Creating a Fertilizer/Weed Control program

jgosz2012

LawnSite Member
Location
Wisconsin
I am starting to look into creating my own 5 step program for fertilizing and weed control. I will be getting licensed and plan to roll it out next year if not sooner. What im finding is the profit margins are very good compared to other services. Not seeing how unless you have tons of customers, but maybe im missing something.

Currently I send customers asking about it to my local trugreen rep, which I want to get away from. Plus I believe I can do better.
I called my local site one and got a little info on the topic but not a ton.

What is the recommended steps for a program like this? I was thinking spring fert and pre emergent, early summer fert/broadleaf control, summer fert, early fall fert/broadleaf, late fall fert.

My main questions are what products should I be using and best way to apply? What equipment? Can I get away with a tow behind sprayer and a decent broadcast spreader? Best fertilizers? (Site One mentioned all lesco products and all my ferts would likely be the same product in every application).What pre emergent? What broadleaf control product?

Im sure ill learn a little when studying for licensing but I want to get a step ahead and know exactly what im going to be doing.

Im located in Wisconsin and deal with clay soil as im sure this matters.

Any info or tips would be appreciated!
 

Yatt

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Onalaska, WI
Not to rain on your parade but it seems like you need a little more experience and knowledge before starting a business. Work for a good company for a season and learn.
 

andersman02

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Snowy MN
Buy a tank to pull a hose and spray wc out of and a lesco spreader. Thats the easiest way to start. You could even use a backpack, but that's a pain for big lawns. A pull behind sprayer is not a good choice, unless all your lawns are acreage.

For the programs, do some research on this site, you'll find your answers.

Sounds like working for a company would be a great choice for a year to be honest
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
You are on the right track Jgo. You need to start out as a "two-step" operation. Spread fert--then spray the weeds. The quality is better--if--you are meticulous.
I agree a pull behind sprayer will be awkward for most lawns.
Lesco 3-way will work. Prodiamine on fert is effective for crabgrass.
As always--take the Site-one salesman out for coffee; pump him for information.
You can, of course, start with a motorized backpack. Wave the wand back and forth to cover about a 6 foot swath. For step two, add an Earthway 50 pound spreader. Not likely you will need to add more than one bag at a time--but rust will take it out of action after a year or two.
If you get a pull-behind sprayer, potentially you can leave it on your truck in the second year--just add 300 feet of hose. You will want an electric reel soon after that. Then add a 200 gal tank.
Be ready for summer annual season--spurge time. You may need to spot spray. Also mid-summer is crabgrass breakthrough time--be ready for that--spot spray.
Make sure your quality is high. Top quality results will get you lots of referrals.
 
Last edited:
OP
J

jgosz2012

LawnSite Member
Location
Wisconsin
Not to rain on your parade but it seems like you need a little more experience and knowledge before starting a business. Work for a good company for a season and learn.
Well its already a business. Just trying to expand my services and need to start somewhere with it. Yes I agree with working for another company being a good idea but its not an option between the clients I already have and my full time job which is too good to give up until business takes off.
 
OP
J

jgosz2012

LawnSite Member
Location
Wisconsin
You are on the right track Jgo. You need to start out as a "two-step" operation. Spread fert--then spray the weeds. The quality is better--if--you are meticulous.
I agree a pull behind sprayer will be awkward for most lawns.
Lesco 3-way will work. Prodiamine on fert is effective for crabgrass.
As always--take the Site-one salesman out for coffee; pump him for information.
You can, of course, start with a motorized backpack. Wave the wand back and forth to cover about a 6 foot swath. For step two, add an Earthway 50 pound spreader. Not likely you will need to add more than one bag at a time--but rust will take it out of action after a year or two.
If you get a pull-behind sprayer, potentially you can leave it on your truck in the second year--just add 300 feet of hose. You will want an electric reel soon after that. Then add a 200 gal tank.
Be ready for summer annual season--spurge time. You may need to spot spray. Also mid-summer is crabgrass breakthrough time--be ready for that--spot spray.
Make sure your quality is high. Top quality results will get you lots of referrals.
Thanks for the info. I didnt even think of a backpack honestly but im sure itd work but possibly be time consuming on large yards. The company I have fertilize my lawn uses a z spray and damn that is nice! Things to look forward to in the future.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
If--with your backpack--you can move the wand in a uniform pattern reaching 3.5 feet to the right and left, and walk at 1.62 miles per hour--then you should be able to cover 1000 sqft per minute. A backpack is better for detail and tight spots near flowers. You can give big weeds and resistant weeds, like violet, special attention. And...you can add surfactant; at low volume it is cheap to add as a sticker. Your competitors will not be able to match this.

Adding more water and refills with your mixture takes extra time, of course.

Top-quality results will establish your reputation. Competitors can beat your price. Be sure no one can beat your quality.
This includes warm friendly attitude and prompt call backs to customer calls. When your cell rings--stop spraying--take the call.
 

phasthound

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Mt. Laurel, NJ
Top-quality results will establish your reputation. Competitors can beat your price. Be sure no one can beat your quality.
This includes warm friendly attitude and prompt call backs to customer calls. When your cell rings--stop spraying--take the call.
This will set you apart from many of your competitors.
 

Top Forums



Top