PDA

View Full Version : Atlanta lawn care impressions


tacoma200
07-31-2008, 05:57 PM
Went on vacation a few days and ended up in some of the nicer parts of Atlanta (Buckhead). I've been in Atlanta probably dozens of times but never really paid much attention to the grass and landscaping. I was surprised by how shoddy the work(and turf) on some of the more expensive banks and hotels was. The grass (mostly Bermuda I guess) was patchy, brown spots, bare spots, and the mowers had cut into the turf. Many places looked like the sod had been laid over some very bumpy uneven ground. Anyway the weed infested pasture here looks better mowed, at least it's green. I was just really shocked that the hotels and banks worth probably from the 10's of millions to 100's of millions looked so shabby. Mainly the grass which is irrigated but you could tell it was not cut with much care and there seemed to be some fescue in some area's that looked better than the Bermuda.

Anyway I took some long walks and was paying special attention to such things. On the other hand the trees, bushes and crape myrtle were done very well. Most trees were trimmed branchless fairly high so they will eventually will have a nice canopy and the crape myrtles looked great. Much nicer than they look here 250 miles north where they are more like a bush than a tree..

Anyway it's hard to believe you can get away with scalping, brown grass, weeds, bare spots, etc on such expensive properties. As a whole everything looks nice and most people never notice. Like I said these skyscrapers, hotels, etc are no doubt worth in the 100's of millions on down to a few million. Never took the time in my younger days to pay attention to such things because I was not in the lawn care business but it was nice to see how things were done there. I'm not slamming Atlanta, great place, just surprised you can get by with grass in such bad condition on such prestigious real estate.

coolluv
07-31-2008, 06:38 PM
Most landscapers down here put the sod down on bumpy,uneven ground. If you think the commercial is bad, you should see the residential. With so many landscapers bidding on the same jobs, its the cheaper guys that get the job. Throw in some cheap Latino labor and throw that sod down and get to the next job.

The grading job that they do around the lots are terrible,lots of hills and valleys that a 21" would scalp on, let alone a walk behind or Z. Then to top it off you have customers with common Bermuda that think just because they see million dollar homes with hybrid Bermuda at 3/4 of an inch they want theirs to look the same. Drive through some neighborhoods and you will see short brown lawns with swirl marks through them and bare spots where it was cut to the dirt.

It really is funny. You have big landscape companies that are getting these accounts and they have to be in and out to make money. You have to bid low if you want these jobs. You will see five guys on big mowers and trimmers and blowers, and Bam, in and out. You would think that these places would care about what it looks like but I really don't think they know what there looking at, Or don't care. The dollar is king.

I'm sure you had to notice all of the landscapers down here. You can't drive 5 miles and not count at least 10 landscape trucks. Competition is crazy, with all of the construction being way down, everyone and their brother has a truck and trailer with lawn equipment on it. Every year you think it can't get any worse and it does.

Welcome to Atlanta, where you can't swing a chicken over your head without hitting at least 5 LCOs.

Dave...

South Florida Lawns
07-31-2008, 06:49 PM
Welcome to the south. People spend all the money on landscaping and sod, but they go cheap by never watering enough during droughts or hot summer months.

Charles
07-31-2008, 07:16 PM
Atlanta was under a watering ban for a year or so. I think it has been lifted recently due to more rain

JoeinJasper
07-31-2008, 07:25 PM
During last years drought (the worst on record), There was a total watering ban. This year it has been lessened so that you are able to water odd/even for 45 minutes a day with a single garden hose ... No irrigation systems. Yea, we're hurting... Joe

Accu-cut Lawn Care
07-31-2008, 07:28 PM
Water restrictions are still very much in place. Eventhough there has been rain, they are still in a monumental drought. It seems kinda like Tacoma may have an inexperienced eye for these things. Atlanta has a large wealth of good landscapers... Some of the nicest properties in the se reside in buckhead imho.

MAD87
07-31-2008, 08:52 PM
Why would you want to take a vacation in Atlanta anyway?:laugh:

jnrogers
07-31-2008, 09:02 PM
Welcome to the south. People spend all the money on landscaping and sod, but they go cheap by never watering enough during droughts or hot summer months.

