Bulk Fertilizer purchasing, what to get and where?

I am prospecting to start up a deep-root fertilization aspect of my services provided... What fertilizers (brand and product name) are being used and what outlets are they available from? [N. Colo. Frontrange/plains region] Is there anything that I should steer clear from? What are some insights to this aspect of the industry that you can provide to someone thinking this is a profitable avenue to pursue?
 

RopeShield

Branched out member
Location
Ontario, Canada
There is no advantage to deep root ferts. Broadcast is less expensive, better for the enviro etc.
Look for low salt index ferts, organic matter is key for most soils. Soil science, and understanding plant nutrients and deficiencies needs is going to help sell yourself.
Soil decompaction is another service you can look at.
In the end you will have a difficult time selling when your knowledge is limited cause you competition may or may not be more and better informed.
Alot of misinformation out there so stick with what you are confident in.
Where are you, soil types, etc?
 

ATH

Been here a while
Location
Ohio
Steer clear from: Bulk fertilization where every client gets the same thing and the same dose.

"don't guess, soil test". Unless there is an identified deficiency, I do not fertilize - especially larger trees. If the tree has been healthy and happy for the last 50 years, unless something has changed, why would it suddenly need fertilized? if a young tree doesn't have the nutrients it needs already in the soil, the soil isn't the problem, the tree selection is.

The only times I sell any fertilization:
1) a young tree that has been established for a couple of years to get its roots going we may "artificially accelerate" the growth rate. This to me is better than planting a larger tree at planting time. Of course, we still need to know what is in the soil so we have an idea about the limiting factors. Maybe that is water. Fertilizer in that case, won't accelerate growth, but more likely retard growth.
2) Soil changed - usually due to construction. In the long-term, we need to rebuild the soil structure and organic material. Fertilizer is a short-term fix to keep things moving along.
3) Around here, a lot of Pin oak and Red maple are chlorotic because of high pH soils. Those were the wrong trees...but people want to maintain them. It is like pushing water up hill, but sulfur is cheap, so we do some of that if they are willing to put in a bigger mulch ring to help the overall soil profile.
 
There is no advantage to deep root ferts. Broadcast is less expensive, better for the enviro etc.
Look for low salt index ferts, organic matter is key for most soils. Soil science, and understanding plant nutrients and deficiencies needs is going to help sell yourself.
Soil decompaction is another service you can look at.
In the end you will have a difficult time selling when your knowledge is limited cause you competition may or may not be more and better informed.
Alot of misinformation out there so stick with what you are confident in.
Where are you, soil types, etc?
Yes agreed and great idea of soil aeration service for compacted soil mitigation! I am staying in the 'Organic' realm from my background knowledge and beliefs.... I have a degree and experience in soil science and crop sciences, I have focused experience on tree crops of many varieties (coffee, fruit, lumber, coffee, ) and I am aware of need to know before you apply BMP approaches...Very necessary to be informed before doing 'fert' applications. I am in a arid/very arid regional area (watering sub surface is very beneficial for trees and perennials as well water conservation... being in drought most of the time all trees not directly near a water source could benefit from some available water), for my region so that water need/lack is another use of the deep-root application equipment that I am prospecting to purchase. Developers plant Silver Maple and like Acer varieties here very commonly and the trees are frequently chlorotic from Fe and Mg deficiencies in the soils and availability. Amending the soil for OM additions and pH buffering is very commonly necessary for tree health (specifically young trees) in this region... Soil basic regional composition Clay loam soil that needs OM amendments for water holding capacity and availability is never something that is not needed in urban areas... Forested with leaf litter /OM soil coverage is different but not the realm we work in...
Yeah competition is there, always there, but I am slightly more sell able as personable and diversified services in some of the other aspects of the industry (than the big guys) to be profitable and stay to my goals and morals of doing my own business.
....Thoughts on this are well accepted, thanks
 

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