Originally Posted by Exact Rototilling
I'm running up against this snow mold prevention special application of sulfur yet again. Each client I asked re: this application said no soil pH was done. Since I'm not offering this special add-on...?...?
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When I run up against competitors who are selling applications that seem like they don't make sense, I usually hand out university extension bulletins to the customer to back up my position.
With snow mold (there are a couple of different ones), soil pH isn't hugely important. Although, some recent research suggests that maintaining a low soil pH (low 5s) You can show them an extension bulletin from your state's land grant institution and point out how it doesn't indicate that pH adjustment is an effective treatment option.
With that said, a weak and unhealthy plant is more susceptible to disease injury. So, it the pH is outside the proper range for supporting turfgrass plants (usually 5.5 to 6.5), adjusting it to the proper range will produce a healthier plant that can better resist disease injury. Is it out-of-line for a competitor to sell pH adjustments without taking samples for a test at that time? Probably not, but it depends on the characteristics of your area. When I lived in Alabama, soils naturally had a low pH (high 4s if not treated) and you very rarely came across a lawn that was in the 5.5 to 6.5 range. Because we had a large number of customers, it wasn't cost effective to take samples for all of them. But, we took samples randomly from 10% of the customer base every year in each different geography. So, we always kept an overview of basic nutrient and acidity status across the customer base and tracked it by geography. So, we could adjust our program by what was happening in different towns or different parts of town.
Whether you need to use fingicides will be dictated by your budget, your customers' appetite for injury, and how bad the problem usually is. If snow mold usually isn't a huge problem for you, then you probably don't have to worry about it. If its bad enough each year to cause your customers some heartburn, then you'll have to plug and chug the numbers to see how you'll treat it and if your customers are in the market for it.