How to start fertilization and weed control service is what this blog post is all about. I did somewhat assume you have a business already offering other lawn or landscape services, but that is not required to follow this tutorial.
A subscriber of the LawnCrack YouTube channel asked me to create a video on how to start offering lawn treatments, also know as a fertilization and weed control program, as a service. This is the blog post that contains the step by step instructions on how I would go about it.
I worked for TruGreen for nearly 2 years as a tech spraying lawns in the mid 2000's. I also offered fertilization and weed control as a service in my lawn care business from 2009-2018, so I do know a thing or 2 about treating lawns.
I got to see how a national company did it, then modified how they did it to make it would for my small business. This was invaluable information for me to have going in. I hope this blog post and my video help you get started if you are wanting to get into offering lawn treatments to your lawn care business' clients.
Watch the video 1st if you'd like: https://youtu.be/UqJFCCqYq5s
Step 1: Get Your Pesticide Applicator's License
Check with your local extension office to find out the requirements to receive a pesticide applicators license in your state.
*Every state is a little different. Some states have much stricter requirements than others.
Study. Pay the fees. Get your license!
Step 2: Layout Your Lawn Treatment Program Step by Step
Layout your treatment program on paper.
Step by step…what’s included in each step? How many steps? Will you offer options? 4 or 6 treatments etc.? Is fungicide included? What about grubs? What if there is a grub or turf disease issue…how is this handled?
Source all of the products you will need noting the quantity, application rate, and your cost – Advanced Turf Solutions, SiteOne Landscape Supply, and so on
Find the cost per 1,000 sq. ft. of each product
*Don’t forget to account for PPE, proper storage and safety/cleanup gear, and the yard flags and stakes. Also, will you be offering free service calls and spot sprays for weeds? Account for this!
Determine the cost per 1,000 sq. ft. of each round according to what is included in that round.
Add the rounds up and then divide by the number of rounds for a cost per app price for that number of rounds. Consider offering a 4-step program to get people with smaller budgets and a more realistic 6-7 step program which you would prefer to run.
Determine if you will also offer closely related services such as aerating, dethatching, and overseeding.
*Create your pricing guide per 1,000 sq. ft. for these additional services.
Step 3: Purchase Equipment To Apply The Lawn Treatments
What equipment will you need? At a minimum, you will need a spreader that you can calibrate and a hand can to spot spray weed control.
You can always upgrade to a skid sprayer or ride-on spreader/sprayer in the future…
Step 4: Market Your Fertilization and Weed Control Service
Market your new fertilization and weed control service
1st, add it to your website. Create a dedicated page for the new service on your website. Add it as a service to your Google My Business, Facebook, and other key citations that allow you to note out individual services offered such as Yelp and Angie’s List.
Then make a post about it on your Facebook page, your business Facebook page, and Google My Business.
Then, make sure all of your friends, family, and current customers using other services know you now offer lawn treatments. Do this with phone calls, texts, emails, and more social media content. I’d recommend doing all 4 over a week’s period or so.
Send you clients educational content about their lawn and mention how your lawn treatment service can handle this for them. Link these emails to content you create on your blog about your fertilization and weed control service.
Consider running ads on Google to get in front people as they are actively searching for a service provider in your area and doing a printed material marketing campaign as well using items such as door hangers, yard signs, and post cards.
Step 5: Deliver Quality Results On Your Customer's Lawns
The most important step!
No one wants to pay for a lawn service and continue to have weeds, bare spots, or anything else then thick green turf!
This all comes down to applying the right products on the lawn at the correct rate with good timing.
More Things To Know About Offering Lawn Treatments
Weeds are weeds because they need little to nothing to grow. Be fully aware weeds are going to be a real pain in your rear end if you start a lawn treatment service.
You will have to educate your customers. Fertilization and weed control does not grow grass. If the lawn has bare spots, overseeding will be required to fill them in. Without overseeding, it will be a constant uphill battle keeping weeds out of these areas.
You need to document everything! Wind speed, temperature, products applied, rates, etc. and have this ready if the inspector ever asks for it. Keeps several years back worth of records just in case.
Would I offer lawn treatments again?
My personal feelings on offering fertilization and weed control.
Well, I’d rather not! Just like snow removal, I’d rather not include lawn treatments as part of my lawn and landscape suit of services.
The callbacks, tracking/documentation of everything, and equipment maintenance/not paid time in the service makes it very unappealing to me. Also, I found people with crappy lawns don’t want to pay for the overseed, they just want to complain when your lawn treatment program doesn’t magically grow grass for them!
But, it’s your business! If you think you are up to the challenge, there certainly is money to be made.
Fertilization and weed control can be a very profitable service when executed properly and you are able to attract ideal customers.