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Soil sterilizer???

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by MikeKle, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. MikeKle

    MikeKle LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,253

    I mow for a check cashing chain in KY and the mowing part doesnt take long, but all of their locations are filled with weeds/ grass in the landscaping, cracks in the parking lot,etc. It takes us awhile to trim everything but if the weeds were kept under control we could be outta there in 30 minutes. I heard about soil sterilizer and it claims to keep anything from growing for a whole year where it is applied.

    I will not be doing the application because I do not have the license to do so, but I will be contracting it out, but if they only have to apply it once a year, they may not be interrested? Does soil sterrilzer really work that well? does it just kill small stuff or will it take out larger bushes and shrubs?

    My contact at the chain said we could sub out the spraying work and charge them accordingly. Is soil sterilizer an expensive route to go? Thanks for the help.
  2. cmrgrounds

    cmrgrounds LawnSite Member
    from augusta
    Messages: 43

    I bought a five pound bag for $60 at lesco. I havnt tried it yet but im using it on a property that i bought to keep it from getting overgrown with weeds and brush. From what i understand, where you apply it nothing with grow. I would not recommend using it in any beds or close to anything that you want to keep such as turf or any ornamentals. Your best bet would be to pull the weeds and pre m the beds maybe like twice a year. Pre emergants wont harm the wanted plants. Just so you know, the manager and my local ewing store told me about a lawsuit that happened here locally with tru green where some idiot applied Sahara on six different properties and they had to pay to have the whole property dug up. They tore out everything grass, bushes and all. Then had to bring in new dirt and re landscape everything.
  3. EVM

    EVM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    I don't think you can use soil sterilizer on pavement/concrete. Anybody else know?
  4. hughmcjr

    hughmcjr LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 183

    Bare with my tangent here...

    I don't know about sterilents since I don't really have a need, but here in Oregon I am licensed. Prior to getting my license, I used the same chemicals I am using now and I used them legally according to Oregon Pesticide laws in the "grey area", since they are not restricted use (which one couldn't get without a license anyway, so it is a given), the dollar amount is less than 10% of my gross and I didn't advertise chemical use. I used and still use Dimension in a liquid form, now Dimension EW, to control weeds in cracks and lines in pavement and parking areas etc. If I apply in the fall and then again in the spring, I am virtually weed free. It works really well and is a bit expensive, but it won't sterilize, kill grass or plants. This isn't a slam on the pros who are licensed as they should be skilled, but while you maybe able to contract out, even someone who is experience or licensed may not be as fussy as you or take the care you would around grass and plants with chemicals. I do ALL my chem apps myself and only occasionally let my employees do a small amount of granular fertilizer. I am too picky, don't want damage to persons or property and like having the control over the apps.

    What I am saying is if you do know how to spray and use chemicals and if, big if, your state is similar to mine in terms of regs, you might consider doing it yourself.

    This of course is going to open a can of worms that pros, like myself who are licensed, are going to want the business and also are going to question the legality and safety of someone who is not licensed. I can tell you from personal experience of being in business 20 years and using chemicals that whole time, the only true benefit about being licensed in my state for what I do is to be able to advertise and therefore expand your business. Other than that, the scrutiny that I am under is far greater than not being licensed and really makes me more susceptible by far to fines, inspections etc. WHen I wasn't licensed the state knew nothing of me and I was in the legal realm of how and what I was doing with chemicals.

    As a licensed pro, I am playing devil's advocate for not being licensed at the same time I wish everyone who used ANY chemicals had to be licensed. In my state, since they don't have to be licensed if one falls into the "grey area" I mentioned, is not looking to advertise or expand the chemical side of their business, it makes it difficult to really justify being licensed over not being licensed. UNfortunately the lax regs make it seem that way.
  5. lawngreen1

    lawngreen1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    What you are after is what is known as "Residual Herbicides". An example of this type of herbicide is a product called "Oust". At least this is the brand name that is sold to commercial operators here in Australia.

    The problems here that I think you will encounter are:
    1. the herbicide is residual so when applied to soil you may affect the soil where tree & plant roots are. So this is a danger for obvious reasons
    2. the herbicide is usually sold in a commercial quantity, and for a limited use it may not make economic sense to buy the stuff

    Most probably best to outsource this to a company that handles this sort of herbicide spraying.

    Other ways to handle your weed situation is to spray regularly with roundup, maybe even mulch the area with bark mulch or whatever.
  6. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,554

    I think you will find that simply spraying round up onot crack weeds a time or three a year will take care of the problem.

    However, if you insist on using a sterilant:

    First: BE CAREFUL. Those chemicals are nasty and, if they migrate on you, like through sandy soils, or stone dust, gravel, etc,(like you find under parking lots) and get where you don;t want them (like into a rose farden next door) you have a problem.

    There are several on the market. Sahara, Mojave, plus a few others. Google soil sterilant and see what you get. I would start at my local lesco or other major chemical distributor.
  7. Heidi J.

    Heidi J. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Not to be rude, be he shouldn't start anywhere.. he should hire it out to a professional, like he said. Killing vegetation should only be done by professionals who are familiar with the products and what it kills and for how long, as well as any possibility of the product leaching. You can google all you want and not learn the effects of these chemicals. Experience is the key.

    Call and get estimates from a few subcontractors, also ask about what their guarantees are. Ask what products they use. It may be a little pricey, but it will last all year. And don't worry about someone taking a job for a one time kill, plenty of companies do it for a living and are used to it, if they know what they are doing.

    Good luck!
  8. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    they are very mobile if care is not taken in application. but we have used them in the past and nothing will grow at all inthat area for like 2-3 years. awesome really, contract it out though for sure, obey the law
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,946

    We use Sahara once in a while, but that's if it's dirt or gravel with no trees,etc nearby. We're talkin' "industrial sites".

    We prefer Roundup. Adding pre-emergent products (Dimension, etc) adds little IMO cuz pre's break down quickly in parking lots, rocks, etc due to extreme soil temps. We prefer to spray Roundup 3 times per year.

    No way would we use soil sterilents on a retail business with concrete.
  10. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    To answer your question, yes, if there are existing plants, trees or shrubbery on the site in question. Do not apply any sort of soil sterilizers such as Pramitrol--Hyvar--Krovar, Spike-- because of the leach possibilities on pavements. Adjacent walkways, culverts, storm drains are a big concern in commercial sites.
    If you are in the position of sub contracting this out, allow a pro to do this work. The owner of the establishment will need to be the one dealing with the contractor, because of any unforseeable consequences that may arise. Don't be the scape goat--middle man that will be in poor posture, when something goes wrong and you are the one to answer for the mistake.!!!!!!!!!

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