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new lawns/mid season

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Turfdoctor1, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    When you guys pick up new lawns mid season that are full of weeds do you charge separately for the first fertilizer application and the first weed control application?

    This time of the year, my customers have practically no weeds, with the exception of a little nutsedge. So, my summer applications are just spreading the fert., and spot spraying a few weeds. I don't think it is fair that a new customer should get all their weeds taken care of, only paying for one application but skipping the first 2 or 3 of the season.
  2. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    i typically will include most any broadleaf weeds no xtra charge,
    but make it clear and provide an add't charge for any needed
    grassy weed/nutsedge control
  3. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 664

    i give them a per application price that is the same the rest of the year. hit them good that first time and you will keep that customer for a long time. might not make too much on the first app, but lifetime you will. raising or lowering a price throughout the year is a little bush league if you ask me. give them a per app price, stick to it in 08', then raise it next year.
  4. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    i agree guys. i would never raise prices mid year either. And, i agree with taking care of broadleaf weeds. I just don't like having to spray for crabgrass when the first two steps of the year are predominantly to prevent it. customer signs on late and wants me to take care of it, and it is going to take a broadcast application, i think they should be separate for the spray and the fertilizer. Of course, i chicken out and just do it to make sure I get the business.
  5. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    I keep pricing steady, but educate late comers that they missed out on the pre-emergent. I basically tell 'em "we'll do pretty good this year. Next year will be fantastic." Considering that weed killer is cheap, while pre-em isn't, it doesn't bother me when I get late-comers...
  6. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    I agree with keeping the price the same but I DO charge extra for weedy grasses such as crabgrass. I do include "Drive" spot spray for any customer that I treat with 2 pre-emergents if they have any break-throughs. Otherwise it's an extra application charge.
  7. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    thanks mn, this is what i'm getting at. i agree with that philosophy.
  8. yardprospraying

    yardprospraying LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152


    We do a 5 step program, and have been having a lot of new customers sign up late that have major weed issues. In the past we would just spray and spread, and then fit them into what ever round we were currently servicing. This year I decided to change that. I wasn't going to continue to treat these type of lawns if they signed up late and take the chance of losing money. I basically tell them that if they want proper weed control, then they must begin with our full program in the spring (which takes care of most problematic weeds anyway). If they really want us to service their lawn late in the season, I will charge them 1.5 X the normal app price on their first app only. After that we treat at the normal price. For example: If we normally charge a customer $250.00 a year for a 5 step program, they are getting billed $50.00 per app. If I pick up customer late in the season, say while we are doing round 3, I will charge them 1.5 x $50.00 which would be $75.00. Application 4 & 5 are then charged at the normal price, which would be $50.00. I also make them sign a contract, making them aware that since they started late in the season there will be no free service calls.

    So far this has worked well for us this year. Most of our accounts are from refferals, so they have seen our work. I have had a few customers that we have treated for several years, not send back the service agreement this spring because they said they had a weed free beautiful lawn. Now they are wishing they re-signed since the pre-emergent is long gone!!!!

    We are at the point in the season that we can pick & choose who we want to service. We have had approx 50 estimate calls in May, and decided to only take on about 10 of them. If the customer calls and complains about 1 or 2 weeds, I usually just cancel them right on the spot, and give them TG's phone#. If they don't listen to our instructions about proper watering and mowing techniques, we don't want them as a customer anyway. Those are the customers that gives your business a bad image.

  9. group501

    group501 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 173

    We do a split application of crabgrass preventative and are about 80% done with round 2. Any customers that sign up now will receive only a single crabgrass app but at the higher rate. We sell our service as round 1 and round 2 being completed and billed same day due to higher rate of product being applied. We also will include supplemental post emergent for any lawns that are signed up for about the next week. After round 2 is completed then we will charge the cost of a regular service to include post emergent crabgrass spraying as part of the program. We will still make a heavy rate dimension application with the first service until the beginning of July

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