 6-8 dollars less. Now I know they are buying a much larger volume then me but there has to be somewhere cheaper I can get this or use a different brand that is just as affective. BTW, I use a Rotary spreader and all my fertilizer is granular.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly apperciated.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  2. indyturf

    indyturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,873

    I would check around and find 2 or 3 other fertilizer suppliers in your area.you can probablly find it cheaper. I paid $13.75 for my rd 1 19-0-6 w/dem. but I buy 500 bags
     
  3. indyturf

    indyturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,873

    you could also save some $ by using liquid weed control, permagreen makes a battery operated sprayer you can mount to your spreader that does a good job. plus you will save a ton of $ on herbicide by just spot-spraying the weeds and not the whole lawn.
     
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Puting all that pesticide down makes no sense. First, do away with the dry granular herbicide. And DEFINITELY nix the grub control unless there is a problem that you are completely aware and sure of. Ax far as the lime in the fall, that makes no sense either. What is that for???
     
  5. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    Liming is an important part of a turf management program in the humid, eastern United States. Rainfall exceeds 30 inches per year, leaching basic or alkaline-forming ions, such as calcium and magnesium, from the soil and resulting in an acid soil condition which restricts growth of turf. The lime breaks down the acidity.
     
  6. GrazerZ

    GrazerZ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 670

    You could save yourself some good money on materials if you switch the 2nd round fert/granular weed control to a straight fert and liquid app of herbicide. Even if you do a second app of 19-0-6 with dem it would save you a ton of money. also you will get better weed control.Also drop the granular weed control in fall. Liquid herbicide is far ceaper than granular products, even at you pricing with Lesco. I would also look at the grub control as well. Consider if its really needed or not, and use it as a selling point -"we don't apply unless its necessary" for example.
    As mentioned, the biggest way you will control your costs is to go to liquid herb applications. You already have 4 apps of fert. But if you are pricing each round per item you currently have what is considered a 9 step program. I'm going to go out on a limb here and quess that the Lesco salesmen put this program together for you. If thats the case you are buying way to much product for what you are charging. Your prices for these product is low also. I f you are only 5 or 6 dollars off of tru-green thenm your prices probably are too low. Think about Establishing a minimum charge also of about 50 -55 dollars on a 10,000. Sell the customer on quality not $$ your lawns will speak for themselves.
     
  7. turfmann

    turfmann LawnSite Platinum Member
    from PRM
    Posts: 4,536

    Leave the guy alone - he didn't ask for your opinion of his program, he asked if someone knew where he could buy fertilizer cheaper.

    And since you didn't ask me for my opinion of your opinion, I'll give it to you anyway- I love competitors like you! Grub breakthroughs, moss covered lawns and lots of service calls from angry people that hired you to do what they could do themselves if they had the time! Gee, I seem to remember when I had 40 customers I had a Lesco spreader and a backpack sprayer. I did a good job for my customers so when I got bigger, I got a sprayer so I didn't have to do granular weed control. Little bigger and I could buy a ride on spreader.

    Give the guy some positive reinforcement. If he wants to be slammed he can go ask his wife for some criticism.

    As far as fertilizer pricing, project how much fertilizer you will be buying for the entire season and use that quantity to your advantage. Ask the salesman to price his products based upon the total you will be buying for the season, not for the day. If you can, buy in quantity and in advance. Direct ship if you have the ability to handle a pallet or two at your office.
     
  8. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    Turfman,

    Buying in bulk is an excellent idea. I just go to the lesco dealer 5 times a year and each time buy the next step of fertilizer. Maybe if I buy all 5 applications at once it will be cheaper. Plus I will definitely look into selling the grub control application instead of providing it.
     
  9. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,370


    Uh, Runner was giving very constructive advice. From what I can see of his posts he has a strong knowledge of turf care practices and his advice should be valued.
    Positive reinforcement? How about constructive criticism instead? You want positive reinforcement go to your mom's house for dinner.
     
  10. The Ranger

    The Ranger LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 208

    Husky05.
    Look at upping the amount of N in your product choice. We use a 32% N product that we buy for less money than our 24% N product. Straight fert, no FE, CA, or MG. Also read an old post of mine labeled "Know your N cost"
     

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