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Lest we forget

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,118

    Since he said "during times when weed have formed seed heads" my assumption is that there is not a substantial weed problem or the weed seed heads would be present at all times during the growing season.
  2. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,722

    Good advice...especially for customers that can't fine tune their equipment because they don't have the knowledge a professional who mows lawns for a living does. Thanks JD
  3. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Yep. Anytime. :)
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,118

    That is fine if you are recommending a blade to a consumer.

    For me the stock Honda, Toro, or Exmark mulch blades and deck designs leaves about 30% to 40% mulching ability sitting on the sidelines and blows a good amount of leaves or debris right out of the path the mower leaving a messy yard. Mulching technology has left these designs in the dust. IMO the gator design works great under the right deck if you cut off three of the four sails, otherwise excessive blowout and plastering damp grass to the deck results.
  5. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,118

    That is not the way I would deal with a weed problem. Way to much work.
    I never wash my mower between lawns. I do not believe the mower to be transporting seeds on any level to warrant action. Decks do get scraped when growth is lush.
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    You write the contracts to cover the trips you make. Do you discount for summer when you don't have to mow? If the best you can do is every 5 days, then you do that. You do the absolute best you can and the customers worth having appreciate it and pay for it. Or you can play the paper hanging, as long as I'm making a buck, don't really care about the customer beyond the check, might as well be selling them whatever they will pay for instead of taking to the next level of professionalism.

    The above is not a debate, it is just my honest opinion on how it SHOULD be. I've worked for and with a very few companies who were willing to go that extra mile. The employees that worked for those employers always "ate at the top of the food chain". The main reason I was there in the first place. The quality of the customer at this level is way beyond par. The LCO at this level doesn't think twice about "passing" on a customer who doesn't appreciate the services being provided. And YES, you raise the mower after being stuck in the shop for three days waiting for the rain to stop and the grass to dry. You drop the mowers back down and make the tour as fast as you possibly can. End results is your properties stand out above all the "others". So much so that you can quit calling them "competition".
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I don't compost commercially, I just let various pile mixtures sit for a year and work them into the garden. Chemlawn puts down pre-m twice, broadleaf twice, insecticide 2 or 3 times, and the home owner has his own fascination with chemical applications for ants, skeeters etc..

    Those clippings are in long, long term piles. I know that these things break down after a few months, but I like my garden to be worry free. Grass clippings in the garden definately makes changes. I never buy ferts for the garden - organic or otherwise.
  8. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,118

    The market here will not support what you speak of above, nor is multiple trips necessary here. My mowers mulch a weeks grass just fine thank you. Who takes a break when it rains , I sure don't. Those who have ever worked the Portland or Seattle market scoff at such a idea. IMO good service means being in the same yard at the same time every week. In the age of irrigation systems why would the lawn not need cutting mid summer? Take two winter months off and skip summer cuttings too, how can a Gardner survive that nonsense?
  9. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Interesting. Mind sharing some picks of the modified blades? Also, do you notice any stringers after you mow??

    I agree, if I was still doing mowing I would make sure my equipment was running very efficiently.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Because proper irrigation management does not mean maintaining spring growth rates throughout the year. You can have a thick and healthy stand of turf that only requires cutting once every 2-3 weeks in the summer. For some people who want their lawn to always look "cut" this obviously won't work, but if you follow the 1/3 rule, it will (regional differences withstanding).

    As far as weed seeds go, given a single crab grass plant can produce well over 100K seeds in a single season, I wonder how many years you will be battling crab grass in lawns where you are aiding seed dispersal?

    People are constantly complaining about the lack of organic weed control in turf .... yet how many are willing to take the extra steps to reduce the possibility of weed seeds being transferred between sites or on a particular site in the first place? The little things that can be done to help manage properties organically are sometimes the most important.

    If you see a few weeds going to seed in your turf, pull them before cutting.
    If you have a site with a lot of weeds going to seed, bag it, compost it, and return it.
    If a particular site requires additional time to decontaminate your equipment or bagging and removal, build it into your price structure until such a time when these extra steps are no longer required.

    As with Bic, I am not looking for a debate here. These are recommendations I give to clients who are a looking for ways to sustainably manage their properties.

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