Cool Season turf and gaining new fertilization accounts this late....

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Exact Rototilling, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    ....yes getting fert accounts this late in the season.

    Just seems to make sense....if 65%-75% of the seasons Nitrogen should go down late in the season...your success stories on gaining more fert clients now.

    Ironically once Labor Day arrives here the public looses interest in their lawn and largely hit the ignore button. An alarming number of LCOs also start dropping mowing heights around this time....even if the turf has already been low mowed and scorched from summer stress.

    Anyhow I'm looking for ideas...:rolleyes:
  2. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,985

    I like the thought process. I've tried a couple of small direct mailers targeting fall re seeding but they were not very successfull. Could be my market though, fescue is a grass that is slowly going away due to the heat.

    If I had more time I might try to narrow a mailing list down to neighborhoods where fescue might be a good grass...older established hoods with larger trees or more shade
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    Yes. My experience is that consumer interest drops abruptly about mid-September. They close their pools on Labor Day. Some people quit watering. Put the hose in the garage. Some quit mowing about October first. Frustrating.
    About the most you can do is consumer education. Mention university recommendations. Emphasize the need in your customer communications and new sales efforts on the importance of fall fertilizer, fall weed control, fall seeding and winter fertilizer. Discuss how the roots resume growth, grass recovers and major thickening for tight turf happens in fall. Also, mention grub damage and potential rescue treatments. If you can, take advantage of fall fertilizer awareness created by Scotts or other national brands advertising during football games. "We do the same thing--only better." (And of course, Dad can stay inside and watch football, while we do the work on Monday). Mention your organic offerings. Be sure to mention how a thorough treatment in fall eliminates dandelions in the spring--and--kills the winter annuals like chickweed, henbit, hairy cress, and many perennials,(like ground ivy and violets). If you offer it, state how you can prevent poa annua invasion with a properly timed fall pre-emergent. Mention how your treatments help grass to fill-in as the crabgrass fades out. Don't actually claim you killed the crabgrass (unless you used quinclorac) but subtly take credit for it as it fades out.

    Naturally homeowners that suffered huge lawn problems and damage will be interested in a program that will restore their lawn to near perfect. Be ready with your special plan--and amazingly it is specially designed for local soil, conditions and weather that happened last summer in your town...a plan that is specially designed to take advantage of the fall weather and climate in your town. Of course, competing national companies cannot do this. Include insect control if needed in your town. Mole bait is often of interest--could be half price with 15 month agreement.
    Incentives could include half-price on November snow removal.

    Mention advantages of fall aeration, seed or lime, if that is your thing.
    Mention, new customers' special offers. "We plant 12 free tulips for new customers." "Free reseed of bare spot--up to 100 sqft." "Free lime with yearly agreement covering next year." (You don't have to use much lime--maybe 5 pounds per thousand.)
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Offer lawn renovations,,, making it perfectly clear that,,, "This Is The Time" to fix your lawn and get it "Ready For Spring"...

    I'm still working against the false notion that N and Pre-m need to be applied before the grass breaks dormancy... no matter how foolish an idea is,,, it takes quite an effort to correct it...

    They need to be trained to leave the grass alone during the heat of Summer(except water) and feed it heavily in the Fall with a light breakfast in Late Spring...
    Perhaps if you informed them that these foolish notions came from warm-season practices and used by "Squirt&Fert" guys to make money during the Summer, at the H.O. expense,,, you might break through to some of them...
    Sometimes people resent being played for a sucker, and they might decide to listen... :)

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