Help! Ticked off customer!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jeff11, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. Jeff11

    Jeff11 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Yes I know, I am just a pion scrub with only 3 clients, but I would still love some help. Of the three, one of them is convinced I have burned her lawn. Here's the story: In mid-March I put down customer supplied fert&crabgrass preventer per her request. Exactly a month later I put down Lesco 5-10-20 Pre-M which is what the guys at Lesco recommended to get full coverage on the crabgrass. Well now about 80% of the grass is crispy, crunchy and brown. I know we are in quite a drought in the Carolinas but her grass is really bad. Question is: Is it possible that I did burn her grass? Lesco rep. says it is impossble with the 5-10-20 even if I put down 6 times the recommended amount. Was a month too soon to put down a second application? She "claims" she is watering like crazy which I do believe, maybe it's just not enough. I know this was long winded, but any help would be great.
  2. Mark

    Mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 723

    Was this a nice established Lawn or just a heinz 57? With out a soil sample its hard to say just what this lawn needed, I have a client who overseeded his lawn in March and he asked me in early May should i put down some scotts/with/halts for his weeds, i told him that the new grass needs time to develop a strong root system so don't, well he said the man at Lowes told him it would be OK, he applied it and now all his new grass is burned, when i first saw it i thought maybe with all the humidity and rain that it might be a disease till he told me nope i should have listened to you i went ahead and put down the halts. Its very possible the P-emerge put stress on the grass without knowing anything about the lawn.. sorry couldn't help in detail.. Marks Mowing Service
  3. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 997

    Jeff --- you put the 5-10-20 down in mid April. The 5-10-20 has very low nitrogen, so I don’t think it carried any risk of fertilizer burn.

    That was two months ago. Your area is in a drought. See if her yard looks any worse than her neighbors’ yards. My guess is it’s brown from lack of moisture. Don’t sweat it.
  4. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    Jeff, don't worry about being a peon, we all have to start somewhere. :D
    A scrub wouldn't care about nuking a lawn, so I'd say that rules you out of the scrub category, sorry bucko. :(

    Anyway ... what kind of grass was it? It wasn't a lovely yard of poa annua to be replaced by crabgrass was it? Or was it a yard of rye that would never survive the summer?
  5. Jeff11

    Jeff11 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    The yard was in really good shape, good fescue coverage with few weeds. Now it does look considerably worse than her neighbors. She claims they are watering much more than last year. The question is: how is she watering? Which poses another question. Can 10-15 min. watering intervals "burn" grass by choking off the roots from the water? Hell, around here 10 min of water will barely penetrate the surface. Still at a loss as to what to tell her without getting into a "blame game" conversation. Thanks for all of the replies!:dizzy:
  6. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I don't suppose you could get a picture of it?

    I would be suspicious of that bag of 'customer-supplied' stuff. Did it have a chemical in it that was toxic to fescue? I don't generally deal with fescue, so I don't know what post/pre-m's would be harmful to it ... Ray?
  7. onelegjohn

    onelegjohn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    Don't be offended at this comment as I don't know you - but - how short are you cutting the grass. Sometimes - if you cut too short and add fertilizer - it seems if the green leafy part of the grass isn't there - it isn't there to absorb the fertilizer through the roots. .. so the fertilizer stops at the stem of the stubby blade. The stems don't like that as much as the leafy part. I just finished my BA in Chemistry and I have quite a bit of Biology knowledge as my family has an orchard and my uncle is the curator for the Cleveland Natural History Museum. So from what I know this would be my best educated guess..... chlorophyll is a porophyn dimer which is a complex of carbon rings and I am pretty sure that is what loves nitrogen...some dimers do that. Well if the dimers aren't there there is no where for the nitrogen to go. ..and it burns the stem where there is no chlorophyll.
  8. Jeff11

    Jeff11 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    Don't think the first application was a problem. I don't remember the exact brand but it is commonly used around here and most of the lawns in this area are fescue. I'll work on a photo, but I wont have my camera for a few days (the in-laws borrowed it for a while). Thanks.
  9. There is a lot that contributes to this.

    Watering for 10 minutes a day (time of day can have no affect) on dried out soil most likely runs off or evaporate before it penitrates.

    Drought has 80% of the blame 15% to the Pre-em.

    And as my next comment has been posted already.

    How high are you mowing can also aid in burning the lawn.
  10. Since you are new to this and you seem to really care about it. Go get the soil test and that will be the tell all. it could be everything to the drought, cutting to short,low on iron, brown spot, or many other types of fungus. As far as burning it out with your fertlizer. I really dont think you did that. You sure she didnt have gulf annual rye. It looks alot like fescue until the summer heat. Anways go get the test and ease your mind

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