Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by RigglePLC, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    I just thought you would like to see this uneven fert application, in a park. This could be TruGreen work--they did it last year--but I don't know. Photos taken on December 10, 2012. Application must have been about 2 weeks before that. Since there were pesticide warning flags, and the clover looked a bit brown, it probably included herbicide. I measured the stripes and the two on the right in the first photo are about 11 feet apart. That is a soccer goal, with baseball field and school in the background.

    Before you do a happy dance, because your competition screwed up...this is a good lesson for all of us. Easy mistake to make--and the customer is usually unhappy--sometimes this results in a retreatment. That costs money. Understand how to adjust your equipment for a perfectly even spread.


  2. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    Think it's fert or herbicide overlap? Since the "path" is burnt and te overlap green I wonder what happened?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    Good eyes, Wilson. I don't think the path is burnt, the grass is just a bit off color since it was about 34 degrees at the time of the photo.
    Since there is an asphalt walk on the right...if we assume the tractor or equipment was coming towards us...it was throwing an excess to the operator's right. However that doesn't make sense because then the next swath...he would be going away from the camera. And the excess fert would be on his right--resulting in a double thick green stripe and no excess to his left near the soccer goal.
    Possibly the excess was in the center of the pattern, but then...on the next swath he would have clipped the goal posts. I will try to get a better look tomorrow.
    I saw TruGreen using a tractor and a Vicon pendalum spreader here 2 years ago. This time...I doubt it. What do you think ...is this a Vicon, ride on, or push spreader? On second thought--push spreader is out because the weeds were also sprayed (I think).

    And if you will look carefully in the distance in the left photo there is a big dead spot. I first saw this during the dry spell this summer, and i thought it might be an irrigation miss--now I am not so sure. I will try to get a closer picture.

    This brings up a third point. About a mile away at a home--I spotted a TruGreen yard marker. (Odd, since in Michgan it is not legal to put your name on your required pesticide marker signs). The markers upon close observation, said, "TruGreen non-pesticide application". What do you think?
  4. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,988

    I've never used that type of spreader but could be.

    First thought is they were spraying something hot and didn't overlap. If its that cold it would take weeks for the herbicide to show burning in my experience.

    Second thought could be that they were spreading fert at an extremely high rate and not overlapping enough.

    Regardless.... get me that applicator's name. He is very good and keeping a straight line!!! Needs a foam marker and he might save me a lot of money on overlapping!!!!!
  5. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 996

    Perhaps the dark green lines are the center of the spreader. IF the product is tacky, or the humidity is high, the material is sticking on the spinner too long and hitting the backside of the unit making it fall straight down. Or it could be adjusted wrong to where it's intentionally being dropped too far in on the spreader and doesn't have enough time to get off the spinner before it makes a revolution before 3&9 (without hitting the machine.)
    Looks more like unintended overapplication rather than improper overlap. It's a pretty thin line. If you look at the first picture the dark green line starts close to the sidewalk on the right, pretty much where he would be doing a perimeter pass.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  6. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,719

    I know I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when I see those thin green stripes one of two things happened IMO.
    Like Raymond stated, it seems like if this was from fert then the spreader had a problem and was dumping fert straight down.
    If the grass was already green then it would be from the pesticide being applied with too wide of spacing and missing a strip.
    It seems to me though that the green stripes seem to be the same width everywhere, so I am going to say fert was falling straight down.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    You definately have a better climate there than we do on this side of the Lake... the latest application I noticed around here was just before Thanksgiving and instead of turning green as yours did, our ground froze up and is now under snow, without a hint of any fertilizer being utilized...

    My guess from the photo is the overlap of insufficient volume of N to make a decent color change on its own... when the amount of N is doubled in the overlapped regions then the color actually comes into play... that's my guess... :)
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    I took another look. This could be a push spreader job. First photo the stripes are 11 feet apart measured center to center. The second stripe is 15 feet further to our left. Excess in the center of the pattern makes the most sense to me now.

    Could be a small company hired by the soccer club.
  9. countryclublawnllc

    countryclublawnllc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    My guess is that the deflector was left down and caused a heavy amount of product to fall straight down resulting in a high rate of N which striped the turf. They realized it after the fourth pass near the soccer goal.

    Have a happy holiday season!

  10. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,719

    I never thought of that, even though I have made a extra pass before remebering :hammerhead:. I generally close the third hole while the deflecter is down and go back when I remember what I did, but I could see where a one hole hopper would drop a lot more at the deflector.

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