How to save on lawn care chemicals

Lawn Care Chemical Savings

by Rich Finzer

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There's something special about a lush green lawn. A verdant patch of grass is visually appealing, increases your home's "curb appeal," and it's the ideal venue for catching a snooze in the shade. Trouble is that establishing and maintaining your little piece of paradise can become quite expensive, especially if you buy pricey lawn chemicals. The lawn care companies are more than willing to assist in that department, too. Every outfit is eager to pummel your wallet, persuading you to buy pre-mixed blends of its products while exacting a high price for the "wages of convenience." A case in point is non-selective herbicides, and here's an example.

A popular herbicide I'll call "cattle drive" is available pre-mixed in a one-gallon plastic jug, which includes a nifty trigger sprayer. For the record, most of the jug's contents is simply water, which is quite inexpensive and more importantly weighs about nine pounds per gallon. You simply march around the yard lugging your nine-pound jug and spray the product where needed. And when it's gone, you're out of business! Here's a better, easier, and more economical strategy, which will accomplish the same thing.

Buy a bottle of concentrated "cattle drive" and mix it yourself. Use an old one-gallon plastic milk jug and your own water. Then, instead of carrying the entire jug around your grassy estate, transfer some into an old window cleaner bottle, which is likely equipped with a trigger sprayer, too. Mark both bottles so that everyone knows they're poisonous and keep them in a safe place.

The concentrated liquid will cost you about 50 percent more than the pre-mixed gallon, but it will enable you to mix up about four times as much product. The smaller spray bottle is lighter to carry, and it's clear plastic, enabling you to see instantly when it's low on spray and prevents paying a king's ransom for a few measly ounces of the primary ingredient and nearly a gallon of plain tap water. Best of all, this same technique works equally well if applying orchard spray, selective weed/crabgrass killer, insecticide, or liquid plant food. Put the money you save toward a nice hammock and enjoy a free snooze in the shade.

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