Something to think about......2003 Crabs

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by tremor, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    This is an excerpt from an email conversation I've been having with another person from here on the "board". While part of the message is missing, you folks should be able to pick up the gist of things.

    Any comments?

    Here in Southern CT we are on the southern extreme edge of Zone 6B. And the season here is a little too much for these rates. I suspect that you are in zone 7. So things for your area would be even worse. In other words, the amount of "crabgrass barrier" that we apply just doesn't cut it in anything but a "perfect growing season".
    It's been a while since we had one of those!

    So I prefer to see 2lbs AI/A for Pre-M (pendimethalin) on the first app if only 1 app is made.

    For Dimension, the label clearly requires .25 lbs AI/A instead of the more common .188 for a once over if postemergent activity is to be expected. At .188 #AI/A, there won't be any of the post emergent activity that makes Dimension so desirable. It'll set up a good 8-10 week pre barrier, but it won't kill crabs that are up.

    Here at my own house, I only get Crabgrass on the edges where it blows down the road from the "lesser lawns" in my neighborhood. I've treated this place successfully for 8 years now, so even though Crabs were once a problem, there's just no viable seed left here anymore. So if it weren't for the neighbors, I wouldn't need to treat at all.

    I don't treat for Crabs at all in April anymore. I don't even treat in May. Instead, I seed any plow damaged areas & push growth of the existing turf instead. Then, after Crabgrass has come up, I wack only the edges with Dimension on the 0-0-7 carrier HARD. I use 5.7LBS/M of the .01% Dimension. Any Crabs that survive that treatment I get later, either by hand plucking (I pulled THREE Crabs this year), or in the land that my neighbor & I share, I'll spray a little Accliam.

    I've talked 2 of my customers into this approach but they both do an all liquid "Monster-Mix" for their round 2.
    Their first app is straight 20-10-10 granular. This way, any spring seeding they do doesn't affect the spray route. They just treat all the lawns like they were seeded.
    No need to make special arrangement for anyone.
    And no added burden to the chemical budget. In fact, their cash flow is greatly improved by Mid-May, so planning & paying for Round 2 is more "reality based".

    These 2 liquid round 2 guys both add Acclaim (or this year one went Drive & omitted the BWC) at rediculously low rates based on our walk through findings & the scouting of young crabs in the sidewalk cracks & other hot spots we have identified as "indicator areas". In other words if Crabs have gotten a little too big for just the Dimension to handle. we add a very small expense in Post emergent cost to cover the bigger crabs. Acclaim is pricey & HOT when used at .75-10z per 1000. But we lower the rate to .25 oz when it's added to Dimension Ultra.

    This sounds complicated but it really isn't. Neither of these 2 guys had ANY Crabgrass this year. And they never had to break route or make any crazy supplemental applications they hadn't budgeted for. Plus they never have to spend time talking customers (especially new ones) out of Spring seeding. It's a viscous reality that consumers are ready to spend money in the spring. That's when most Retail Grass Seed is sold. Yet we know that spring seedings take longer to come up and often get over-run with Crabs. So instead of talking people out of spending money on spring seeding, they don't. Just take the money & treat all the lawns accordingly. No stupid worthless Tupersan. No excuses why Crabgrass is there. Just satisfied customers who spent more money & are happy they did. Pretty cool.

    And, only one crabgrass treatment. There is no need for split apps when the first one goes down this late.

    Timed correctly, a granular application works exactly the same way. This program came about here because of my own lawn. 2 years ago, the Town Plow guy was out a little too late & sod-cut my (non-curbed) side yard. He scalped to below the roots for about 60 of the 120 feet of roadside turf. I had to topsoil & seed it & we ran out of Tupersan. So I just starter ferted it (18-24-12), watered & waited. Sure enough. By the time I was doing the 3rd mowing, little 2 & 3 leaf Crabs were coming up.
    So I blasted them with granular 0-0-7 with .1% Dimension at the pre-post rate of 5.7lbs per 1000. I watered it in.
    Then I went & found my Acclaim just in case. I never used it though. The baby Crabs just withered & died. Since I did this in the first week of June, there was no need for a second app. I got my 8-12 weeks of residual just like everyone else does. But most applicators have to start counting form April 1st-15th. Their first application was gone by the time I make my only one! And most of them just talk about making two. Most of them can't find room in the program for two apps without going over the lawn two or three times in June.

    ___clipped at this point for length______________

    "added for clarity"

    The window is not open long enough to rely exclusively on the Dimension as a post emergent for the entire second round. But we can start the round here & add Acclaim or Drive (liquid applicators only) when the time comes.

    The point here is that when we apply .25lbs AI/A of Dimension on June 1st it should cover us for 12 weeks or until August 1st. Nothing we apply in April can make that claim. And the crabs are evidence of this.
  2. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Nearly 100 views & no public comments yet.
    I did get 1 private message with a question that can be answered here.

    Yes, it's OK to tank mix Acclaim with any of the 2,4-d containing herbicides. For a while, the Acclaim label prohibitted this mix, but that is no longer the case. But there will be a slight DECREASE in efficacy. 2,4-d & Acclaim do that to each other.

