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Is the Lawn Dr. telling a story to me?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by rguthrie, May 8, 2006.

  1. rguthrie

    rguthrie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    I pay the Lawn Dr. $1,013 per year for 4 applications. He did one in March 2006 and we had no rain until April 21 and then we had 3" of rain in 3 days and my lawn started to "brown" out about 2 days after the rain. Called him to come and take a look ( May 1) and he is telling me he didn't burn it up that what I see is the grass showing brown because we have had no rain from April 23 to May 8, 2006. That what I see is different grasses browning out because some types handle no rain better than others.

    Please look at the pictures and tell me what you think! Am I getting a long nose story or not...hope not?





  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Dependent on temperatures in your area, if your lawn was cut too frequently during the drought, it is possible this was responsible for the brown patch. When you cut grass, you break blades in two, this is a plant that when it is broken loses vital fluids just in the same way you would if someone cut off your head. When you cut grass, your lawn loses approximately 20-50 percent of its vital fluids in the time it takes each individual blade to heal, fluids which require rain and photosynthesis to replenish. When it does not rain, your grass should not be growing but even if it does grow, do not cut grass that has grown less than an inch - Another way to say it is, you want to let it grow as long as you can between cuts but not so long it can't be cut with one pass: It is a trick, it's not as easy as it looks.

    If too-frequent cutting is the reason, then the patches will recover within days, a week at the most, time in which you do not want to cut the grass until it really needs it. Let it go one day beyond your current schedule unless it is SUPER long by the time you always cut it, which I doubt but... If that does not resolve the problem, you might consider a different service provider at this point if for no other reason I don't like their answer any more than you did.
  3. rguthrie

    rguthrie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Topsides...Thanks for the info. I do cut more than most people! Cut at 3.25".
  4. green_mark

    green_mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    The problem with this lawn would not be application related. I would start by recommending to you that this lawn needs the following.

    1) Core Aeration
    2) Over Seeding
    3) Top Dressing
    4) Limestone or Gypsum 25 - 50lbs 1,000 (pH dependent)
    5) Lots and "Lots" of water

    These photos are a bit grainy to diagnose the actual problem be the brown areas seem to be turf variety specific. Spray burn generally follows a very solid pattern and very defined. This is not.

    Overall, sorry to say, your lawn is just nasty in these areas and needs to be addressed.

    NCSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 206

    looks like a annual grass is going dormant jmo
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    No offense intended here at all, so please don't take this wrong, just as a hard core answer.

    If you are paying ANYBODY $1013.00 a year for chemical service on that crappy looking lawn they are NOT doing the proper job and you are getting ripped off big time!
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    I was kind of thinking the same thing, but I just figured it was a new lawn that didn't come in very well. Some of those areas I WOULD be reseeding. I would also be having him socking the potassium to it, not the junk stuff they use for "joe homeowner's" already established lawn that just wants green.
  8. PMG

    PMG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I have never thought much of the fertilization companies, simply because of the scuttlebutt from a while back where one major company was found to be spraying water instead of the chemicals they were supposed to use. A few hundred thousands in fines later and I still don't trust them....No offense to anyone who may provide this service, it is just my thoughts.

    I do however agree with green_mark that the lawn needs a fair amount of work. Fix it up and then call the fertilization company or do it yourself, no need to throw money down the tubes for what they are treating. For the 1,000 plus your spending, you could do a nice job all by yourself.

    Good Luck with your venture.
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    what did they say would be the result of the fertilizing plan that you're paying for? did they say that the bare spots would magically fill in with grass? did they say that you'd have a perfect lawn in 10 days? what exactly was thier diagnostic, and game plan/target for short term, long term?
  10. rguthrie

    rguthrie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Bobby...They started last summer and were to kill the clover and grab grass. The reseed was to happen without resseding. No lions and a green healthy looking lawn was the deal.

    We have had dry years for the passed 2 years with this year looking the same. We did get a little rain 2 days ago and it all looks greener today. The brown I still think is burn from the winter app (March). It layed for 3 weeks with no rain then we go 3" of rain in 2 days and the brownest part is the low parts of the lawn. It started to brown out one day after the rain.

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