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Anngry Customer/ Thatching/ Im extremely frustrated.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by CollegeMowers, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. CowboysLawnCareDelaware

    CowboysLawnCareDelaware LawnSite Senior Member
    from DE
    Posts: 555

    Make him walk you around the lawn and show you what he believes to be wrong. Let him know that he is mistaken, assuming your guy did do the job right. If the client still won't pay, threaten to put a contractor's lien on the house.

  2. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    You still de thatched the lawn it is impossible collect all the thatch without cutting the lawn so short that you would cut the crown of the plant, additionally mowing a lawn and bagging it will still leave cut grass blades behind. The process of thatching the lawn, the equipment used is what you charge for, yes you could get it so clean you could eat off it but that would cost to much, so you do it good enough. Some people have unrealistic expectations its your job to educate them that you did the job and you need to get paid. Turn them over to American profit recovery they are amazing collection co
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  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    That there is the best point. Educating your customers is key to any aspect of the green industry.

  4. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,358

    Wait a minute.... money up front for DE-THATCHING????? And where are those 500.00 jobs at?
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I'd rather explain to a client that de-thatching ,, in the first place,,, is a loss of valuable material for the turf and soil,,, than to try explaining the whys and wherefores of 'his unrealistic expectations'... its been 10 years now since I've attempted de-thatching or raking or some other such practice... :)
  6. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    How do you do your spring cleanups without raking or dethatching?

    Additionally the thatch layer is NOT beneficial a thick thatch layer is a breeding ground for disease and turf insects, at least in cool season grasses. If yolu have a thick thatch layer water and nurients as well as insecticides can not get down thru it...you might want to rethink your position on that one. ITS YOUR JOB to educate customers that dont know the hows and whys of this buisness its called customer service, its also why my company had 30 plus percent growth in a bad economy, and im the highest priced fertilization company in my area.....Education + customers= BIG Profits
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I've used only the backpack blowers for 10 yrs. or more... Only rake areas too tight for the blowers... I do not have thatch buildup into a layer that disallows the movement of ferts and 'cide to the soil... no disease or insect infestations either... [I wish I could have some of those fungal diseases everyone keeps talking about, just to see what is all involved... most of the diseases we see around here is simply the, " moron mowing dormant turf parasite"]...

    Once a person understands how mulch mowed clippings decay/rot into the soil,,, Aerobically,,, then they can regulate the irrigation in a sensible fashion...
    Thatch buildup is a sign of poor cultural practices and turf would be much better off, just being left alone for the first 2 mowings in the Spring...
    I cleanup the debris when the snow is gone,,, then overseed,,, then wait to mow a couple of times before I get too excited about fertilizer,,, which is what is EVEN recommended nowdays for cool-season turf,,, strangely enough... :)
  8. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    Nutrient cycling grass clippings returns 1/3 of the N back to the plant however thatch is not made by clippings, it roots, rhizomes and tillers dead matter built up, heavily fertilized lawns will have a thicker layer, overseeding in spring isn't a good idea either IMO you can't get good weed control, try doing it in the late summer you will get better results
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  9. Mahoney3223

    Mahoney3223 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Posts: 995

    how much they charge?
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Don't tell Smallaxe but I always try to bait and switch dethatching clients over to a dormant grass low mow and I bag it... if they missed the proper heavy fall ap of fertilizer and I do a Spring core aeration with a 16-16-16 fert fast release if I don't have to mow it later or a slower release 16-16-16 if I have to mow over my own plugs.

    On my own full service lawns I may decide to do a light lawn combing if the client really feels the need for it. Mainly for psychological comfort than real world good.

    In my repeated year after year tests. Low mowing of dormant grass always promotes a faster green up of the lawn over power raking or dethatching or even skipping a low mowing.

    Almost forgot. I totally agree on extra weed pressure on seeding in the Spring but I'd rather have weeds over grass seed that the client failed to keep damp due to lazy factor or hot dry conditions which are common here late summer and early Fall.

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    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

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