    Thus the "Monster-Mix" doesn't use a 2,4-d containing herbicide. We opted for Confront in this case.

    The "Monster-Mix":

    Dimension Ultra 40 WSP @ 2packs/Acre
    Acclaim Extra (when needed) @ .25 oz/1000
    Confront (goodbye friend) @ .6 oz/1000
    Talstar for Chinch @.5oz/1000
    Merit 75WSP for Grubs @ 4packs/Acre
    Chelated Iron for color @ 4oz/1000
    Primo Maxx @ .5oz/1000

    This (rather pricey) tank mix should be applied in more than 100 gals/water/acre. Low Volume application equipment is out of the question.

    "The Monster" should only be applied prior to the onset of summer stress symptoms at cooler temps to turf that is well hydrated. Late May & early June can be funny some years around here. We have seen some slight phyto & even some "trim burn" with this mix when it's getting late. We have never seen the turf fail to recover though.

    Only experienced & skilled liquid applicators need consider this approach. There is no phyto when everything is done correctly. Proper tank mixing protocol should be exhibitted as always.

    Where the route allows, this approach has brought several applicators I know great piece of mind & increased profits. All the chemicals are out of the way in one trip over. The labor savings & future material cost savings are substantial & should be considered before dismissing this as "too expensive".

    Now come on. Someone out there must think we're crazy. Where's Lawrence Stone when I need him? I know, on the L&L forum. LOL

    Comments now?

  3. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    Sounds like an idea, but what do those of us do in the case where one or more of those products are not registered in our area???
  4. Primo Maxx says NOT to mix with a herbicide.

    Confront like you said will be G O N E.

    I have done similar apps with

    Trimec 992

    The Kitchen mix, yours is like a hot monster mix.
  5. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476


    I understand. I sell product in New York.
    We then make other arrangements.


    It is a "warm mix" for sure. Thus the cool temps & well hydrated turf advisory.

    But the herbicide issue?

    From the above label:

    "Because some herbicides can injure turf, tank mixes should be tested on a small scale before widespread use."

    Now unless there is a newer version of the label that I haven't yet seen, that sounds like a go to me. I'd also follow that recommendation to a tee.

    We very gradually built this cocktail up over 3 years. The number of ingredients increased as our comfort level did. You see, I've got some "old school" in me. I saw a lot of Embark toasted turf in my earlier days & it took me a while to get comfortable with PGR's again. Like a lot of folks I suppose.

    The only time we have had trouble with this cocktail has been when the treatment involved Acclaim, warm temps, & early drought. Nearly all the stress has been on Fine Fescues & Bents. Blues & Ryes have not only tolerated the mix, but thrived.

    The very high volumes of water it's been applied with, I know have helped create a greater margin of error.

    Also the turf had better be free of turf diseases & well enough established.

    If I didn't make it clear previously, this app is a serious balancing act. Where 2 days one way or another will make or break the result in some years. It's a go for one or two weeks at best during a good year. Definatley not for broad-scale production use. And not for all lawns or applicators either.

    We have enough Confront & Momentum in the pipeline to keep many of our customers in good supply for 2003. But folks should plan their purchases & secure materials soon to be sure.
    Dow has a plan for a replacement. But we'll see.

  6. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    I understand the savings in labor, but how do you justify the cost to the customer in just one visit....when you probably wont be back for at least 1.5 months or so, barring any unforseen problems.

    I only do gran. apps but will be buying a sprayer this spring. In my gran. schedule, say I make 4 trips to the property at $65.00 per trip. How would I justify to the customer that I have a super mix which would cost $260 for 1 appplication?? (I know there is no such gran mix, I just showing a point.), Unless you guys charge per season, not per app.
  7. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Hi Ken,

    Both of these companies are different yet similar. One is a small full service operator catering to afluent & demanding residential customers. One partner does the actual treatments himself.
    The other company is also full service, but is very large & caters primarily to very high end commercial clients & a tidy route of less than 100 sprawling estates.
    What they have in common is the monthly billing.
    One bills 10 months out of the year. The other bills 12. Their customers see the same charge regardless of the services performed since everything is now lumped together as a budgetted average.
    That's why we use rediculously high rates of Novex fertilizer twice per year. The spec's call for a specified amount of total N,P, & K to be applied in a growing season. The spec's say nothing about how often treatments must be made. So the labor has been budgetted for monthly treatments forever now. But we've greatly reduced the number of trips across the turf areas. Same revenue, reduced labor.
    Mowing, Chemical maintenance, Deer repellents, aeration, mulching/bed detailing, & rotational decorative plantings are all averaged together in the monthly figure. In one of the 2 cases, even the Tall Tree maintenance is included, though it get's subbed out to someone else.
    Snow & major planting or storm damage are the only extras that get billed outside the monthly budget.
    Though if major architectural plantings are planned well in advance & big plant material is secured, budget payments can be offered with a security deposit in place.

    Good work for those who can get it.


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