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View Full Version : The guy who sprays the lawn said that............


lawnman_scott
05-24-2008, 09:58 AM
For those who don't do lawn spraying (it's virtually impossible to do both here in FL, very hard to get the license), do you find that the spray guys that can't make a yard green will come up with anything to shift the blame to others? The lawn guy is using dull blades, cutting too short...........

I have showed people the setting I cut on to show them I am not cutting to short but it does no good. If the spray guy says it, it is as good as gold. He will say there must be something wrong with the mower. But, I found something that works wonders. Had someone come out and say I was cutting too short (per the spray guy). I asked them what he said I should cut it on. They said he told them 3-4 inches. So I asked them if they had a soda in the house (most do), they said yes and I got a can from the truck, put it under the deck to show the height of the blades. A soda can is 5 1/4 inches tall. I was cutting on 5. So I asked if they wanted me to go 2 inches shorter. They were kind of mad at my attitude, but it's the last time I heard anything about the mowing height.

lawnspecialties
05-24-2008, 10:45 AM
Excellent story there with the can.:weightlifter:

Over the years, I have developed an attitude of almost getting too defensive when someone tries to blame me for something I know isn't my fault. I actually do my own spraying and ferts. but I have several fert. customers who mow their own lawn or actually have some lowball Hispanic outfit mow for them. There have been times I've pulled up to do an application and the fescue is cut around 2". Sometimes it's obviously ragged and torn on top. That's what they get for using low ballers with blades as sharp as a 9 iron.

But at other times, a customer's yard seemed to be cut well and we still had problems in spots. A few times I've told them "I don't why it's doing that". Blaming the mowing crew for something they obviously didn't do is cowardly.

The Rookie
05-24-2008, 10:59 AM
Why are some customers so particular. When you don't do it yourself and put forth labor intensive motivation, how can one complain about the job that is being done. Granted the job is done well. Mowing is really harder than it sounds because everyone has different expectations, whether it is the person who wants you to cut earthworms heads off when you mow but still have a weed free green lawn. It is almost impossible to please everyone. I used to sharpen my blades after every 3 to 4 hours of mowing but no one ever patted me on the back and thanked me for it. Instead I get "the last time you were here you didn't blow the grass off good enough or something like that. So now I don't stripe as much, I dont sharpen as much and I don't do the extra hard work because no one really appreciates it. There are very few people that do and they only because they realize I can do a better job than they can.

DuraCutter
05-25-2008, 01:32 AM
Why are some customers so particular. When you don't do it yourself and put forth labor intensive motivation, how can one complain about the job that is being done. Granted the job is done well. Mowing is really harder than it sounds because everyone has different expectations, whether it is the person who wants you to cut earthworms heads off when you mow but still have a weed free green lawn. It is almost impossible to please everyone. I used to sharpen my blades after every 3 to 4 hours of mowing but no one ever patted me on the back and thanked me for it. Instead I get "the last time you were here you didn't blow the grass off good enough or something like that. So now I don't stripe as much, I dont sharpen as much and I don't do the extra hard work because no one really appreciates it. There are very few people that do and they only because they realize I can do a better job than they can.

You've made a few good points! It's true striping isn't noticed much, so is sharpening blades, the customer notices only the obvious so it's best to focus on that.

Problem with mowing is you're dealing with a job even a trained monkey can do. So, the profits are dirt low and the satisfaction is the same in most cases.

I'm sure glad I've got our company to cut back on mowing. We get more satisfaction from repairs on condos exterior envelopes, the co. makes more moola and I've got bonus after bonus coming in.

Woohoo... :)

Charles
05-25-2008, 08:44 AM
For those who don't do lawn spraying (it's virtually impossible to do both here in FL, very hard to get the license), do you find that the spray guys that can't make a yard green will come up with anything to shift the blame to others? The lawn guy is using dull blades, cutting too short...........

