Customers already complaining about dandelions

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jc1, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,568

    We have had high temps in the low 40's for 2 weeks after having a week in the upper 60's. Now it's raining like crazy here and I've got customers calling about dandelions. This season is my first and currently I am using granular applications for weed control and following up with spot treating with a back pack sprayer. I am not scheduled for the next round which will include broadleaf weed control until early May. Should I spot treat or move up my granular application on the lawns that are popping dandelions. Any opinions are appreciated.
     
  2. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 456

    I would spot treat.
     
  3. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    THats a tough one. Either way you get jammed up. I suggest next year that you set expectations with your customers. You have to educate them on the process of gettin a lawn in shape and keeping it that way. I wouldn't worry too much about them finding somebody else,everybody is going to be busy so they would have to wait even longer than for you to get there. I would keep to your route and take them in order and explain to them why.
     
  4. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    Communicate with them that you can spot treat now, but your program is scheduled for an early May application. In your professional opinion they are going to be better off waiting until then. but, if they choose to have the application, make the application. Tell them that you will come out and spot spray every day if they want to pay for 365 applications for the year.
     
  5. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    Spot treat it if you in the neighborhood. If you not going that way with your route then she is going to have to wait. You will find that 90% of you complaints come from the lower 10% of your client base. Dont sweat the small stuff. Tell them that you will note it in their file and address it on your next application. Isn't that the point of the second round anyways.
     
  6. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 378

    And those are the clients that should be given a hefty price increase. Enough to make it worth your while to listen and do something about their problems. If they don't stay with you, so much the better; if they do at least you won't be gritting your teeth.

    Granular fert combined with broad leaf control is tough. Move it up and you'll need to bale the lawn. Spot treating is harder. Consider 2 broad leaf apps per year. The last one in the fall and then again in the spring. Most broad leafs act like a biannual of sorts. They start out as a small rosette in the fall then blossom to full size in the spring. Least in TX
     
  7. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,373

    Wow, a lot of renegade LCOs in here. I would spot treat. It is your opportunity to let your customer service shine. Don't forget to leave info that you did it. (It's the law you know) It'll pay off at next year's renewals I guarantee you.
     
  8. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    I agree Turfscape

    we guarantee next day quotes (so the attitude of 'screw them' will bite you)
     
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,846

    jc1....our new customers with weedy lawns often get their 1st two applications within 3 to 4 weeks. I know that's pretty close together, but they never complain. Actually, they appreciate the fact that you're trying to clean their lawn up as quickly as possible.

    You may want to leave them written info as to why you do this. We do.

    Broadleaf weed control ............. granules just don't cut the mustard.
    Liquid herbicides coat the entire surface of the weed.
    Granules tend to bounce off.

    We have 5 apps. 4 are dry + spot spray. Early fall is liquid weed & feed.

    But on new customers with weedy lawns in the spring, we do a double treatment: dry + then we pull the hose out to kill the weeds. No extra charge - hoping they stick with us for years to come, and they tell their neighbors.

    Spot spray when you can, but you better be thorough. If it's a weedy lawn, you better have a spray tank with plenty of hose. We use 300 feet 1/2 inch.

    We also use battery-powered backpacks that make it much more effective.

    We never spray liquid herbicide intil mid to late April here in Iowa.

    Hope this helps. Good luck. [grad hort for 30 years. 3000 customers] Not a senior member cuz my number of posts have not reached the required amount. LOL
     
  10. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    Sorry but I disagree. If I have a customer call me up and say that their is a dandelion on their lawn I make a note of it and am sure to raise prices for this customer for the hassle of dealing with him or her. You can be sure that if a few dandelions are being called in, that their will be more calls on other major issues as well. I had a customer call me one time and say that she had a single dandelion growing in her front lawn. I had another nightmare customer that would literally email a question a day about his lawn. This guy was the biggest PITA little whining moron on the planet. No amount of money was worth dealing with this guy. I am all for letting my service shine, and I am always ready to answer questions for my clients. But there are those customers who are just not worth the hassle.
     

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