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South Florida Lawns
10-07-2011, 11:46 PM
All the spray guys on here need to rent a house or whatever in my area (Pinellas county) and do your thing. Service around me is terrible, I'm not sure what it is with these companies but I'm seeing weeds taking over that are so easy to treat. Lawns are yellow and thin throughout the season, and bugs are outta control. I try and work with the customers about proper watering and inform of bugs/weeds and proper nutrients only to have the spray guys come back and blame everything 100% on us when the customer complains.

I will pull up to a house that used to be nice thick green grass and these days its just kinda sad. I will have the guys skip a cut just so the lawn makes it another month or two.

The few bigger lawn maintenance CO's that keep spray in house keep their accounts thick and green, and there are a few old school guys still around with ratty ol' cab over Isuzu's that do great work (they seem to not want any more work though as if about to retire) but for the most part its bad round here real bad. This year is the worst I have ever seen. If I had the time money and patience I'd go get my license.

I'm being serious here too, I know they have cut Nitrogen during the rainy months and as far as other pesticides being cut back to less potency In this area that's still no excuse as I have bought from my suppliers whats still available and treated some of my commercial props and the results are great as should be.

Let me know how I can help.

Keith
10-08-2011, 01:47 AM
The problem here is similar, but having someone that did a better job does not mean your customer would pay for it. Here's what I see...frequently.

Customer has a decent company.
TG comes along and quotes a ridiculously low price. Customer has heard of TG, they must be good.
Customer hires them.
Yard goes to crap.
They hire one of the other companies based again, on price.
Looks no better.
TG shows up again with an even lower price saying they have a new manager and can do a better job this time.
Lawn continues to fall apart.
Rinse and repeat.

Landscape Poet
10-08-2011, 08:53 AM
The problem here is similar, but having someone that did a better job does not mean your customer would pay for it. Here's what I see...frequently.

Customer has a decent company.
TG comes along and quotes a ridiculously low price. Customer has heard of TG, they must be good.
Customer hires them.
Yard goes to crap.
They hire one of the other companies based again, on price.
Looks no better.
TG shows up again with an even lower price saying they have a new manager and can do a better job this time.
Lawn continues to fall apart.
Rinse and repeat.


Pretty accurate for those that do not place a high priority on there lawn - sometimes however you get those customers that just "Get It" and that is when we are all happy lawn turds.

jvanvliet
10-08-2011, 09:02 AM
I'm not sure if that's entirely the pest control operators fault. We are experiencing a lot of lawns suffering from some decline. The principal problem is fungus as a result of an extremely warm, wet and humid rainy season, add to this the home owners continuing to water makes for ideal conditions.

There is no effective treatment once fungus is established in the turf other than to reduce watering significantly. Fungicides are effective if applied prior to the establishment of fungus and then need to be repeated at intervals.

Adding nitrogen fertilizers aggravates the problem and herbicides will accelerate the decline of an already shocked turf. If the fert & squirts are adding N, and/or broad leaf control, then you can blame them.

Best to turn off the sprinklers and leave the lawn alone for a while. Create a working relationship with the fert & squirts, you'll know what's going on, they'll know what's going on, the lawns will look better and you'll get the credit.

MR-G
10-08-2011, 09:08 AM
bottom line is a lot of people have had to cut corners just to stay in business....when TG promises the world for next to nothing all they are doing is putting everyone else out of business....mowing and such has to be done...but chem. apps. seem to be less important for most in this economy...we had the chem app. on most of our properties...now we are down about 50% and falling....we just wont cut the corners...if they cant/wont pay what it costs then it just doesnt make sense....we still do the mowing maintenance but most have cut out/ down on the chem. apps.

South Florida Lawns
10-08-2011, 11:48 AM
Good points here guys, Its been a steady decline in my area for the past 5 years and these last two are the worst.

williams lcm
10-08-2011, 12:00 PM
I dont know how anybody in the spraying business can keep customers. It seems like around here people drop one company for another. I see it over and over. It is not all about the price though. If they get a new company in the neighborhood they all hop onto it.

jvanvliet
10-09-2011, 08:51 AM
So the best approach is not to apply fertilizer, weed & insect control if necesary and stop watering altogether? Sounds like a novel approach, but not practical in my neck of the woods.

