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Want to start treating my own yard

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by 95Z71, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. 95Z71

    95Z71 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    I got my yard sprayed with some pre-emergent and the total cost was $60.00. Not to bad, but would like to learn about the herbicides and save a little money as well. Can anyone tell me what I should be spraying and fertilizing with throughout the various months. Thanks

    BTW I have a hybrid type bermuda in the front, and common bermuda in the back. Thanks
  2. phillie

    phillie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 861

    Chances are it will cost you more for the chemicals than you are being charged. Im not from your area so I couldnt give you an answer on products but if its about money you prolly wont be saving to much. Especially once you figure that you buy all the stuff you need and realize that for 5-10 more you can get someone else to do it.
  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    I was gonna not say anything but just have a couple questions.

    $60...what size is your lawn?

    Do you like working in your lawn and do you really understand turf?
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    I was going to add but forgot...if he likes to treat his lawn...then he should do it, but he will MAYBE save $10-15 an app just guessing!
  5. Dandylyin Slayer

    Dandylyin Slayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    A good part of what you pay for is experience and knowledge when you hire a pro.

    If you want to learn about makin better fried chicken, do you think that colonel Sanders is gonna give you his secret recipe ?
  6. rhyan6

    rhyan6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    best advise is buy a brodleaf herbicide read the label for application rate. I would go to a local jd dealer and talk to them. You wont save money doing it yourself but if you like working on your own and learning good luck to you. Being professional is educating others. Always remember water is king.
  7. scottparker

    scottparker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I mix and spray Prodiamine as my Pre-Emerge from my backpack sprayer. I spray a 3 way herbicide after the grass has started growing and then just shoot some quick release fert for spring green up and then go to a slow release for May.
  8. phillie

    phillie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 861

    Quick release fert. (all mineral)Isn't a good product to use especially if you haven't done it yourself. It's easy to burn lawns with plus it doesn't last that long, that's why it's so cheap. Stick with slow release and you will be alot happier.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. lrvjim

    lrvjim LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 7

    Right here http://msucares.com/lawn/lawn/index.html would be a good place to start your education. Then come back if you have questions of a more specific nature that need to be answered.
  10. assemblage

    assemblage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    I'm doing my own. My state allows it. This is my second year, so I'm still learning. I read a lot though and spend a lot of time learning. Google is great and all the state school's outreach websites (like that good MS State one) are helpful for general knowledge. I read this site a lot, because the pros say what they're doing. I'll ask questions in this forum, but the pros usually say... hire a pro and that you're not smart enough to do it yourself. But, I can't have someone do just whatever to my stuff and be ignorant about what's going on. It just seems for every good Pro, there's 4 or more undependable, lazy, unknowledgable or corner cutting ones. Even with hiring a pro, if I don't know what's going on, I'm setting myself up to be a sucker. I just had a house built, I can go on and on about that.

    I get my chems for Lesco/John Deere Landscaping. I am limited to what they have in stock, but it's cheaper than Lowes or Home Depot. I was asking advice, but got tired of their disrespect. They aren't too bad, but when I asked a stupid question, the acted like it was incomprehensibly dumb that I asked it. Even so, their advice is monumentally better than what's given at Lowes or Home Depot and most garden shops. They were also charging me more than was listed on the website. Now I just order from the website and go pick it up.

    For pre-emergent I use Stonewall 0.43% 0-0-8m. For what I understand the application rate on the package is for a full year coverage. I read that guys here do a half dose/year at dormancy for winter weeds mainly poa annua and then again before spring for crabgrass and spring and summer weeds. It was $19.20 a 50lb bag last year and $21.92 last week.

    For Fertilizer I have some 32-0-8 30% Ppscu 2fe from Lesco. It's what they have in stock. It's $24. I was a little light on the fertilizer last year, so I'll be a little heavier this year. That's where the slow release will be helpful. I think it's more forgiving, so if I overdo it, I won't be harming the grass nearly as much.

