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fertilization pricing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pjnlandscape, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. pjnlandscape

    pjnlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    i am new to fertilization and woulf like to know how everyone is calculating for lesco fertilizers and for my PITA customers Scotts fertilizer per application

  2. Premier landscaping south

    Premier landscaping south LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    I calculate all my prices on what it takes to make MY business money.

    How much do you need per hour to make a profit? How long is it going to take you to drop that fert? How much the fert costs, etc.

    Until you learn to charge what makes you money you will not be consistent with your estimates.

    On average, yard around here will be 7,000-8,000 sq. and (w/Lesco fert) I will charge around $35.

    hope this helps.

    Oh yeah, nobody deserves Scotts. So treat everyone good my friend. It will pay off.
  3. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I would charge them what your supplier charges you plus at least 15% if you supplier is close, more if Lesco or whoever you are using is further away and this is assuming you are picking everyones up at same time, charge more if you have to make more than one trip.

    Then I would charge at least your hourly rate - make sure to include time it take s for you to water in etc. This is not really go to make you a lot of money but it will get you started.

    Are you familiar with fertilizer? If not you may want to either not do it or make sure your liability insurance is covered because if you burn their yard then you will lose money reseeding the lawn. Also I am not sure of the varieties of turf you have up there, but for example down here, some fertilizer are ok for Bahia however will kill St. Augustine, those usually are ones which contain a weed n feed formula though, but I am sure this could be the case up there.
    Last but not least, does your state require that you have a license? If it does and fines are similar to fines for applying pesticides down here with out a license ( Up to $5000) for each offense, then that may cut into your profits too. Also I am sure your state more than likely considers weeds to be a pest, so if you do not have license, which I am assuming you do not since you are asking what you should charge, if you get caught applying weed n feed products - that is another fine.

    SO there you go - hope that helps and I am not trying to tell you not to apply fert. but if you are not licensed and do not understand what you are doing, what seems like a quick add on sale can end your reputation and cost you more money in the long run.
  4. pjnlandscape

    pjnlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    thanks to both of you i will keep these tips in mind

    I am familiar with fertilization enough that I am confident I will not burn lawns and as far as licensing goes, i know its a risk but the amount of fertilization I do does not make me want to spend energy on licensing

    Plus my cop buddies in town keep me pretty safe. HaHa

    (I only use Scotts when requested by People who don't know what they really want)

    '01 Chevy S-10
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  5. mds2000

    mds2000 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

    i usually try to charge about 5$ more then what i do to mowe the lawn and make good money at that. speading goes fast( like 5 maybe 10min a lawn) and look at it this way if the grass don't grow you can't mowe and make less money. When you pick up your fert get enough for all your lawns saving extra trips to the grower supply.

    try to avoid the scotts there good but double the price and only go half the coverage of a commercial bag and as far as burning goes just folow the instructions and goe a little less then what they recomend and you'll be good to go

    my 2 cents. best of luck man
  6. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    Good luck, if you don't have a license like you stated dep inspectors are not people you want to screw with, you will find out real quick if they catch you. If you think because you have buddies that are cops that will save you, keep dreaming.
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Famous last words - LOL - in all honestly my issue is not as much that you do not have a license as it is that it appears through your statements that you do not have as much knowledge as you think you do.
    First why would your customers be making the decision on the brand of fertilizer? I would rather, hope that you would be suggesting a soil test to find the needs of the lawns. You see that is my concern...and I am not usually a fan of Scotts either, however it is for a reason. You see I know that Scott's generally contains too high of a % of N for the St. Augustine that I maintain. When applied by homeowners it often creates a large amount of excess top growth creating a thatch issue for St. Augustine because the amount of excess growth being but each week. So that is my reason for not liking Scott's. You see I am not by any means the fertilizer God however I also know that a green and healthy lawn can be achieved by ensuring the micro's are at acceptable level, and the PH is correct therefor helping to ensure that the N the customer might throw down is actually being used more effectivly.
    My point is this - yes you can throw down fertilizer - you can make money at it I am sure, but at what cost? Again - is not the license thing that bothers me as much about your intentions as it is it appears that your knowledge is maybe not were it should be, and even with warning from myself and others, you just are so cocky that these statement do not even make you hesitate for a moment.
    So I guess go throw some fert on the ground without worry about the cost of what you are doing could be. You say you do not do enough to justify the time and money for a license right? So I take it that the profits you will gain from doing this are not significant, correct? So besides being greedy and your lack of understanding of fert why would you risk your reputation and your companies, the fines and of course the environment of your customers turf for a few extra dollars. IMO you would be better off doing some research and suggesting to customers a program that would be beneficial for their turf or working with a licensed company to help them achieve their desired results. I really think if you took some time and researched this your customers would find it much more beneficial if you were able to make the correct suggestions (based off soil test and some research) for them to perform on their own lawn, this would be better than some fert squirt companies IMO. You will make your customers active participants in their lawns health, which will gain more loyalty to you and not risk your reputation or the fines.
    Again just my 2 cents - do with it what you will
  8. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,276

    #1 - The OP needs to get lic. and do things the honest way
    #2 Premier - $35 to fert an 8K sq ft resi lawn?? Yikes. If that is all I got, I wouldn't bother and would just stick to mowing.

  9. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,109

    If you are buying bulk 200/300 % markup over cost is what I get. Scotts is fine and can be applied easily applied lightly with a handheld spreader due to its fine grade. Not every state requires licensing for fert only.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Around here it's not the local constabulary we worry about, it's the Ag department
    and they don't care if someone's driving or criminal record is clean, matter of fact
    they could probably care less if you stole your truck but watch out on the licensing bit.

    First time 4-5g's, second time I believe is a felony. :waving:
    And I could be wrong on the details but I do know they don't play.

    Not to mention some overzealous Lco MIGHT just call them on you, it happens and much
    as I hate to say it because folks need to MYOB but I'm not entirely against them doing it.

    Last but not least this really belongs here:
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010

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