The Cost of DIY Lawn Care
And as I like to do, let’s start by looking at products you can get right from your local big box store or Ace, even Walmart. (these are NOT sponsored)
Cool Season Turf: Clover ControlIts summer and clover is starting to rage across the country.
I recently talked on my podcast about how selfish nitrogen-fixing clover truly is, check out that segment here.
That said, you want to know how to get rid of it and the easiest and cheapest way is to get an over-the-counter weed control and get on it!
Bio Advanced Concentrate is one that I recommend for cool season lawns (Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, Ryegrass) because it’s easy to get, has some fudge factor built in (lower active ingredients so less chance of injury to turf) and most of all, it works.
Additionally, it contains quinclorac which can stunt and kill early season crabgrass which many of you will be seeing right now.
That said, let’s cost it out.
(note, do not spray this product when temps are over 85F. Instead, wait until evening and spray then)
Size: 40 oz bottle
Cost Per Ounce: $ .27 (27 cents)
Application Rate: 6.4 oz/gallon (see label screenshot above)
Coverage: 1 gallon covers 1,000 sq ft
Cost Per 1,000: $1.73
Cost for a 5,000 sq ft lawn: $8.65
At this rate, the entire bottle would cover 6,250 sq ft.
40/6.4 = 6.25
Now, this assumes that you have an entire lawn full of clover and other weeds and need to do a complete blanket spray - if that’s you, it only costs you $8.65.
Take my advice: don’t do that. Just spot spray or zone spray.
I just did the math so you could see just how cheap doing your lawn truly is.
Need some instructions on how to spray?
Check out this video I created for you, how to spray weeds in the lawn.
Warm Season Turf: Doveweed, Foxtail, and More
You guys know I’m a fan of Celsius Herbicide for warm season turf (Zoysia, St Augustine, Bermuda, Centipede).
I mostly like it because it’s decently gentle on St Augustinegrass when many other weed controls are not.
But it is also good on one of my old enemies, Doveweed.
If you live in Florida, Southern Louisiana or even South Georgia, then Doveweed may be a problem for you.
It starts to show in the middle of summer and we are getting to that point.
Either way, Celsius is great on many other summer weeds in warm season turf including foxtail, dollard weed (pennywort) and creeping beggarweed.
Again though, don’t spray this when it’s over 85 degrees outside. Wait until the evening when temps come down, then spray.
Now, Celsius (affiliate link) is what I term a “professional” weed control and so it may “sticker-shock” you pretty hard when you see the price.
But that’s why the math is important - because of the formulation, the actual amount of product needed is very small. Let’s look together:
Size: 10 oz bottle
Cost Per Ounce: $12.60
Application Rate: .085 oz/1,000 (this is the mid-rate, zone spray)
Coverage: 1 gallon covers 1,000 sq ft
Cost Per 1,000: $1.07
Cost for a 5,000 sq ft lawn: $5.35
"ZONE - A zone application is defined as a broadcast application made to a defined area (less than 10,000 sq ft per acre. Add the specified product rate of 0.057-0.113 oz (1.6-3.2g) to 1 gallon of water. One gallon of spray solution will treat up to 1,000 sq ft."
This is dry concentrated product known as a “wettable granule” and the math here is a little more complicated so let’s look at it closer.
10 oz bottle
Application Rate is very small - only .085 oz/gallon/1,000 sq ft
That is why the bottle can go so far because:
10/.085 = 117.65
That means one bottle can cover 117,000 sq ft if you go with this mid-rate.
If your lawn is 5,000 sq ft, then you can get many many applications from this one bottle!
This is especially true if you are just zone spraying and not actually blanketing your entire lawn.
However, because the product is so concentrated, it does not have any fudge factor built in.
If you mis-measure then it doesn’t take very much to be over in your mix.
If you decide to use this product, I recommend you convert ounces to grams and utilize a scale to measure out the WG (wettable granules) so you are more accurate.
This isn’t difficult, just an added step.
(2.4 grams is equal to .085 oz - the label makes the conversion for you too, read it.)
Like reading labels?
I have a podcast segment where I talked about “signal words” on labels and what they mean. Pretty interesting if you are into that kind of thing.
By The Way - I hope you enjoy this kind of math.
I really like teaching this part because people end up realizing that once they gain experience, having access to professional products actually saves money in the long run.
Of course, there is the fact that you have to buy several YEARS worth of product up front - and shelf life has to be a consideration too… this is why I constantly lobby these companies to make smaller bottles/jugs available to us DIYers.
Speaking of pro products available to us DIYers, this weekend I’m testing out some new hose end sprayers and I’ll do some more of this type math for you showing some liquid products and what they cost on average. Make sure to subscribe here.
Hope you all have a great week and your July 4 is full of family, friends, and celebration.
This is a great country we live in. God bless the USA!