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I have a condo assoc. (46 homes) that I mow. Older folks, few with experience with a sprinkler system. They are overwatering. Most water everyday, some water twice a day. The grass can grow 6-8 per week. I've mowed this place for 8 years. In the past only a few over watered so no problem, catch a yard or two, use the blower. Now every house is the same. My price does not include catching the clippings. I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I won't be getting this account next year because they say that I am not doing a good job with all the clippings. I like to have my lawns look good and this is killing me. I can't convice them that overwatering is causing all these problems. Classic signs are, long stringy grass, yellow grass, soft ground, some areas the sod seems to be floating on quicksand. I would like to have some kind of information that will support my point that there is too much water being applied. What are the classic signs of overwatering? I hate to lose such a large account but they can't afford mowing every 3 days and I can't afford to catch the grass at the prices I have given them. Help!
 

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go to the association and state your concern,otherwise sounds like your going to have to start charging for more then one cutting per visit..
 

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Do a search on the internet for

Cooperative Extension of your area. Find lawn care, specific watering. Print it out.

Try Agricultural University web sites. They also have info regarding turf and watering

Type a letter yourself, with the existing problems you are having.

Pack yourself with a fair amount of solid information.


Go to the association, not individual units. Set up a meeting with the officers of the association.


Let them know you have been there 8 years and no complaints till know, spell it all out for them. Tell them how you are saving them money by not collecting the clippings and dumping them. Also that you're saving them money on less need for fertilizers and so on for the fact that you mulch the grass back in. Tell them everything.
 

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I lost a 2400 dollar per month account trying to get them to stop watering. It was a church and cemetery the cemetery was being watered for 12 hrs per day every day. Even with water restrictions they chose to pay the fine rather than cutting back
 

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I've got a client that waters every day, no matter what. The yard is ALWAYS soggy, some spots are so wet I have to wack it instead of mowing. I spoke to the guy, no good. In fact, he just installed a new sprinkler head in the wettest area of the yard! I am pretty much plannin on cutting him next year. Too bad, because I really like the guy. Just won't listen to me.

:(
 

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I've got a ton of lawns like this, except the main problem isn't over-watering, it's over fertilizing! The end result is a crappy looking lawn. I don't have time to double cut all these lawns, blow, rake, haul away all this crap. @&%#! >: (
 

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No one knows better, the watering needs of a lawn more than the person who doing the cutting and upkeep. EsPECially the tenants! This just goes show more proof on my earlier theory. Some people are just too STUPID to cut grass! Now, you can't tell THESE people that, because you are just a lowly ol' laborer, and they are the one living in "Ivory Tower Estates". Great advice was given here. Collect the info, take it to the board. Tell them if they want clipping taken care of that are CONSISTently like that just from overwatering, then it's going to cost extra. PLENTY!
 

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THIS IS A MONEY MAKER FOR YOU!

Go to the board and tell them you will calibrate their systems for around $40 per home. Now get you a bunch of cans and go to work. Explain to them that their turf needs about 1" of water per week and that you will insure that they get that. Explain deep watering. You can make money on this as I do each winter.
 

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Originally posted by nelbuts
THIS IS A MONEY MAKER FOR YOU!

Go to the board and tell them you will calibrate their systems for around $40 per home. Now get you a bunch of cans and go to work. Explain to them that their turf needs about 1" of water per week and that you will insure that they get that. Explain deep watering. You can make money on this as I do each winter.
When you start to physically begin to manipulate the controller, doesn't that make you liable for damages to the turf due to over/under irrigation. IMHO setting the controller should not be something we should be doing. Provide advice, be behind the shoulder but never touch the controller.
 

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Originally posted by xpnd
Provide advice, be behind the shoulder but never touch the controller.
But how many clients really understand their systems? And I wonder who's going to do all the calibrations in my commercial buildings?

Once you start to look at systems, you get to know the output of the various heads, and it's a lot easier to set it yourself. I manage irrigation at all my commercial properties, and have keys and garage door openers for a number of residential props. Even have an irrigation file in truck computer so I always know how most of my systems are running - even those that the homeowner manages. They call me if they change the programming.

Remember, the worst damages done in the American landscape is by overirrigation. If you're managing the landscape, who better to manage the irrigation?
 

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This is a problem I have started to become aware of this year. If you want info to support your position, check out just about ANY book on lawn care, from a textbook on turfgrass management to a "lawn care for dummies" type of book. I haven't done the actual survey yet, but I'm pretty sure every book will say that ideally a lawn gets 1" of water per week and it gets it in one watering per week. I've been thinking of xeroxing some pages or just compiling a list of references or something to try to back myself up on this. People will not listen. Less watering helps the grass develop deeper roots and then it needs less water. One sign I see here in lots of overwatered lawns is nutsedge - the WORST of all weeds. But the fast growth may also be due to over-fertilizing.

Something I used to tell my guys for fun when I was in charge of a techincal support department - "Remember - the customer is always wrong."
 

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I run into this problem a lot. The best advice has already been given. Gather some well documented information on the subject and present it to the client. This may help your explanation sound more credible. Watering like that just isn't good.

Roughly 80% of my accounts are irrigated. It's nice not having to worry about skipping lawns during periods of drought, but the over watered ones are a pain. Some have allowed me to program their systems and it's made a huge difference. Others are stuck on the more is better approach. One person firmly believes that if the upper portion of the soil is allowed to dry, all water will just run off. :rolleyes: Can you say shallow root system?
 
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