I have showed people the setting I cut on to show them I am not cutting to short but it does no good. If the spray guy says it, it is as good as gold. He will say there must be something wrong with the mower. But, I found something that works wonders. Had someone come out and say I was cutting too short (per the spray guy). I asked them what he said I should cut it on. They said he told them 3-4 inches. So I asked them if they had a soda in the house (most do), they said yes and I got a can from the truck, put it under the deck to show the height of the blades. A soda can is 5 1/4 inches tall. I was cutting on 5. So I asked if they wanted me to go 2 inches shorter. They were kind of mad at my attitude, but it's the last time I heard anything about the mowing height.

Ya the spray guy has made customer relations more complicated for me at times. The spray guy IS the problem!!:hammerhead::laugh:

lawnman_scott
05-25-2008, 10:07 AM
Ya the spray guy has made customer relations more complicated for me at times. The spray guy IS the problem!!:hammerhead::laugh:It just seems like its an easy cop out to blame us when they cant figure something out. I actually notice it more from the big national companies, but some small guys as well. The soda can thing does work wonders though, I did test it first though, to make sure I would be right.

ALC-GregH
05-25-2008, 10:10 AM
The soda can thing does work wonders though, I did test it first though, to make sure I would be right.

LOL, I'd hope so, nothing worse then putting your foot in your mouth. :) I'll have to remember that.

Charles
05-25-2008, 10:15 AM
It just seems like its an easy cop out to blame us when they cant figure something out. I actually notice it more from the big national companies, but some small guys as well. The soda can thing does work wonders though, I did test it first though, to make sure I would be right.

I agree. I will have to remember the soda can deal, thanks:waving:

KGR landscapeing
05-25-2008, 10:43 AM
pop cannnnnnnnn you crazy people from the south. sorry i just had too. When all eles fails blame the guy whos lower on the todem pole

sildoc
05-25-2008, 12:25 PM
My problem with the fert companies is that they apply way too much N to make it grow fast and "hopefully stay green." I fert most of the turf we mow but there are a few that have been with, that famous TG company, for so long that I can't get them to change. 1 week after they fert the grass goes from growing 2 inches a week to 9 - 12 inches a week. These people are exstatic with the excessive top growth and think this is the way it should be. Makes our lives a pain till the n runs low and gets back to normal and then a couple of weeks later another over application goes on. arghhhhh!

lawnman_scott
05-25-2008, 12:30 PM
pop cannnnnnnnn you crazy people from the south. sorry i just had too. When all eles fails blame the guy whos lower on the todem poleAll depends on how you look at the todem pole. And, well since I am from north of where you are, I called it a SODA can.

Charles
05-25-2008, 12:34 PM
My problem with the fert companies is that they apply way too much N to make it grow fast and "hopefully stay green." I fert most of the turf we mow but there are a few that have been with, that famous TG company, for so long that I can't get them to change. 1 week after they fert the grass goes from growing 2 inches a week to 9 - 12 inches a week. These people are exstatic with the excessive top growth and think this is the way it should be. Makes our lives a pain till the n runs low and gets back to normal and then a couple of weeks later another over application goes on. arghhhhh!

Exactly! Then you have a fall out with your customer over grass clippings and they want you to bag and haul it off. They get upset that its "growing so fast and doesn't stay looking good and cut for very long so maybe you should drop your blade so it last longer grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Can you say insane!

lawnman_scott
05-31-2008, 08:18 AM
Exactly! Then you have a fall out with your customer over grass clippings and they want you to bag and haul it off. They get upset that its "growing so fast and doesn't stay looking good and cut for very long so maybe you should drop your blade so it last longer grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Can you say insane!No, thats just stupid. Insane is a month later when they come running out yelling "wait! wait! your cutting it too ******* short!!!" That is pretty much my breaking point. That is when the lawnman is forced to tell the customer what he thinks.

topsites
05-31-2008, 08:31 AM
Those fert companies have been in business for well over 100 years.
Maybe they do know something we don't, and maybe, unless you have more than a few years in AND you have learned your lessons AND you're not conveniently making up parts of how long you have really been doing this for a living, maybe just maybe it is possible someone doesn't know WTH they are doing, and somehow I don't think it's the homeowner or the fert guy.

topsites
05-31-2008, 08:44 AM
Get this:

Mowing TOO often
OR
Too short
(or both)

Will damage the lawn!

