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Southern guys, Bermuda discussion thread

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by macgyver_GA, May 18, 2013.

  1. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,993

    Set the ground rules from the start and don't be afraid to fire those that are incapable of following them. There are tons of lawn people hacking up lawns with rotaries and string. Not so many using reels and counter rotating trimming blades. As I said before, there is a need for people who speak English, were born in America, and use reel mowers/bladed edgers/bladed trimmers in Hawaii. I do not need what I frequently see: rotary mower, string trimmer, surfboard, and cooler full of beer.
  2. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    Hey Macguyver,
    Again I am complimenting you on your reel mower. I am in the market again to get one for my yard. Looking for a Tru Cut. Did anyone ever buy CGAengineers Trimmer? Talked to the guys at Peachtree mower this weekend and they claimed there are numerous companies offering reel mowing on the northside. Wasn't sure if he was feeding me BS since I don't hit the northside often and rarely if ever see trucks with reel mowers.

    This season I am doing 30 days apps with N and apply it at slightly less recommended rate. However, I also apply Milorganite heavily 2-3X a season. During the peak off bermuda I like to use Ironite to give it the perfect look. I have irrigation but rarely use it

    Nothing wrong with Mclane mowers though. I found they were more sensitive to bumps in your yard which can be problematic. There is another guy in my neighborhood who uses the cheapest Mclane mower they make and doesn't even use fertilizer and his yard looks great.
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    For years I chased High end work. Over 50% of my business is still High end. But I make no bones about the fact in my old age I prefer working class yards. Here in South West Florida our soil is Calcareous sand with no nutrients to speak of. Common Seeded Bermuda is a utility turf that will grow any where. Most all non-irrigated yards are Bahia turf that can't survive in Alkaline soil. Therefore there is a market in over seeding these working class lawn.

    You can talk about a Single-plex reel mowers and cross cutting Tif dwarf or Tif Eagle etc. but I want to believe I can make more money with less effort on Common Bermuda.

  4. TCW

    TCW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    That's great. No matter the client or type of lawn, we have to remember we are addressing a need that the client has. Whether that be a need for a putting green front yard, or simply maintaining grass to prevent erosion and provide curb appeal, as long as we are making money and keeping them happy then it's a good thing.

    Now to switch gears on y'all, what do you use to combat grassy weeds like Johnson grass and dalliasgraas? I just put my sod down in early March and have scattered juvenile plants sprouting up an inch or two about the grass. I know this fall I'll put down a pre emergent and start to make a dent for next year, but in the mean time I'm tired of pulling individual weeds!
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  5. macgyver_GA

    macgyver_GA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 826


    There's a lot of expensive real estate within 15-20 miles of my house in the alpharetta area north of Atlanta. many of the celebrities, professional athletes, and wealthy business owners all live in that area. Big homes with lots of landscaping and demands for pristine turf. I drive by it every day.

    Yeah, someone on here bought his trimmer. He hasnt posted much on here this year, maybe he got banned or something.

    You see a few trucks around here with reels on them but you'll see 20 turf tracers for every 1 reel mower. I drive by a few HOA's that you can tell are reeled and well maintained.

    I almost bought a Mcclane but I ended up getting my Tru-cut off CL from a guy who lived in Gwinett for $350. I did a little tune up on it, tightened the chains, replaced one chain that had some stiff links, got a relief grind and bed knife grind done, and bought a new chain guard that was missing. Oh... Also bought a front roller from reel works. So I've got a little under $700 in it total. I still need to pull the carb off and clean it. It's surging a lot. I've tried running some seafoam through the last two tanks of gas but that hasnt helped much.

    For johnson grass, i usually just pull it if I can. For Dallisgrass, I'll either pull it or carefully paint it with gly. I dont have a whole lot of it to contend with in my current customers' lawns so usually i'll just dig it up if I see it. If you have a lot to deal with, celcius + revolver is recommended but revolver is $$$ if you're just spot spraying.
  6. wrager

    wrager LawnSite Member
    from ATL
    Messages: 164

    Yup, I did. I had Level Lawn do my yard last year so now I'm able to cut at 5/8. I use Lesco 39-0-0 every 30 days. I'm going to use Primo Max this year too. The cold temps are killing me though!

    Where has Chris been lately?
  7. WestGaPineStraw

    WestGaPineStraw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    I talked to Chris a few weeks ago, he doesn't post here anymore. Too much drama lol.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    i had an estimate i went to yesterday out in west cobb, i pulled up and the lawn was reel mowed. looked great. I just kept on driving. I'd like to eventually take my business in that direction too, but not now. I am frustrated with the bi-weekly mowing accounts and amount of calls i get for lawns that are 6 foot tall. I am at a point now where i turn down alot of new customers, most want one time cuts on way overgrown lawns. I'd feel pretty good right now if i can convince my regulars to let me cut every week. I am keeping many of my bermudas at 2 to 2.5 inches now, just so they don't look like total crap when i'm done. I have one or two that insist i keep it lower no matter how tall it gets in 2 weeks. Those customers will be the first to be replaced though. I just assume this is how it is starting out, taking what you can get. Hey, i gotta make a living some way.

    I'd like to start reel mowing my personal lawn too, but i gotta get my lawn leveled out.. how much should i expect to pay per 1000 sq. ft.? I think if i start reeling mine, and maintaining it in that way, i will eventually start to seek out those types of customers that want reel mowing later. My lawn is so bumpy, i can't put the mower lower than 2" before I start scalping.

  9. gulfjoe

    gulfjoe LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,638

    How many square feet did Level lawn level for you?
    What did they charge if you dont mind me asking?
    Can you post some pictures of your lawn right now?

  10. macgyver_GA

    macgyver_GA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 826

    You'll get there eventually.

    Mine is still bumpy. The roller makes a difference on the bumpiness. I'm going to river sand it in a few weeks. I've slowly filled low spots over the years but it still needs a total top dress.

    Here's a pic from last weekend during the rain. Almost all of those spots with sand are almost completely filled in after that rain and this week's 85+ temps. It's amazing how much it has filled in in a week. Now that the temps are up, the bermuda is starting to hit its stride. It has been really sluggish with the cooler temps.

    Edit: based on what I've read, you'll need about 1.5 yards of sand per 1k sq ft. Mulch man on 140 in hickory flat quoted me $69 per yard plus $60 delivery fee. My lawn is 2k sq ft total of turf so I'm gonna go with 3 yards. My neighbor and I are going to do it together, he's gonna order some too and we'll split them up on a weekend and each help out one another.

    Last edited: May 22, 2013

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