Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassworks, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. grassworks

    grassworks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    This has been worst year for cancels in 12 years. Between drought and crabgrass issues , i have stopped trying to save em. The cost of drive75 and constant battle with informing customers of proper mowing height and watering needs in fescue lawns(north carolina) has finally proved to costly to keep up with. I'm going full maintenance without "fert and squirt only" next year. To many homeowners absolve full responsibility when they hire you to do a simple 6 app program. I would be interested in hearing how others in the transition zone deal with late season crabgrass infestations.

    1. If you water a tall fescue lawn like you should in this area during late spring and summer the pre emergent breaks down very quickly and leaves a long unprotected crabgrass opening before seeding.

    2. I fit rains alot ( see above)

    3. if it doesnt rain or you don't water , expect the lawn to go dormant , show signs of drought stress and eventually die/thin out , leaving some nice areas for weeds and crab to emerge.

    This doesnt even touch on Fungus issues with proper watering....and the resulting potential problems with that.
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    You just have to explain to them that EVERYone has it. I don't care what the service is, if they haven't done specific crabgrass treatment (other than pre-emergent), they have crabgrass on atLEAST some of their jobs. I have it, and several others (services) around here do too. This has been the worst year in all my years I've ever seen for crabgrass growth. we were talking the other day (a friend who has a service and me) and thought about the idea of just spreading Dimension throughout half the season. you about could've done that this year. Drive IS expensive..especially if you use it at any rates that actually work. There is one service around here that I just learned earlier today that they are offering a "crabgrass control ap." for an additional price. I would love to see their pricing schedule and letter for that.
  3. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    I have tons of crabgrass this year. Did some spot treating with MSMA but results weren't very good. Nobody has complained but next year I'm doing my pre-em apps later.
  4. MIDWEST25

    MIDWEST25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    Marketing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Educate and save as many as you can!Start marketing now for new business.I have seen a few summers like this and you always have a big sales year following.Trugreen customers are prime targets.They are going to do it to you so get ready.Don't give up-it will pass
  5. dmoney

    dmoney LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    what kind of marketing whould you do to attract customers?
  6. NAT

    NAT LawnSite Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 96

    I agree grass works this year in va is bad crabgrasss ,brownpatch and the was ok tel later this summer when got a rain or two in july the crab flew out of the ground,and thats two apps of barrcade this spring.i agree that im only doing the lawns i mow next year.i saw a chem lawn yard today looked like a nutsedge/crab lawn .maybe next year we will have the of rain and sun and not 100degrees everyday. :dizzy:
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    the beauty of it is that all the other companies are losing clients over the same issues, this opens the door, for you. my clients that have been with me for more than a year all held up nicely. the new ones went to hell, there is nothing i can do. yup, they all blame me. this, is the beauty of pre pay in full. i have thier money, they can't stiff me on any payments as the result of crabgrass, fungus, or nutsedge. they can cancel if they want, but no refunds. how many stiffed you cus thier lawn looks bad?
  8. lawnpi

    lawnpi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm in NC also, and have almost the exact same issues as yourself. I've been in business 5 years, and this is BY FAR the WORST year I've ever had for cancels. Everybody is screaming about how horrible their yards look, and of course they all blame me. I try to explain the reasons why their yard is full of crabgrass and weeds (early heavy rainfall followed 100+ temps) and that I of course have no control over Mother Nature. I then explain that reseeding is the long-term answer for their problems. Unfortunately, once customers have made up their minds, all my explanations go in one ear and out the other, and they cancel anyway.

    Its interesting to note that many of these customers signed on late Spring/early Summer and had crappy lawns to begin with, and they don't seem to realize 6 fert apps won't cure a thin, crappy lawn, and that a reseeding is the long term fix. Here we are in reseeding season and these people are bailing out when they should be reseeding. Its kind of like climbing a tall mountain only to turn around when you're about to reach the top. I'd love to read other guys experiences with cancels this year. Sometimes I feel I'm the only one.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I have a bad feeling that I may get a few cancellations for next year, also. That is o.k.. I am prepared. I'm just about ready to do what my friend John does...if they aren't irrigated, they don't even qualify.
  10. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    I am thinking the same thing. I have lost a few and will lose a few more. ALL of the cancels are from non-irrigated customers.

    The best quote so far is from a customer who has one oscillating sprinkler that he moves around 3 times a week "I watered the He.. out of my lawn this year so don't blame the heat or lack of rain. I don;t care what chemicals you did or didn't use my lawn looks terrible. The guy across the street doesn;t do anything and his lawn looks better."

    It is amazing how good a stand of crabgrass looks in August from across the street. And his watering schedule.....I drove by a few times and the sprinkler wouldnt be moved for a week at a time.

    Oh well.....

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