So maybe they didn't word it just right, but I doubt it matters anyhow.
But, when that lawn stresses and then develops patches and then when it all turns brown and eventually dies, don't be surprised if the customer first fires you but DO be glad if you don't get SUED!

lawnman_scott
05-31-2008, 08:50 AM
Those fert companies have been in business for well over 100 years.
Maybe they do know something we don't, and maybe, unless you have more than a few years in AND you have learned your lessons AND you're not conveniently making up parts of how long you have really been doing this for a living, maybe just maybe it is possible someone doesn't know WTH they are doing, and somehow I don't think it's the homeowner or the fert guy.

Is this directed at me???? If so, I dont lie to a bunch of GUYS to impress them on the internet, I dont feel the need to impress guys. Think what you want, but cutting a lawn on 5 inches isnt too short in my book.

So lets see, "well over 100 years". So back in about 1885 the fert guy showed up at the Olsens place. (you know, the people who owned the store on Little House on the Prairie. They were the rich people in town) And they blamed Charles Ingles for cutting it too short............... Ok, maybe you exagerated just a bit there. I just dont think the fert guy is automatically the god of lawns like some people including yourself do.

topsites
05-31-2008, 08:55 AM
Is this directed at me???? If so, I dont lie to a bunch of GUYS to impress them on the internet, I dont feel the need to impress guys. Think what you want, but cutting a lawn on 5 inches isnt too short in my book.

Man, the customer is TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!
So is the fert guy, and so am I...

Just because they or we don't know what is the problem...
And maybe they are wrong, all of them, myself included.
But what one might do instead is inspect the turf for damage to at least try and figure out what it is they are talking about.
And if you don't know what is causing it then maybe it isn't too short but there's definitely something going on.

They wouldn't have said anything if they thought everything was just fine...
Now maybe it isn't you but what if it is?
And what is it?

(and sorry if I get carried away)

lawnman_scott
05-31-2008, 09:10 AM
Man, the customer is TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!

Just because they don't know what is the problem... What one might do instead of running around with a soda can is INSPECTED the turf for damages to at least try and figure out what it is they are TALKING about! And if you don't know what is causing it then maybe it isn't too short but there's definitely something going ON!

They wouldn't have said anything if they thought everything was just fine...
Now maybe it isn't you but what if it is?
And what is it?I dont go running around with a soda can, I find something everyone has to show that we are cutting higher than the 3-4 inches the spray guy siad to cut it at. They have a guy they pay to inspect the turf for damage. I dont do that. If they want, I have a business card to give them of a guy I know that does a prestine job. I dont have to deal with excuses from him because he knows what he is doing.

It isnt me. I am not their little female dog either, if you want to take blame for something you know you didnt do, go for it, but thats not me.

The point of the thread is to show how to prove something you know beyond any shadow of a doubt. To stop the worongful blame before it gets out of hand. It works, it shuts them up. If you refuse to be firm and show proof, and actually try to take blame for something you know you didnt do thats great. At least your not near me, I just feel for hoolie, having to deal with customers that people like you refuse to teach and will instead put the wrongful blame on yourself.

trinity1
05-31-2008, 09:42 AM
I have the same problems with the spray guys here in the trinity area also. The worst is Chem Lawn. They always lay the blame on the lawn guy. I once had a customer said it was my fault that her lawn wasnt green so i went out and bought a bag of Scotts weed and feed put it on and two weeks later it was dark green I gave her the receipt and told to tell chem lawn they should probablly spray more than water on the lawn for 65.00 per app she fired them

wriken
05-31-2008, 09:45 AM
I mow 2 lawns, that tru-green ferts, I get blamed also, for cutting to short, reason for the ugly lawn. The lowest I cut both is 3.5"s

LawnBrother
05-31-2008, 10:29 AM
One of my customers had a scott's guy tell her that my blades were dull. My blades stay sharp. Kinda pissed me off...

