Some questions from a LICENSED newbie

Dylan's Lawn Care

LawnSite Member
Well im not licensed yet but i took it last week and am 99% sure I passed.

What kind of distance do you guys keep around ornamentals and do you increase the distance if it is hotter or a bit breezy that day? Almost every house i do has beds around the whole house with different flowers and shrubs in them.

What kind of distance do you keep from lakes and such when spraying weed or fertilizing? Our state recommends you keep a 10ft buffer strip but it is not the law. If i keep a 10ft buffer wouldn't the grass be very weedy or a lighter color then the ferted areas. All my water front yards have maintained grass to the waters edge and one has a pretty steep grade down to the water.

How accurate is lesco's website with the inventory at your local store? I was just looking at my local store online to try and put a game plane together on what I want to use and they had a very small selection and almost every thing was out of stock.

Thanks in advanced.


LawnSite Fanatic
S W Florida
What is the #1 rule for fert & squirt?

Apparently Reading the Label is not one of the areas covered on the Wisconsin Pesticide Test. IMHO the lack of training and experience to get a Pesticide license in many states is a major problem with our industry and the ENVIRONMENT.

However Chemical companies are going to continue to lobby for less restrictions so they can make even more money polluting to world.


Dylan's Lawn Care

LawnSite Member
Read the label.

The label will not tell you to stay a certain distance from plants it says to keep drift and over spray from susceptible plants and not to spray if wind is toward the plants. Lets say i spray right to the edge of the bed under ideal conditions you will still get some drift and overspray that could end up on the plants but is that small amount enough to hurt plants. Should you keep a small buffer zone?

Lets say we have a 6 mph wind not that strong but will cause some drift, when the house has ornamental all around the house you cant avoid not spaying some sides of the house where the wind is not blowing toward flowers. A 500 microns spay in a 3mph wind can drift 8 feet but, is the drift that would get from that be enough that it will kill plant if you left a 2ft buffer. Im not going to keep a 8 foot buffer around a whole house, on some of my houses that would be half the yard not being sprayed.

Ill make it simple answer this question when you spay a house under ideal condition do spray right to the beds or keep a small buffer, if you have a 6mph do you increase that buffer or just not spray.

I agree ric that it should be harder to get you license I think at a minimum home owners should have to take the course the most of us do just to use at your house. For commercial applicators I think you should have to have some kind of experience be working with a qualified applicator for some time or maybe some hands on courses with the state.


LawnSite Senior Member
CT Shoreline
Common sense can not be taught, in some cases it can be learned either.

Do you have a " core manual" among your study guides ?

This the updated New England copy link:

If you have read your state core manual, you should have the questions you are asking answered there.

In CT we have a written exam with calculations, identification of weeds, insects, diseases of turf, ornamentals.

If one passes the written exam, they then get to take the verbal exam, with DEP staff.

When i took the verbal back in the mid 1990's, I had 2 DEP staff asking many questions related to the written test, especially your weakest points from that test.

The verbal lasts 1 hour or so.

The majority of people cant pass the verbal test, which does not surprise me


LawnSite Fanatic
Grand Rapids MI
What pressure are you spraying? What nozzle size? Raindrop spray head? Air inducted? Low drift? Cone? Flat fan? Flood nozzle? What volume per 1000 sqft? How big are your droplets? How volatile is your product? How strong is the wind? Variable direction? Gusty? How sensitive is the ornamental? What temperature? Do you have to be concerned with root uptake? At what stage of growth are the ornamentals, (rapid growth, mature, dormant)? Are you using a drift control agent? Checking for air inversion?

Ornamental damage is a self-correcting mistake. Once you have killed a few bushes and replaced them and apologized--you will be careful. Buy some tomatoes. Practice on your own lawn.


LawnSite Fanatic
Honolulu, Hawaii
I spray right up to landscaped beds all the time. My buffer zone is around 6" from shrubs. But I am not swinging a gun or using conventional flood or fan tips. The application is being made with air inducted fan tips operated at a set pressure either on a boom or on a wand. Nothing is applied when winds exceed 15 MPH. You have to look at how many particles of a given micron size are being generated and at what height the spray is being released from. In lawns where I am literally surrounded by ornamentals, my nozzle height is less than 16". I use a single air inducted tip on a long wand. Doing things this way, I have not had problems with spray drift. However, I am serious about not applying when winds exceed 15 MPH. In many cases it is a label violation to apply when winds exceed 10 MPH.