Worst fertilizer nightmares(owner or applicators}

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Twotoros, Aug 23, 2000.

  1. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    I had this customer (last season) decide to feed his own lawn(4200 sq ft). He filled his spreader (set wide open with one bag of turf builder and off he went starting with a 8x30 foot strip on one side of the house. That is all he he could do as he ran out quickly . That one section grew 10-12" for 2 months. Amazing but it didn't burn.
    there are local applicators laying down so much grow juice lately that when I see those little flags I want to cry .
    Had to dump 3 accts last season because I could not cope . One lawn (12+") every week in july choked out my 36" side discharging. All needed to be mowed twice weekly but the owners weren't willing.
    One company in town started a 6 application a year program . What 's up with that?

    Whatever happened to four times a year? Easter, memorial day, labor day and holloween works well for me.
    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. Ocutter

    Ocutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    I kow how you feel. Im doing one tomorrow like that. A month ago 12 plus of grass due to outside co. (damn trugreen) Stuck with it and is now subsiding. Im telling the customer that if he wants me next year to let me put the stuff down or up goes his price.
  3. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,262

    A friend of mine ,who is in the green industry, ask me what setting to put his Scotts broadcast spreader on. I sacasticly said "the wash setting". Its acually written on the spreader "wash". So he did! The spreader emptied out before he could get his little 700 sft. front lawn done. The grass grew thick and green, but didn't burn.
  4. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,970

    This time of the year, I go thru this quite often. If it's a first time offense, I try to educate the customer on why it's not so good to push the grass soo much. I tell them that it's better for a lawn in 2 apps spread over a two month period. I point out that if grass is tall, the grass doesn't do the photosynthesis. I come and cut at the normal hieght, if yellow, no protoction from sunlight and burns. If it happens again, I charge them for the extra time needed to do the work, i point out that this is the same thing as overtime at their work. They work extra hours, they like to get paid, why shouldn't I.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Ive a half dozen accounts who use trugreen-not next season, or they can get a new lawn guy. Trugreen comes once a month as long as there is no snow-way too much esp when they never do a soil test, just nuke the hell out of whatever is there.

    If I dont do the apps, there is a local nursery who is very good at using a high slow release %age nitrogen so the grass always looks good without a instant hayfield.
  6. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    We do what is called a "late fall program" it is recommended by our university extension office. We just put down the second app. and our lawns are looking GREAT! Still, you see chem lawn and the boys doing their five apps. of mainly water and people love it because they don't have to think. They just figure that the professionals probably know best...To bad we can't get that kind of trust when it comes to mowing price!

    Some of the nationals around here offer a deep discount(at first look) if the customer pays for the entire season in advance. Then maybe the company shows up maybe not...We are picking up a few of their prepayers this year due to the nasty yellow, nitrogen starved lawns.
  7. Bobby

    Bobby LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    It's funny. I read Twotoros post, the first thing that came to mind was Chemlawn-Trugreen. I see they must have the same plan for all. Down here they will let a lawn sit yellow all winter. Then in the summer, when the grass will grow automatically, they crank the happy juice to it. They tell the customers( only allow one third of the blade to be cut). The part they omit is it will need to be cut twice weekly at this rate of groth caused by over fertilizing.
    Oh yea,they tried to cut grass in south Fla about ten years ago. Didn't work out. I heard they tried Texas to.
  8. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    over here in Pa Chemlawn merged with a company (not sure of the spelling) called penic armor... now chemlawn does landscaping and mowing also.... havent seen the landscape divisions work but there trucks and 24ft long enclosed trailers are quite impressive.
  9. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    This was when I first started doing applications. I had a customer that had only had a haphazzard program in the past, and I began with a regular maintenance program.

    Since I was just starting out, I didn't know what to really expect. I treated their lawn, then showed up about a week or so later to cut it.

    WEll, when I started cutting, the growth was overwhelming. I was only able to go about 25 feet before the bagger was full. I thought that if every lawn that I fertilized was growing like this, I was in seroius trouble. I couldn't figure out what went wrong. I spent considerable time calibrating my new spreader, and thought for sure that I had everything correct.

    I was about 2/3 through the lawn when the owner came out to inform me that a fert company had treated their lawn instead of the one across the street. This lawn got a double dose, coupled with some rain and warm weather, it really grew.

    I asked who te applicators were, so that I would know who to bil for my extra time in the cutting!
  10. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    I had two different companies dose a lawn of mine last year . The owner paid only one of the two idiots and I paid the piper for two months . Next time somethings gonna give and it's not me. No bad nightmares so far this year.

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