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legendlawn
12-24-2008, 04:56 PM
I have a customer that wants a bid for 5 step application. I havent done anything like this yet. You don't have to have a license in my area, as long as you are putting down granular. I need to know what ratios some of you guys use throughout the year, so I can price the fertilizer. 0-0-0....or what. obviously not that since that would be pure nitrogen, but I just need some advice, so iI can get the bid in.

Thanks.

Steve
12-31-2008, 07:37 AM
Do you have a Lesco or something similar near by you? You can stop in there and they can give you an idea what works well in your area.

ABurlison
12-31-2008, 07:34 PM
If you've never done this before you really can't go wrong using Scott's products and their website tells you what to apply throughout the year, and it can be bought at any Lowe's or Home Depot, so its available everywhere.
http://www.scotts.com/smg/learn/gardeningCalendar.jsp?navId=700001&parentId=100006
http://www.scotts.com/smg/learn/annualProgramBuilder/apbstep1.jsp?navId=300031&parentId=100006

Steve
01-02-2009, 09:14 AM
Legend,

Let us know what you come up with as far as your fertilization schedule.

legendlawn
01-03-2009, 10:03 PM
I think I am good to go....I am either going to go through Lesco, or throgh a local garden store who sells Ferti Lome products. I really like Scotts, but not their price. Lol. I'm going to roll with this schedule.
February (Late)
April
June
August
Winterizer in Oct or Nov. depending on Conditions.

Also, I think I will send out a letter to all of my regualar clients offering this service.
Thanks for the help and recommendations. Steve, How do I put my name up under my handle, so that my real name appears under legend lawn instead of the word member? I put up an avatar so you guys can easily identify me, but would also like at least my first name to appear. Thanks.

Steve
01-04-2009, 10:40 AM
Can you edit your signature to put your name in there and your website address? That should help improve your search engine rankings too.

I am either going to go through Lesco, or throgh a local garden store who sells Ferti Lome products. I really like Scotts, but not their price. Lol. I'm going to roll with this schedule.
February (Late)
April
June
August
Winterizer in Oct or Nov. depending on Conditions.

What products will you be using at these times?

ritchiem
01-04-2009, 11:14 AM
What type of turf will you be putting this fertilizer down on? Also, have you put any thought into testing the soil? There are companies out there that will give you the exact ratio you should be putting down based on the soil test.

You can then visit a farm supply store or co-op (no sure what they would be called in the US) and they can mix your fertilizer for you.

legendlawn
01-04-2009, 05:21 PM
I looked into the soil test for one of my other customers. Unless you sub it out..I was having a hard time finding a actual soil test kit that I could do on site, without sending samples to my state extension office. Do you know where I can get any such kit?

ritchiem
01-04-2009, 05:26 PM
http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/store/tools/testing/soiltestkit/image

http://www.omega.ca/shop/subsectionSC.asp?subsection=GG08&book=Green

you can find a whack of them by googling. I have never used one (besides a pH meter), I have always sent my samples to Guelph University. Can be expensive but you get great results. Also, you can work the test costs into your prices.

Steve
01-05-2009, 10:28 AM
I would think that showing up and doing a soil test on the spot like that would be a great selling tool. If it is a little difficult to do, then most lawn care business owners aren't going to do it. This would give you a way to stand out. Also you could promote 'get a free soil test.'

legendlawn
01-05-2009, 12:46 PM
Absolutely! I agree 100 percent. I just havent been able to find a reasonable price kit, but I am going to look into it further now that you guys have got the ball rolling. Thanks

legendlawn
01-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Just found one from Park Seed Co. for 15 bucks that gives you instant results. Exactly what I have been looking for.

Steve
01-06-2009, 09:48 PM
What's the website link?

Also have you been thinking about how you will work that into your marketing?

legendlawn
01-06-2009, 10:02 PM
www.parkseed.com I havent thought about how to work it into my marketing yet. I've been handing out a fliers on days when its warm enough. I totally underestimated how long it takes to flyer when I was starting up last year and ordered a ton of flyers. Once I get rid of them all, I plan on altering the flyer in several ways, and offering the soil test on there is one thing I can do. Speaking of marketing, I just got my last christmas present in the mail today...The Big Lawn Care Marketing Book!!! so more to come on that. I also got Stop Lowballing for Christmas, but I am only a little over half way through it. Just havent had much time to read lately.

Steve
01-06-2009, 10:19 PM
WOW!! Thanks :)

I think you really need to play up the soil testing. This would be just fantastic. In fact you should get some video of you testing soil and put this on your site.

Get a picture of you using the soil tester in your marketing material too!

