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$ of fertilizer has me reconsidering next year

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by General Grounds, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    that sounds about right, we have a lot of $300k homes. I have services more expensive than most. The people with the 100k homes and the people with homes in about 500k and up are my customer base. Everyone in between it seems got the big house they felt they had to have and that is where all their money goes. Once you break that bracket usually they get a nice house big enough that they would not need anymore and can still afford the things like nice cars and good landscapes. I drive by a couple thousand homes in the middle price range that I can't get any customers in and once I hit the higher priced homes, they are kind of grouped by price, my customers just expand.
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    Sorry. I do not have or want the volume of business to where I need to be more than a solo operator. I also want to keep a low profile. Hawaii is very GREEN. I do not advertise and have a completely unmarked, nondescript truck. No spray equipment or chemicals are visible to passers by.
  3. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    The type of work you do almost surely all comes from referrals, so why bother inciting the masses? :laugh:
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    How true. I network with landscapers that do not have the DOA certification and care for the types of properties I will work on. These good people are also not DIYers with the illegal RoundUp and Weed-B-Gon in their truck. They know better to turn over that kind of work to me. A lot of my jobs come to me in bad shape. Lawns pale, full of weeds and shrubs absolutely infested. Notice I did not put landscaper in quotations. These guys are not like the companies here who send out non-certified hired help to do applications. That is a pet peeve of mine.
  5. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    yeah, what is the point of the licensing and tests and all that if your not going to pass it on to the people that are going to actually do the spraying for you? I see no differance between those guys working untrained under someone than a guy out spraying without a license under his own name.
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    Applications are a joke here in Hawaii. Everything is done with a hand sprayer or hand pumped backpack sprayer. Callibration? What's that? Even the people wo are certified often do not know past how much per gallon. A lot of what I talk about here is over their head. I use a pressure regulated single nozzle wand or walking boom for my lawn applications. I can apply a set volume to 1000 sq ft with total coverage and no drift.
  7. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    you have probably answered this, and i guess we need to start a new thread "greendoctor lawncare," but how many accounts do you maintain? You have me thinking that i would like to go your route eventually. i am tired of maintaining crummy lawns that are slightly less crumby with 6 applications a year. It is just impossible to keep things looking good all the time.
  8. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    Amen to that. Next year we're gonna require that all sprinkler systems are either run by us (meaning ME), or okayed by us.

    I received an email 2 days ago from a non-customer who complained about a rental complex I handle and how bad IT looked and how bad it made ME look...

    I explained it's all about the watering (and the cheapo owner's refusal to do so)... but that's terrible. I'm embarrassed to be seen on these lawns. But it's one of my biggest customers and his other properties are nice...

    I even have lawns where I stick my little lawn sign facing their front door so nobody else can tell I treat them...
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    I maintain no more than 30 monthly accounts. Low bid commercial properties and HOA's I leave to the "landscapers" They get what they pay for. My fee structure excludes those who expect me to fertilize and spray an acre for $200. My last one acre lawn was fertilized twice and given two selective herbicide treatments for almost $900. That was a one time job given to me by a noncertified "landscaper" who was in a pinch and had to get that lawn under control or else lose the contract.
  10. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153


    Just as I promised, I finally talked to my buddy today who purchases the ingredients for a VERY LARGE feed manufacturer.

    They do through about 6-8 loads of SBM, 1-3 loads of Alfalfa Meal and 6-8 loads of Bloodmeal a week. This is all bulk so if buying in the bag it would be much more expensive.

    As you can see...these ingredients are following the same trend as everything else!

    So how are your "organic costs" not going up?

    Just so I can learn more about what you do...what are the use rates/ cost of these products /K?

    Bloodmeal - $1220/ton
    SBM - $430/Ton (was $190 a year ago)
    Corn Gluten Meal - $667/Ton (was $413 a year ago)
    Alfalfa Meal - $330/ton (was $161 a year ago)
    "Organic Alfalfa Meal" - $800/ton

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