New Customers Middle Of Summer

PalsLawnServices

LawnSite Member
What is your strategy for warm season turf in the summer with a new customer that has a ton of weeds in the lawn for a first treatment? Spot treating doesn't seem like it would be effective time wise.

I was thinking a granular application of fertilizer and broad leaf weed control granules mixed in for the first round? Second round in the summer do the spot treating for anything left over.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
No way would I use a weed and feed for a first application--lots of weeds would survive. The customer would say, "I could have done that myself--and cheaper."
Sure, its more work and takes longer--I think an overall weed spray with a backpack would be wise--and satisfy the customer.
If not possible to broadcast weed control with a backpack. Do a treatment with a tank sprayer--same day or come back the next day. Leave the customer a note to that effect, and make it clear that there will be an excellent treatment for weeds at no additional cost.
And you have to think about crabgrass--there is a good chance that crabgrass will arise very soon. Customer will be very disappointed if crabgrass takes over. You need to apply crabgrass pre-emergent plus post-emergent.
You may not have all the products on your truck--like a pre-emergent.
You may be losing money on the first treatment.
Customer satisfaction is your only goal.
It may be possible to make the special late Pre-Post Crabgrass treatment optional at extra cost.
 

grassmasterswilson

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
nc
Depending on turf a New client might get fertilizer + a blanket of something like celcius/prosedge or certainty. Maybe even monument.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
New customer--this is a good time to compete with the big companies and the hacks. If it is inconvenient, big companies may make the customer wait until the next round weed killer truck.
But--you can provide personal custom service. Exactly what the lawn needs--when it needs it. And do it today.
True--liquid fertilizer with urea can burn lawns in hot weather--(so keep the rates low). Weed control is usually OK. Dry fert is a good option when followed by liquid weed control as a second step.
Not many companies will have a bag of dry fert with crabgrass control on the truck as an option for new customer's first ap.
It is more trouble--but if you want to be the best in town...
 

andersman02

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Snowy MN
I generally agree with you riggle. And that's exactly what we do, granular fert and blanket.

However, we do NOT do any pre-emergent or post emergent for crabgrass for new customers in the summer. Nor would i really recommend it. The problem is late summer app, when all we are doing is spraying weeds, if a new customer has a yard full of crab. Spraying it will make the lawn look absolutely terrible, on top of it post emergent crabgrass control is "iffy", sometimes it works really really well, sometimes not. If you tell a customer you can kill it, or its included, they will expect it to die.
We do keep a backpack, currently Q4, for spot treating full program customers who have been with us for at least 1 full season. We also tell new customers we do NOT treat crab right now, a pre-emergent needs to be done in the spring and they missed it.
 
OP
PalsLawnServices

PalsLawnServices

LawnSite Member
New customer--this is a good time to compete with the big companies and the hacks. If it is inconvenient, big companies may make the customer wait until the next round weed killer truck.
But--you can provide personal custom service. Exactly what the lawn needs--when it needs it. And do it today.
True--liquid fertilizer with urea can burn lawns in hot weather--(so keep the rates low). Weed control is usually OK. Dry fert is a good option when followed by liquid weed control as a second step.
Not many companies will have a bag of dry fert with crabgrass control on the truck as an option for new customer's first ap.
It is more trouble--but if you want to be the best in town...
Thanks man I like it. This is what I'm leaning towards. Blanket weed killer and dry fert.
 

andersman02

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Snowy MN
And yes, you can apply both liquid fert and Weed control when its hot, just have to be extremely careful with your mix as well as apply it at a high rate per k, like 3gallons.

We've done .5lbs and blanket 3way with highs over 90. However we are not applying when its that hot. Either the guys come in extra early and get it done early, or they stop when it reaches around 88-90.
Its also important to note you need to go light on stressed areas, something liquid is extremely easy to do with.
 

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