Customer not satisfied with color of grass

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by vencops, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    I've looked at one retailer for ironite. It lists a 40# bag at $18.67. The mfr's suggested application rate is 10#'s/K. This guy has a 50KSF lawn.....lol.

    What's the difference in efficacy of ironite v. milorganite? Is one better than the other? Plus's and deltas??

    I appreciate you guys indulging me.
     
  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,269

    There could be a lot of reason's for a different color in fescue. But in July and August, in this part of the world, fescue is under stress, it's not growing very much and a semi-dormant look is normal and is actually preferable. If your customer admire's someone else's grass it might just be the difference from irrigation or not, the seed, the soil, the fertility, the plant density, the amount of sunlight, the height of cut or he might be seeing a yard that is going to crash and burn in August because it's being pushed too hard right now. Don't fertilize fescue at all in the heat of summer, be very sparing with the water. Ironite granule's will get you a darker green color but only for 2-3 week's. Can you post picture's of both yard's?

    Ironite vs. milorganite? You need ironite, even though milorganite is gentle, don't fertilize fescue in the heat, ever.
     
  3. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    I will post photos, tomorrow evening.

    Thanks.
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,111

    Ironite is a retail product. Too costly for a big lawn. Look for a liquid iron product, Ferromec or something similar. The chelated forms are better and more expensive. And many types of iron will stain equipment and concrete, cheaper types worse.

    My tests have shown that iron will give the turf a sort of black stain--you get a blackish green. And it only lasts as long as it takes to mow off the black-colored grass blades.
    http://turf.arizona.edu/tips398.html
     
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,923

    Did you have this lawn last season too? If so, what has changed? Customer expectations, environmental or weather conditions, your program?

    It has been exceptionally rainy in your part of the country, right?

    Consider having soil tested for this yard and for a similar one where you and the customer are both happy. See how they compare. There maybe something you can tweak. Often changing what you apply for one of the micro-nutrients can make a difference of the type your customer demands. Try to make sure you are comparing similar species and cultivar from one lawn to the next. Often this information is unavailable later but try. In terms of discussing it intelligently with the customer, let home know you are bringing a little more science into the care of his yard and will find an answer.

    Photos will be a help to everyone here interested in trying to help you.
     
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    What kind of grass is it? Some cultivars are not as green as others. For example, there is a big difference between common and improved bermuda in terms of inherent color, as well as response to fertilizer. Some improved varieties are also different from each other as well. Fescue and KBG also have differences in color between varieties as well. Can't really say what to do unless I know what kind of grass it is.
     
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    Hit post too soon. I also know that if there is no sun and it is raining all the time, lawns will not look good. Especially if it is a kind of grass that has high light requirements. All of my lawns went through 18 months of looking bad. Why? No sun, daytime temps under 80, and nights dropping to the low 60s. Not good if bermuda and zoysia are the desired turf.
     
  8. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    Yes. I had the lawn last season. IMO, nothing's changed. It's no less green than it was last season.....and MUCH better than it was before I took it over.

    We had rain 18days in a row and are 12+" over "normal", currently.

    Photos will be posted in a few minutes.
     
  9. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    [​IMG]

    In the above photo, my customer's lawn is on the right. You can see (I hope) the slight difference in hues.

    [​IMG]

    Above, is a photo of the next door neighbor's lawn.

    [​IMG]

    Customer's lawn.

    [​IMG]

    In the above photo, customer's lawn is on the left. The lawn on the right is the one photo'd above.

    My customer's lawn is the thickest in the area. He mows fairly high and doesn't remove clippings (just what he does....not saying, at all, that this is incorrect). I will say that he waits until the lawn is high....and routinely has clippings lying on top (after he mows).
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  10. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,269

    Look at the difference in the height of cut in this picture, that's 90% of the problem. You have to mow fescue high, 3 1/2" at least, 4" is much better. This really show's up in the heat of summer. You need to tell this guy that you can"t have a nice yard waiting til' the grass is 6" tall and then whacking off 4", that just doesn't work in the long run. I know mowing is a pain but that is what you are there for, he need's to come off the money and let you take care of it. Iron won't fix this, nothing will except proper mowing. This has not been caused by you, it's all on the homeowner.

    027_zpsc53ce990 2.jpg
     

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