Homeowners can be such HEADACHES

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Natural Impressions, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Natural Impressions

    Natural Impressions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    :dizzy: :dizzy: Why does it seem that when you suggest something to a client to help restore there lawn before anymore damage WILL happen due to stress, they say no??
    Here's the story........ I have a customer who has always had a very well groomed lawn. He has been my customer for 3 year now including this year. Last year I noticed stress on his lawn which I felt was either do to lack of water (ie not watering or watering at wrong time of day) or poor fertilization. ( The was looking very thin.....green but very dry looking) I did a soil test for him and everything came back fine and he told me that his sprinklers were set for every morning. This lawn got to the point where it was green but was so dry that when I was cutting it the lawn would turn yellow where my tires were passing. I suggested to him that he should let me areate and thatch his lawn before it got any worse. He PASSED on my suggestion:nono: . End of season came I offered again to areate in fall and remove thatch in spring. Said no.:confused: :nono: This year I cut his lawn for the 1st time, lawn was green, thin but green. I received a phone call from him after a few days about how his lawn looks so bad, he gets his fertilization done by a local co. and I maintain it so it's MY fault. The yellowing where the tires on the lawn mower were appearing again.....you could see how I mowed the lawn, that's how bad they were. Well I finally got him to sign on letting me at least thatch his lawn and reseed but I stressed he need to turn on his sprinklers now to get some moisture to his lawn. Now here the question for everybody.....Do you feel this will resolve the problem? My guess is it will remove to thatch which is block the water from getting into the soil. Is there anything else that will help? Thanks:cry:
     
  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    No you need to aerate and find out just how much fert is being applied to the lawn and at what intervals.I also suggest topdress with Topper or compost and a regular watering schedule.A healthy lawn should NOT need water every day.I would diagnose soil compaction,over-fertilization,Lawn is unable to take up water or nutrients anymore.
     
  3. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    I agree with she, the lawn sounds like it is getting drought stress or heat stress. This happens in our area also but in july and august. If the ground is hard , dry , compacted, the blades don"t bounce back well after the heavy mowers run over it, the blades stay flat and get burned out form the sun. Try aerating, taking a coere sample to check for compaction , clay, and to check how moist the soil is. If its like pulling teeth trying to cut out a soil sample with a knife you know theres a problem. We use a steak knife non-serrated and cut a 2 inch square 4 inches deep and check it (we have tremendous amt of clay here) If it is compacted multiple aerations and gypsum will help in time and topdressing is great if the customer is willing to pay for it. Also if your not already try cutting higher, we cut problem lawns like that at 4 inches or 4 1/2 inches to keep them from stressing out. CHeck the fertilizer level also, they have probes for that,
     
  4. Natural Impressions

    Natural Impressions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    So you both are saying I shouldnt even bother with thatch removal? I would like to do a areation, even told him that but he is worried about damage to the sprinklers. I told him not to wory but he doesnt want it done. I thought the next best way would to remove any thatch. Maybe I will just areate and deal with him later. It's just so frustrating. he wil also complain about the plugs left
     
  5. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    If its thin it cant have thatch. if you lok down and see dirt it has no thatch. Go there when hes there take a core sample see whats under the soil and check the moisture content and hardness of soil and makeup. My guess would be lack of water, compaction, grass cut too short or the vague chance that you have a leaky tank that was leaking gas on the rear tires, i have had that happen b4 when my intelligent help doesnt tighten a gas cap.
     
  6. Natural Impressions

    Natural Impressions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 171

    there is some thatch but when I dug a small area the ground was completely dry. Almost felt like I was holding cotton in my hand it was so dry. If I had gas on my tires, then there must have been about a gallon on the tires because the tracks were very long. I figuired the home owner needed a areation but he is such a pest with this. Thanks
     
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Exxplaain to him that he is watering to no effect..that the soil compaction is preventing the water from soaking into the ground where the grass can make use of it.
    Tell him that you don't want to hear him complain when he refuses a solution to the lawn problem.Find out what the fert company is appying how much and how often.
    This is very important.
    Tell him you cannot take care of his lawn and make it right if he won't let you do it.
    Tell him you are a professional and he needs to just put his trust in you because you do this for a living and know what his lawn needs.
    See if that works..if he still won't go for it drop him like a bad habit because that lawn is on it's way to destruction and you don't need to be a part of that.
     

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