What is the correct ratio? 25-3-10 as an example?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by meets1, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,781

    I have two new guys in business this year. 340k property I got out bid. There ratio was off the board and as we bid were made to give the 25-3-10(example) on the bid sheet per app. Now I have been doing this since 1992 so I have been in the game but suddenly these people are questioning my ability compared to the new guy that got the bid..
  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,899

    I guess I am not following. The property mgr/owner specified what fert you must use? Wow if thats the case probably best you didn't get them.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,233

    Naturally the other salesman told them you were not giving them good fertilizer and suggested that the ratio he used was the best. You could counter with higher ratio, for instance say 28-3-10.
    Better still, counter with a top laboratory soil test that recommended 1 pound of nitrogen with at least 50 percent of nitrogen as slow-release. Explain the main determinant of quality is the percentage of slow release. Soil test would likely recommend no phosphorus. Explain how phosphorus was a water contaminant, and how they could get in trouble if too much phosphorus washed off paved surfaces and got into the water. Not to mention how if any got tracked into the pool or blew in--then they would need expensive pool treatments. There is no way to remove phosphorus except to drain the pool.
    Also tell them you are willing to let them count the number of bags on your truck. In fact you encourage same.

    If you are forced to go cheap--you can have a fert elevator blend some 25-3-10 with zero slow release--very cheap.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I doubt there are many lawns that require anything other than N throughout the growing season, and I agree with Riggle that 50% slow release is probably a good idea...
  5. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    Why is the proportion of slow-release N the main determinant of quality?

    I've had some very high quality fertilizer than had 0% slow release an I've had some very poor quality fertilizer that had 50% slow release.
  6. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    Maybe he was referencing the quality of the results? No slow release,more apps, color fade, cheaper...slow release, less apps, consistent color, more expensive, etc.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    I think I know what he was hinting at, but the post didn't make much sense. I've seen top-notch lawn quality on 100% soluble applications and I've seen poor lawn quality on 50% slow-release apps. The amount of slow-release has NOTHING to do with lawn quality! Slow-release N is all about service intervals -- it is all about the provider, NOT the customer. I don't most customers would care what you used or how often you had to make apps, so long as their grass is green and the weeds are gone.

    A few other points:

    1) Counter with a higher ratio
    The ratio doesn't matter to the customer. You can get the same results with a 17-2-5 as you can get with a 34-4-10. What matters is the amount of nutrient, NOT the analysis on the bag.

    2) Counter with a top laboratory soil test
    The basic state lab test is no different in quality than the private lab test. A customer usually hasn't heard of any testing lab names, but they've all heard of their state's land grant school.

    3) Explain how phosphorus was a water contaminant
    Do we really need to go there? If we tell a customer that something we've used or could use can be a water contaiminant, they're going to wonder what else we're using that may contaminate something. Why not just say that you're going to apply only what the lawn needs? Maybe you can say that you don't want to charge the customer for nutrient that the lawn doesn't need.

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