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Pricing on fertilizer?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Grahamslawncare, May 31, 2014.

  1. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,476

    Thank you, sir.

    The point is that there's a lot more to lawncare than throwing down some fert from Home Depot, and you're not going to learn everything you need to know from a thread on lawnsite. If you want to get into fertilizing that's great, but you should have at least a basic knowledge about the service you are offering.
  2. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    I know as much as the normal home owner on brain surgery but you won't see me out offering craniotomys. :hammerhead:

    Don't be a bonehead. Nobody on this forum has ever seen the lawn/yard in question. Nobody on this forum knows what your expenses are. Yet you want us to tell you what to charge??? If you can't figure out on your own what to charge then you shouldn't even be in business let alone spread fertilizer.

    That's right...I'm one of those guys that shooed you away.
  3. Brodie

    Brodie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    ok so here is what we know about the job
    -products cost is $15 a bag x 2 so $30 in costs s far
    -9000 sqf property im going to say 70% of that is hard surface so lets call it 3000 sqf as an estimate

    now for that size do you need one or two bags depends on your application rate.

    things we dont know:
    -soil type
    -current lawn health
    -soil chemistry
    -rainfall past and predicted

    The second list to me is the more important one in terms or pricing this job than what the supplier is charging for products

    without knowing your site how can it be efficiently managed and ill give you a quick example to demonstrate


    home owner asks for a fertiliser treatment and with out hesitation i say yeah ive got some on the back of the truck ill spread it now that will be $60 takes me 20 minutes all good just made profit today.

    customer rings two weeks later saying the lawn is dying so i go out straight away for a look and can see the grass has completely burnt off.


    because no information was gathered before fertiliser was laid down.

    another contractor is called in to assess the situation because the client is now taking you to court for the damaged lawn. this contractor does a soil test and finds soil toxicity and finds that a low phosphorus fertiliser should have been used as the lawn was not able to take up phosphorus because the ph level was wrong for phosphorus uptake by the plant.

    whats the point of this big long winded post, well its just this. You know very little about the site and the treatment you are about to apply to it. While yes you might get away with spreading a generic all round fertiliser on this property what happens when you get to an estate lawn and do the same thing and ruin it. historically insurance companies wont stand behind you if you are working without qualifications .

    so again i ask you to go an get trained and learn three very simple but important test as well as a host of other information that will help you in this industry.

    think of it this way you just got a few extra products that you can off in the way of soil tests and from that can now build a lawn management plan and potentially sell another few treatments through the year. i can go to a local high school and get anyone to design a pricing formula that I can substitute any product price into but we are professional so our job is more than just providing a price
  4. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    You need to add in the cost of you getting training, certified to legally apply fertilizer and the associated insurance required for applying toxic chemicals to people's lawns. You don't want to get sued because I child got sick or a dog died because you improperly applied chemicals.
  5. Grahamslawncare

    Grahamslawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 143

    To the last 2 guys. She ended up supplying the stuff. It was some store bought crap she's used a million times but was too lazy to do it herself. -.- I thought she wanted me to get supplies and do it, but i was wrong. So it made it 10x times easier. She has no kids or pets, but I didn't even know dry fert. needs license. To the last 2 guys. Thank you. You gave me some advice and things to think about in the near future about actually adding this to my services, but were not ******s about it. I appreciate that.
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    Here's a rule of thumb. Lawn care = 25% material cost. Tree/shrub care = 20% material cost. This is based on ChemLawn & ChemScape budgets from the late 70' thru 80's. I might be all wet here, but hope this gives you an idea.

  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,895

    OP - if you are going to start flinging fert you will want to get licensed and trained to apply pesticides as well.
    When I first started out, I quickly realized doing fert only was going nowhere. Must be able to treat weeds as well.

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