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Dark green bands in a couple nice lawns - rectify?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,797

    Got contacted recently by homeowners who's lawn I treat (nice lawns) that there were some darker green stripes in the lawn, roughly 7-10 days after I applied on those lawns. Wasn't aware of an issue when I treated those lawns, fert seemed to be pitching out evenly, etc. Checked my spreader more closely today and found the pin that holds the platter up on the shaft was sheared, and the platter was able to slip down and scrape the stainless frame. Platter still spun (probably not fast enough), but some fert was dribbling down the front of the machine causing the green bands. Damn infernal machines....

    At any rate, what is the best way to rectify this? I was planning to run a half rate N application with 2% iron over these lawns, with a different pattern than the one I used last time. Any better ideas? Will the band fade over time, and if so how long? Never had this happen to me before. Thx!
     
    Cam15 and Crazy 4 grass like this.
  2. hort101

    hort101 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from S.E. New England
    Messages: 21,440

    Curious how long ago did you spread?
    Can you still see the prills?
     
    Cam15 and Crazy 4 grass like this.
  3. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from southeast PA
    Messages: 422

    We had it happen on a nice lawn last year. Tried going a half rate in the opposite direction with granular but it only masked it a little. The best solution was taking out the 100 gallon sprayer with soluble fert and hand spraying between the stripes. I think hand spraying gives you the best control and lets you control the dosage.
     
    hort101, Cam15 and Crazy 4 grass like this.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,004

    Simple thing to do is apply again in the opposite direction. Go east west--if you did the last ap north-south. Add a free weed control by way of apology to the customer. It will be green--but mowing will be a bit more work--rapid growth!
    Or maybe a free grub control. Or surface insects control (cheaper).
    Act mortified and embarrassed when you apologize to the customer. You may need some acting lessons.

    What kind of spreader? Isn't it stupid that they did not use a stainless steel pin in the impeller? Probably costs 10 cents more.
    This is a lesson for all of us--check your impeller for a rusty roll-pin.
    Surely, someone else here has found a solution.
    Check for rust on Lesco, Earthway, Pridelawn and Spyker. Which ones have stainless pins or a better solution?
     
    Cam15 likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,797

    Unfortunately these are bigger lawns...hose not an option.
     
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,004

    Of course--you could also just refund their money for the imperfect ap. Or give them the next ap free. Maybe a free soil test. Or an extra fall ap if they already paid.
    Or surface insects, grub control, or lime.

    Or free aeration, seed, humic acid or...but these are way too expensive. Maybe liquid aeration--but that is probably mainly snake-oil. Maybe Drive for crabgrass, liquid iron for dark green color or nutsedge control.
     
  7. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,118

    I had a few lawns do this this spring when I dropped the side guard. Really embarrassing. Smaller lawns I was able to Whizz around the streaks and blend the color out.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,797

    Thing about this mistake is, its just a cosmetic thing and will go away. I spread N + Iron yesterday in a different pattern on 3 lawns that were affected. I think it will blend it just enough to be fine. It was fairly subtle in most areas anyway.
     
    zlandman and hort101 like this.
  9. Hineline

    Hineline LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,118

    It does go away on its own in time. It was a real lesson for me as I was running hard and trying to catch up from shutdown. Dropping the sideguard and turning up the spinner to try to throw farther left is what caused it for me. It just concentrates a heavy amount in a 1 foot wide stripe. When I cut in now I turn the spinner down for a more even distribution. I must have had cake built up on the platter that day also.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,004

    It should have been obvious to you, that you did not apply the full amount needed.
    However--if you did apply the full number of pounds required...then reassure the customer that they were not shorted...that they received the full amount paid for...just an uneven distribution.
    Experienced operators can spot an uneven distribution, by eye.
    This is a good time to mark the pounds graduations with paint markers inside your hopper. Also mark the correct sqft that the pounds should cover.
    You will know if you add the proper amount of fert--and too much remains when the job is "complete".
    The correct and full amount of product needed is an important part of quality. Never let another company beat your quality.
     

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