Patriot Services
10-09-2011, 02:10 PM
Pinellas is also under a fert ban. A decent wet season after a very dry spring I wouldn't expect much different. Let's not forget a deeper depression of the economy.
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Patriot Services
10-09-2011, 02:15 PM
bottom line is a lot of people have had to cut corners just to stay in business....when TG promises the world for next to nothing all they are doing is putting everyone else out of business....mowing and such has to be done...but chem. apps. seem to be less important for most in this economy...we had the chem app. on most of our properties...now we are down about 50% and falling....we just wont cut the corners...if they cant/wont pay what it costs then it just doesnt make sense....we still do the mowing maintenance but most have cut out/ down on the chem. apps.

The 25 dollar TG app promises everything and only delivers disappointment.
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Patriot Services
10-09-2011, 02:18 PM
My lawn is very green and almost weed free with no watering and no apps. Do any of you know what youre doing???

You must very unfamiliar with what it takes just to sit for the CPO exam let alone pass it.

As Ric has pointed out in the past most states give away licenses in Cracker Jack boxes.
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jvanvliet
10-10-2011, 06:40 AM
Yadda yadda.... its cutting grass. Not rocket science! :waving:

Maybe it is just cutting grass up there, down here it is a science. Most of us are professional lawn care operators who went to school, got state licenses and are mandated to meet continuing education requirements.

On the other hand, there are gypsy operators who come down from places up North to cut lawns below cost and don't know doodley squat about the type of environment they are working in. They only last about a season or so before they disappear leaving the wreckage of their ignorance as evidence in the lawns.

We have a 365 day growing season, periods of high heat, humidity and continuous rainfall, followed by moderation and then the dry season. Each shift presents opportunities for turf grasses and ornamentals to become stressed and susceptible to insect infestation, rot, fungus, etc.

We have to be continually on the alert for pests and pathogens and try and diagnose the likely cause (like too much water, not enough, too much foot traffic, too much/too little fertilizer, etc.), then we can get the fert & squirt guys to treat the turf properly before there is too much damage.

Naturally cutting practices play a major role in maintaining a healthy lawn as does the regular and proper application of fertilizers and irrigation. You can't tell me that nobody up there ever irrigates, applies fertilizers, weed control or pest control ever, because that would make you full of... it.

Like I said, as a point of interest we'd love to hear how you do it up north, but don't BS us into believing all you do is cut the grass properly. :waving:

Landscape Poet
10-10-2011, 09:27 PM
What happened to Homeboys comment about his lawn being thick and lush and him not doing anything to it? Other than Patriots quote I no longer see it.

Patriot Services
10-10-2011, 09:40 PM
Would seem the mods have erected a fence around the Florida forum.
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zturncutter
10-10-2011, 09:48 PM
They deleted my post as well as I believe Ric's. This site is becoming almost sterile. :laugh:

Landscape Poet
10-10-2011, 10:34 PM
Would seem the mods have erected a fence around the Florida forum.
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Is that to keep others out......Or to keep us in? One has to wonder!:laugh:

zturncutter
10-10-2011, 10:36 PM
Is that to keep others out......Or to keep us in? One has to wonder!:laugh:

Good point !

justanotherlawnguy
10-11-2011, 09:01 PM
I have had alot of success with customers using plant it earth or keepers of the green. Morgan horticulture services is pretty top notch a's well. Nobody seems to be throwing any names out there. These are some of the better spray companies in Tampa.
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Patriot Services
10-11-2011, 09:09 PM
I've been working with Green Solutions here.
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jvanvliet
10-12-2011, 08:14 PM
Help, let me out of here :dizzy:

Landscape Poet
10-12-2011, 10:08 PM
Help, let me out of here :dizzy:

Nope you must stay here.