LawnBrother
05-31-2008, 10:30 AM
I have the same problems with the spray guys here in the trinity area also. The worst is Chem Lawn. They always lay the blame on the lawn guy. I once had a customer said it was my fault that her lawn wasnt green so i went out and bought a bag of Scotts weed and feed put it on and two weeks later it was dark green I gave her the receipt and told to tell chem lawn they should probablly spray more than water on the lawn for 65.00 per app she fired them
I like the way you think! :laugh:

Charles
05-31-2008, 10:39 AM
Get this:

Mowing TOO often
OR
Too short
(or both)

Will damage the lawn!

So maybe they didn't word it just right, but I doubt it matters anyhow.
But, when that lawn stresses and then develops patches and then when it all turns brown and eventually dies, don't be surprised if the customer first fires you but DO be glad if you don't get SUED!

Get this, the home owner really doesn't relate fertalizing to high grass. He or she only think fertalizing = green lawn. Fertalizing and lots rain = cutting twice a week. Most are not going to pay you to do that. So its either cut it high and then cut it higher or cut it low and make a huge mess. Or then you have to bag. We know cutting high grass low is not good for the lawn. Cutting fescue low is never good. Fertalizing bermuda and/or zoyzia is crazy

topsites
05-31-2008, 12:19 PM
Get this, the home owner really doesn't relate fertalizing to high grass. He or she only think fertalizing = green lawn. Fertalizing and lots rain = cutting twice a week. Most are not going to pay you to do that. So its either cut it high and then cut it higher or cut it low and make a huge mess. Or then you have to bag. We know cutting high grass low is not good for the lawn. Cutting fescue low is never good. Fertalizing bermuda and/or zoyzia is crazy

I do understand, and I am sorry I got too excited for myself.
And I also understand how aggravating it is, always the lawn guy gets the blame.

But I just wanted to make sure, if a customer says something...
Don't take it literally, it is more about what is the customer telling me?
Doesn't matter who said what, I don't care, what are they saying?

Now if they're saying it's too short, that tells me there's something wrong with the lawn,
they're saying the lawn is suffering, that's what that means to me. So just check it out.

Because for the record, with the temps hitting 90 this week I don't have a single lawn on a weekly mow schedule...
And the reason is real simple: The turf will not tolerate it, matter of fact it will kill it.
No not the first mow, but by the second week I can see it, the lawn has stressed spots.
The week after that these spots have turned into these light tan areas that are kind of circular, spots but big.
And one more week and most if not the whole lawn is like that, some areas worse than others.
And the week after that, if it's still being cut weekly, the whole lawn is brown...
And you may or may not know it, but once it turns brown it is dead.
And you can keep cutting, or pretend to cut it because there's nothing there.
But sooner or later at least some customers are going to come out and tell you, dude...
And you're going to be like "what?"
And they're like "it don't need cutting anymore."
And you can try and argue with that, be my guest but...

Now if they over-fertilize and over-water and fight and fight to try and keep it green?
Back off on the mowing.

It's like a game of tennis, if you don't want your opponent to play you hard but your opponent starts throwing all these crazy shots just take it easy. Don't try and keep up, let it go and heck with it.

As for clumping?
It's June, unless you live near Canada we're getting into summer.
Spring is over, plant growth has slowed, including turf, and it will continue to slow as temps rise.
Once a lawn is up to 4 or 4.5" there's not much clumping.
You can let it go a lot longer than before and it will not clump.
Of course now the customers complain that it's too long :laugh:

Can't win them all I guess.
But that's just how I do things.

lawnman_scott
05-31-2008, 12:49 PM
Because for the record, with the temps hitting 90 this week I don't have a single lawn on a weekly mow schedule...
Thats how things are different in different areas. When it hits the 90's here things really get going. It grows like crasy when we get that kind of temps.

