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Starting new accounts in poor condition

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ThreeWide, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    I felt like sharing the scenario that is currently playing out with some new accounts. Some of you will just laugh as people like me take initial lumps, and some might benefit from this.

    In January, I took on a handful of new accounts as a sub to a mowing-only LCO. Keep in mind this is all dormant Bermuda here in GA.

    The previous fert provider obviously did not do a very good job with weed control, or I wouldn't have been handed the business. So these were mildly infested with Poa Annua and a few other broadleafs. I won the the accounts in January, so they were treated immediately with Simazine. The theory was to provide a pre-emergent while also taking care of the already present weeds including Poa. The pre-emergent aspect of it worked just fine, but the post didn't work out so well. For whatever reason, the applications didn't kill the Poa and it has actually gotten worse. One person recently told me that Simazine won't kill Poa if it has grown past 2 tiller stage.

    In any event, I am now having to go back and blanket spray Revolver to take out the Poa. At $167 per 32 oz, this is not something you want to give away very often. Barricade will be applied in March, so things should be much better in the following months.

    I've obviously learned from this, but taking over a new account can always be risky. The Poa had already germinated before I took over, so I'm considering adding some things to my service agreements to cover these situations.

    In reality, accounts like these might need a special startup charge to cover extraordinary circumstances. If the property has been poorly managed in the past, you need an ample amount of time to correct the situation.

    I'm sure some of you have been here before.
  2. Williams Services

    Williams Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Why not spot treat the poa with glyphosate? The bermuda is dormant right now.
  3. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    I have indeed done that already. But in some cases the Poa is so widespread you could not possibly get it all with spot treatments.

    Yes, I could always just blanket the entire lawn with glyphosate from my skid sprayer, but I have concerns about residual in the system. That would certainly save me lots of product cost, but I've heard too many cases against that practice here in the past.

    It was not my intent to turn this thread into a glyphosate in the tank (will or won't) debate.
  4. Williams Services

    Williams Services LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Right ... you sure don't want that to hang around in your tank. We've picked up quite a few yards that have the requisite poa infestation, too. They haven't gone quite as far as to overseed with it, yet. :D
  5. Luscious Lawns

    Luscious Lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    Hate that about the Poa. Cool season weeds stand out in dormant Bermuda like a sore thumb. Luckly I only market chem. to full service clients, so there are few post-e weeds. The few I had took quite a toll on that 32 oz. I'm sure if there were lots of standing Poa, I'd have to add a "recovery" charge. Hey..........It'll be warm soon and that'll be the end of the Poa.

  6. Triple R

    Triple R LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    Why not use Reward, it's a non-selective contact herbicide. I get results within 36 hours. I've only used it in my backpack but I have used the same backpack for broadleaf weed control in Fescue lawns without any residual damage.

    For new accounts with weed problems I only charge extra if there are alot of weeds in the beds and for nutsedge control. I usually don't have a problem cleaning out lawns.
  7. slow release

    slow release LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    It is a good idea to state in your contract/proposal that pre-existing conditions are not your responsibility. Sometimes it's obvious to you but not the customer. In the northeast, pre emergents are applied with early spring app. If I sell a new account after that window has passed, I am sure to make it clear that any crabgrass problems that will need to be dealt with during that first season will be charged to the customer. I cannot be responsible-DRIVE and ACCLAIM are expensive. If it looks like it may be a problem, I'll sell them a blanket app. to be done with first fert as a separate service. payup

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