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Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by harpoonalt, Mar 22, 2003.

  1. harpoonalt

    harpoonalt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    I have an account that has had Lawnmaster spray for two years to get their lawn back from weeds. This is my first year doing her lawn and it's in fairly good shape. She wants to not spray any more chemicals than she has too. My answer for her was that we would mow properly, higher and more often as needed, and fertilze (after a soil test) to keep a healthy lawn, and see how it goes with the weeds. Am I on the right track? I am almost ready for the pesticide test, and only want to fertilize as I believe in using the least amount of chemicals. Can you really keep ahead of most weeds by just keeping the lawn healthy?
  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    I am in warm season turf therefore I might tell you wrong. A health turf is the best weed prevention there is. Yes I think you can keep weeds out. You can watch the lawn closely because you cut it regular. Spot treat or have it spot treated if you have a out break of weeds.

    However what about insects in your area?? Jap beetles etc??
  3. Follow ric advice, and dodn't omit SOIL TEST!!!!!!!!!!1
  4. harpoonalt

    harpoonalt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    Thanks for the info. This woman is very concerned about using chemicals and we're going to try to limit their use. She isn't concerned about bugs or at least didn't mention it. Her previous service mowed the lawn too short in my opinion so i'm hoping that mowing it longer and more often will help. soil test as soon as the snow is gone. Thanks again.
  5. What grasses are grown their?? TT Tall fescue, Blue, p rye, and fine fescue

    How high do you normally cut?
  6. harpoonalt

    harpoonalt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    This is my first official year in business, but I've been reading non-stop here, and other turf sites for ages. I want to ease into this, with the goal of creating healthy turf with limited use of chemicals. The referrals I get all mention the reason they called me was that they liked my philosophy of getting a soil test, and just not blindly spraying like the big spray guys do.
    That said, we have mostly fescue, rye, and bluegrass that I can tell. My experience from practicing on my lawn is that mowing at about 3" and mowing more often (trying to adhere to the 1/3 rule) seems to help the lawn especially during the summer heat.
    The previous spray guy pretty much did the hard work as most of the lawn is in fairly good shape. I just want to be confident that I'm on the right track with my plans. I've studied the core tutorial and know it pretty well, but my next opportunity to take the license test will be early May. Before that, I hope to do a soil test and calculate what the lawn needs and aply only what is indicated by the test after I'm licensed.
    Another part of my plan is to take the estimated number of mows for the season, and times it by my single rate and bill in even monthly amounts for the season, with the understanding that I would be mowing more often during the peak growing season and less during the peak of the summer always trying to adhere to the 1/3 rule as close as possible. I'm taking a chance if I guess wrong, but I'll feel better knowing that if the grass takes off and needs mowing every 5 days early on, that I can do it without the customer feeling like I'm padding the bill.
    So how's it sound so far? Any suggestions? Am I on the right track?
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    Sounds like you have done your home work. It takes about three years to get sharp and Three life times to be an expert. You are getting a great start.

    People who know what they are doing and do good work don't have to look for customers. The customers Look for them.
  8. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    If your customer doesn't want to apply chemicals, you are going to be spending some time monitoring. This is something you should charge for. Also, a few words of advice... if you can, use natural organic fertilizers. They have MANY more advantages than salts and synthetics do.
  9. I agree with fblandscape on natural organic fert.
    I would mow around 2.5" and return the clipping.

    Soil tests!!!!!!

    Build the soil, and turf will reward you.
  10. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    Fertilize as suggested above - you may want to stay at 3" - maybe 3.5 in summer if very hot

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