How many do fertilizing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by facelessfriend, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. facelessfriend

    facelessfriend LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    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?
  2. dobehap

    dobehap LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 292

    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.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    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.
  4. sgallaher

    sgallaher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    This year we will be offering Fetilizer & pesticide/herbicide. So far all the customers that we have offered it to have signed up for the season. $$$$$$
  5. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    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.
  6. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    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.
  7. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    Also if you get into commercial accounts, some may specify that you do this. At this point you need to decide to do it yourself or sub-contract.
  8. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 952

    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.
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    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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