Granular or Spraying???

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by mwallingford, Jan 19, 2001.

  1. mwallingford

    mwallingford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    I just recently retired from teaching high school. I started mowing the last two years of my teaching career. I purchased what I think is the right mowing equipment. The first week of February I will be attending a week long course on lawncare and IPM. I am thinking about treating lawns as well as the mowing. My question is, should I buy a tank and concentrate on treating lawns with spray, or concentrate on using granulars. It looks to me as though the liquid treatments would be the most profitable in the long run. I am located in the northern Kentucky area. Fire away and give me your advice.
  2. greengeezer

    greengeezer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    A lot will depend on how much you're ready to spend on equipment. Starting with a granular approach and spot spraying weeds with a back pack sprayer is probably the least expensive way to start. This will work fine for most smaller residential properties. Granular weed/feed products are ok but not as effective as liquid for making contact with weeds and killing them. As far as the feed side is concerned, grass doesn't care. Granular will give you more affordable slow release options. Many companies do both depending on what's needed and weather conditions. They will start granular, go liquid when weeds need to be taken care of, then go back to granular. Others spray all season. How many treatments per season can also influence your decision. Talk to your local Lesco, they can help.
  3. mwallingford

    mwallingford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Thanks Greengeezer,

    I plan on starting small. I just retired from teaching school, but started the mowing portion of the business two years ago. My thoughts were to buy a 150-200 gal. spray outfit on a skid.
  4. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    I like spraying better, more flexability and options. I have a 200 gal with tree spray gun & deep root fertilizer injector. Very good profits in spraying with excellent results. If you have the extra cash go for it, if not do granular for a year or 2 then by the tank, that's what I did.
  5. What kind of lawnmowers did you buy?
  6. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Checkout Weshauffer. They have a small 200 gallon skid setup that uses a 12 volt pump, comes with 300 feet of hose on rewind reel and all. Ideal little setup for just spot spraying weeds and using granular fert apps.

    I went with same setup only with Honda motor and a pump capable of 550 psi, OVERKILL. The 12 volt setup would have worked just fine for me and would have saved me about $1,200.

    I do use a hose end sprayer on mine. This allows me to just carry water in the tank. I can change and spray different chemicals all from the same tank with just one visit. Keep in mind I do not do a vast amount of lawn spraying. I only spray with this rig when I cannot do it with a backpack. So if doing alot of all spraying you would want a chemlawn gun or equal.

    But, in my mind granular fertilizer and liquid spot spray is a better way to go. In my opinion it is better for us as applicators, better for our egology, and better on our pocketbooks.
  7. greengeezer

    greengeezer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Check out those electric units. They're fine for using on small residential properties. I found out that with 300' of hose pulled up a hill that the spray pressure dropped big time. Also if you're ever going to spray fert and weed kill, they don't have much agitation to mix the fert. For spot spraying or carrying water like Skookum does they'll work fine. But if you're going to do more, get one with more power. Arrg....
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    A 200 gallon 12 volt system cost how much? It will limit you on what you will be able to do in the long run such as deep root fertilizing & tree spraying, no PSI. 300 foot of hose up hill....well, I bet I could pee harder.

    How is applying granular herbicides safer on the enviroment & pocketbooks than spraying? Actually, almost 100% of herbicides sprayed on the turf stays on the turf if watered in correctly, opposed to granular which is often spread onto paved aeras, shrub beds, ponds, and so on.

    As for $$$, this has been covered before, Bayleton for example cost $5.65 per 1000 granular. In sprayable WS packs it cost $2.55 per 1000, over $3.00 per 1000 additional profit.

    A good high PSI rig also allows you to offer other options. Deep root fertilizing cost $0.12 per .5 gallon injection,, most companies around here charge $50 and up per tree. I spoke with one member here a while back and he said he does $14,000 in about 2 weeks doing deep root fert.

    My sprayer cost $2800, tree gun $107, deep root injector $150 I think, and I bought a deicated trailer for $700. Hope this gives you an idea of cost for this type of set up.

  9. PLS

    PLS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Thanks Kirby, You saved me some typing. Your right on with you last post.

    We use both liquid and granular. We started using liquid because 1 it was cheaper on pre-emergent apps and 2 we couldn't find the nitrogen rate we wanted formulated on granular. With liquid, you make what you want. In the late spring and summer we will use slow release granular. We always use backpacks for spot treating weeds, as I don't won't to contaminate my hoses because we spray our ornamental beds with the same sprayer. If you have and area with alot of weeds get a Wide Angle Flat Polijet Nozzle part# 40 74 513) from Solo for your backpack and you can treat a 1000 sqft per gal. It has 4 to 6 ft. spray pattern.


    [Edited by PLS on 01-25-2001 at 11:51 AM]
  10. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    Do both with a perma green unit.

    I like the flexibility that granular fert offers. I can carry five different types of dry material in my truck, and be able to custom treat each lawn on an individual basis. If you mix up 200 gallons of a high N fertilizer, and come to a lawn that you want a low N fertilizer on, you will have to do one of two things. A. COme back with a different mix, or B, reduce your rate of application. Here is the problem with reducing the rate of application. If you have a herbicide mixed in the tank, you will not be applying enough herbicide, and essentally wasting all that herbicide.

    Another thing about spraying is IPM. If you mix up 200 gallons of fert with weed control, then each and every lawn that you treat with that load gets a blanket application of weed control, whether they need it or not. That is not IPM friendly, and wastes money and herbicide as well.

    Of course, you can say mix straight fert one day, and fert plus weed control the next, and plan your route accordingly, but that can add a lot of excess travel time in, as well as a few wasted trips.

    You will use less herbicide if you are using a perma green unit. You can shut the liquid off if you come to an area of the lawn that is weed free. Try doing that with a spray rig. You use less herbicide=$$$ savings.

    I don't generally use fungicides, but I would think that I could use the liquid through my spray tank. There is the cost savings.

    I have one of those cheap 20 gallon sprayers nounted in the bed of my truck that I make my mix in for the day. I will then fill the perma green unit up from that. So, my mixing time is greatly reduced.

    Another benefit is that you don't have to dedicate a truck or trailer to hauling a apray tank around. You can use just about any pickup to haul your bags of fert, and spreader. WIth a 200 gallon spray rig, well that is a different story. You can also take along the fert that you will need, along with the spreader on your mowing day, and treat the lawn after you finish mowing, saving a trip. That is how you can make the real money.

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