TruGreen currently treats our customer's lawn....

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by mrmowing, Sep 28, 2001.

  1. mrmowing

    mrmowing LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 1

    Hi, I need some help. I currently mow the lawn for a business that has TruGreen fertilize their lawn. The grass is thick and healthy with no weeds. Customer waters it frequently. This summer the grass grew so fast that we had to cut it every 4 days. Even cutting that often, it left clumps. I would like to propose to them that they allow us to treat their lawn next year. I believe TruGreen is over-fertilizing it. They put 4 or 5 applications on a year. We are near Chicago (to give you the climate type). Does this sound right? How many applications are really necessary for a healthy lawn to remain healthy? What should actually be applied? No we aren't currently licensed, but plan to be before next season. What should we say in a letter to the company proposing TruGreen is over doing it? They have 6.5 acres of grass. How much to charge for each application and how many would be necessary? By the way, yes we are more than happy to cut every 4 days, but we fear the expense will be too much and they might hire their own groundsman. Thus, losing a big account. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    The reason it grows so fast is that they are using all fast release nitrogen. Probably urea. This is the cheapest form of fert. there is. The obvious choice of the Wal-Mart of lawn care. What you should be using is slow release ferts. These have fast release urea pellets and slow release pellets that will come in later. Probably SCU (sulfer coated urea) . This spreads out the release of Nitrogen over a longer period of time and will reduce the huge growth rush after an application. tg is hard to beat on price (see wal-Mart ref.):) Over time the urea bath from tg will weaken the turf and the turf will decline. Sell your service on healthy turf for the long haul. Too much fert can also cause thatch especially with irrigation. Do a search on thatch, so you will know the real causes of thatch.(there are many misconceptions) and call me in the morning>LOL:cool:
  3. peteloare

    peteloare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I agree with the last post. Those large companys must return to the customers property often in order to cover there overhead.
    I use a coated fertilizer with 50% s.c.u. and have very healthy turf.
  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Number of applications will depend on the amount of nutrients needed of the course of the growing season and the amount that can or should be practically applied in a visit at a certain time of year.

    Get some info from your county extension service or state or regional university with a good turf department.

    Word of caution. University information is usually very good may may not work well in the real world of customer relations and sales. Probably what will happen is that you will take their annual or seasonal nutrient advice and combine the feeding objective or goal with materials commercially available and a number of applications that customers 'traditionally' expect.

    It's hard fighting tradition and misconception with fact and reason.
  5. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    If your goal is to make a profit(as opposed to making the world a greener place to live) you must schedule multiple visits to keep price reasonable. We do 5 or 6 depending on wish of customer. Don,t forget you have preemengence in spring, grub control in summer, weed and feed apps and some just straight fertilizer applications. My advice is liquid for weeds granular for feed. There is a slow release liquid fert available (i am currently using one) but it is priced for golf courses not residential lawns. I only use it for my weed-n-feed apps. The all liquid programs are where you meet the urea cowboys! You might see if you have a LESCO store neer you. This would be a good start. They will help you with a more specific program for your area. They have excellent products (kind of high priced) a good place to start. Get a good turf book, take a turf class, suscribe to turf mags. Its easy enough to start in the biz but eventually you will need to know what you are doing and why.
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Educate yourself (as you are doing) and then educate the customer. Once this occurs talk the customer into you performing a soil test at your expense and tell them how you can do better.

    You have to be able to sell the client on your ability to do it better. You have to get your certs and insurance to begin to compete. There is plenty to be made in apps but you have to know what you are doing.

    If you control the apps then you control how the lawn grows. I quote all my customers on the basis of if I fertilize for them or if someone else fertilizes for them. I have been bitten in the past by hi-N applicators from Tru-Green to local guys and I don't like bailing hay when I mow. Not to mention the diseases and burn outs that occur from overdoing the N.

    Some people won't listen or don't care. They just pay the bills and figure as long as its green, its ok. I'd keep these customers but I would raise my rates.

    BTW where are you at in Indiana? I grew up on the East Side of Chicago and was in Riverdale from 85 to 90. We had some sandy soil in places along with a grub problem from time to time. I didn't do Lawn Care back there but I am quite familiar with Indiana.
  7. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,968

    Please Lord let the big whale go belly up.
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Sorry to hear that. I got rid of the 2 I had.
  9. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    I had a customer that uses T-G. They came out 7 times a year.
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I started a post in the commercial forum about this recently. I have given my input to the customers. They can get rid of tg or get rid of me. If you have a license to spray then go for it. If not, you better find someone to sub it out to.

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