HOOLIE
05-31-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking of not taking mowing customers on if they use a different company for treatments. Between the "your guy is cutting with dull blades" crap and the inch-a-day growth after they spray, I've had enough. Plus they always show up about an hour before I show up to mow.

I've told a few customers like it is....the "license" these techs have, all it means is they passed what amounts to a safety exam. The customer could get the study guide, sit down one night and read it, and pass the exam the next day. Most of these techs are just guys hired off the street, they don't have much turf knowledge. I've met a few that seem like they know what's up but most of them...

bill8379
05-31-2008, 03:33 PM
That happened to me three times last year (and I don't even have that many customers) and all in the same neighbourhood and all by the same spray outfit. They told them I was cutting too short, but I cut at three inches. One old lady actually pointed at her neighbours lawn and said, "Well his three inches is higher then your three inches and I never had dryed out spots in my yard before." I left and never cut the grass again (though I still do her snow) and I thought about it and we were in the middle of summer and it had barely rained. Her grass was still mostly green and she doesn't water at all.

I started telling people that I heard that they water down their chemicals. Next thing you know the conversation switches to what a crap job THEY do and how come so many weeds are still around. btw, this spray co. also does maintenance and snow.

Manorscape
06-13-2008, 10:49 AM
... They said he told them 3-4 inches. ...I was cutting on 5.

I was on 3.75" when a lady went on the "but the fertilizr man said" schpiel...


So I asked if they wanted me to go 2 inches shorter.

He had suggested 3" (after browning out a lawn applying in 92 degree heat...dumbass), so yeah, it was fun to take the steel ruler out, show her 3.75", and ask if I should lower the deck.

Oh here is the formula for nice, green, thich turf...


No water no grass. Say it to the tune of 'No woman no cry'. Maybe I will write a little parody for customers.

sweetz
07-14-2008, 03:01 AM
I do understand, and I am sorry I got too excited for myself.
And I also understand how aggravating it is, always the lawn guy gets the blame.

But I just wanted to make sure, if a customer says something...
Don't take it literally, it is more about what is the customer telling me?
Doesn't matter who said what, I don't care, what are they saying?

Now if they're saying it's too short, that tells me there's something wrong with the lawn,
they're saying the lawn is suffering, that's what that means to me. So just check it out.

Because for the record, with the temps hitting 90 this week I don't have a single lawn on a weekly mow schedule...
And the reason is real simple: The turf will not tolerate it, matter of fact it will kill it.
No not the first mow, but by the second week I can see it, the lawn has stressed spots.
The week after that these spots have turned into these light tan areas that are kind of circular, spots but big.
And one more week and most if not the whole lawn is like that, some areas worse than others.
And the week after that, if it's still being cut weekly, the whole lawn is brown...
And you may or may not know it, but once it turns brown it is dead.
And you can keep cutting, or pretend to cut it because there's nothing there.
But sooner or later at least some customers are going to come out and tell you, dude...
And you're going to be like "what?"
And they're like "it don't need cutting anymore."
And you can try and argue with that, be my guest but...

Now if they over-fertilize and over-water and fight and fight to try and keep it green?
Back off on the mowing.

It's like a game of tennis, if you don't want your opponent to play you hard but your opponent starts throwing all these crazy shots just take it easy. Don't try and keep up, let it go and heck with it.

As for clumping?
It's June, unless you live near Canada we're getting into summer.
Spring is over, plant growth has slowed, including turf, and it will continue to slow as temps rise.
Once a lawn is up to 4 or 4.5" there's not much clumping.
You can let it go a lot longer than before and it will not clump.
Of course now the customers complain that it's too long :laugh:

Can't win them all I guess.
But that's just how I do things.

