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Shrub Fertilization/Disease Control

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by MudslinginFX4, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    Hey guys,

    Did a search... couldn't find quite what I was looking for.

    I am working with my local Lesco right now trying to finalize a shrub and tree fertilization and diesase program that I will be adding in January for my customers. I am having a little bit of a problem with the pricing techniques that other people are using.

    Are you charging for your time more then materials? I can easily estimate how long it will take me to spray the shrubs, but it seems like this is too easy. Am I missing something, or do I just need to charge for my time? I'm guessing that the average house around here might take about 15-20 minutes of my time to spray. Is $59 too cheap for this service considering that it will take about $5-$8 of chemical?

  2. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,386

    You need to figure travel time to and from the job, hose pulling dificulty, time to talk to the customer, etc.
    You should get paid for your expertise in identifying insects and diseases, knowing which materials to use and when to use them.

    My target pricing for T/S I&D management is $165 per hour. Minimum charge is $65.

    I wouldn't rely solely on Lesco in planning your IPM program either. They have a financial stake in your plan. Do some research thru universities or through your co-operative extension office. There is a boatload info out there.

    A good resource is Landscape IPM put out by the Maryland Co-operative extension. Bulletin 350.
    Also PennState's Woody Ornamental Insect Mite and Disease Managment.
  3. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    Thanks philk17088 for your info. I had also been working with NCSU on some information and have done lots of research. I am working with Lesco more so on the products and substitutes of products etc.. I guess the big question I have is how the current company's are offering this service so cheap when I know it needs to be priced more. I also am not real concerned about drive time as much because this will be an add on to my current spray/fert rig. I currently have a 200gal and 300gal tanks and was going to buy a 50gal tank for the plants. I will be spraying the plants at the same time I do their regular fert. application. I also only work in my maintenance customers yards, so it's more just an add on to my current service.
  4. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,573

    You need to charge what you need to charge. (my Yogi-ism for the day) Unless you are in a really cut-throat market. If you give a good service, people will pay you for it. Figure out about how much time and material the job will take, and charge accordingly. And if somebody says "Well, so-and- only charges half that", then tell them to that you charge what you charge. Odds are they are full of it and will hire you anyway. And don't even think about competing price-wise with Chem-Lawn. You can't and still make money.
  5. MStine315

    MStine315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    One thing to remember about T/S applications and timing is that it doesn't always coincide with lawn apps. One example is disease treatments for apple scab, diplodia, and others requires 3 treatments at 10-14 day intervals beginning at bud break. Be sure you factor things like this in when pricing, and not just, "well I'll be there anyway doing the lawn" because it doesn't always work that way.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Because of chemical price increases I have raised my minimum to $ 75 on new customers for Fert & Squirt. Straight Ant Control I still do cheaper because of competition and High Margin of that type of service.

    To do good shrub management takes a arsenal of different products and a few good back packs as well. I use a general broad cast spray for 99% of my shrubs. However different shrubs have different needs so That is where the Arsenal of many products comes in. Fertilization is the most important thing you can offer on Shrubs. I suggest you use only the best slow release with a full minors package. What and when to use, depends on area.

    The Biggest trick to doing Ornamental management is to first learn all the names of every plant in your customer's landscape. If you have to, Spend hours on end in Nurseries or box stores where they sell ornamentals reading the signs with the names and learning the plants, then do it. Once you know a plants name, a book or the Internet can give you the information about that plant's needs or problems.

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