Landscape Poet
10-12-2011, 10:18 PM
Nobody seems to be throwing any names out there.
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I have been using Heron Pest Control for the past 9 or 10 Months. They do a overall good job...they have failures....I call ...they attempt to fix....not perfect but they are big enough most of you should know the name. I generally have good response from their techs and sales staff.

I have switched over to working with Pro-Mo from here on Lawnsite. The guy knows his stuff from our conversations. He just started a property late last week that I work on so I can not speak of his quality yet...but I have faith he will do a outstanding job from our meetings. He seems like a good guy that takes pride in his work, has the knowledge to back it up....the outcome should be great. :clapping:

Others in Seminole County - Miller Envirocare .....the do a good job from what I have seen. The lawns that they service that I take care of generally are almost weed free, have great color, no pest issues. They are pricey so brace your clients. They will not budge on price generally...which is not a bad thing....they know what they have to make per K to deliver the results. I have not worked with them directly so I can not tell you how they are in reference to responding to us lawn turds request or questions.

Hope that helps someone.

South Florida Lawns
10-25-2011, 10:47 PM
I tell you guys what learning all the chemicals that are available and what they do has taken a good part of my time this year, there's a lot to learn but I'm getting it all figured out. And not just turf trees palms ornamental.

Patriot Services
10-26-2011, 11:07 AM
I tell you guys what learning all the chemicals that are available and what they do has taken a good part of my time this year, there's a lot to learn but I'm getting it all figured out. And not just turf trees palms ornamental.

Yep and just after you learn them they will replace them with something else.
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mtmower
10-26-2011, 11:33 AM
Wow. This goes to show how different turf can be. I'm in the opposite corner of the state. No cracker jack license here either. Got so fed up with TG and having to spend time blowing 6" clippings in 7 days time that my wife got our license. Purchased equipment and started offering services ourselves. No bands on anything though so much easier to get the lawn looking right. My biggest problems here is bent grass, voles, moss, and sometimes rain. Good luck.

zturncutter
10-26-2011, 02:34 PM
Wow. This goes to show how different turf can be. I'm in the opposite corner of the state. No cracker jack license here either. Got so fed up with TG and having to spend time blowing 6" clippings in 7 days time that my wife got our license. Purchased equipment and started offering services ourselves. No bands on anything though so much easier to get the lawn looking right. My biggest problems here is bent grass, voles, moss, and sometimes rain. Good luck.


I think you mean the opposite corner of the country:usflag:

mtmower
10-26-2011, 10:18 PM
I think you mean the opposite corner of the country:usflag:


Yeah. That too.:hammerhead:

Patriot Services
10-26-2011, 10:22 PM
Yeah. That too.:hammerhead:

And no you can't come down here for winter work either.
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Florida Gardener
10-26-2011, 10:26 PM
And no you can't come down here for winter work either.
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but neeeed worrrkkkk

wildstarblazer
11-04-2011, 06:10 PM
How I miss working in south Fla. where people apreciate a good lawn guy. I hate south Ga. where I am now.. Although , the summers are much easier here. Pretty much all the lawns are weeds mixed with a little bahia. Forget about irrigation. And spray guys? What are they? If your lucky you get to make a few Centipede lawns look nice.

One of my customers moved here from Pa. and asked me about fertilizer and the whole 9 yards like we used to in Fla. I had to educate him, after I laughed, then cried.

Winter is like being homeless here. I don't ever know what I'm gonna do through winter.
I may be on my way back to steal some of ya alls work.. Just kiddin, but I may come back just to work for someone. Sick of billing, waiting etc etc..

South Florida Lawns
11-09-2011, 12:16 AM
Wow. No bands on anything though so much easier to get the lawn looking right. My biggest problems here is bent grass, voles, moss, and sometimes rain. Good luck.

Shoot all we got here is Chinch Bugs, Root Rot, Grey Leaf spot, Mole crickets, Grubs, Sod Web worms, Army worms, Cut worms, drought and about 100 different kinds of invasive weeds. Every day is a constant battle round here.