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How many do fertilizing?

facelessfriend

LawnSite Member
Location
Novi - MI
I started my business last year ... fertilized a few lawns. My question is ... how many mow grass & fertilize? Do most just cut grass? I assume permits are needed to apply fertilizer and insect control?
Is it better left to ... tru-green or one of those type companies?
Do most customers ... if your doing there lawns ask you to fertilize?
Do you loose customers if you don't offer it?
Are there are some health risks to take into consideration?
 

dobehap

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Charlotte NC
We do both, customers ask both, some dont ask, and you offer to them and they take.

You need a pesticide licence to spray. If you dont have that its better to let someone else do it who does.

Some customers want the whole deal, with others its not a problem.
 

1MajorTom

Former Moderator
Location
Pennsylvania
Since you've only been in business for a short time, I suggest starting slowly and adding new services a little bit at a time.

If you go over to the pesticide/fertilizing forum you will find the informaton you need for your state and its licensing requirements.

But don't try to do too much at once. Get comfortable with cutting grass, get comfortable selling yourself to potential clients, find out what your customer's lawn maintenance needs are... Do these things first before you even think about jumping into fertilizing.

We waited until our 3rd year to become licensed.
 

brucec32

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
I used to offer it, thinking like you, that I would lose customers if I didn't. It's ok, but I found myself spending way too much time scheduling mowing around apps, getting chemicals, cleaning up, etc, etc. I also didn't like having to be "responsible" for the look of yards that weren't properly watered or installed in the first place, or that had been neglected for years and had weeds popping up as fast as I could treat them. Many people assumed that if it didn't look like their neighbor's (who spent twice as much on the install, watered well, and had been doing it for 20 years) it was my fault. I wasn't making that much on it anyway, so I figured I could use that time to devote to mowing and come out ahead financially as well as have less stress.

Even today, my customers grumble to me frequently about their lawn application services. They don't understand fertilizer, the plants, or the chemicals, and consider it "magic powder" and get disappointed when it doesn't magically and quickly fix their lawns.

Some markets have better growing grass and look great more of the time.
 

PLI1

LawnSite Senior Member
We offer fertilizing and spraying, but do not advertise it. If the customer asks and they are not a PITA we do it. We have all the appropriate insurance and licences, but have no desire to make it a large part of our operation.
 

J Hisch

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Evansville IN
We offer weed control and fertilizer, reason being is one day the mowing is only going to be on the larger maintenance contracts and forgetting the small time mowing jobs. My main reason is application equipment is far less expensive 4500.00 for a well built turf sprayer 500 for spreader. You get years of use..... and can turn a profit much larger than a mower can ever make you. plus as I get older i want something that not as hard on the body.
 

sildoc

LawnSite Silver Member
I apply fert in granuals. If they want pesticide, herbicide or other specific ferts I sub it out. I mark up all sub 15% unless it is a really big one then figure what I need.
 
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