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Lawn Diagnosis

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turfdude, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    I was just wondering how many of you offer some kind of turf diagnosis for your clients. Do you do it annually, or just when asked for an initial bid, or if theres a problem (grub, insect, fungus). Also, how many use self test kits -vs- sending out to a lab like the county extension service.
  2. PLI1

    PLI1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I will let the client know if there is a problem and what they can do to get rid of it. Most take me up on it, some don"t. Jobs I have year to year I develop a history on them for specific problems like in our area grubs, dollar spot, ect. Usually proper cultural practices eliminate a lot of headaches. Educating your client on proper watering, you cutting at proper mowing heights and not using too much nitrogen in fertilizations will eliminate many disease and insect problems. As a last resort, I use chemical control methods. Due to my golf course experience, where I had seen almost everything under the sun I developed an eye for whats what. Each disease and insect usually shows up at a certain time of year. Insects have life cycles and diseases occur during optimum conditions specific for that disease. For example snow mold only occurs under snowcover when its cold and rears its ugly head late winter early Spring when the snow melts. Brown patch occurs when its extremely hot and muggy which is usually mid-summer. Due to their life cycle, grubs appear in our area usually Aug-Sept and so forth.
    The best way to figure this out is to educate yourself. Get to know the disease and insect problems prevalent in your area. I've never used self help kits or sent out to a lab, but I would probably lean toward a self help kit since sending out to a lab takes time and you usually want to know "right now" what your problem is. Probably the most important thing I could tell you is don't guess if you run across a problem that you are not sure of. Find out from someone or somewhere who knows. A lot of money is spent every year on treating misdiagnosed problems on lawns. Try not to fall in this trap because your credibility will be at risk.
  3. hortboy

    hortboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    I have a carbon copy note pad, w/ each mow I always leave a note about the property on the door -Lawn looks great or compliment them on a outdoor project they did. It's an excellent way to communicate w/ customers and cover your tail because you have the carbon copy. I like for upsells and communicating problems or up coming changes in there cost due to clean ups.

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