View Poll Results: Do you offer Fertilizing and Weed control?

12. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, And i know a lot about doing it

    1 8.33%
  • Yes, but only know a little about what i'm doing

    7 58.33%
  • Yes, but i only do what they suggest or ask for

    1 8.33%
  • No, but i recomend another company or what to do

    3 25.00%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Fertilizing, Weed Control- for newbies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Mound, MN

    Arrow Fertilizing, Weed Control- for newbies

    How do you diagnose what a lawn needs for fertilizer? Not that I don't know anything about it, just to get the topic rolling.
    How do you bill for fertilizing and weed control? Obviously per time, but do you charge them the actual cost of chemicals plus time, or just a flat rate? And where do you buy your chemicals? Because I'm looking for a company that i could get supplies from and not pay the high hardware store prices. These past years i've just applied fertilizers and weed killers that my customers gave me. But they don't know that much about it either. Just "give this a try". And I want to know where to buy it cheaper than Home Depot (if possible)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Nashville TN

    I will give you an exerpt from my book that explains a little about fertilizers. Please read the important note below about applying chemicals. As far as buying them for less check a local Farmers co-op. You can by it in bulk there. If you do not have a local farmers co-op, look in the yellow pages under pest control chemicals. Some companies that carry termite chemicals also carry lawn and garden chemicals. Another idea is Lesco which is a big lawn and garden chemical supplier. You can find them at

    I would charge a flat rate for your customers. It is easier that way. Take the cost of what they would have to pay for it at Home Depot and mark it up some. Then figure your time. But just charge a flat fee. It is much better than saying okay the fertilizer cost this much and my labor yada, yada, yada.


    Fertilizer should be applied to maintain reasonable growth and density. Knowledge of fertilizers can impress your customers as many do not have an idea of what to use, how to use, or how often to use them. Fertilization can burn or unevenly treat a lawn. This can cause yellow patches or different shades of green. Never throw fertilizer by hand.

    You will be asked about fertilizers in this business. Here are some things you need to know.

    Most fertilizers have 3 components- nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. There are 3 numbers on the bag 20-27-5 which means

    20 % Nitrogen – (1st number on the bag) is primarily responsible for plant growth and color. Too much nitrogen and it could burn the grass. Too little and the grass isn’t getting nutrients to sustain good color and growth.

    27 % Phosphorous – (2nd number on the bag) encourages healthy roots, shoots, and the production of flowers. Too high a level of phosphorous can encourage your lawn to produce seed heads.

    5% Potassium – (3rd number on the bag) is used all year by grasses, and is involved in heat and cold tolerance, disease resistance, and other stress tolerances.

    Color of grass is a good indicator of whether it needs Nitrogen. Healthy grass should have a deep green color. If it is lighter green or lime green that might mean it is under fertilized. Keep in mind not all grasses are composed of the same make up and may have a darker color than others.

    Excessive succulent growth, encouraged by fast acting, high nitrogen fertilizers, can increase thatch and make the lawn more susceptible to pests. Use complete fertilizers that contain micronutrients and some elements in a slow release form.

    Broadcast (also referred to as rotary) spreaders save more time. Never apply fertilizer throwing it with your hand out of the bag. It will provide an uneven application and can damage your customer’s lawn.

    Understand the settings and the rates of application for your broadcast spreader. Most fertilizer manufacturers list the recommended settings on the bag for the most popular brands of spreaders.


    You need to call your local county extension office and find out if you need any licenses to apply fertilizers in your area. Some states may require a license if you are doing only commercial property. Other states may require a license for residential and commercial properties. If you get caught applying fertilizers without a license they can put you out of business and slap a big fine on you. Usually they will give you a warning first.

    Best of luck,
    Kevin "Turn High Grass Into Cold Cash- How to Start a Lawn Care Business"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Mound, MN

    Arrow Extension Services? :)

    Thanks Kevin for your information.
    I have also found much help from the University of MN websites Each state probably has their own "extention services". Actually, i learned about this a year ago. But only now I have began reading more to learn much much much information. If any of the information seems of help to you, check it out at

    What i've found is that for Minnesota, this is the absolute best reference because unlike other "books" or "e-files", this is written for my state and my region. They know what grows and what doesn't. They live here, and know the lawns. They are up to date! So check it out, it's easy. Actually, why not just right click on this link and select "open in new window" and it will load a seperate window allowing you to read & reply to and peruse a wealth of knowledge.
    But like i said, after you get done checking out this site, google your states "Extension service". include university in the seach because usually the "extension service" is a part of the university and not government run.


    Characteristics of Natural and Manufactured Fertilizers for Lawns
    Fertilizing Lawns
    Ground Covers for Rough Sites
    Home Lawn, The
    Lawn Care Practices to Reduce the Need for Fertilizers and Pesticides
    Lawn Clipping Management
    Lawn Renovation
    Low Input Lawn Care
    Minnesota Gardening 2005 Calendar
    Options for Disposing of Leaves
    Ornamental Grasses for Cold Climates
    Ornamental Grasses for Minnesota
    Ornamental Grasses for Minnesota
    Preventing Pollution Problems from Lawn and Garden Fertilizers
    Responsible Fertilizer Practices for Lawns
    Responsible Use of Lawn Care Pesticides
    Seeding and Sodding Home Lawns
    Thatch Control in Lawns and Turf
    Watering Lawns and Other Turf
    Weed Control in Lawns and Other Turf

    Good luck! Please comment on this post!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Mound, MN

    Question Phosphorous is illegal now.

    In MN, phosphorous was outlawed because of runnof in to our lakes. But we can use it (in the bags) specified and only to be applied for establishing new lawns. Is there some other substances that help establish good strong root systems?

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