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Spurge is a key indicator + free spray?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    This time of year if I see "spurge" in the 'main lawn' (not just the edges)", I know right away that this lawn has been routinely mowed way too short! Spurge is a 'true indicator' that the homeowner is mowing way too short on cool-season turf. Recently, we have had two "srevice calls" regarding "weird weeds". Both were crabgrass + spurge. Both cases: 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 inch mowing height. Now they want free crabgrass killer. What would you guys do??? rscvp p.s. We always leave info regrading "proper mowing of Kentucky bluegrass" whenever we treat lawns.
  2. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,056

    I give them the facts.

    When it is dry the ground cracks and prouduct performance can lack. And when lawns are mowed short (even when they are not) weeds emerge. There is nothing we can do about it!

    Crabgrass pre's last 90-120 days and we are out of that window.

    If their lawn is thin I recommend a slice seeding and good fert (Take 5-10% off to make them feel good) in the fall to thicken up the lawn so hopefully next year it won't be a problem. Make a sale out of it and let them know it isn't your fault.

    We as applicators can't be held responsible for poor weather conditions. This has seemed to work for me anyway!
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,206

    I hate spurge! It will not die with weed killer. Huge problem in thin areas.
  4. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    welp, assuming these are customers on a full program and they did start the program early enough to receive a rnd 1 application then yes, we give them a free service call treating the areas in question.
    We then explain the facts once again verbally and with preprinted leave behinds and go for the up sell fall seeding.
    We also understand that typically spurge and crabgrass calls come from new(er) customers and eventually they catch on and follow our recommendations
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    Thanks you guys. (riggle & reech) The main culprit customer complaining about crabgrass also had the crabgrass prob last year. Last year, he was mowing his Kentucky bluegrass lawn at 2 1/4 inches during July & August. This year, he is mowing it a 2 1/4 inches as well. Last year, I sprayed his crabgrass for free, but I also left him two "fact sheets"... one regarding proper mowing of cool-season turf during summer, and the other regarding short mowing + crabgrass. Seems this guy will not listen. Now I have a choice....keep him as a customer that does not listen (and lose money) or dump him. Right now...I'm thinking "dump him".............especially cuz my personal lawn never receives a "crabgrass preventer" cuz I mow right.
  6. thomsoutdoor

    thomsoutdoor LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,443

    Along with cutting to short I have also noticed people with mowers that have dull blades that create problems. I have two customers right next to each other one with dull blades and the other that has sharp blades. You can see the difference. Fortunately you can show the customer the shredded grass blades.
  7. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    Today I had another one. This time it was "The applicators are not spraying weeds on both sides of the driveway". Last application was May 31. I got there. They had been weedeating 6 - 8 inches along all edges (driveway, walks, and perimeter of house & landscaping). Problem is....they weedeated right down to the dirt! I spot sprayed the spurge & knotweed, but I refused to spray the crabgrass. I left them a "fact sheet" regarding proper mowing of Kentucky bluegrass. I also left them a fact sheet regarding crabgrass & proper mowing. We also do the lawns on both sides of this customer>>> neither one had any crabgrass cuz they were not scalping the edges. If this guys cancels...fine, cuz we're doing our job, and Dimension is not cheap. Helpful note here: If you Kentucky bluegrass guys see spurge in the "main lawn", you can bet your lucky stars, the homeowner has been mowing way too short.
  8. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    In my area, mowing height has no relationship to the amount of spurge in a lawn. What does seem to make a big difference is compaction.

    Lawns that are aerated on a regular basis seldom have it.
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,859

    Sounds good. I also forgot to thank lawnserice - thanks bud.
  10. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    If we all had a dollar for every customer who didn't mow right, we'd have an extra paycheck every year. You never know what you're getting on year one but from then on my price reflects all aggravation - mowing too short, complaining a lot, taking a long time to pay, etc. Then again, sometimes it just feels good to kick a customer to the curb.

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