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Granular fertilizer rates?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by yardatwork, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    I have an existing client that typically goes with the spray fertilizer by the big company in town. Well I've been mowing their lawn for five years now and they asked if I could quote them a price for granular weed and feed. I said I sure would...however...this isn't something I specialize in or do on a regular basis. I do do small fert jobs, lime, etc. But I've never done anything where I was competing with the spray fert pricing. So this is what I came up with...could someone let me know if I'm in the ballpark?

    57,000 square feet lawn

    4 bags of weed and feed fert (15,000 sq ft bags) = $171.88
    tax = $10.31
    labor = $80.00
    TOTAL = $262.19

    I was just going $20 a bag for labor vs. square feet. This is per one application. Am I right on or way off?
  2. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    If I went with $5/1000 square feet...does that price include your materials or is that just labor rate, then you add materials on at the end???
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,562

    You need a license and insurance to apply any kind of herbicide. Keep in mind that dry weed and feed products are only about half as effective as liquid products. Naturally you would apply crabgrass control first. Fert is too expensive.

    You work cheap. I don't see any way to cover your overhead. You need a charge for each sq ft so that at the end of the year your overhead is covered. And you need a machine and fuel charge for your truck and spreader costs, so that when they are worn out...you can replace them. And you need a penny or two for profit--otherwise why are you doing it?
  4. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    I understand all that and know all that. I just see such a broad range of pricing. I see some guys saying $20 per bag and then i see guys saying $5/1000 square feet. I'd prefer the square foot pricing, but just wonder if the $5/1000 is strictly labor rate...or...if that includes the price of materials built in.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,562

    Five dollars per thousand sqft is all-inclusive: labor, materials so forth.

    But some companies have a base fee just for overhead and driving out to the site. some have a minimum charge. And some companies discount big properties.
  6. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    Thank you! Much appreciated.
  7. Turf Logic

    Turf Logic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    This is pretty obvious, You know that you cant charge 5/1000 you wont break even. The other thing you didn't figure in was overhead. If it was me I would break it down like this:
    Material $185 (material cost is way to high none the less)
    Labor $16 for the hour including taxes and WC
    Overhead $25 per hour.
    Total cost:226.00

    Now add your profit margin. Me personally I dont like to go under three times cost of materials. So my minimum would be 555.00. this is probably a little high however for me it is not far off. I would probably end up somewhere around the 475 mark.
  8. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,263

    Do yourself a favor and do not do this until your are properly trained & licensed. Weed & feed products are very ineffective. I've seen people literally kill the desired grass with these products.

    Also something to consider. At this moment someone is probably turning your name in to the state board for possibly doing something your aren't qualified for. It is easy to track someone down via the internet. I've done it before.
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,562

    Labor, unlicensed equals unskilled, you cannot charge much. If you are licensed and skilled with insurance, experience, and proper equipment, then you can charge about a dollar a minute.
  10. Turf Logic

    Turf Logic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    I know that you are in avery competitive area, but damn that seems really cheap to me. If you worked every minute of every hour of a 10 hour day you would only gross $600.00 per day. I'm hoping this is only labor and not counting material. Ive seen your posts and know your very knowledgable so please don't take that as me being discriminatory or negative towards you.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012

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