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Dropping Chemlawn, need advice

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by 411craig, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. 411craig

    411craig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I am going to start fertilizing my lawn starting this coming spring and would like some advice. Chemlawn is just not cutting it, they have made three applications and it doesn't seem like the grass is coming along like I would expect for the money they charge (about 1.2 acres @ 175.00 per app. X 5 visits a year.) The yard has not been fertilized for several years prior as we just moved in late spring. Had trouble getting a company to come out in time to do a preemergent application so this didn't help matters either. I figure I could get a nice spreader <-- any ideas? and the chemicals and have a nicer lawn for less money than I am paying out now. Also I could apply what is necessary, and not what Chemlawn decides to dump in their tank for all the lawns on their route, which likely have different needs. I worked in the lawn and landscape business for about 6 years but don't have lots of expierence with fertilizer/herbicide apps. I am guessing one of the first things would be to test the soil to see what it needs and go from there. There are a few pics of some weeds and the lawn HERE. Sorry, know I should have compressed them a little more. I can provide more pictures if needed.

  2. jonw9

    jonw9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I am going through the same thing myself, except for that it appears as if your lawn looks better than mine does. I am just tired of paying to have brown grass and weeds. For a spreader, you would probably be best off with a tow-behind rotary spreader, unless you were thinking about liquid applications.

    I am going to stick with granular. I am not sure who is the best. Scotts, Lesco, Vigaro, Bayer, etc. I figure doing the lawn myself may not save me money, but I am hoping it at least looks better. Good luck to you and let us know how it goes!
  3. 411craig

    411craig LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Well, woke up this morning to find a little flag in the yard. They decided to do a "grub control" app. after being told not to. I am going to refuse to pay the bill and tell them not to come back. $265 their trying to charge for a service not authorized!:angry:
  4. BermudaRectangle

    BermudaRectangle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I dropped ChemLawn last year because I felt like there was no visible benefit to my lawn. So I maintained the fertilizer and weed control program on my own.

    Bad decision! My lawn was overrun with weeds by the end of the summer! :dizzy:

    My personal program didn't get the lawn any greener either, so I gave up and called them back the next year.

    The weed control is much improved, and I have the neighborhood "Yard of the Month" sign on my lawn this month... ;)

    So I reluctantly pay the fee to have them do the yard. Like many others, I have precious little time to tend to the yard...
  5. jonw9

    jonw9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    No offense but, if you don't have the precious time to tend to your yard, could that be the reason you had a weed problem? I have a green service come to my house, and my neighbors yard looks better, and he just uses Scotts.

    I just got tired of the guy showing up and half-assed spraying for 5 minutes with the mixture of the day. You are correct that more time and effort, and possibly more money may be required. I guess if it doesn't look good/better than I can always call them back like you did.
  6. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    What you guys do not realize that in most cases the problems that exist in a yard are problems that are beyond the control of the lawn care operator. i.e. mowing height, watering practices, and weather. As a lawn care operator we continually send out and provide step by step instructions on proper horticultural care of turf that addresses these issues and no matter what there are a certain percentage that do not take the time to follow those instructions or have even seen them (although they are provided 6 times over the year and explained in detail in the beginning).
  7. jonw9

    jonw9 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I am not saying the quality applicators don't exist, I am just not one of the lucky ones to have one on my property. I understand a large portion of the lawn resides on the homeowner. I am also saying that compared to my neighbor, who also mows at 3", waters as often as I do, and also experiences the same weather has a better lawn with standard products than I am achieving with my "professional". That is why I come to this site, for helpful information that I can use to make my lawn better.

    On my application receipt, there are not any reccomendations checked, not more higher, loer or otherwise. Heck, the type of grass isn't even marked, most likely because Joe sprayer doesn't know either.
  8. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    we cannot seem to find a decent spraying company either. I know that it is not an uncommon predicament.
  9. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    411, your idea of a soil test would be a first step to take. One from the local Ag. Extension, not off a store shelf.
    Then find someone that does granular apps.
  10. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    good luck on trying to get out of paying for it, they will hound and hound you. I have a few older clients that got suckered into there services. I really feel sorry for them.

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