New Business ?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jrsimpson77, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. jrsimpson77

    jrsimpson77 LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 77

    We started out in snow plow business but are now in the process of buying all equipment needed to serve our customers with lawn care. My question is how can we get set up with a fertilizer tank for one of our trucks? I see some lawn care businesses offering this service. Where can I buy a tank and the supplies at? Or is it best to stay out of the fertilizing part of the business? Any help and input would be great.

    Thank You
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Have you checked out the sponsors sites on Lawnsite? Google: sprayers....check out your local yellow your John Deere dealer.

    All of my sprayers are gas powered back packs for trees and shrubs. (7-10 gallon + heavy)
    We don't use pesticides or herbicides here any longer.
    I have normal hose attachments that can be used to spray trees if need be.
    If we spray, it will be Safers Insecticidal Soap, or a "chelate" foliar spray to correct micro nutrient deficiencies etc
    In the winter we spray dormant oil and lime sulphur onto some of the trees and shrubs. (Read all labels!)(not all trees and shrubs can handle these)

    If you're just fertilizing, why not use a "broadcast hopper" that you walk behind?
    Use granular fertilizers and see how the market responds before you lay out so much money and dedicate a truck to "spraying."

    Applying pesticides will require an operator on site with a valid pesticide applicators license.

    This addition to your business may also change your liability insurance and your workers compensation. Double check these too.

    If my suggestions have already been taken care of by your company, understand that others will also read this post. Hopefully they will also be professional and have all insurance and licensing in place.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  3. jrsimpson77

    jrsimpson77 LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Messages: 77

    That's actually a great idea using a broadcast hopper to start with....don't know why I over thought that. So if you don't use pesticides or herbicides, what do you use?

    Thanks for the advice, I truly apprciate it.
  4. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    We advertise "Eco Friendly Landscaping" Most of the cities around Vancouver B.C. have bylaws prohibiting any cosmetic pesticide use. Some of our Provinces have outright bans (Ontario)

    You can do a search of IPM-integrated pest management...there is also PHC-plant health care (an arborist term)

    Studying for a pesticide applicators license will enlighten you to the scope of problems and possible remedies or controls that are available in your state.

    Lawn weeds: We cut two, to two and a half inches.(cool season lawns) Dandelions can be pulled out with a dandelion puller (same for plantain)
    We aerate in the spring here.

    Weeds are an indicator of site problems. Their growth can mean compaction, water or a deficiency or abundance of a macro or micro nutrient in the soil.
    Each weed has different requirements to grow.

    Clients here have to accept some weeds in their lawns and gardens.

    You can try "Fiesta" on your lawn weeds. Eco-sense puts out a version of this.
    It is an "Iron spray".

    Not using herbicides in the garden means more manual labor and higher fees.
    I have used propane burners (bring water!) acedic acid (burns leaves of shrubs) soaps (burn leaves), Iron sprays (are hit and miss ) name it, I've probably tried it in the garden. Experiment and see what works for your requirements. There are also other groups here that discuss pesticides and eco-friendly solutions.

    It was so much easier and cost effective to prep the gardens in the spring and apply a pre-emergent weed control to the soil....or to quickly spray an herbicide with 2,4-D Mecoprop and dicamba onto problem lawn weeds and those damn tiny weeds that spring up in the garden overnight and seem to take it over...

    Landscapers should correct the problems in the landscape that are causing plant stress, which attracts bad insects and disease. That's IPM.

    As for manual broadcast hoppers...the forty dollar big box store variety will wear out and break very quickly. They have plastic gears.

    You can get started with a cheap one, but you will have to be prepared to replace it perhaps two or even three times a year.

    A professional hopper can be found for a few hundred dollars. Balloon tires are nice too.
  5. casey humphrey

    casey humphrey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 196

    I sub out my fert jobs makes my life a WHOLE lot easier.

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