Dormant Lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by CD_CLC, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. CD_CLC

    CD_CLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    Not sure if this is in the right spot, but this seems like the best place. Anyway, I have a question about mowing dormant lawns and what your opinions are. I have always just skipped, or found other work to do to make up my time, or whatever happens to work best, and most people never complain. Well, I have had this same customer for 3 years now, and it's turning into a nightmare. This customer has always been very easy to work with, however now they are on my case because I refuse to mow their front lawn because it is 100% dormant.

    My understanding is that mowing it while it's dormant will exert extra stress on it and make it susceptible to disease, or damage the crowns. In the past I have not mowed their front lawn in these conditions and I have just weed whacked down the bad spots (weeds haha). Anyway I cited or some trusted sources (university horticulture programs) and sent them a waiver today asking her to sign it, so I am off the hook for any damages. They just kind of laughed at me and told me not to "care about their lawn" but to just mow it anyway and told me that they will not sign the contract.

    Aside from dropping this customer next season any advice in the meantime?
     
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,515

    They want it cut,so cut it. No need to stress over it and certainly no need to have something signed.
     
  3. CD_CLC

    CD_CLC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 75

    But there's nothing to cut. They already insist in keeping it too short as it is (probably the reason it goes brown so quickly). Hasn't grown for at least a month. My concern is I don't want to be responsible for damaging their lawn. If I mow it shorter I know I'll damage it, and if I don't mow it shorter they'll be upset for me "not mowing it." Just this person's attitude has gotten condescending and it's really getting to me. I think at this point it may just be their newly developed attitude toward me that's getting to me.
     
  4. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    Some customers think it's their right to be abusive to the help. If you continue to do something that you know damages the lawn that will somehow be your fault too. And saying "I told you so" only aggravates the situation.

    This customer seems to be looking for someone they can beat up on. I'd say they're history. By their actions, not yours. Some LCO's can tolerate it, but I can't. It appears you have a problem with it as well.

    It looks like a bad situation that's only going to get worse. If you've tried using fact and reason using your most persuasive demeanor and they're still not convinced what can you do? Watch more episodes of Dr. Phil?
     
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,145

    It is hard for me to say what I would do in your situation, I don't have all the facts but I suppose I could say from what I have heard I could probably swing either way, I might continue to cut it or I might not, all depends... If the lawn is still green I would probably cut it, at my usual cut height.
     
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,829

    We went through 10 years of long periods of drought every Summer. The rains came back last year and all lawns recovered despite being mowed many times just for the weeds. I mow the grass, if that is what the customer wants. I wish I had more customers that wanted mowing during droughts. I am talking about warm season grasses recovering. Fescue will die out during our heatwaves and droughts and have to be replanted even if we don't mow it
     
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,796


    I can see why, they are asking you to do something and you not doing it, Doesn't mater you cut anyway, you don't grow a lawn co. By dropping customers who want the lawn mowed. Period. Happy satisfied customer's spread the word dissatisfied customer's do great harm. The dorment lawn is secondary. She owns the lawn.....
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I can't go along with lawn boys stirring up dust clouds with mowers becuz of some erroneous idea that it don't matter... If I see mowers stirring up dust clouds and filling the air with Insecticides and Herbicides that were applied last week or yesterday I get very belligerant and never stop bad-mouthing the company that operates that way...
    I hate to see those dust clouds around restaurants,,, especially...
     
  9. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    Truly dormant lawns need regular moisture to remain dormant and NOT die. I believe it is 1/4" every 2 weeks here in our region. Folks seem to think dormancy is some kind of a state of suspended animation that can just keep going...WRONG. Once the turf crown dries out to a powder, it is toast.

    Our horrendous drought last year caused a LOT of permanent damage and die-off to all turf types, of which we have many in our transitional zoning here. Surprisingly, a fair amount of warm season zoysia literally bit the dust. Since zoysia only grows where there is little to no shade, I believe folks just ignored it due to it's ability to (normally) sustain itself where the sun beats down.
     
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,796

    I actually agree with you to a point, More often than not education of the customer's is all it takes to correct this issue but when that fails and that is a rareity if it is legal the customer gets what they are paying for smallaxe you may not like it but its business and customer satisfaction trumps a dusty dorment lawn every time, before your bash me in a reply remember I agree with you
     

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