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What to do

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by humble1, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    So I have been trying to always put down the pre emergent w/ fert after spring cleanups, this is the right way to do it, so the barrier doesnt get broken from dethatching. So my dilemma is at what point do you just have to do it even though it is not the right thing to do. I look at the bigger successful companies and they just do it even if there is 1 ft of leaves all over. I guess I am struggling with doing it right vs gaining growth but not doing it right. You simply cant wait for every cleanup to be done or you lose the window of opportunity for crab grass control. Input please I am banging my head against the wall on this one
  2. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,476

    An average spring cleanup won't interfere with the barrier unless maybe the raking is crazy vigorous & right after your application. That said, in MA you still have plenty of time for preemergent. I won't apply Dimension here at home until mid May.
  3. naughty62

    naughty62 LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Posts: 368

    If you have helpers or employees make sure they run a tight route on clean up and note any changes in their schedules on daily paper work.We are not required to leave invoice ,but notation or sticky note can keep your customer informed and less chance of them trying to seed their yard before or after pre-m app. Many customer dont have a clue and get rattled If pre m app interferes with power raking and seeding .I hate skipping services or rescheduling , especially if it is just one site on the outer reaches of our routes. $ 4.00 diesel .
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Humble, this is one of the reasons I do maintenance AND apps. I did my last spring cleanup for a brand new customer today. 11 leaf bags from a 1/4 acre, but after I blew, raked, mowed, blew again... I put down my Barricade. Trying to time apps on the schedule of another company I think has to be difficult at best. You use liquid, right? Maybe not so bad.... the last thing I want is to put a granular down and have some LCO blow leaves before it's watered in.

    In fact, it's just this sort of thing that I use in my sales pitch. Full service. Coordinated services. If I have a spring over seeding to do, I don't have to worry about TG screwing me up with a pre-M.

    I'll say this... any LCO that hasn't done his spring cleanup already should be fired, unless it's a new account for him.

    Unfortunatley, none of this is going to help you! I would say all you can do is your best. If some LCO is behind, and the soil temp is 56, you HAVE to apply, period. Tell the customer the barrier may not hold with leaf cover, and tell them to make their LCO get on the spring cleanup earlier, or find a new one. LCO's that just mow and blow are a dime a dozen.
  5. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 645

    Those companies that go over piles of leaves have only had success in making money. They have not done a good job, displayed any integrity, or built a good business relationship with the customer. We all know the right thing to do. The old golden rule. Those big companies hired some yahoo to go out and get the work done . While management may want the right thing done the bottom line is the set there employees up for failure by insane quotas, bad employee pay programs, and general lack of a good work environment. If a lawn can't be done because of leaves, the sprinklers on, the dogs out, or any of a number of reasons you can't do it. Of course you can't wait for every clean-up, but there is a line to be drawn when a app can't be done or can be done. Granular applications tend to be a little more forgiving if there are a few leaves on the lawn or twigs here and there. Piles of leaves need to go however. We carry leaf blowers and will move small piles if we have to. Liquid applications are a real problem as they coat whatever is in the way. Granules will roll off small amounts of leaves. If you know a lawn will be de -thatched refer to the golden rule again. Do it right. You will sleep better.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Nice thought, but it sounds to me like he CAN'T do it right. Wait for the cleanup, and the soil temp hits 55 before that... he's gonna have breakthrough no matter what he does, apply over leaves, or wait until crabgrass germinates.

    The lack of total control is WHY I do maintenance. I don't like mowing lawns, actually. Or doing cleanups. It's the price I pay for control. I do enjoy taking care of ornamentals, using rarely found correct pruning techniques foriegn to most LCO's, but I don't see how Humble CAN do this "the right way"....
  7. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    Depends on how deep the leaves are. If you can see the grass, granular will work just fine if the leaves are dry. Think about sugar on corn flakes. No matter what you do most will end up at the bottom.

    Think about using a leaf vac. How many grans end up in the bagger? None. Your better off setting up that weed barrier as soon as possible.

    If leaves are so deep you can't see the grass, don't do it. Leave a note suggesting leaves need to be picked up asap or they will start killing the grass if they arn't already.
  8. jbturf

    jbturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,432

    i deal with this same issue as well,

    and it is one reason that i do 2 apps of dimension
    on most my accts.

    it is impossible to make them all happy,
    but it sounds that you make a good effort to

    i notice though that each year fewer and fewer of
    my customers even do or pay for a spring cleanup.
    there are also a handfull of landscapers i know that
    do not even offer spring cleanups--blows my mind.
    in my opinion a good spring cleanup is more beneficial
    to the lawn than an early fert app--- I wish the customers
    could understand this.
  9. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    Finish all your clean-ups, dethatchings, etc, no matter how late in the season. Getting the pre down around 55 degrees is ideal, but sometimes there are things out of your control. Crabgrass is the easiest of all weeds to control and with the vast array of herbicides, it can be taken care of well into the summer, if necessary. I've had great success with dimension apllication well into June and if the CG is growing, an app of Acclaim will clean it up.

    Ignore what the "big companies" are doing. They have too many customers to do it the right way. Their customer schedule dictates timing rather Mother Nature.
  10. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 645

    It can be done the right way. We do it. Soil temps here generally don't hit the germination threshold until about the first week in May. That's plenty of time for most customers to have their spring clean-ups done. Also, most customers are mowing there lawns for the first time by the last week of April insuring a clean-up has been done. Like I said before we will rake or blow off small piles of leaves that would interfere with our application. If it's obvious that there are too many leaves on the lawn and the job can't be done correctly WE DON'T DO IT! I would rather go back to service an account when it's ready or not do it at all. Humble has a choice. Do it right from the start and build your business with integrity or try to be a "big Box" company and see your customers as someone to take advantage of by reducing your ethics to suit your bottom line. How can I be more clear?

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