Starting Fertilizer apps next season a cpl questions

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by GRANTSKI, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. GRANTSKI

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,448

    Getting licensed over winter (hopefully).
    Plan is to use to use some traditional weed control/etc but incorporate as much organic products as possible - pushing yearly overseeding till lawn is full to cut down on chemicals.
    I know we.ll learn alot in class but looking for some tips :
    1. What is typical pricing / profit per application ?
    2. What are the most reliable/proven organic products ? And which organic products are useless ??
     
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,704

    Big companies have a stop charge of about $22. This covers overhead and transportation. I used to figure my chemical cost at about 20 percent of the charge per thousand sqft. So if you also charge 3 dollars per thousand--your chem cost would be about 60 cents for a thousand sqft.
    But organic products would be far more costly. Milorganite for example--its been around for years. Pelletized chicken manure might suit you better, (Sustane and the like), if you can find a nearby source. Or maybe a "bridge " fertilizer like Screamin' Green.

    If you are a good salesman, try to promote the extra dense varieties of grass seed. Try to go with weed products that are very low toxicity--products safer than Weed-B-Gone, safer than any weed and feed. Like Federal "Reduced Risk" products.
     
  3. CHARLES CUE

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,643

    You need to PS phasthound on here he will run you in the right direction he is a smart guy. i would say you need to keep products at 25% of your price
     
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  4. GRANTSKI

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,448

    Ok so I'll figure around $25 "stop charge" to begin with. Sounds like Id have to base my pricing on the cost of traditional fertilizer / chem prices. With organic the cost vs total price would be different since it's more $ for the product - but not more time and labor.
     
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  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,704

    Here is a source of pelletized chicken manure. 4 percent nitrogen.
    https://www.herbrucks.com/grains-fertilizer

    Bulk--not bagged--it is about $99 per ton. And the cost per pound of nitrogen is about 1.23. More if in bags. Plain urea nitrogen costs about 65 cents per pound. The labor to spread it is a bit higher--because you have to carry more on the truck and apply it at a higher rate. You might need two bags per lawn instead of one.

    But if you are an organic company--you charge more--because its a premium product and service--right?

    And speaking of useless--ask around about corn gluten meal for crabgrass. Don't expect 100 percent control. Adds lots of organic nitrogen, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  6. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,415

    Did you happen to attend the NOFA Organic Landcare Annual Gathering in Southington Monday? The main subject this year was organic turf care.
    http://www.organiclandcare.net/annualgathering
     
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  7. GRANTSKI

    GRANTSKI LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,448

    No but plan is (my brother) getting state certified - then both taking the Nofa organics online course & as many follow up seminars/etc as possible. Will start ppl on transitional programs & push towards all organic. I notice alot of fert&squirt companies don't include aeration& overseeding in their regular programs. This will be a big part of my organic program. I do have 3 years experience overseeding & have been getting great results esp when followed up with a good fert schedule (and/or irrigation). So I'm confident in selling that part of it.
     
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  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,415

    I highly suggest you take the 4 day course.
    http://www.organiclandcare.net/professionals/accreditation
    This will get you started with a lot more knowledge that will save you from making a lot of errors. This is a science based course taught be some very experienced practitioners.
     
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  9. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 165

    I have had great results with feather meal granular fertilizer. Been using it for over a decade. Also has other ingredients like lime, myccorhyzae, and SOP.
    I recently have been trying a blend of feather meal and processed chicken manure. It is a bit cheaper than straight feather meal products, has a slightly longer duration in IMO, and really greens them up nicely. Also contained myccorhyzae as well. Great value to the customer, if they don't mind the mild smell the first day.
     
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  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,704

    Dense grass helps to crowd out weeds and crabgrass. Particularly if irrigated and cut high. Check out the types of professional grass seed that claim to be "dense".
    At the SRO DLF-Pickseed site or instance.
    http://www.sroseed.com/news-and-pre...-usa-has-restructured.aspx?Action=1&PID=18380

    Some examples that claim to be "dense" Jasper II and Shoreline which are fine fescues. And the bluegrasses: Granite and SR2284.

    It is not retail. Emphasize to your customers that you are the only source of the dense-type grass seed--if you are.
     

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