3 & 4 app customers;/

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Nitroman, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. greenskeeper44

    greenskeeper44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 433

    agree....nutsedge is impossible to get rid of..its going to come every year and it seems like it is getting worse...also crabgrass pressure the past 4 season has been worse as winter has shortened here and its getting warmer early and longer in the season....this year we are bumping up our pre emergence rate to be in line with southern reccomendations..we are supposed to be in the transition zone but the past couple of years I believe we have been more like alabama and other southern state climates...the more i can be on the property the better especially with the summer weeds you can be there one week then 2 weeks later all hell breaks loose!
  2. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    4 app programs were always the norm until the bean counters got involved.

    A good 4 app program is great for most lawns and works very well.

    That being said I "offer" up to a six app fert program with all the other bells and whistles too.

    Creech got it right on a lot of points and slammed Efficiency pretty good but it's true. We do six apps because we can, not because we should.

    When I started it was four apps and an optional late fall of high K product. Now it's six apps all high N.

    I also know that 2lbs of N max was recommended for northern turf back in the day too. Not sure what they are up to now, and fall is all about heavy N.......

    Buncha bullshit to be honest.
  3. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,748


    4 apps is probably fine for your area
    I was thinking that back in the day the recommendation for bermuda was about 4-4.5lbs of N per season but not too long ago I read somewhere it was 5.5. Weather patterns and environmental factors change and all I'm really saying is a program should fit environmental conditions of your market and the level of service and value you want to provide. These will determine what your program will be as well as the price you charge and really your whole service model in general.

    Bean counters determined that big companies like TG should be offering 7-8 apps and telemarketing for as many more as they could get beyond that. They chase more customers my way by using this business model(not to mention the inferior results). I've never played that game.

    I only want to provide superior service and value to my customers while at the same time making a decent living for myself and my employees.
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    I guess I was not trying to make a blanket statement on Lawnsite about the amount of apps.

    The fella that stated this post is from IN though and I know the drought there was just as bad if not worse then here and there should not have been 6 apps applied this season.

    Depending on the area, type of grass and length of the growing season of course there are many different programs.

    To each his own...but the key is giving the customer what they need and not take advantage of them.

    They are not here to pay your bills so if you are only applying 6 apps to "keep your guys busy"....you SUCK!
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,748

    IMO, the answer to your question is this.

    For the most part, fert is by far your most expensive input. My partial program customers usually request and are mainly interested in weed control. So, I offer a Spring pre/post, Fall pre/post and usually a summer fert/ spot spray. My Early Spring and Late Fall apps usually contain much less fert. Most of the annual amount of fert in my program is applied during the summer months. I always make it understood that a partial program is not going to get them "lawn of the month" . If they want that with a partial program, they are going to have to do a lot of things on their own between my visits. When we are done talking, they realize that their lawn is not going to be perfect with only 3 apps
    This doesn't break the bank for me on materials and it keeps us busy in two typically slower times of the year...Early Spring and Late Fall. I've never had to hire "extra" help to filter these folks in route with full program customers when their time comes and get everyone done. I have a few, but I guess not that many partial program customers.

    As far as what you offer in your area and what some others have said here. My advice is to do what it takes to make your customers lawns better than the rest. Whether that takes 4 apps, 5 or 6. If their budget won't allow that, then it is your job to let them know what they can expect from the part of your "full program" they will be getting.
  6. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 217

    Greenskeepeer said it best "the more i can be on the property the better especially with the summer weeds you can be there one week then 2 weeks later all hell breaks loose!

    Five and six apps are needed in Ohio and Indiana. I see night and day difference between our four app customers and six, weed control especially.
  7. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163

    If it doesn't rain for 2-3 months do u really think your going to get good weed control.

    Sorry but my 4 app lawns look just as good as any 6 app lawns.

    Infact we get most 6 app lawns from TG and have to clean them up.

    We blanket spray n spring and fall and get very good results.

    Educate the customer that when the turf is thin weeds are more prone to coming n due to lack of competition from thin turf.

    There was no reason to be spaying turf that's been dormant for 2-3 months for weed

    You can't convince me otherwise!!

    It's working awesome for us
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,807

    And be sure to mention the disadvantage...that there is no guarantee, rain-redos or free service calls for 3 app customers. Your full program includes the guarantee...doesn't it?
    And there is no choice about when the treatments happen...partial program customers are included in the route when the truck is on their street.
  9. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 217

    Your right on the money. We do offer free service calls on our full program customers.

    It's a shame some people don't get this industry, using four apps and comparing that to Tru Green's six app program. That's not saying much, chem lawn is a cliche in this industry.

    That's the difference between successful business men and those who just get by.
  10. Nitroman

    Nitroman LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 217

    I’ve met some great professors from Ohio State University and they would disagree with you. They kind of wrote the bible for turf care in your state. I would go to some of their training courses. Best of luck

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