I've got one particular yard that the TG company sprays & ya, this time of the year the grass there grows at about 1/2-1" per day. I have to (at least) double cut that yard at 5" every week or the yard will look like sh** with clumps all over the place. The grass doesn't need any help with growing speed this time of the year down here, but TG definitely gives it some help!:hammerhead:

David Haggerty
07-14-2008, 07:48 AM
The chemical companies blame the cutter to deflect the blame from themselves.
When you get some BS complaint, suggest calling the department of agriculture to get a REAL expert on the job.

ALC-GregH
07-14-2008, 10:53 AM
The chemical companies blame the cutter to deflect the blame from themselves.
When you get some BS complaint, suggest calling the department of agriculture to get a REAL expert on the job.

thats what I'm talking about. :D

One thing I don't understand is, why would you complain about mowing twice a week? Your getting paid to do it correct? Maybe I missed something.

South Florida Lawns
08-03-2008, 06:54 PM
I also get blamed for lawn disease. The spray company says that the dead areas are from me bringing a disease from yard to another. Half the time its chinch bugs that are the real problem.

Whitey4
08-03-2008, 10:53 PM
First, I no longer take accounts that use TG or Scotts unless they let me go to a 5 day cut schedule.

I have saved several articles from various sources (Cornell, Ohio St, Penn St etc) that support my position on fertilization.

APPLYING FERT IN MARCH DAMAGES TURF! In a nitrogen rich environemnt, the grass gets it's are kicked to green up prematurely. The roots have no need to go deep. The roots should be left to search for N in the soil.... and they will. The deeper the root system, the thicker the root system. This makes the turf less suceptable to summer stress, as the roots are deeper, where the moisture is. It also makes it more difficult for weeds to get established. In addition, it is best to almost water starve the turf in spring.... let natural rainfall (unless there is a drought) provide water. This will also cause the root system to go deeper. In the spring when it's still cool, the grass isn't going to brown. It will just put more energy into root growth.

I won't allow these big nationals to push me around... I fight back with facts. I SHOW the customer how all that excessive top growth causes the grass to be cut down to stems... all the leaves are cut off. This IS scalping. When that happens, the grass has to recover from the stored energy in the root system, as all the leaves are gone. This also weakens the turf... and sunlight now penetrates the canopy inviting weed seed germination. It also makes the turf much more suceptable to summer stress and fungus problems.

In a tough situation, I'd tell the customer to get the chemical guy on site... an appointment at HIS convienience, and I'll be there. I'll smoke that turkey.... because I know my chit. I'll show up with my equipment too... and let him inspect how sharp my blades are... and I'll show the customer the 4 sets of blades I rotate every ten hours between sharpenings.

I haven't had to have a shootout at the OK lawn Corral yet.... I just educate my customers and that so far has been enough. In fact, I sort of enjoy when these things come up.... I get a new fert and squirt customer every time!

Know your chit.... have reprinted articles from the reputable AG colleges and turf associations as a referenced back up to your opinions. The TG's and Scotts are easy targets... if you know how to shoot them down. I would lay ten to one odds if I asked to keet with one of their "lawn analysts", they would NEVER show.... :laugh::cool2: Knowledge is :weightlifter:

SunState Lawn Care inc
08-03-2008, 11:14 PM
For those who don't do lawn spraying (it's virtually impossible to do both here in FL, very hard to get the license), do you find that the spray guys that can't make a yard green will come up with anything to shift the blame to others? The lawn guy is using dull blades, cutting too short...........

I have showed people the setting I cut on to show them I am not cutting to short but it does no good. If the spray guy says it, it is as good as gold. He will say there must be something wrong with the mower. But, I found something that works wonders. Had someone come out and say I was cutting too short (per the spray guy). I asked them what he said I should cut it on. They said he told them 3-4 inches. So I asked them if they had a soda in the house (most do), they said yes and I got a can from the truck, put it under the deck to show the height of the blades. A soda can is 5 1/4 inches tall. I was cutting on 5. So I asked if they wanted me to go 2 inches shorter. They were kind of mad at my attitude, but it's the last time I heard anything about the mowing height.

