Turning To The Dark Side?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Victor, May 20, 2008.

  1. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    While I was out running my route today, I got the wondering about something guys. As I would drive down various streets in the neighborhoods I service, I saw quite a few lawns that had Trugreen Chemlawn written all over them. These lawns had that dark green color to them that dumping copious amounts of nitrogen on lawns tends to yield. As I would see these lawns, I started wondering how many of you were ever tempted to give in to the urge to make your lawns as dark as possible like that. Of course you can use fe to accomplish the same thing, but you won't get that long-lasting color without a lot of fe treatments.
    Obviously, now's a bad time to dose a lawn with nitrogen the way TG does, but unfortunately, a lot of customers out there equate the shade of a lawn with it's health. In other words, the darker the lawn, the healthier they think it is. As far as I'm concerned, I know the way I'm dosing lawns is commensurate with sound practices. I'm really happy with the color I get out of my lawns, as are my customers. My lawns aren't always as dark green as TG lawns tend to be for the aforementioned reasons, but it is what it is.
    Just curious to read any thoughts anyone would care to share on this.
  2. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    Vick i am with you. i got asked a few times by the lawn cutters "why are the others green and ours are not) well this year i loaded them up and they look great,growing and the best part is the lawn cutters are not birchen ,,
  3. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    I tried that once and the cutters threw fits. Besides all it did was put the lawns on a roller coaster ride and they suffered for it in the heat of the summer. I prefer to do the right thing and have a consistent color ALL season. Some of their lawns might be a little darker now but mine are green in the summer when theirs are brown with stress, insects and disease.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Building the root system is job one. Too much water is just as bad as too much N. Most of these lawns are shallow rooted and in constant need of the N fix to have the dark green color.
    For Northern areas the spring N app is about the worst thing to do.
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Applying 'Fast' N, and / or just plain melted down urea is just plain poor business practice...in the long run.

    Homeowners appear happier because the color is better than the Jones' next door. But they really don't think about the fact that they're REALLY getting ripped off due to all of the extra mowings they're having to do themselves / pay for EVERY year, because of all the unneccesary top flush growth such practises tend to spur on.

    Not to mention the other problems such abuses can cause...such as potentially making thatch issues worse in bluegrass & other rhizomous turf, as well as lighting the ignition fire under spring and early summer dollar spot and brown patch nightmares in virtually ALL types of turf.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    You have been a member here long enough to remember Timturf and myself trying to give fertilizer lessons a few years back. I won't open the sore subject as to why we stopped.

    The Bottom line is, in general Nitrogen is not the real reason for the dark green. I won't say it doesn't help, but what type of Nitrogen and what Minor element are also present make the differences in the color of turf. I can and do make turf dark dark green without excessive Nitrogen. Like a Cook once told me, You got to know your Onions.
  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Good for you.

    It's really nice to know that there are a few LCOs like you out there still carrying a flicker of common sense...amidst all of the money-grabbing self-serving corporate types and/or 'cost-cutter' little guys who are largely ignorant about what they're applying to the turf...and exactly what it does.
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I might be just a Lawn boy, But At Least I try to be a educated Lawn Boy that can be proud of my work knowing I am doing the best job I can. I put down more SOP than nitrogen each year and SOP shows no visible response except for a healthy turf in stress times.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Same here. We are however reaching a point that some of our lawns are so thick, that I am backing off quite as much potassium and opting for a formulation like 32-0-8 - 30% slow release. Economically it is helping, and I can get a bag to go a LONG way. I miss the iron, though. It is a short but sweet stint, but nice in color. Now, if I could get hold of a slow release iron, I would be all set. :)
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Way to go, Just forget the horrible Potash and Iron and pour a lot more nitrogen to it. What the heck you can always up sell a thatch job.

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