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Lesco Fertilizer and some advice


LawnSite Senior Member
Hey guys, I haven't been on here in a while but the season is fast approaching and I have some questions that you guys will most likely be able to help me out with. I have almost 40 lawns now, it's all under the table I'm just graducating high school this year and I figured to make a little extra money I could start offering fertilizer programs. Right now on my property (parent's property) I use the scott's program which I have no complaints about but I hear from alot of people that the Lesco program is much better however it also seems much more confusing. I went to the distributor this past week and I thought I understood mostly everything he was saying now I talked to my other landscaping buddy and hes telling me I need to take soil samples. If you guys could just share what you guys do that would help alot and how much you charge since I need some practice with that too.

Also I don't have an applicators license which I informed all my customers which are interested in fertilizer programs.

Alright guys thanks alot.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Duluth, MN
You're in a really good position right now. You're young, seemingly ambitious and it would appear that you've caught on to how profitable and rewarding doing applications can be. Being as young as you are, you have the potential to accrue a pretty impressive application customer base by the time you've just barely gotten into your 20's (depending on how old your state requires you to be before you can get an applicator's license). Having said that, I've never met an application customer that would be content hiring an applicator to treat their lawn, if all that applicator could legally apply was a straight fertilizer product. Anyone I've ever met that paid for applications, wanted their applicator to control the weeds in their lawn too.
I'm not familiar with the laws governing applicators in your state, but I wouldn't be surprised if you had to be 21 to get your license. If you only have to be 18, then it sounds like you shouldn't have to wait too long since you're almost 18 already.
Your state also might require you to have a license even if you only plan to apply straight fertilizer products. While you CAN legally apply straight fertilizer products in Ohio without an applicator's license, I think your state requires an applicator's license to apply even a straight fert (I'm far from sure on your state's regulations though). While I'm not overly familiar with the laws in your state, I have been told that the sanctions for illegal applications in your state are quite severe.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws in your state, so that you don't wind up in a nasty (and expensive) jam. The next thing you need to do, is to become legit. Announcing that you're doing business "under the table" and following that admission up with a request for help from the members of this forum, will not yield the type of responses you were hoping for Cosmo. Most of us in this forum, pride ourselves on running legitimate, tax-paying businesses. Most of us on here are licensed, insured and strictly legit. Before you worry about doing any applications at all, I'd highly recommend that you concern yourself first with the legalities of such an action.
I'm sure there are some members from your state that could shed some light on whether you need a license to apply straight fertilizer in your state, or not. Hopefully, they would also know what the age requirements are in your state for getting licensed.
If you were planning on incorporating the use of pesticides into your applications, one thing to consider is the effect on your health they might pose. A very knowledgeable member of this forum made mention of this issue to someone your age recently. Until he mentioned it, I was totally unaware of the increased risk someone your age could be subjecting themselves to, by using these products at such a young age. He referred to the fact that your nervous system hasn't totally matured yet and because of that, you'd be more susceptible to adverse effects than an adult would be (something that should not to be taken lightly).
You're in a really good situation right now. With as young as you are, you stand to do some really big things in this business if you go about this in the right way. Be careful though. If you go about this the wrong way, you stand to lose a lot (IRS audits, huge fines for illegal applications, etc.).
For some good advice on what fertilizers work well in your area, either stop in at your nearby Lesco, or extension office. They would both be good resources for the info you seek (fertilizer selection). Good luck.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Stratford, CT
Cosmo can apply an all-nutrient program in CT legally. But no pesticides (even granular) until he's licensed.

The AG Station on Huntington St in New Haven can do those soil samples for free.

Drop me an email for more local info.




LawnSite Member
Pataskala, OH
I agree with Victor. Become legal, don't try to do things under the table, and if you keep doing it, I surely wouldn't tell anybody. Better safe then sorry. I pay taxes, and I am licensed and fully insured. I know your just out of high school but better safe then sorry.


LawnSite Member
victor, pretty said everything was thinking..everyone knows just fert leads to maybe a few weeds...etc.


LawnSite Fanatic
Why not pull a few soil samples and send them off. In Texas, the generic recommendation is often far from what the soil test recommend and soil test are often closer to each other than one might think. By reading and studing the soil samples you may give yourself a low cost education.