Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by crownls, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. crownls

    crownls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    had a customer call me rather upset last night. She went to her local nursery for some plants. While she was there she described to them some dead patches on her lawn. The people at the nursery told her that her landscaper (me) is contaminating her lawn with grass clippings from previous customers, that have built up under my mower. I have only cut her lawn 3 times this season and they agree that it may have been the lco she had last year. My questions are:

    1. is this possible and common?

    2. do you all clean your undersides after each account?

    3. is there any remedy besides cleaning mower?

    I have agreed with my customer that i will clean my mower before i cut her lawn. However i'd hate for other clients to call with this problem. In addition there lawn is on a slope and is constantly saturated, my initial observation was water damage. Also lot is extremely shady with many pine trees covering turf area, so i'm not so sure that i am causing the fungus on her lawn. Any info much appreciated.

  2. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    language ......................
  3. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    Possible? yes possible...

    I have a pool in my trailer thats filled with that blue stuff from the barber shop.. It soaks between each lawn....

    My deck gets cleaned out once a week unless there are wet conditions, then a few times a week, maybe......

    The nursery should thank you for the business rather than point the finger..... I havent come across an accusation yet......
  4. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    Moist and shady....... A good combination for some things and not for others :) .... I would say that could cause some of the issues as well...
  5. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    The fungus in my area seems bad this year. While it is true that it can be spread from lawn to lawn, The fungus is always there, it's just the levels that are present that matter. Just like grubs, if you dig down, find a grub, run out and buy a remedy, thats not smart. 3 or 4 grubs per Sq Ft. are not going to hurt your lawn. 10 or 15 per sq ft will leave damage.
    Your best bet to stop the spread/start of fungus are:
    1. No evening watering. Give the turf a chance to be dry as long as possible. Water only in the early AM.
    2. Mow as high as possible.
    3. If the fungus starts to become noticeable, collect the clippings in the area (don't mulch/side discharge). Leaving them leaves the spores as well.
    4. Avoid excessive Nitrogen applications (especially water soluble forms of nitrogen) in early spring

    For anyone to make a diagnosis by not seeing the area/damage is a ding dong and is doubtful that he knows what he is talking about. He might be correct, but to point you out as the cause might be cause enough to go make a visit to the local nursery and have a talk. For all you know, he was selling shoes at Footlocker 2 weeks ago.

    I would try to ask/educate the client on what is causing the problem. Usually a temp change will solve a lot of the problems, but unfortunately might cause others.
  6. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    Marko's comments sound dead on to me, especially the one about visiting the nursery.

    The comment about fungal "load" parallels what I know of human biology. We all carry a plethora of viruses and bacteria, and sometimes we get sick when one of them gets out of control due to stress or something else. When we're exposed to a new virus or bacteria, we won't necessarily get sick...unless the bacterial/viral load overwhelms the immune system. Seems pretty likely this applies to plant life as well.
  7. crownls

    crownls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    thanks to all for your reply. i agree that nursery really through me under the bus. Marko would a soil test be able to determine any problems? See the problem is, i dont know much about nitrogen/potassium/diseases and fungi. I'm mostly a cut/blow/trim, install mulch beds, retaining walls, etc. I want to be as knowledgable & professional as possible when i approach my customer. A big franchise is doing there fertilizing. Is there anything i need to look at in regards to there fertilizing?

    Again thanks to all, you have help me tremendously
  8. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,640

    A big franchise....hmmm...If it's TGCL that could be your problem! They ruin yards...they didn't get the nickname TruBrown ChemLawn for no reason!
  9. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    If you are unsure, dont try to pass off that you do. Your best bet is to look at her records and see what they applied. Then post it here. High nitrogen that is quick release that provides a lot of lush growth fast is not desirable anytime, especially in the spring. I usually only put down .5 lbs my first app.
  10. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    Marko is correct. There are trillions of spores carried by wind, water, foot traffic, animals and yes, your mower, present in every lawn, bed, etc. all the time, everywhere. It's part of the ecology of plant life and like insects, you can never be totally rid of everything, nor would you want to. Cultural practices, (ie., watering, mowing, fertiliation, aerating, thinning tree canopies, etc.) are always the long term cure, just as outlined above. Fungicides are the last line of defense and if they have a chemical lawn service, that will be THEIR responsiblity to educate the customer and solve the problem. Are they being paid to be the experts on agronomy or not? I have run into a nursery or two that likes to dispense lawn advice over the years. I simply tell the customer that they are in the business to sell you new plants, I am in the business of keeping the ones you already bought alive and healthy. Anytime they want to meet me here on YOUR yard, I'll be happy to chat with them, otherwise they might as well be talking about soil conditions on the moon. That usually ends the waste of time dealing with other people's poor advice. There are many, many sites and publications dealing with lawn diseases in easy to understand language,so don't be afraid to learn a little about it and certainly don't be afraid to throw the spray company under the bus with you on this too if they aren't dealing with it! = )

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