I think that I am in trouble.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by walker-talker, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    Last November ran an ad in the yellow pages for some basic lawn services. I recently (2 weeks ago) recieved certification for chemical applications. Well, I had a lady call me this morning asking if I offer lawn maintenance. I told her yes, I offer a 4, 6 and 8 step program and I would be happy to give an estimate. What I did not tell her that I am not quite insured, have business license, a spray rig and a designed program. I know that I got a little excited and don't get me wrong, I plan on getting all this stuff before I do the work (my business license and insurance in 2 weeks). I have a 2 part question.

    1) What kind of weed control can one expect from using granuals, pre and post emergent? I am not sure if and when I will have enough money to get a spray rig.

    2) What kind of program do you offer?

    I am not sure what type of grass she has, but I live in the transition zone 5 and will be treating either fescue or bermuda (mostly bermuda).

    I am walking out the door soon to visit Lesco down the street and another chemical distributor not far from there. I am sure they can help me greatly. Any REAL advice would be helpful. I told the lady I would be out tomorrow to measure her lawn and give an estimate. I know I am rushing this, but this is how I learn.

    Please no bashing
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847


    I dont think that you are in trouble. You are liscnesed and have insurance on the way. What else do you need? Possibly experience, but there is only one way to get that. Im in the same situation as you BTW.

    As far as granular pre emergant, most use that form. For granular post emergant, read this:

    With that being said, i am going to use a backpack sprayer to apply my post emergant herbs. It will take some more time versus using a spray tank, but i cant justify that cost now, as i suspect is the case for you too.
  3. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    You've taken the first few right steps.
    -Gotten licensed
    -Getting insured (be sure you are insured for apps, it's a different rate from just mowing)
    -Going to your local Lesco.

    Lesco has been a great help to me in fine tuning my program.
    I had a basic Idea of what I wanted, but they helped me make some of the decisions. My Lesco dealer didn't try to always sell me the most expensive product either, they recommended what they felt would fit my situation best.

    As far as A program...
    I use five basic steps (grub control is extra if needed/wanted)
    I use granular fertilizer with anywhere from 20% to50% slow release depending on the time of year.
    fert. with preemergance in the first app and maybe the second (haven't decided yet for this year)
    The rest of the season the granular is straight fert
    (except grub control-that's granular)
    For weed control I mostly spot spray with a back pack sprayer. I do have a push sprayer for large areas or blanket apps if there are a lot of weeds.

    I don't think you need a large tank spray rig unless you have many , many customers or very large properties, or if you want to use a full liquid program.
    I would at least spot spray for weds though. the al granular post emerge weed control will not be as effective as spraying.

    besides you lesco rep , your county extension hort. specialist should be able to hep also.

    Good luck with the bid.
  4. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Granular for pre emerge fine if watered in within a reasonalbe amount of time.

    Post emerge needs to be liquid to do an acceptable job


    Austreim Landscaping
  5. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    check around for a used tank...liquid results would be worth the investment

    as for programs, when we were setting up i looked at what local competitors were doing, for a starting point. adjust as you see fit. dont worry about not having a "set" program yet. maybe see what she needs, and go from there. may take years to refine your desired program.

    just make sure you follow thru on the "paperwork"side and you'll be fine re:new customers. you aren't applying yet so for insurance just get it before you start.
  6. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    Thanks for all the advice. Everything that was said here, was also said by Lesco and Gardenwise (local distributor). Both were very helpful with giving prices and advise. I wish I had more time, but spring is right around the corner and I have a lot to learn, as well as planning. I am going to offer just a basic 4 step program, then offer a gurb control (if needed), fungi preventer and an additional winterizer app which is recommended by Kansas State Unversity. I am a firm believer in educating the customer. On top of the apps I will offer dethatching, overseeding and aerating. Thanks again for all the help, I am feeling pretty confident.

  7. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Do some research on dethaching and aerating. A lot of good advice on this site alone. I would go light on dethaching and push aerating. Detaching is easier to sell, but from an agronomic standpoint it is hard to justify. Aeration not only aids in the control of thatch, it has many other benefits as well.


    Austreim Landscaping
  8. Rob T

    Rob T LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I know you said your in the process of obtaining you lic. BUT...

    FYI - Don't know what the laws are in your neck of the woods but here the laws in NJ just changed: A person can get into trouble if they "Hold themselves out for hire" without being licienced. That is what you did. Just wanted to mention that for the NJ guys.
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    perhaps some will disagree....but "thatch" is an overworked word.....at least in the northeast, thatch is not something I see allot of...people often think they have thatch but they dont...I would focus on the aeration and root health development...been using Lesco starter fert on differnt properties including my own....the results have been better than any other product I have ever used.....health roots = healthier turf when the stress of summer rolls around..its about the roots...not the top...just my humble opinion
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I have never recommended dethatching, but I get plenty of people that want me to come out and give an estimate on dethatching. Within my personal program, I will never recommend it unless I think it really needs it.


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