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Mowing on notch number 3

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Today I was embarrassed when I showed up at a customer's lawn. (sorry that I did not have my camera today so I could show pics). The front lawn was mostly dead. It was clay soil, and it sloped toward the hot afternoon sun. While the backyard & sides looked nice, the front was mostly dead & full of foxtail.

    Turns out -- the turf was being mowed at about 1 1/2 inches. (notch number 3 does not mean a 3 inch cut). Also: the lawn has never been watered this year - even though the sod is less than one year old. Seems her neighbor said "water it alot the first year, then let it go".

    Today, the lady said, "I'll give you guys one more year, but .....".

    Any feedback guys?
  2. wrivers

    wrivers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Why were the backyard and sides looking good while the front was dead? Is there only new sod in front?

    Are you supposed to coach your customers on watering? I guess it depends on your business. According to NOAA, July was pretty dry with below average rainfall. It doesn't take a genius to know you have to water turf if its not raining. Why didn't she water it after some of it died instead of just letting it all die?

    I'd defintely tell her (and all your other unknowing customers) that she has to water. Tell her how long and what frequency too. The lawn died because she took bad advice from a neighbor instead of asking you. If she complains about the weeds, they are a by-product of the dead lawn that are just taking advantage of space.

  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    The front was full sun, and it sloped (perpendicular) toward the hot afternoon sun. This is very common on new lawns here. 'Mowing short & never watering' put this front lawn over the edge -- especially because the turf was less than one year old and it was trying to grow on heavy, compacted clay soil with no water during high temps and no rain for six weeks. She said her lawn was the "best in the neighborhood" this spring.
  4. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    "best in the neighborhood" - haven't you heard that more than once? They all are! Even next door neighbors have the best lawn in the neighborhood, or so they think.

    I just had the exact same experience as you. I went to do my next app & the back lawn was toast, front was green as can be.
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Hand out watering and mowing guides to the customers. Have the techs carry them in their trucks and hand out to all customers or lawns that are mowed too short. You could also get little rulers with your logo on and and those out as well.

    If it was me, I'd try and educate them and if that doesn't work, drop them. Too many customers think sod is the easy way out, but have no idea the work it entails to maintain it. Then mowing it 1.5 inches and not watering is always the lawn person's fault!
  6. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 612

    Well, isn't sod like grass carpet, you just roll it out and your pretty much done, right!
    I especially love the people around here that have had sod installed, neglected it for 3 or so years, call me to look at their dirt and weeds and tell me it's sod, like they want me to just turn back on the sod switch. Man, people are amazing, and somehow a lot of them think the same way about things.
  7. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Thanks guys. Seems most customers never read the "leave behinds" provided by us everytime (published by land-grant universities). Oh well --- you can lead a horse to water, but..........Then the customer needs someone else to blame other than themselves. Oh yes -- mow short too. lol
  8. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    take a rain guage to the property and tell 'em you'll be by to check it every day.
    It better be full.....LOL
    and don't forget the moisture meter to spot check other areas!
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    No sh$t --- also there's the one where the customer says "My neighbor never does anything, and look at his lawn!" Too funny. LOL

    Oh yes........I love it when I pull out the "truth detector" (soil probe), then have to kick it hard with my foot in order to get in about one inch deep. I love it when the customer is present for this....lol

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