fertilizer questions

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by formerscrub, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. formerscrub

    formerscrub LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 16

    :blob3: Hello everyone.
    Several of my customers have aproached me about applying some fertilizer on their lawns (along with weed control during the year) My question is 1. what can i expect to charge them per application.(I live in south west Florida)
    2. How many times during the year can it be applied (I think its 4x)
    3. Ive seen lesco brand at Home Depot but is it the same quality as at the lesco businesses.
    I just figured I'd ask someone who knows before making any commitments
  2. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    yes the quailty is the same as what you get at lesco. but you will pay more for it than you do at lesco (or at least we do) by straight from lesco if you can. we usaually charge the same for a application, that we do to mow it. i dont know if price structure is correct or not but it works for us.
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Without a Lawn And ornamental pesticide license you can not apply weed control or you can get a $5,000.00 fine from the state of Florida. You can apply fertilizer and charge for it.

    As far as Lesco and Home Depot I have bought Lesco Products from Home depot cheaper than I have bought the same blend from Lesco. Last January I purchased Two tons of fert from Lesco only to find out one of my customer purchased one bag of the same blend from lesco for .50 a bag cheaper than I bought 80 bags for. I took his invoice back to Lesco and got no satisfaction. Needless to say I am not a big fan of Lesco.

    What part of S.W. Florida are you in?? If you are close enough maybe I can do your chem applys and you can make a %. Or I could hook you up with someone in your area.
  4. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    sorry to here that ric, i cant beleave they wouldnt lower there price. (i would be ticked too.) for the most part the lesco dealer here is a dollar or two cheaper (per bag) for fert. than H.D.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I have had a long running battle with Lesco prices. 15 years ago everything on my trailer was green from mowers to blowers. Now I only use them like a 7-11 and have gone to bulk supplier. They have good products That I will not denine. But Talstar at $224 an gallon picked up for cash and Talstar delievered for $164 a gallon and billed 30 days net is only one of many price problems I have with them. There fert is real clean but plants can't tell the differents they live in dirt. I have a dust mask and I am more than willing to wear it. We should use a dust mask when spreading fert anyway. Here in Fla. Lesco is on every corner in every town because the green industry is very big here. Lesco has done very good here with the many novice in the industry. They try a make it easy for them so they will not seek education and use only Lesco products. I would like to think I have tried to stay informed and have continued the my education. I was born at night Lesco but unlike your other customers it was not last night. Sorry everyone that I had to go off but it makes me feel better now. I know a lot of you believe in Lesco and maybe in your area Lesco treats you right on the price. I really do not need any posts on how great Lesco is. You can not change my mind about this only Lesco can by giving me competive prices. I am not knocking there products only there prices to me.
  6. perma-green

    perma-green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    i would say in florida at least 5 applications a year, inthe north we do minimum 4,some are doing 5 or 6...rick
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    "Florida Lawn Hand Book" Published by University of Florida University Press of Florida.

    This the bible of lawn care in Florida. You may purchase it from your county extention agent or the U of F and even Home Depot for 19.95. Or order from Amzon.com for 14.95.


    This book by the U of F recomemds 4 fertilization per year. True Green Chem Lawn recomends 8 fertilization per year. Who is Right??????????????????????????????????????????????????
  8. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    ric i may have some insight to that very question. although some golf course do actually fertilize this often, it isnt absolutely necessary. here in ohio trugreen does the same thing. out of 8 applications in a given year,
    5 are general fertilizer applications, and 3 are fertilizer and pesticide combination applications. then, they charge the customer as though they were receiving 2 separate applications, even though it is within the same application. they could just use the pesticide to treat the lawn, but their philosophy is that if they use a combo application, they can charge for the fertilization also. if confronted, tru green will deny this by stating that it is necessary for continual applications to promote root growth,etc. etc. etc. (after saying this ill probably get a cease and desist order or slander suit from trugreen chemlawn. oh well they know who i am aleady anyways.)
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    This was a loaded question. WHICH IS RIGHT and why?
  10. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I have been with LESCO for 11+ years. In our indusrty for 20+ years on the chemical side anyway. Cutting for hire on & off since elementary shcool.
    I'm going to tread very lightly here for obvious reasons.
    HomeDepot's offering of LESCO products come off the same production lines. The number of items they offer is limited.
    Prices at HD are set by the store manager with help from their regional management. They can vary significantly on a store by store basis.
    LESCO products at LESCO Service Centers are based on a customers individual sales history. Buy more, pay less. And that's as far as I go on someone elses website.
    See if you can solicit an estimate from a few of the big boys in your area. They won't know your sister-in-laws house from a hole in the wall. You can use that data as well as your own collected historical cost data to decide where you need to be. Measure the lawns & base prices on square footage. Try not to beat the biggies on price. The biggies are about $39.95 - $49.95 as a minimum per application charge for the first 4000 suare feet here in New England. You're going to see the lawns you treat more often. You're expenses are probably higher too, so GET PAID FOR WHAT YOUR WORTH. Driving down the market prices will get you nowhere fast, & will hurt the market for everyone.
    The reason for the number of treatments is one of business economics combined with agronomics. I've got customers who charge a flat monthly fee & treat for whatever needs treating. I've got guys who also keep it really simple & offer a basic weed&feed service (4 or 5 apps) with lime (sulfur in your case) & grub control as options (all chargeable up to 7 or 8 chargeable treatments)
    In Fla, you guys have some cool stuff like fire ants you can offer chargeable treatments for, But try not to offer too much until you're comfortable with where it's going. Keep it simple in the beginning.
    GET YOUR LICENSE. You may want to check with the local trade/turf organizations. They probably offer or sponsor a course that will help you. You can also get to know folks who have the same goals as yourself & may be able to guide you with their own experiences.
    Use suppliers (yeah, like LESCO & others) as a resource. A good supplier will want to be a part of your success. It's the best way for them to grow their own business becuase you'll share your success stories with others down the road. Chances are pretty good that their sales people have plenty of industry background. But this obviously varies by location.
    Local colleges probably offer adult continuing education courses. Look to the schools with the stronger turf science & agronomy schools.
    Good Luck

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