Learning about Pesticide, herbicide and Fert.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by smokefan20, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. smokefan20

    smokefan20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I am looking to get into the landscaping and fert. business. I am starting to do research and was wondering where i can learn more about the Pesticide, herbicide and Fert. end of it. I want to make sure i know what i am getting into before i make any decisions. thanks
  2. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    Contact your Dept. of Agriculture, in most states they are in charge of regulating pesticide applications. If you have the time to invest, you could learn a lot by working one season for a reputable company.
  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,167

    Lawntamer is 100% on it!

    Also I would recommend using University websites (Ohio State, Purdue and if there are any landgrand schools up my you).

    You can learn a lot about fertility, herbicides, weed id etc on there.

    Great source of info!
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,167

    What is up with all the new guys on here (from multiple states) that don't have a clue about anything, but are wanting to get licensed and into the business?

    Do you think this is what our future holds?
    Isn't this scary?

    I got into the Lawn Heatlh business as that is what I went to school for, and I have a background in ag (chem, fert etc). I didn't get into this for the money (although it is not bad) or anything else. Just because I love doing it!

    What drives a person that has no background/experience/education in this area to want to start up?

    Just curious!
  5. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Rcreech I guess you didnt have to learn, you were just born with the knowledge, scary.
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    I think most lawn cutters/landscapers look at what we do as the most profitable part of the business. Hopefully, they wont destroy it like the grass cutting industry.

    I mean how much could a bag of fert cost? That is all that we do isnt it?

    I think it is good that these guys that are looking to add services are looking for advice and where they can get information. Beats the heck out of the guy that just doubles the price of the bag and then puts whatever home depot is selling down.
  7. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,167


    In another post I mentioned 2-4,D and the fella didn't even know whay it was and he will be applying this spring!

    MY QUESTION AND POINT IS....why would one want to get in a specialized business like this with no background, and what drives them to do so?

    I see and talk to guys that have been in this industry for several years and they still don't have a clue!
    I think this industry needs to be tougher then they are! A guy that don't know what 2-4,D is should not be licensced! IMO anyway!

    I just think we are going to be in trouble if we have a bunch of "licensed" guys out here running around...yet they don't know anything!
  8. boats47

    boats47 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    Not everyone starts out on a set path right from college and follows that degree to the tee. If that were the case I would be an airline pilot making a ton of cash, instead I used that degree in aviation management and flight operations to set a base for where I am now. It opened doors in for me to gain years of experience in the early 90’s working on the largest fruit farm in New England. It lead to me serving my country in the armed services, other college degrees in fire science and criminal justice; then after all that a disabled vet. By luck of the draw, a friend who owns a major landscape company who knew of disabilities from being injured in the line of duty gave me job. Try getting job under my circumstances with my background; you take what you can get my friend.
    What I am getting at here, is that these guys who ask the questions are trying to learn and hopefully they will take our advice on how education in this field is so important and run with it. When I was hired by my current boss, I worked for year and half under him learning the basics of fert/chems and took classes at URI to better improve my knowledge. I continue to take as many classes and ask as many questions on sites like this one and with emails to professors at URI and UMASS to name a few. Don’t worry why they are in this business and hold that against them, instead as a knowledgeable staple on this web site teach them right from wrong and solutions and direction to the questions.
    We all have to start somewhere, nobody was born with an education…..
  9. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    You have been very helpful in that thread, but this comment:

    In another post I mentioned 2-4,D and the fella didn't even know whay it was and he will be applying this spring!

    is complete and utter manure! I never said ANY such thing!

    First off, I never said I would use it. I didn't know the chemical by that designation. Secondly I am NOT licensed! I will be taking the 30 hour course required by the state of NY beginning on Jan 3.

    I clearly and unabashedly admitted I had much to learn in a short period before it's time for any apps up here. BTW, I have two years of formal schooling in ornamental horticulture. Granted, that was quite a while ago, bit now you know that I have long been interested in plants and gardens, and I could run circles around you (most likely) when it comes to anything but turf.

    I work under some of the most educated, brilliant horticulturists at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY.


    Yes, I am new to turf management, but I have also used most of the chemicals under their brand names. Ortho's Lawn Weed Killer... guess what the active ingredient is? 2,4-D. As a homeowner, why did I need to know that? I didn't. I just needed to know it worked, and when and how to apply it.

    My lack of knowlege isn't so much any inablilty to identify weeds, or any such thing. It's learning what names these chemicals are called in the industry. You don't go into Home Depot and ask for 2,4-D, now do you?

    I didn't need to know that Scotts Step One used pendimethlin or that Roundup uses glyphosate. Now, I do need to know that... and now I know it.

    So, I'm not a Licensed guy "running around". I start my classes on Jan 3. By the time Feb 1st rolls around, I will be very informed on more than what I will need to know above and beyond whatever the test may require.

    You have a very wrong impression. If someone wants to learn, message boards (along with a huge number of other sources) are a good place to start asking questions. If you want to complain, complain about these guys that use the same 22-10-7 4 times a year, or put down lime without a soil pH test without a license. Not people like me that already know that in a loamy soil it will take about 35 pounds of lime per 1000 square feet to raise the pH from 6.0 to 6.5. Not people like me that know soil with iron and magnesium deficiencies will impede the turfs roots from the desired uptake of nutrients.

    You are right about there being incompitant people doing apps though, although you are very mstaken about me. I once had a guy tell me to use lime to lower the pH in a shade garden I was designing! Came out nice, btw... Log ferns, cinnamon ferns, Japanese painted, sweet woodruff for a ground cover along with some astilbe and hostas... the blue hostas do better in dense shade than the others do, in general. How many landscapers do you know that could get a shade garden to grow in the shadow of a pair of dense Norway Maples?

    Glad I got that off my chest. :laugh:
  10. jrc lawncare

    jrc lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Could not have said it any better.

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