    I bought Teaming with Microbes and understand about organic vs chemical fertilizer and the soil ecosystem. It makes good sense. The organic way seems forgiving and lead to longer term benefit because it'll improve the soil. Since the builder left me with sterile type subsoil, it's going to take a while to get it right. I'm not sure if I have the money for it this year. I'm very tempted because I have an excellent business that does compost and special topsoils 14 miles from me. I don't have a truck so they'd deliver 8 yard minimum at .40 a mile delivery fee. I have about 7300 sq feet of lawn and at 1 yard for 1k sq feet and $32.50 a yard for compost that'd be $266 twice a year = $534. Compare that to $24 for a bag of fertilizer and say I use 4 bags over the spring and summer that's just $96.

    For weed control, besides the preemergent, I just pull or spot spray.

    I use some Roundup concentrate that my Dad gave me years ago. I use that for shrub beds, around the edges and where I don't mind if it kills everything around it. I'll pull by hand in the shrub bed more often though. I'm running low on it, so will probably get some Lesco Prosecutor Pro 2.5 Gal, $55.

    I had a problem with yellow nutsedge last year. That stuff can be a disaster if it gets out of control. I think it was in the topsoil I used (got two full dump truck loads for the back yard). I read and read here and other sites and it seemed like people loved SedgeHammer (halosulfuron). My Clemson county extension says it's wonderful. Lesco sales reps said it's the best. It just didn't work that great for me. It also seemed a bit pricy because I believe it needs two applications to kill and I had a lot of nutsedge sprouts. I changed to FMC Professional's Dismiss (sulfentrazone) and it worked like a dream. The nutsedge sprouts would turn brown and whither in a couple days. I had to reapply on some, but I'm not sure if that was just new sprouts or I missed some. It was near the end of the season, so this year when or if the nutlets reawaken I'll know for sure. But anyways my local Lesco sells SedgeHammer and the one 75 miles from me only had the pint bottle which is $325, so I had to look elsewhere. I got a 6oz bottle from ebay for about $100. A little goes a long way and much further than SedgeHammer.

    I still need to figure out my product of choice for general weed spot spray for spotted spurge etc. I did a lot of hand pulling last year and used up some the HD & Lowes homeowner grade weed killer that I already had. I'll probably use Lesco Three-Way Selective 1 Gal for $38.

    I don't use exterior pesticides except for the pro that we hire for termites, Andro for fire ants. For inside, I got some Cyper WP at Lesco for spiders and bugs. Different license for pesticide control, so a lawn service probably wouldn't provide those services too.

    While the pre-emergent and fertilizer is sold in small enough quantities that I can use them up, the herbicides and pesticide are for pros and make gallons and gallons and gallons and gallons of the stuff. That's where the expense comes it. Initially it will cost more, but in the long run it will be a lot cheaper. Trugreen wants to charge $50 an app for my 7500 sq ft yard. If they do one app a month starting in Feb (seen the truck already) and ending in October, that's $450.

    So cost analysis, I've payed $100 for fertilizer (if even that much), $50 for preemergent, $25 for Dismiss nutsedge killer ($100 for 6 oz bottle mixed at .257 oz per gallon, 6 gal estimated use), $2 for the Lesco 3 way ($38 for 128 oz mixed at 1oz per gallon, 6 gal estimated use), $2 for Prosecutor Pro($55 for 320 oz mixed at 1.3 oz per gallon, 6 gal estimated use) That's $179. So that's $450-179 = $271 and with monthly apps thats $271/9 = $30 a month in savings. If I use a bag less fertilizer and didn't need the Dismiss, it'd be $312/9 = $36 a month in savings.

    I have a nice reel mower now and will be learning even more about maintenance. I'll be mowing twice a week, addressing drainage and irrigation issues. I believe this will lead to a healthier lawn that will mean less need for 'cides. I'd like to get better with weed identification and fungus or disease identification.

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