dreaded "as needed" term

grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
So i've been asked to do a bid on a school campus. The fertilizer and weed control are "as needed." Lime is also "as needed." They broke the soccer field down by what they wanted each month, but didn't do that with the school grounds.

How would you treat this? I'm thinking....

Pre app
spring fert/weed control
summer fert/weed control-- may?
fall fert - school will be over seeded with rye
 

phasthound

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Mt. Laurel, NJ
So i've been asked to do a bid on a school campus. The fertilizer and weed control are "as needed." Lime is also "as needed." They broke the soccer field down by what they wanted each month, but didn't do that with the school grounds.

How would you treat this? I'm thinking....

Pre app
spring fert/weed control
summer fert/weed control-- may?
fall fert - school will be over seeded with rye
A soil test will document what nutrients and/or lime are needed. Spot treat weeds as needed.

Why is the school using rye?
 

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
I would listen to what they have to say, BUT I would not let them dictate something that would not make sense or work. I realize schools are on small budgets and may not can afford a full program but I might draw them up something that would accomplish what they wanted. I have learned not to let the customer decide what they want when they want. Not being hard headed just will not do something that would be a waste of their money.
 

turf hokie

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Metro NY
These jobs are tough...

A soil test will do no good until too late as I am sure they want a bid number now and not later.

Usually what happens is you either make out really well or get killed.

Do you price a 4 step program + lime to cover yourself in case you have to apply that often?

or do you price a 2 step program without lime and hope you dont need to do more?

The toughest thing about a bid like this is nobody ever bids the same, there is essentially no spec for this job.

the right thing to do is a soil test and base the property needs from that but that is not reality in my experience.

it should be specified how many apps they want you to price OR how much it is per application and if it is deemed necessary, then they cut a po based on that application.

I have walked away from these bids before. The last one that came up like this, never got awarded because the numbers were all over the place and the customer had no idea what they were getting or even what they expected the end result to be....

If it was my bid, and I only say this because I have seen them done this way around here. Bid the fields as per their spec and then do a spring pre/post/fert and fall post/fert and call it a day, most places are not going to worry about the common campus areas as much as the fields. They are probably looking to just keep the weeds out and fairly green.

good luck....
 
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grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
I assume they want rye because the school isn't open in the summer. The traffic on dormant Bermuda may cause too many worn areas.

I was thinking of giving them an option on a 4 and 6 step program and include details. I could do 2 apps as stated above and add lime as the 3rd. I'm sure Ty are on a budget and a good program could result in them not needing to seed with rye. Therefore reducing the number of cuts and possibly the overall bid.

Guess you bid and hope you include enough info to impress them
Posted via Mobile Device
 

Cadzilla

LawnSite Senior Member
You're on the right track. Muni or School accounts rarely take more than a 2-3 app program.

I don't know the soils in your area or if Lime is needed or not.

While some of the above advice is good, I don't think you need to make it that difficult. They want weed and feed on the larger low maintenance grounds. Not Turf Science. The soccer fields are their main concern.

You should have a general idea of what the soils in the area need, enough to set up a basic no frills cheap plan for a school and I can guarantee you that if you make it too involved for them or too expensive you can kiss your bid good bye. Most of the people that deal with this and the people you will be submitting bids too, do so because they have too. Keep It Simple.
 
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grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
thanks guys.

The School - It's a private school so all the parents are the type of customer you would want. The soccer field bid section is detailed about when and what to apply. The school grounds is as needed. Here in NC we have all the grass types. They want rye seeded in the fall(October) and it will transition to whatever warm season is there(around april/may). I assume the reason for overseeding is the visual appeal, but it could also help with traffic of the student walking.

The Plan- I think 3 apps is as low as I would go. pre is applied in feb/march and warm season is far from needing fert. Then again in the summer the students will not be there. I think they get out for summer break around june and go back in late august. So do you treat the campas as rye? I was thinking of doing the following

App 1 - pre in feb/march
App 2 - fert and/or weed control May/June
App 3 - fert on rye

For commercial I like to do a 4 step program but I understand schools are different. I will also make a note in the bid that I can change the program around to meet their expectations.... anything from 2 apps to 6 apps. Also make a note that without a soil test we can't know the amount of lime and this will be an extra charge should problems arise.

This is a big job between the apps and mowing. I'm bidding on both. The school is also going to be expanding. They will be replacing buildings and adding a baseball field at some point. This could be a real opportunity.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Do you have the ability to apply fert and weed control at the same time? If so, why not do a fall weed control? Weeds are at least as noticeable as low fertility. Or do you mean you would seed rye in October and it would not be safe to apply it with the rye being rather new. Is this one trip...rye seed and fert in October? That would save time.

We don't do winter overseed around here.

Is there a chance you could include your weed control along with the pre in early spring--or is that just too early?
 
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grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
Do you have the ability to apply fert and weed control at the same time? If so, why not do a fall weed control? Weeds are at least as noticeable as low fertility. Or do you mean you would seed rye in October and it would not be safe to apply it with the rye being rather new. Is this one trip...rye seed and fert in October? That would save time.

We don't do winter overseed around here.

Is there a chance you could include your weed control along with the pre in early spring--or is that just too early?
Riggle

I can do combo applications. I would probably do a late winter pre/post, fertilize/post in the summer, and fertilize/post in the fall.

I may do this as the most basic package, but also put an attachment of a 4 step program and my normal 6 step program. I will be calling with questions next week and hope I can get more clear answers.
 

humble1

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
MA
I would put together a basic program and a more comp one. You dont want to put any crabgrass control down on soccor or football fields as they are supposed to be overseeded reg thru the season. I would put the words broadleaf weed control done as needed at the time of round 2 etc otherwise you will be back becasue someone say a weed that wasnt there the last time you treated.
 

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