fertilizer causing grass to "jump"

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    With the economy like it is and people trying to save money, I'm seeing a lot of people cut back on the mowing side. The choose to keep the apps, but go with every 2 week mowings. Fertilizer, rain, and 2 weeks between cutting doesn't do very well on warm season grass. Thatch and more time mowing are becoming problems.

    Is there a particular type of SRN that would be good to slow the "jumping" but not sacrafice the quality of my service?
  2. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    The easiest solution imo would be to explain what happens when too much of a grass blade is cut off, and then explain how and when apps for fertilizer could be cut back instead. It would be much smarter especially with summer to keep mowing but not fertilize unless necessary imo.

    If they won't listen then you do the job they ask you to do imo, I wouldn't modify anything.
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,159

    Screamin Green. :)
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,125

    You need to change the composition of the fertilizer. The other reason why I believe in ammonium sulfate spoon fed vs scu or pscu is that I get the color less the surge growth. I also believe in using micronutrients for color rather than just nitrogen. Micronutrients are best applied as sprays at regular intervals.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,795

    Timed release might help...slightly. Be sure to charge them extra for the extra labor and fuel required to mow tall grass. Ignore thatch.

    You might suggest other areas to omit to save them money. Say a non-guaranteed economy plan--"run of the mill quality". Labor skilled or unskilled (whatever you assign to that route). Square corkscrew pattern no stripes. Skip trimming. Skip edging. No aeration. No blowing the grass off concrete. Perhaps use growth regulator on all trimmed areas.

    Be sure to point out that major league ball fields are mowed three times per week. Be sure to switch to an organic, slow release or low nitrogen product.

    You may be able to tell them the grass will grow slowly during dry spells, and cold weather--and you will skip mowing during times when the grass is not 4 inches tall or more. Widen narrow gates. Kill difficult to cut areas and plant bushes.
    If they reduce your costs or time--give them a break. However...be sure to encourage them to reinstate the important parts of your service. Try to resell on skipped services with frequent letters or offers.
    Discount for pay in advance. Monthly. Yearly. Auto billing of their credit card. Email bills--save a stamp. No tongue cuts from licking envelopes. I hate those.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    And I would quickly respond, my yard is not a base ball field.
  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    The important thing is are they paying more per cut being they have gone bi weekly. Extra work due to extra growth due to skipped week means a 50% increase. $40 mow is now a $60 mow.

    They are still saving money. They wer paying $160 a month and now are paying $120.

    Put down half the fert will save material them costs.

    Can offer for them to forgo blowing to reduce costs. I still do not blow my own property after I mow. Next day the breeze cleans up the clippings.

  8. lawnrx

    lawnrx LawnSite Member
    from ga
    Messages: 140

    Use MASA Fert.. Good slow growth..
  9. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,471

    GM, What types of grasses are you dealing with?
  10. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988


    I'm doing bermuda and centipede this time of year. Bermuda has gotten apps of 1 lb and .75 lb N while centipede got .5 lb and .25 lb N.

    We are in a dry period now so things have slowed down, but over the last few weeks I having to double cut even weekly lawns.

    I was wondering if I need to drop my N rate or if there was a different typs of SRN that I could use that would give all the benefits without so much top growth.

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