Positive reinforcement rewards for clients who mow it @ 3"+....?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Exact Rototilling, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The reason CG really took off in this guys turf was becuz of the excessive watering, washes away the pre-m... also the 2.5 inch cut allows every sq. inch of soil to recieve all the sunlight available and heats up the ground for the CG to fourish and cool-season grasses to begin dormancy...

    Some people chose not to think along those lines and look for other reasons and of course they'll NEVER resolve the issue...

    here is the URL I promised :

  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378


    Great stuff.

    Only part I have issue with is that painfully low Fall mowing down to 1".

    I rarely go below 2.0 in the Fall. Most lower Fall mows for me are at 2.5" :confused:
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    The ultimate reward for clients to mow high is graduation to the 4 application then ultimately 3 application program with healthier grass with less water.

    Again it's the issue of what the customer wants vs actual need or what is best for the cool season grass.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    After Jan 1st, 2014 that won't matter anymore. Healthcare will be free. I won't be needing to pay for health insurance.

    Just wondering, does ObamaCare cover property insurance, car insurance, life insurance, workers comp insurance, liability insurance and/or dental insurance. Or do we have to wait for those things to be free during Obama's 3rd term?
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,134

    I do not go to doctors that are representatives of Pfizer, Novartis, Blue Cross, Kaiser, etc. I go to doctors that want to get me healthy and keep me that way with minimal diagnostic procedures and pharmaceuticals. Likewise, I am not a rep for Bayer, Syngenta, etc. I will not make up for bad mowing and irrigation practices by keeping a lawn soaked with herbicides.
  6. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,750

    Greendoctor, I don't know if you ever watched the Seinfeld show when it was on TV but I swear, you are the "Soup Nazi" of lawn care.:laugh:

    I rarely take the stance you do but occasionally it is necessary.

    Last year, I had a customer send in the payment for his first app in a timely manner as usual. He included a note saying he felt like "he was just throwing money at me with no results. there's patches of weeds here and there throughout the lawn". For 3 years I had been leaving him notes on his invoice each application that his lawn would do much better and he would like the look of his lawn much better if he would mow it a bit higher. He regularly mowed it at 3/4" to 1 " with a John Deere lawn tractor(Bermudagrass)

    Each year, after I had applied the Fall pre-emergent and it had been watered in(he tended to overwater also), he went out and mowed his lawn for the last time of the season and as usual, he skinned the SOB. I usually sprayed his lawn around the end of October. By January, he would have annual bluegrass emerge.

    After reading his note, I went out to confirm what I already knew...Sure enough, the only weed/s present in his lawn was Poa Annua.

    I had already deposited his check so I wrote a check to him from the business account as a refund for his first app and composed a letter to him reminding him of all of the notes that I had written on invoices about mowing too low and that the main reason his lawn had the one variety of weed it had was that he mowed it too low going into dormancy. I was polite and explained that I did not want him to feel like he was "throwing money at me" and that he would probably be much happier finding someone else to treat his lawn.

    I no longer treat that lawn of course, but I still drive by it every 6-7 weeks and it is consistently mowed at 2-2.5" now.

    I guess it took a CHECK attached to a note to finally get the message.:laugh:
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,134

    There are a million and one ways to get in trouble trying to maintain a lawn in an area with a 365 day growing season, no guarantee of good weather to grow grass or perform applications during that growing season and a DOA waiting to bust someone for not following the label or causing a drift complaint.

    I did watch Seinfeld. Remember the episodes with the "soup nazi" quite well. I would have thrown Elaine and George out of my restaurant as well. Being in the service business does not mean your customers have the right to disrespect and mock you. You are their to provide a service/product at a price that enables you to make a living, while providing value to the customer. You are not their to KTA or worse. That would make you a prostitute rather than a lawn care professional.

    In the case of the customer you let go, he would have been one I let go a long time ago. If it is bermuda grass, I want to see 1" of water every week be it from rain or irrigation. The irrigation system will be linked to rain sensing equipment if it is an automatic system. I do not want to see it overwatered. Nor do I want to see it dried out. In the case of bermuda, I want it mowed at less than 1" with a reel during the growing season. Especially if it is adequately watered and fertilized. NOT A ROTARY. A rotary set to mow low thins out the bermuda by vacuuming up and chopping off all the stolons trying to take root. A rotary set to cut less than 2" will frequently follow every hole or divot in the lawn, scalping out large areas of bermuda. The first thing to grow back in the scalped areas are weeds. If a lawn is big enough to be mowed with a lawn tractor, it is big enough to be mowed with a 27" reel or a 3 gang mower that can be towed by a lawn tractor. I do not buy into the impracticalities of mowing larger lawns correctly. One of my newer customers had a 3 gang reel mower shipped to Hawaii via air freight. He picked it up at the airport. It costed a little over $1000, but less than $2000 to acquire a mower appropriate for maintaining 1/2 acre of bermuda. Now that lawn is rapidly making progress as far as eliminating goosegrass, crabgrass and various tropical grassy weeds. When that same lawn was being mowed with a rotary, it consisted of at least 50% weedy grasses. Herbicides would knock down the weeds for a while only to have them return. I suspect that mediocre results from applying Celsius or Revolver in residential lawns have something to do with how that lawn is being mowed.

    When bermuda or other warm season grasses are entering a period of slow/no growth due to low temperatures/lack of sun, height of cut is to be raised up. It is crazy to scalp bermuda when it is not able to grow back quickly. That just opens up the lawn to weed invasion. The only way out of that one would be to keep the lawn soaked with illegal rates of Simazine applied at illegal times and lots of preemergents.

    If a lawn is maintained in such a way that weeds keep on growing, I will quickly run into the annual application limits long before the year is up. Can't ever recall selling digging out weeds or making holes in the lawn with RoundUp. I will also be on the hot seat for lack of results. Sure, I would be willing to lighten up and drop the "soup nazi" act. In return, I am not to be questioned about a lack of results. I am also not to be held liable for violations of the label. My clients and people in the business do know me as the "soup nazi". I would rather have that reputation than that of another clown that either died from cancer or OD'd on drugs. He sold lots of pesticide applications, lawn aerations, Verticut jobs. His reputation was that of a used car salesman that was quick to take people's money to sell treatments. But he did not get the results. I think I am doing something wrong if a lawn under my care needs more applications every year and on top of that needs constant aerations/Verticut operations performed on it. That can only come from improper applications on my part or incorrect irrigation/mowing. This is not about me being insecure. Rather, if I did not know what I was doing and had no integrity, I would sell applications, take the money, allow lawn owners to sabotage themselves, and laugh all the way to the bank. Then I have to look at myself every morning, be able to sleep at night and hope I do not end up in the hot place.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I must have missed this post,,, earlier... I absolutely agree with you on that one... extension offices are more academic than common sense,,, but the research data is often times useful, even when they reach the wrong conclusion from the data... :)
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I totally agree. It becomes an exercise in futility.

    Posted via Mobile Device

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