Man South Florida Lawns you hit this right in the head. I live in TN and have several customers that will get spring fever with the scotts commercials and so forth and decide they want me to overseed and make there yard look like that. I like to overseed in the fall but they insist, then they are to cheap to water when june and july heat gets here with no rain.:dizzy:

tacoma200
07-31-2008, 09:06 PM
Water restrictions are still very much in place. Eventhough there has been rain, they are still in a monumental drought. It seems kinda like Tacoma may have an inexperienced eye for these things. Atlanta has a large wealth of good landscapers... Some of the nicest properties in the se reside in buckhead imho.

Well yea, you could say that. I have traveled all over the country but I have only been doing lawn care a few years. I never had any reason to really pay any attention to such details in years past. Most of my world travels were before I got interested in lawn care and I agree I have a lot to learn, especially about other parts of the country. I was looking at mostly commercial while walking around Buckhead. This area is growing like a weed (only it's growing better than the weeds now). I probably counted over a half dozen cranes building new high rises (this may be an underestimate). I just figured someone that owned a 400 or 500 ft tall building would have enough money that they would hire some one that wouldn't scalp the grass because the mower was at and angle or too large for the job. Or that world class hotels would be a little pickier with the care of the sod. I drove hwy 153 through Chattanooga and of course it's mostly commercial but the turf was fairly weed infested there also. But again they do some nice landscaping. I did take into account the drought in Atlanta but sprinklers were up and running and it didn't explain the deep gouges made by the 21" mowers in the small area's of turf around the Hotels. Or all the humps under the sod. You are correct, I haven't paid attention to lawns until the last few years. I'm not slamming Atlanta at all, I guess I just had high expectations for 5 star hotels and high rises. I DID NOT HAVE MY CAMERA when I saw most of this but I did get a few shot's while I was walking around one day. In one shot the grass is very green but it is very rough or bumpy. The next lawn may be brown. Not very consistant. I just thought I would share my thoughts with a some of you. I really had super high expectations for this area. I'm not knocking it just sharing my thoughts.

mattfromNY
07-31-2008, 09:13 PM
Not just in the south, its everywhere. Here they just built a brand new auto parts store, nice KB sod, brand new building, parking lot, landscaping, etc., They only turn on every other row of lights, and keep the doors open so they dont run up the electricity bill with the A/C. And you think they will give a hoot about the clover and creeping charlie taking over the lawn?? Tripping over quarters to pick up nickels.

tacoma200
07-31-2008, 09:21 PM
Don't get me wrong. Atlanta is a beautiful city, especially because of all the trees. This was all just a few blocks from Lenox Square and I have no doubt that Atlanta has some very very good looking lawns and some great lawn care company's. That wasn't my point at all to discredit any Atlanta lawn care guys. My main point was that the most expensive property's (Hotels, high rises) were not maintained as well as I expected. Great city. Sorry I didn't get many pics but I'll share what I got. Probably the most upscale area in the South East other than some communities in Florida.

tacoma200
07-31-2008, 09:46 PM
Why would you want to take a vacation in Atlanta anyway?:laugh:

I was just passing through and others wanted to shop at Lennox SQ. I didn't spend a Penny in that place (probably a record). Heck, you can't hardly go anywhere in the South East with out passing through Atlanta. Now I wouldn't mind staying in Savannah or Charleston a few days. Love it down there. A tropical beach would be more my idea of a vacation. Maybe Margarita-ville.

sandman23
07-31-2008, 10:04 PM
The drought has really taken a toll on lawns around here. Coolluv said it, the prep work before laying sod is shoddy at best. I would think the lawn leveling companies around here would be killing it but people just aren't spending money on lawns right now. Even where water bans have been lifted, people aren't watering. It's funny how quick they are to complain about their lawn looking bad.

I find service calls amusing. I will get a call about a scalp mark and have to explain to them that when a tire falls into a football size pothole, there will be a scalp mark. I get a call about bare areas or yellow/brown Bermuda. I ask if they are watering. They say no, it has been raining. I have to explain that 1/2" of rain per week is not sufficient and that their lawn is starving. I use the analogy of only drinking 1 glass of water per week and not being dehydrated. It's funny how I can paint a perfect picture and the customer still does nothing about it.