I'd love to see what you come up with.

swstout
02-02-2009, 03:16 AM
Rapitest® Soil Tester



• Complete instructions for adjusting soil conditions
• Includes tests for ph, nitrogen, phosphorus & potassium levels

You can get it at Ace Hardware - $16.99
Kit good for 40 tets
Some test take 24 hours

Steve
02-02-2009, 04:04 AM
Nice find!

Have you used it yet? What did you think about it?

swstout
02-02-2009, 07:59 AM
Nice find!

Have you used it yet? What did you think about it?

I have used it twice so far. What I first thought of a a drawback (a day between start of test and results) actually turned out to be a sales benefit. I could enhance my quote by showing the need for soil conditioning. i.e., the nitrate and pH levels being high but the lawn not responding a well as it should shows a need for lime to activate the nitrates already in the soil and reduce the pH for healthier root system.

I gives "justification" for quoting additional product or service. Something no one else here is offering,

Also I am blue green colorblind and the 24 hour delay gives me the opportunity to have my wife "read" the test results.

legendlawn
02-02-2009, 10:32 AM
Thats the same kit on park seed.com

Steve
02-03-2009, 12:06 PM
I have used it twice so far. What I first thought of a a drawback (a day between start of test and results) actually turned out to be a sales benefit. I could enhance my quote by showing the need for soil conditioning. i.e., the nitrate and pH levels being high but the lawn not responding a well as it should shows a need for lime to activate the nitrates already in the soil and reduce the pH for healthier root system.

I gives "justification" for quoting additional product or service. Something no one else here is offering,

Also I am blue green colorblind and the 24 hour delay gives me the opportunity to have my wife "read" the test results.

Very fascinating! How have you been able to use it in your sales presentation? If it takes 24hrs to finalize the results, how do you present this information to the customer?

swstout
02-04-2009, 06:24 AM
Very fascinating! How have you been able to use it in your sales presentation? If it takes 24hrs to finalize the results, how do you present this information to the customer?

Actually, it gives me a second face to face with the customer. It shows I am willing go the extra mile in his eyes. I could email it to him or give him a call but I prefer the direct contact approach.

I can drive home how the many benefits a comprehensive lawn care program will make his lawn stand out, ad value to his property, while at the same time increase his free time.

Steve

Steve
02-04-2009, 07:01 AM
Actually, it gives me a second face to face with the customer. It shows I am willing go the extra mile in his eyes. I could email it to him or give him a call but I prefer the direct contact approach.

I can drive home how the many benefits a comprehensive lawn care program will make his lawn stand out, ad value to his property, while at the same time increase his free time.

That is a good point! I can see how a homeowner would like to really get this information. Especially if you can show them some kind of color test or something scientific. Then they will see you really know your stuff.

What kind of soil situations have you found yourself dealing with in the past and what kinds of services did you offer the customer to resolve those issues?

swstout
02-04-2009, 10:57 AM
That is a good point! I can see how a homeowner would like to really get this information. Especially if you can show them some kind of color test or something scientific. Then they will see you really know your stuff.

What kind of soil situations have you found yourself dealing with in the past and what kinds of services did you offer the customer to resolve those issues?

On one lawn I found a pH of 5.5 (Acidic). Before I tested I knew it was high because of all the moss o the lawn. I showed him the importance of pH:

pH****The pH (acidity/alkalinity) level controls how well your grass utilize nutrients available in your soil. All grasses have pH preferences so it is important to know the pH level of your soil. By testing your soil, you determine its exact condition so that you can fertilize and/or adjust pH accurately and effectively.

On the same lawn, I found his soil had a sufficient amount of nitrogen, so a high nitrate count of fertilizer wasn't needed.

He went for the season contract starting with a lime application and then after I test again, a fertilization program.

I told him the lime would release the nutrients already in his soil for a healthier start on his lasn this season.

p.s.

I received 2 calls from his neighbors for appointments.

Steve

Steve
02-05-2009, 05:24 AM
This is fantastic! How do you advise including that soil tests are done, in your marketing? How do you let customers know you provide this service?

Also, do you suggest doing soil tests at any other time during the year to give the customer an update on how their lawn is improving? Is this something that could be included in a chart to show them in a letter?

swstout
02-05-2009, 10:32 AM
This is fantastic! How do you advise including that soil tests are done, in your marketing? How do you let customers know you provide this service?

Also, do you suggest doing soil tests at any other time during the year to give the customer an update on how their lawn is improving? Is this something that could be included in a chart to show them in a letter?

I have it memtioned in my flyers, and on my website

http://www.swstout.com

I also recommend it at every service. Free with contract, about $10.00 otherwise.

swstout
02-05-2009, 11:13 AM
Flyer again in different format