Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1MajorTom, Dec 28, 2001.

  1. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    This may have been discussed before, but I figured with so many new members, we could bring this up again.

    How many of your accounts actually water their lawn?
    Either by a professionally installed irrigation system, or even by using garden hoses hooked up with sprinklers placed around the lawn. (I'm sure the answers will differ depending upon your location.) I'm especially curious to hear from NorthEast members, although everyone is free to reply.

    We find it is very hard around here to get people to water their lawns. We inform our customers that heavy watering at infrequent intervals is best than to water every day.
    What do you suggest to your customers?

    Will you even take on a new client that admittedly never waters?
    At this point we still do, but we are seriously now trying to target clients that understand the importance of watering.

    Let me see if I can explain what I am trying to say. I would like to find or make a chart or graph that a customer could reference so they could see how much their water bill would increase a month by watering. Say like how much output of water, including the amount of time watering each month, and then showing the increase in cost for that much water used.
    I don't even know if this possible because if the customer was just watering with sprinklers how would I know how much water was being used?
    Someone help me out here, I'm beginning to babble ;)

    Just thought I'd bring this up to get some conversation going. :)
  2. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    1MajorTom :( :(

    I have to say I agree with you on the fact about trying to get them to water lawns. I had a real hard time trying to get them to water after i aerated and overseeded their lawns!!! Some of them spent a lot to have me do it.:D But still didn`t even water the new seed so it would grow. I have one older customer and did some extensive seeding on his lawn, it was soo dry in sept,oct that when I would cut I would water his areas that I did.He is the only one though, because he had hip and back problems and the wife is not too well either. The chart or graph idea is a good one, but I think most of them are just too darn lazy to water it.They should put in a sprinkler system. I even put a pamphlet that I got from lesco about aeration, seeding and WATERING with the bid for the work. When I did the jobs I talked to them, and gave more instructions about watering, still no luck. It suprises me that some of them even said boy the watering must be really important and even then did not water.
    It was so dry none of the seed was growing, and for a time I started to feel a little guility, but then thought that I am not a magician, You can`t take dry seed, and dry dirt and have a lush stand of grass.
  3. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    In my area irrigation is a must. Therefore I address this issue on my web site. However I wrote this during the drough and we are still under water restriction. So change 3/4" to 1" I have not changed this since I wrote it because of water restriction. Click www under my name then water on the right hand side of the home page. Those of you that have not seen my fertilizer page might want to check it out also. I need to finish my website but lawnsite is more fun. Hope this helps. No I can't spell with spell check either. so over look my grammar. Anyone who like to correct or disagree with my website please feel free to do so. Just e-mail me.
  4. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    i would say 80-90 percent of my lawns are irrigated. it seems to be the trend around here. i remember when i was young, we were one of the first people in the neighborhood to put in irrigation, and all the neighbors thought we were nuts. now every single person on our street has a system.
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578


    As you said ... our climate is much differant. Some irrigate, some water by sprinkler. Most of our commercial property's do not.

    With the past spring being so dry, we made out like bandits on alot of property's because they are all on contract and very little time was needed.
    I would rather have them irrigated because of the obvious ... It looks much better. That it turn makes us look better. I have convinced 2 large commercial property's to install irragation next spring.
    I know I have not answered your questions ... Im not sure on cost...watering can be expensive.
    Yes I would take on a customer that does not irrigate. Since we are so new to the maintenance we cannot pick and choose as much as I would like. I am planning on dropping a couple of garbage accounts this coming year if they don't agree to some major work and big price increase.
  6. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 305

    I feel that this topic is one of our biggest problems. Some will water the fool out of it and others don't at all. It is a big challenge getting customers to water properly.

    I hate when I get to a site and the ground is soaking wet. Wonder why ruts are present or weeds. Hello improper cultural practices. I tell them water infreq at 1" per week then I explain shall watering is not good for the turf, and run off, watering in the middle of the day, and still they look at me with the catfish eyes.

    those that dont have irrigation systems I just love putting the fert on it as I tell them ya really need to water it in. I mention in my agreement I'm not responsible for nitro burn.
    my hort teacher told use that watering is one of the biggest hassle dealing with customers. Ya always seem to get some that know everything about the green industry. Maybe it is an age thing or something. I did a fert estimate last week and the lady was still watering the grass, hello 30 degress at night and the turf sleeping. She asked if she still needs to be watering.
  7. chicks-dig-lawn-guys

    chicks-dig-lawn-guys LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    If I have my big'ol jug of tea with me I usually water the yard for the customer:angel:
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I got to agree with you and your hort teacher 100% customer do not water correctly. At least I can keep dollar weeds green if I can't spray them twice a week. I am just enough tree hugger not to keep spraying herbicide on a yard that a customer will not listen to me. Also careful not to leach fert into ground water. I use QB for invoiceing and each month I write something about watering in my invoice news letter. However I think they don't read it. One of my great customer(one you know there phone # by heart) Complained her yard was brown and how expensive water was. I told her wash your BMW and MB less. I get real burned on telling the same people the same thing over and over.
  9. jeffex

    jeffex LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    I operate in Baltimore County Maryland . My customers enjoy some of the cheapest water costs in the country and still the majority of them don't water. My older customers will water the flowers but not the lawn. The younger ones just don't have time. I have considered offering a watering service but never got it off the ground.
  10. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Some of the wealthier folks down here were actually digging wells to water their lawns with................cheaper in the long run than paying for city water.

    I've quit taking on yards that are in poor shape. I won't say that I wouldn't take on one that does not have irrigation though. Some lawns just naturally do better than others. If it's primarily thin grass with dirt patches then I wouldn't touch it anymore. I have a few left that I've had since the beginning but hate to cut them. I think if someone is used to letting nature take care of it self then you will have a real hard time convincing them to spend money on irrigation. If they buy a home that already has it they won't use it...................it's the attitude of the homeowner.

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