5 Step Program

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by LDH, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. LDH

    LDH LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,262

    One of the local cops that I mow for drove up and visited with me today while I was spraying an account and told me he had just got on a program with Tru Green. After realizing I have my license now and am spraying he said he's going to call and cancel it today and let me do his program. I told him im still new at everything but would find out what all their program was going to consist of and then I would apply the same things for him. I need help on this one fellas. Can someone school me on a 5 step program? I would like it to all be liquid. Thanks alot. I've been picking up a ton of residentials since I started this. They've saw me spraying Sonic and the parts house, etc. and stopped and got my information and hired me to mow and spray for them. It's really been great. I have to go to Enid this morning to get more chemical ive already treated 5 acres worth in 2 days! I'll check this thread when I get in this evening and hopefully learn about the 5 step program. Once again, thanks.:waving:
  2. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    My 5 step fert program is granular...
    Anderson or Lebanon 20-3-10 with Barricade
    20-8-8 for steps 2,3,4, puttin N down at 1/2 lb/k
    12-25-12 for winterizing

    I also apply liquid boradleaf controls in the spring and fall, and include spot sprating with RoundUp. Fungicides and grub controls only as needed. At least half my accounts have grub problems. Don't forget about ornamental treatments... almost every account I have has some sick shrubs. Most customers go for some shrub ferts too, as well as Aluminum Nitrate for hydrangas.

    I will scout the turf and ornamentals for disease and inscet problems all year long. Customers with Nutsedge usually want it treated. There is so much more profit in apps... good luck.
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    LDH, In no way would I recommend mimicking the "Borg" TGCL, (unless, of course, you wanted to have a nice laser picture of some dogs created on the side of your van !!)
    They're not anything like they used to be 30 years or so ago.
    In fact, they're a much better marketing company than they are a lawn care company now !
    Most of their better people have picked up and gone long ago... to start their own LCO's mostly.

    If you really have to go with liquid fertilizer though, through contractual agreements with "Sonic" or whatever other accounts you may land, you'll have to find an reliable and affordable source for liquid fert !

    I get my liquid fert in bulk, pumped directly into one of my 10,000 gallon poly tanks, from a supplier in north-central Ohio :


    But this specific supplier WOULDN'T work for you, because Morral would charge you WAY too much freight charge to haul it to your region from N. central Ohio.

    I'd start by looking for an "Archer Daniels Midland", or some other ag plant in and around your state.
    Here's ADM's site :


    I'll bet you could arrange to have 275 gallon mini-bulks of slow-rel liquid fert drop-shipped to you, provided you pay them a deposit on the mini-bulk. (usually about $50 per bulk, refundable when they're all returned).
    275 gallon mini-bulks are skid-mounted big plastic bladders, and can be carried around loaded with (heavier) forklifts, etc.

    Assuming you don't have two 10,000 gallon poly storage / mixing tanks like I do...the ag dealers can work with you one of two ways with 275 gallon mini bulks :

    1) If you have adequate barn space, you can "buy" for the whole season; often with delayed terms if your credit record's decent.
    This means you can have them drop-ship all the bulks that you'll forecast that you'll need for the season at ONE time; saving you a bunch of freight $$$ !!!

    2) Or if you have less space or don't have credit....You can get on their weekly or bi-weekly delivery schedule.
    This is more expensive for you...but yet it is another option.

    If you're small and growing, the 2nd option is better because you don't know what volume you'll be needing as you go.

    And in the long run, you'll pay substantially less per gallon with mini-bulks... (and even less than that later, if you have it delivered "loose" like I do)...and (likely) get better quality product for your $$$ than what you'd get if you were to buy liquid fert in the wallet-busting 5 gallon cases , or even 30 or 55 gallon drums.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,813

    Granular is with slow release nitrogen is better, quicker to apply, and cheaper. But do your weed control with liquid--much more effective.

    Or...you can dissolve your urea and potash in water each day as you need it, (like me).
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Dissolving potash is O.K, but dissolving urea is for farmers in my opinion.

    It is unstable in the environment because it moves off of the target surfaces and into the sewers too easily, or else it percolates into the ground water and eventually into aquifers.

    And what does manage to stay in the soil's root zone and be utilized by the turf is (often) used too quickly, especially this time of year going into the peak months.

    "Unbridled" urea is the biggest reason the mowers curse all the applicators later in the spring, for all the sites that grow like chia pets from people using urea, people using fert with not enough % of slow rel in it, not calibrating their fert, etc.

    "Unbridled" urea can and will often lead to thatch problems in bluegrass.
    Over and over again, year after year, I've seen examples of lawns that were pounded by urea, only to be the ones that were more prone to develop dollar spot and brown patch problems later in the spring and early summer.

    (What actually happens in these instances, especially brown patch, was that the grass' cell walls grows so "thin" from growth "pressure" that the disease spores are more likely to permeate the walls, making foot pressure/tire pressure much more damaging.)

    LDH, A much more responsible program would be to find dry fertilizer program that generally contains has AT LEAST a 50% sulfur coated urea (SCU).
    If the salesman doesn't think that will be "fast" enough...(in terms of "green up" of turf)...then ask for it to have a 2% or 3% iron sucrate content...and maybe a 1% manganese content. Or ask about other general soil needs (for your specific area.)

    Liquid ferts can be slow release too.
    (But 'melting' urea in your tank isn't 'slow release'...and it can eat up your pump prematurely)
    What I get from Morral is all 50% slow release N.
  6. wiseguyslawn

    wiseguyslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 464

    This is my five step, I would not recommend all liquid. You get your essential micronutrients from granular and liquid fert is more expensive then liquid.

    early april- combo granular fert/ pre-m

    May- three way post emerge liquid/granular fert

    Late June- Granular combo of fert/merit

    Late July, August- three way post emerge liquid/ granular fert

    Late October- granular fert.

    Spot treatments when needed
  7. wiseguyslawn

    wiseguyslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 464

    Do you think 30 % scu is appicable for 2 and 4 round
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

  9. LDH

    LDH LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,262

    Thanks for all the replies guys. I was really hoping for some suggestions on liquid. I want to make mine an all spray program, no granular. Even if some of you do it different, could you please just give me some ideas on an all liquid program? What chemicals, how far apart do I space the applications, etc... Thanks again.
  10. yardprospraying

    yardprospraying LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147


    We sometimes use liquid fert on our 2nd round app. just because we typically apply barricade/triplett and then go back over with granular fert. It is more of a labor savings for us than a cost savings. When we do our 3 & 4 round app. we do strictly granular fert & spot treat if needed. We can usually do twice the amount of accounts on round 3 & 4 than our others. We can push spread fert and blow off driveway/sidewalks on most average sized lawns in less than ten mins. It takes at least 15 - 20 mins to spray them.

    I am actually meeting with a new chemical/fert rep in my area in the next day or two. He said he could save us even more money than estes. They are actually local too.


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