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should i go to liquid fert.

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by tryz, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. tryz

    tryz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27


    I was thinking of going to liquid fert, I have a customer base of 700+ and growing. I use a granulaur and a liquid weed control . I have two trucks each set up with 200 gal. tanks, electric reels, and gas powered sprayers. this is just used to spray for weeds, do i have big enough takes to spray liquid fert? Do you find you get a better overall lawn from it? do you get a better profit margin? Any advise will help

  2. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    The biggest savings will be in time/labor costs. We have been almost all liquid for over 20 years, and have always been satisfied. 200 gal tanks might be a little small, depending on how far you are from your loading station. 500 gal work very well, but we have sucessfully used 300 gal units. We find that if the lawns are relatively close together, a typical technician will use aprox 100 gal of solution per hour.

    Austreim Landscaping
  3. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I don't see how going liquid will save any money on time and labor. I can apply a granular fert to an open acre in 10-15 minutes including loading with my z spray. How can lugging a hose around be quicker than that? If anything, liquid would be the cheaper product with quicker results. But I am staying with granular fert and liquid herb.

    My 2 cents.
  4. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    The time savings are simple, because with liquid you can apply herbicide and fertilizer in one trip instead of two. Also can do preemerge and postemerge at same time.

    This is of course dependent on using the right equipment for liquid. Thats one thing Chem Lawn did right, developing the best equipment for liquid applications.

  5. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    With a z spray I can spread and spray at the same time. Here is my problem with the tank mix operation. What if the lawn has less than 1/2% broadleaf weeds? How do you not apply a broadleaf weed control over the whole lawn if you are using a tank mix? Not IPM, not environmentally responsible to spray an herbicide over a whole lawn that doesn't need it. Sure the profits are there, but that doesn't make it justifiable in my book. It should be illegal imo.
  6. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 633

    I agree turfsolutions, there isn't a whole lot of advantages to using liquid fert except in costs over granular mixes, liquid is a cheaper route but not on an agrinomically sound program. Many large companies use the liquid appraoch because they're stuck in the cheap material format and overhead is eating up their revenues. A granular approach is usually more feasible and even more so when you have a spread/spray machine like the Z-spray, perma-green, etc. You need to ask your self how much more time will it take to fill with liquid each night or morning over putting granular materail in your truck? How will you store a the liquid material for mixing, if you're using the actual liquid compounds then diking, tank issues come into question. If your using the ready mix granular soluble products to make a spray, then your blending urea, potash, phosphorus for a legitimate blend, I guarantee I will have my truck loaded granular and out before you even finish getting filled each morning. Don't get me wrong, there are some advantages to liquid but few and far between, in fact I did it in the past for years, but they don't outweigh the ability to offer the granular and liquid weed separated.
  7. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Messages: 406

    There are clear advantages with both methods. It sounds like you are currently set up to do a dry app then walk back over and spot spray as needed. This is great for IPM in that little material is wasted, and the volume of materials you carry is much less resulting in fuel savings,wear/tear on your vehicle etc.
    With a tank mix you have the ability to "blanket" and the app's will be much more consistent. Missing target pests (weeds,disease,insects) is virtually eliminated but chemical costs are higher. You also have the advantage of custom mixing as conditions change. Let's say you are applying the first treatment of the year with Fert/pre-m/post-emerge broadleaf control. As the season progresses you decide to back off on the Nitrogen rates. With a granular app. you are confined to specific rates in order to get down the necessary amount of preemergent to do the job. With a tank mix you simply adjust the rate of N/1000 and keep the herbicide rate the same. With either method the pros and cons are numerous. That's why I do both, depending on the season,production demands and target pest(s).
  8. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    The z spray will apply a consistant blanket application of herbicide when blanket spraying is needed. As far as adjusting Nitrogen, there are many combination granular products available with different % of N in each. Granted I cannot customize the mix as well as I could with liquid, however, that usually is not an issue in my program.

    I will say that when using a liquid mix, you only have to go over the lawn once. When I use my z spray to apply a granular fert and prem combo, along with a blanket herbicide application I go over the lawn twice. First with the granular fert/prem, second with the herbicide blanket spray. Technically I could do both at the same time, but not realistically. The big time savings for me is on the steps when I am applying only granular. I can be in an out very quickly as compared to the liquid approach.

    I will say you can do more with liquid in the way of customized mixes, but I think you can achieve top quality results with granular as well.
  9. allways green

    allways green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I like both, and use both but I like liquid alot better. you dont have to go back and spot spray weeds.
  10. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    I am switching from a 500 gallon sprayer on an 89 Superduty to either Perma Green or Z spray. Anyone want to buy my truck and sprayer email me at irishmike68@msn.com

    1989 Ford FSuperduty 7.3L diesel, 5speed manual, CD player, new paint, radiator, shocks, tires. 124K miles 8x12 steel flatbed on a Texas truck. First $4500 takes it! In S.E. Michigan.

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