LOL We hear it all the time! I had one guy tell me I was cutting it to short in front of the customer, I pretty much put him in his place and had a talk with the customer after he left. We cut that yard at 4" in the summer. Had another spray guy leave a note on there bill that said we had dull blades:nono: they get sharpened every week before we go to that business.:hammerhead:

OSU 09
08-03-2008, 11:15 PM
I am right there with all of you guys on this one. 3 of my clients have there lawns treated by one of the big name companies and i always have to deak with the same BS! They come in and put excessive amounts of nitrogen on the lawns, gets tons of greening and topgrowth, but the lawns aren't thick and plush with good healty roots. People Equate green grass that grows fast with a healthy yard. I go to Ohio State and am studying Landscape construction and Turfgrass so many times when I see problems in yards i know what is going on. The spray companies just come and fertilize, people many times dont have them treat for diseases. And some diseases are made worse by excessive Nitrogen levels. I do the treatments on some of my clients yards, which includes fertilizing, broadleaf weed control, insect control, and disease control if need be, as well as de-thatching, core areating, and applying lime and those yards that i do look 10 times better than the ones the spray companies do. I have tried to get my 3 customers with the big spray companies to switch over, but the like the idea of having their yard treated by "professionals". Well someday I will have a degree and I already have my applicators liscense (which yeah is just a safety test like someone said) and then whose gonna be the "professional"? Someone who actually is qualified

Whitey4
08-04-2008, 12:39 AM
I am right there with all of you guys on this one. 3 of my clients have there lawns treated by one of the big name companies and i always have to deak with the same BS! They come in and put excessive amounts of nitrogen on the lawns, gets tons of greening and topgrowth, but the lawns aren't thick and plush with good healty roots. People Equate green grass that grows fast with a healthy yard. I go to Ohio State and am studying Landscape construction and Turfgrass so many times when I see problems in yards i know what is going on. The spray companies just come and fertilize, people many times dont have them treat for diseases. And some diseases are made worse by excessive Nitrogen levels. I do the treatments on some of my clients yards, which includes fertilizing, broadleaf weed control, insect control, and disease control if need be, as well as de-thatching, core areating, and applying lime and those yards that i do look 10 times better than the ones the spray companies do. I have tried to get my 3 customers with the big spray companies to switch over, but the like the idea of having their yard treated by "professionals". Well someday I will have a degree and I already have my applicators liscense (which yeah is just a safety test like someone said) and then whose gonna be the "professional"? Someone who actually is qualified

Depending on the state, an applicator cert or "license" is a bit more than a safety course.... but any competant applicator still needs to know much more than what is on the test. Bottom line.... get your ducks in a row. KNOW what is involved in turf management.... and this is stuff you can learn on line combined with whatever local training classes are available locally, thru colleges or local landscaping associations. These TG and Scotts guys get a crash course in sales.... NOT turf management. It is NOT hard to know more about turf than they do.... but you have to do some homework if you want to smoke 'em.

Valk
08-04-2008, 02:48 AM
I'm as meticulous about maintaining sharp blades as you'll find. So, what type of application by the corporate chem COs would possibly turn the grass tips brown - ESPECIALLY if they put it down w/in a day or two AFTER I mow?

david shumaker
08-04-2008, 12:57 PM
First, I no longer take accounts that use TG or Scotts unless they let me go to a 5 day cut schedule.

I have saved several articles from various sources (Cornell, Ohio St, Penn St etc) that support my position on fertilization.

APPLYING FERT IN MARCH DAMAGES TURF! In a nitrogen rich environemnt, the grass gets it's are kicked to green up prematurely. The roots have no need to go deep. The roots should be left to search for N in the soil.... and they will. The deeper the root system, the thicker the root system. This makes the turf less suceptable to summer stress, as the roots are deeper, where the moisture is. It also makes it more difficult for weeds to get established. In addition, it is best to almost water starve the turf in spring.... let natural rainfall (unless there is a drought) provide water. This will also cause the root system to go deeper. In the spring when it's still cool, the grass isn't going to brown. It will just put more energy into root growth.

