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TruGreen Killed my Lawn - now what?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Gt350RC, May 14, 2009.

  1. Gt350RC

    Gt350RC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    This is my first post, but have read several posts about TruGreen from members here, 99% of which are negative. Most of the folks here seem to be professionals, but I'm a homeowner, so I'm asking for advice.

    Firstly, TGCL nearly completely ruined my lawn. I have severe grub damage, and want to get the lawn back in shape. At this point this year, I've:

    - Weed and feed (applied before I realized I had grub damage)
    - dethatched (which basically ripped up all of the grub damage)
    - spike aerated
    - applied Grub-Ex (from what I read, it's too early, but I HAD to do something. after the dethatch, the grubs were right there on the suface)

    but the 1.3 acre lawn is in bad shape. I'm considering hiring a local lawn pro, but how do I go about finding someone more than just a "lawn mower"?
  2. bluridge

    bluridge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I am not a pro but I do my lawn nicely. I like nice curb appeal :dancing:

    Not sure I understand your post. Grub is a BUG and you typically want to kill these grub because they eat the grass roots thus killing off the grass. Applying grub killer (there are different brands at Home Depot or Lowes) will kill grubs but best to apply when they are active and growing...thus eating the roots of grass. How can you have grub damage...that is what you want to do damage the grub.

    You applied weed and feed. I would have applied turfgrass with crabgrass preventer FIRST. Wait 5 or 6 weeks and do the weed and feed. But since we have had so much rain in my area it has about dissolved the grabgrass preventer and the weeds are ACTIVE now...so I may do the weed and feed in a week or two.

    Your detaching is okay to me. If you have alot of thatch, then that is the thing to do. I normally get a thatching rake and only do the areas that have visible heavy thatching. I bag my grass so not al,ot of thatching on my yard. Not sure how dethatching can "rip up thr grub damage" because the grub should be dead anyways so if thatching brings it up to the top of the grass that is fine its dead :clapping:

    If you applied Grub-Ex that is fine. Its supposed to be applied when the grubs are there and actively moving/eating etc. So you did it right. If they were brought to the top...they will bore back down the ground because that is where their food are...the grass roots. Typically grub control like Grub-Ex can be applied anytime of the year and I apply them at the end of May or first week of June to ensure the widest kill of grub. You should be fine and you can find out if you have grubs alove. When I dig up the irrigation rotors to replace them or plant stuff...I usually can tell if I have grub or not. If your grass becomes brown/tan then that usually means grub damage but not always if you have grass fungus.

    BTW...I hope you applied the weed and feed stuff when the grass was wet so the granules attach to the weed and after a couple days kill the weed.

    Relax and see how it turns out. TruGreen prolly did not kill your lawn but you can apply Grub-EX yourself and save some $$$.
  3. bluridge

    bluridge LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    You can find a pro by walking the pages....yellow pages that is. This time of the year you should see changes to your lawn with grass becoming alive and active. Not sure about your area but I bet your yard will turn out nicely if it was nice last fall.
  4. Gt350RC

    Gt350RC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Ummm, "grub damage" is what happens when the grubs have already eaten the roots, and the grass is DEAD - dethatching ripped up the dead grass from the grub damage, and left bare dirt.

    This was to prevent dandelions from coming up - it worked. My lawn is a DEEP green (compared to the neighbors), with just a very few dandelions along the edge and in random spots in the yard.

    I have 1.2 acres to take care of on my lot, so I'm not about to do it by hand. I pulled a dethatcher behind my tractor. I don't bag (and besides, thatch is not from the clippings) but do cut it tall.

    AKA "Grub Damage" :). I sure hope the Grub-Ex works, because in some of the other posts in this forum, they say that it might be too late in the lifecycle of the grub/beetle to do much good.[/quote]

    Yep - think it worked out fine.

    I look on here and also googled "TruGreen Complaint" and was overwhelmed with the number of negative comments on them. I did apply the grub-ex myself, to the tune of eight 5k sq/ft bags at $20/bag.
  5. SteevieG

    SteevieG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    A spike aerator will often do more harm than good by further compacting the soil. It basically just pushes the soil down further. A core aerator is the preferred way to aerate as it pull plugs of soil and grass out of the lawn allowing air, water and nutrients to better reach to roots of the grass plants.
  6. Gt350RC

    Gt350RC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Hmm - thanks for the info.

    The one I used I borrowed from a friend. I've been to Lowes, and they have a core aerator, similar to the spike model they sell (uses bricks as weight for the core tines). I'm skeptical on how well these work, and figured I'd just borrow the spike model and see how it helped.

    Anyone with experience on the weighted core aerator or other suggestions on aeroators on a limited budget (I'm not going to go out and buy a powered aerator like they use on golf course greens :)?
  7. SteevieG

    SteevieG LawnSite Member
    Posts: 9

    I just rent one once (sometimes twice) a year. It costs about $80 per day, but my yard is about half your size so I just get one to push around (actually it pulls me around pretty well). I imagine you could find a rental that you can pull. Also, if you do this do not pick up the plugs. With one or two rains they will fall apart and will fall back into the holes or you can drag something like chain link behind and that will break them up, too. Your yard will look like crap for a very short period of time but it will be very much worth it. I believe the standard is 12 plugs per square foot, but I'm sure a pro will be around to verify.
  8. fishinpa

    fishinpa LawnSite Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Posts: 293

    GO with a core aerator. If your lawn is really thin, you may want to rent one in the fall. Never forget the adage "nature re-seeds itself in the fall". The rented units are great for getting into tight areas, and I used one the first 2 years in this house. Be sure to use whichever one in 2 or 3 directions.

    I pretty much have the lawn thriving and weeds and grubs at bay now, so the pull-behind unit from Lowes with some weight on top, does a great job for me. I use it in the early spring and again in mid-fall, followed by an over-seed each time.
  9. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Don't forget soil amendments after core aeration, where necessary.

    Around here in SW Ohio, heavy compacted clay is the norm.
    So, a really wise thing to do in this particular situation is to broadcast liberal amounts of coarse sand immediately after the cores 'dry down' on the lawn a little, so that the soil doesn't tend to stick to the spreader tires.
    Post-aeration is also the ideal time for finished compost application, but that's another forum altogether...:)
  10. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    First mistake you hired TrueGreen. You pay for what you get, True Green is usually hired on price point alone. Lesson learned don't go cheap, get several quotes hire the best guy for the job, not the cheapest. Real Yellow pages AKA phone book, ask your neighbors whom they use.


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