I was so mad!!!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Victor, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    I was so mad, I could hardly see straight! I'm glad I was able to calm down.

    About an hour ago, I received a phone call from one of my customers who's lawn I picked up last year around June. When I began treating her lawn, it was in really sad shape to say the least. I've taken great pride in how much I've been able to turn her lawn around up until this point. She has been very impressed too.

    She called me and notified me that when she was pulling out of her driveway moments earlier, she had seen her neighbor from across the street, using his fertilizer spreader to apply something to her hell-strip and her neighbor's hell-strip as well (her neighbor is also my customer). Needless to say, I didn't waste any time getting over there to find out what he had put down. When I got there, I saw little white granules that looked like Scotts Plus 2. I was relieved to see that he hadn't put it down at a heavy rate (it was a fairly light rate). When I looked across the street and saw his garage doors were open, I went over there and knocked on his door. When he answered the door, I identified myself in an eloquent manner and told him that I had been maintaining the two lawns across the street that he had just treated. I then asked him what he had applied to those lawns and he confirmed that it in fact was Scotts Plus 2. Again, in an eloquent manner, I told him that I realized he thought he was helping, but there was a real possibility his actions could have caused damage to my customer's lawns. I then requested that he refrain from making any more applications to their lawns. He promised to do just that, so I considered it a done deal and left it at that.

    When my customer called me and told me what she had witnessed, I had visions of all the lawns I've seen home owners overdose with crabgrass preventer and other fertilizer products. I just knew that's what I was going to find upon arriving at her property. It wasn't easy, but I held it together. I tried to keep the thought that he was seemingly trying to help my customers out, in the back of my mind. That helped curb any hostility on my part.

    I'm curious to find out though, how any of you that read this, would have handled the matter. Would you have torn into him for this episode of chemical trespassing? That's really what this was, since he failed to acquire my customer's consent before treating her property with a fertilizer containing a pesticide.

    What's really frustrating, is that I have those two lawns scheduled for an application of 14-2-5, with .38% Barricade TOMORROW. As far as I'm concerned, if there is any damage to her lawn, the idiot across the street can pay me to fix it. I'm not going to fight crabs, foxtails nutsedge and who knows what else all year with expensive herbicides, because of what that idiot did. From what I saw, there shouldn't be any problems though, because he didn't put the Scotts down at a very heavy rate. Another thing that will help, is the fact that my 14-2-5 isn't very heavy on the N. Since moisture levels of the soil are so high this time of year, that will help too.

    How would you have responded? I'd love to know.
  2. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    wait this neighbor just went out and fetilized his neighbors lawns jsut for the heck of it
  3. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,249

    What's a "Hell-Strip"?
  4. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    He sure did. He did this without their permission too. He treated the hell-strips and on either side of their driveways. He basically treated the areas that I need to pay the most attention to when I put down my Barricade app tomorrow. It sure is a good thing he didn't put it down very heavy.

    One important fact I forgot to mention, was that he said one of the reasons he did that, was so he could dispose of the excess fertilizer he had left after he had treated his own lawn. That told me right there, that his intentions weren't completely of a benevolent nature.
  5. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    The strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street.
  6. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Messages: 406

    Part of my guarantee states " Applications of additional products made to your lawn and/or landscape by you the homeowner, or by another lawn-care company hereby void any guarantee either written or implied."
    Simply stated, I tell my customers they need to put 3 things on their lawn once they hire me...1. Water, 2. A lawnmower and 3. Their feet, I'll handle the rest. I once caught a customer applying more seed down on his lawn after I had done a perfect job of aerating/seeding his turf. He had gone to the local box-store and bought 100lb. of K-31 fescue with no less than a 5% weed seed content and put it all down on his 8,000 sq.ft. lawn. after I had spent a considerable amount of time doing Glyphosate app.s to get his grassy-weed population in check for free after he had complained about weed-control results all that summer. I asked him about the incriminating bags I saw in his garbage bin and he said " I do that every year as I don't think it looks like enough seed is put down". I asked for a check on the spot and canceled him. He now is free to put down whatever he wants when he wants and it shows...currently the lawn looks like 40 miles of bad road with a flat. I flag those customers as well to prevent reinstatement and as some of my competitors are friends of mine we tend to share information like that.
  7. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,249

    Does the homeowner own that or is it city property? I was thinking that from the sidewalk to the road was not part of the lot. I know that we want it to look good, but there was probably no real damage done here other than hurt feelings. Scotts is the bottom of the barrel in most opinions and probably not a sustained nitrogen to burn nor enough potash to help. The only concern would be that whatever pre-emergent they use would only help your cause. The real problem would to apply your not knowing that he had put down extra of some sort. Could you water his in and then apply yours in a day or so? Diplomacy was a better choice of action...If that had happened, we'd wouldn't be in Iraq now.
  8. LawnSmith

    LawnSmith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 389

    realistically speaking, it wouldnt have caused much damage if any. with the cold temperatures your seeing right now, its going to react slowly and just be a mowing problem more than anything.

    i can totally see your point though and its great that you followed up on it.
  9. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    We call that a boulevard.
  10. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,249

    I checked the analysis on the Scotts--28-3-3. 1.21-2-4D and .61 Mecoprop. Barricade is prodiomine (Spelling all wrong). This might be a bit much for the grass even if both were applied even lightly. His stuff has little control on crabgrass as I understand from way back year when some people thought Scotts was the begining and end of crabgrass control. Keep us informed to the outcome.

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