I won't allow these big nationals to push me around... I fight back with facts. I SHOW the customer how all that excessive top growth causes the grass to be cut down to stems... all the leaves are cut off. This IS scalping. When that happens, the grass has to recover from the stored energy in the root system, as all the leaves are gone. This also weakens the turf... and sunlight now penetrates the canopy inviting weed seed germination. It also makes the turf much more suceptable to summer stress and fungus problems.

In a tough situation, I'd tell the customer to get the chemical guy on site... an appointment at HIS convienience, and I'll be there. I'll smoke that turkey.... because I know my chit. I'll show up with my equipment too... and let him inspect how sharp my blades are... and I'll show the customer the 4 sets of blades I rotate every ten hours between sharpenings.

I haven't had to have a shootout at the OK lawn Corral yet.... I just educate my customers and that so far has been enough. In fact, I sort of enjoy when these things come up.... I get a new fert and squirt customer every time!

Know your chit.... have reprinted articles from the reputable AG colleges and turf associations as a referenced back up to your opinions. The TG's and Scotts are easy targets... if you know how to shoot them down. I would lay ten to one odds if I asked to keet with one of their "lawn analysts", they would NEVER show.... :laugh::cool2: Knowledge is :weightlifter:

Whitney is correct, but it is hard to explain it to most customers. Everything Whlitney says is explained in my Virginia Extension Cooperative Turf Management manual. The more the chemical companies spray the more money they make. Also, have you ever seen them do a soil test which is the FIRST step before setting up a program. All that excessive overseeding and growth also causes too much thatch which causes more problems. I see the chemical companies spraying in 95-100 degree heat in Aug. I don't know what they are putting down, but it's too hot and dry for fertilizer and weed control applications.

juspayme
08-05-2008, 02:26 AM
Is this directed at me???? If so, I dont lie to a bunch of GUYS to impress them on the internet, I dont feel the need to impress guys. Think what you want, but cutting a lawn on 5 inches isnt too short in my book.

So lets see, "well over 100 years". So back in about 1885 the fert guy showed up at the Olsens place. (you know, the people who owned the store on Little House on the Prairie. They were the rich people in town) And they blamed Charles Ingles for cutting it too short............... Ok, maybe you exagerated just a bit there. I just dont think the fert guy is automatically the god of lawns like some people including yourself do.

charles: "hey sorry i cut your lawn so short mr olsen, my bad."

mr olsen: " its ok, those waggon wheel ruts are getting the mrs all upset though"

topsites
08-05-2008, 02:31 AM
Yes I am pretty sure the chem guys, coming from a company that has likely
been in business for well over 100 years just MIGHT know wth they're doing.

So maybe the chem guys have a point, maybe it isn't being cut properly.

Just because he can't know what exactly the problem is...
What the man is trying to say is this lawn is browning because of the mower!

As far as what the problem is, I am sure I know but
I done repeated myself too many times over this *&$^.

mngrassguy
08-05-2008, 04:14 AM
Just because the deck says 3.5" doesn't mean your cutting that high. Ever check your deck for "level"? Many guys don't know how to adjust them properly or know how to check them at least every week.

I do both mowing and fert n squirts and I've caught my own guys mowing too short/dull blades.

When I'm apping and I see torn blades I pick a few and tape them to the invoice. Any experienced lawn tech knows the diff between a cut blade and a torn blade.

I bought little plastic rulers from RND Signs several years ago with my name imprinted and a cut height of 3.5" on them. If I see a lawn cut shorter, I draw a line on one with my pen and leave it with the customer. A business card works good too. Argue with that.

Every once in awhile I'll get in a p*ssing match with a lawn cutter. I get to a lawn that's been cut too short, looks bad, I'll bump up the fert to make it "grow out". They cut it short to slow down the growth and I bump up the fert again. Next thing you know I'm cutting the lawn.