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First Year Spraying Chemical, Any Advice?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Pro-Lawn, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. Pro-Lawn

    Pro-Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74


    :D Any advice on first year spraying chemical? I just passed the multiple guess exams. :=) Any comments are welcome.
    Eric Goodwin :blob3:

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    My first advice is to check as many archived threads in the pest section that you can. Next, I would suggest going mostly granular with the fert. Unless you have a ton of experience (working for a lawncare CO) I would take it slow. Follow label rates and don't back off to save $$$ on pesticides. You can E-mail me if you have any particular q's.
  3. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    This is my first season as well. I have sprayed pre-M with no problems. Make sure you calabrate your equipment and follow the rates on the label and ensure you pay attention to drift. If to windy I have a backup and apply granular pre-m. I think you'll be ok. Practice on your own lawn.
  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    So now your a hose jockey or a spreader jockey. What do you really know about soils and turf culture???

    The license is worthless unless you can diagnose problems, give good advise and deliver excellent results.

    People don't expect to hire a license, they expect a pro that can get results. Keep that in mind and seek the appropriate education if you don't have it already.
  5. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    Well, I'm sure when everyone just got started that they new every aspect of the business and everyone has a degree in Hort or Turf., not to mention you talk with 10 different people and get 10 different answers to any one problem. Oh just to add to the confusion books. What, books yea 5 books from different authors,who have 5 different ways to do it.

    I guess my point is that education is important if you want to stay on the cutting edge, but one does not need to master everything before they begin to put to use what they have learned. Most of the so-called big companies in my neck of the woods do not even take a soil sample nor do they even measure the turf. Is that wrong? I think so. They say things like "I'm going to customize a plan for your lawn". Right your following the same plan for all your customers. "Sir you need us to apply 345 lbs. Of lime on your turf". Must be an expert to be able to tell me that without pulling a sample.

    So my question is what is the standard? I think each company establishes his or her own set of standards based on what works for then. From those standards one is constantly looking at how to improve and tweak it up. I could be mistaken but I think only the National Arborists Association has a standard for tree care.
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    How's a newbie gonna know how much pre-emergent, how many times and when for his area. Or how much N, P, or K is needed for his turf on his soils, How's he gonna know when the fert is best applied for proper cultural practices. How's he even gona know the proper questions to ask of others and when if he has no experience at all. All he knows is that he knows nothing but needs to know something.

    Those big guys that don't do soil tests may have a lot of experience and some previous soil test results under their belt. Their customized program though not particular for that one lawn may be what is agronomically correct for your turf in your climate and your soil.

    In my area I know that the soils ae deathly deficient in potash. If I pick up a new account and it doesn't perform well in the first year under my standard program, it's a potash problem. Every soil test sent to the lab for 30 years has shown that. But the tests confirm what I already know from history for the customer.

    I think state universities are the best source of information for an area. they can also help develop a suitable program that yeilds results and minimizes or eliminates errors.
  7. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    "Advanced education teaches two things. General theory in field and better thinking in a field. Practical knowledge as we all know comes from experience." - credit Cullen Vandora, <a href="http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?postid=63400#post63400">IN THIS POST</a>.

    So get educated. Maybe start with your state extension office with any published turf documents. Attend winter turf conferences in your state and adjoining states.

    Then get out there and really learn, by encountering the problems and solving them properly through research of university studies. And then as you go on, you will have a history of situations to use to draw on in the future.
  8. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    Since I’m a newby I talk with my hort instructor on issues that I’m fuzzy on. As for the N, P, or K the soil sample helps me determine what needs to happen and where I need to begin.

    My point is this, if not sure about something ask for help. It works for me and believe me I ask more questions to my teacher than you can shake a stick at. I many times get so frustrated because I want to learn it right now. I would think that if someone goes through the trouble of studying for the state test they are serious about doing the right thing.
  9. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Best advice that I can give is this: Go to the nearest LESCO distributor, and tell them your situation. Explain that you have a licensce to kill (weeds) but need to learn the business. I did this awhile back, and they gave me weed and insect identification charts. These are posters that are perforated and can be torn apart and placed in a notebook. There were also pictures of turf diseases. I still keep all of these in my truck. They will advise you on which chemicals you need to treat specific problems in the lawn.
    I started with a couple of backpack sprayers, and when I bought a skid mount 100 gal. sprayer, LESCO spent about an hour with me teaching me how to use and calibrate the thing. They even went out with me to spray a couple of properties.
    Anytime I have a question, I call them up and get free advice. They will even help you with the little bit of math involved in mixing your products.

    Hope this helps. Bill Craig!
  10. hertelbr

    hertelbr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Lesco was my savior as well. I had very little experience at a golf course. Lesco not only set me up with the proper equipment but they walked me through every step. They continued to help even after my initial purchase of spraying equipment. They even met me out on site when I had a problem lawn. Their help was invaluable. Even though you may pay a premium for some of their products, I believe you get what you pay for.

    The fact of the matter is the average applicator for the big companies is not toting a hort. or turf degree and years of experience. They are just an average Joe looking for a paycheck. You are already one step ahead of them, you not only have a personal relationship with your customer, but a vested interest in their lawn. Just a guarantee that only one applicator will be on their lawn in a year, not a different applicator every application. You have got a great selling point. Not only will you fertilize their lawn but you will be back each week (mowing) to monitor any problems that arise. Customers eat up personal service and are happy to give their business to the smaller guy, not to mention the money they pay looks a whole lot better in your pocket than the big companies.

    I learned as I went, asked a lot of question, and I was careful with my rates of fertilizer. I started spraying four years ago and never looked back the money is a whole lot better than mowing and scheduling is much less stressful. I still run mowing crews and landscape but I grew my spraying beyond my own customer base and now spray for several other landscape and mowing companies.

    It also helps to get to know somebody with experience. Some guys are unfriendly and see you as a threat, but others like myself were once in your shoes and are happy to help you out.

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