A little story...

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by mkroher, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    I'd like to tell everyone a little story. I have a friend who owns a landscaping business. He doesn't do major chemical work, but he'll do a few weed & feeds now and then (nothing crazy, he's unlicensed). So....earlier this year we had a conversation, and he mentioned he'd gotten a new lawn account (to mow). He says the "thatch is ridiculous! I can't even find the soil level." I asked who treats it...he says "I do, but he had TGCL do it in the past." He also mentioned that it's a nice lawn, but there are a few dead spots in the front from the little dog.

    Whatever.. blah blah..

    A few weeks later, he was at the property. He called me, I was nearby, so I met up with him. I show up, he was running a overseeder over the lawn to dethatch it. He says "see...check out this thatch man! Have you seen so much thatch before?" I look..I reply.. "that's not thatch, it's bentgrass". This moron thinks that the bentgrass creeping 8" long across the lawn is "thatch". Then he shows me the dog damage spots. It's grubs. What the hell.

    I basically yelled at him for totally misdiagnosing an issue, and charging a customer huge bucks for nothing. I told him to tell the customer that I will be there tomorrow to treat the grubs, and it'll be $X. I stormed off. If I was american, I'd have a truck full of dylox ready to go :p

    Moral of the story:
    a) I was bored.
    b) I feel really bad for the customer, paying for all that renovation work when it was stupid bentgrass the whole time.
    c) Most people believe what the guy that cuts their grass tells them.
  2. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    1) I was bored so I read your story

    2) Cant count the number of times mowing guys have told me a certain lawn is heavy with thatch. When I ask them how they know they point to the turf. "You mean you can tell by just looking?"
    Guess there is no need to carry a soil probe of knife any more.

    Yep, I feel your frustration
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Oh yeah,...this is all too common. Funny thing about it is,...I know some tru green guys hat could diagnose it as the same thing!:laugh:
    On a serious note though,...as professionals, we all KNOW that if there is a little bit of dead grass laying on top, - it needs dethatching. Afterall, that's what dethatchers are for, right? To take out the dead grass laying on it?:rolleyes:
  4. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Posts: 2,197

    I see that same guy overseeding the lawn, then dethatching it, and then picking it up with the riding lawnmower. Yea, I no longer service lawns but do manage the few around our block on the coast and see the same stuff and hear the same things over and over. Just let it lay.
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    Ditto lawnservice. What we run into most, are customers who think they need dethatching -- often in the spring on poor soil lawns (clay). They point to the grass and say "See all this brown thatch"? That's when I pull out the "truth detector" :laugh: (soil probe). 95% of the time or more, the thatch layer is 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, or even zero. Could have sold them a dethatch job for hundreds of dollars, but after a month or so, they would be back to square one. Cuz it's usually that the grass isn't growing enough. Water and proper fertilization takes care of this. Much less costly too. A heavy rate of winter fertilizer sure makes a difference.

    p.s. It's always nice if the homeowner is home, so they can see the soil sample. Then they truly understand. Also saves a lot of time writing up a long note on a service call form to hang on their door - then hope when they get home from work, they believe you.


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