Should a customer tell you they are secretly putting fertilizer on the lawn?

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
Grass is all about variables...too much rain, too little rain, fertilizer added to THEIR lawn. Do you charge anymore when the yard is thicker and taller in the spring then you do in the fall? Then suck it up buttercup!!
Actually I reserve the right to apply an excessive growth surcharge on EOW lawns regardless of the reason and to do so even on weekly lawns if it's for reasons outside of my control.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
So using that same plan, do you charge less when you're in a drought and can get it mowed much faster??
No because I'll likely cut it less often and it will take a normal amount of time. It's not something I do all of the time, but it's not uncommon either. The same deal with storm cleanups. A little bit of a mess between mows is considered normal but if the lawn is a mess with debris from storms and takes significantly longer to service then they'll see a surcharge.
 

Toro44

LawnSite Senior Member
Grass is all about variables...too much rain, too little rain, fertilizer added to THEIR lawn. Do you charge anymore when the yard is thicker and taller in the spring then you do in the fall when it may be shorter and thinner? Then suck it up buttercup!!

Yes, it gets bagged and they get the corresponding charge.
 

Hawkshot99

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
New York
When grass grows excessively due to fertilizer, the customer expects to pay nothing extra.
When the grass slows down (but still can be cut), the customer expects that you should "skip this week because it hasn't grown".

LOL
I don't seem to have these issues, but maybe I give off the image/feel of someone that takes this seriously.
 

Oklawnhoma Lawn Service

LawnSite Senior Member
Obviously, they don't have to tell you but it would be nice to know, though I can usually tell by seeing fertilizer, and if it's thicker than normal...if it's a jungle I'll definitely be adding an overgrowth charge, and from now on the way I'm gonna do it is they can be on a biweekly schedule for the same price when things slow down (which they have), but if they want to remain every 2 weeks when it's growing I upcharge
 

Derwood

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SE Wisconsin
OP - have you been cutting this all year? If this is the first time there has been growth like this all season, then fertilizer was definitely added (probably because a neighbor or friend told them to).

Regarding questions about charges, I bid a lawn out assuming fert will be applied twice a year around here (1x late October and 1x around Memorial Day) and that it’ll grow all season. Then I cut it when it needs it with a minimum of 1x/wk. Every few days in Spring if it’s growing like crazy (usually the TtuGreen type lawns get 2x/wk) and I pass when we’re in a drought. I don’t gouge my customers.

If it’s unusual circumstances like it rained 14 days and nobody got cut, I just suck it up and gitter done with no additional charges.

The key is to lay all of this out in advance. Just my opinion but it has served me well so far.
 

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