Homeowners Reveal Lawn Care Scams and Shoddy Service

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HADAR

Subject: LAWN SERVICE

I USED LAWN DOCTOR AND THEY WHERE TERRIBLE ..THEY TOOK MY MONEY KNOWING IT WAS TOO LATE IN SEASON TO HELP MY LAWN. LAWN WAS ABSOLUTELY EXACT THE SAME IF NOT WORSE THIS YEAR...WHEN I TOLD THEM MY LAWN HASNT GOTTEN ANY BETTER ..THEY SAID I STARTED TOO LATE..SO I TOLD THEM IF THEY INFORMED ME OF THIS FROM THE GET GO I WOULDNT HAVE USED THEM. WHY EXACTLY WAS I PAYING THEM FOR????..

Mike Duke

Subject: Lawn Svc. Companies

I love reading an article that's correct in every way. I operate a Tree & Turf Company and see local companies ( The Large One) and the small guys like me, constantly misdiagnosing drought, turf fungus,insect activity and foliar fungus in the field.
I always talk to my customers about the landscape and what is being done. I only do what is needed and I'll identify existing problems prior to treatment(s).
Mike in Albuquerque

Tim Quandt

Subject: EXCELLENT article!

I've been a certified lawn tech for a small company for the past seven years. All of us in the company (all 4 of us) read this article and all of us KNEW who the company in question was after the first paragraph. Sadly, some of the big companies cannot control every employee and some individuals 'milk the system'. All of the points in the article were spot on, especially talking to the technician that will be doing the treatments. If it's possible and you feel comfortable with that tech, request that he/she be the only tech allowed to do the service. Some customers seem to be afraid to talk to a tech that they don't know about a problem, whereas, someone they've seen over and over will be more approachable. Above all else, LISTEN TO ANY ADVICE AND INSTRUCTIONS THAT THE TECH GIVES YOU!! For some reason, this is a huge problem. This is what we DO, this is our PROFESSION. If a tech tells you to water when it's DARK........do it. If they tell you to raise your mower to it's highest setting because it's a hot/dry climate, do it. Don't be afraid to ask any questions. After all, it's YOUR money being spent. Personally, I WANT you to be as thrilled as possible so you'll tell your friends. Educated customers are the best customers. Ask questions!

John

Subject: Really?

Just because someone is a "professional" the homeowner should do as they are told? If the tech tells you to water when it is dark, do it? Are you kidding? Watering at night is the worse time you could possibly water your lawn. Maybe as you consider yourself a "professional", you should educate yourself, so you can give correct information to your customers.

I think this article is a warning of bad practices form companies that are similar to yours.

Nan Faile

Subject: Paying for services

I've learned the hard way but now I never, ever pay before the work is done. If they can't work without money first, they probably shouldn't be doing that kind of work.

William Gracie

Subject: Outrageous goals and watering

The paragraph that describes outrageous sales goals for the employees is absolutely true.
I worked for a large lawn care company years ago, and that is all that mattered to them.
However, most people do not understand that all of the fertilizer in the world will NOT make your lawn greener if it does not get enough water.
People mistake drought stress for fertilizer burn.
I have personally seen examples of both.
Grass with a dry wheat color is drought stress, and a fertilizer burn has an orange tint to it.
Most people don't understand how much water is needed to properly water their lawns, and don't want to use enough because it raises their water bill.
If you do not SOAK the grass completely into the roots, watering every day will not help.
Having your sprinklers on for a half hour a day is not enough.
You would be better off completely soaking the lawn for about an hour and a half twice a week.
It is also a myth that watering in the sun "burns" the grass.
It is drought stressed because most of the water evaporates in the hot sun, instead of soaking into the ground.
So, it is very important for people to understand that DEEP watering is far more important than fertilizer in the summer heat.

Kari

Subject: Another Tip - always

Another Tip - always discontinue your services by mail or email - not by phone or face to face. Mail is better because you can require a signature confirmation and they can't claim they never received it.

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How to Get Rid of Springtails

One of the most effective ways to control springtails is to dry out the infested area. Springtails require a high-moisture environment to breed and thrive, living mostly off of algaes that grow in moist conditions. They will either leave the infested area or die out. If there is an infestation that cannot be controlled by drying out the infested area, use an appropriately labeled insecticide with a residual time These will typically be a liquid concentrate form, a wet-able powder form, or a dust product.  DO NOT APPLY UNTIL AREAS ARE DRY.  If area will not dry naturally, use Corn Starch to soak-up any lingering moisture and otherwise 'steer' any rain water or irrigation away from area.

 

Also, if there is a noticed springtail infestation around the perimeter of the structure, use the insecticide to do a barrier treatment and apply corn starch to reduce or eliminate moisture. Caulk and seal all cracks and crevices and inspect potted plants before they are brought into the house.

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I would talk to your local lawn and garden supply store (or mill and feed) - NOT a box store or hardware store. There are also selective grass control chemicals. YOu can research this by Googling using search string      "Tall Fescue Control" - there are lots of articles by the USDA and individual state cooperative extension services.

There is a treatment called chlorsulfuron TFC (Tall Fescue Control) that will do this - it worked for me in western New York, but took 3 years to finish out all the tall fescue. It may now be limited to use by commercial applicators - pretty potent stuff. Can yellow bluegrass or make it phytosensitive, but our looked OK during treatment because the TFC was applied in the fall for best results, and our lawn was dormant till spring anyway.

Tall fescue can also be controlled by real short mowing, but only in areas where the bluegrass is dominant and really thrives so will eventually crowd out the trimmed fescue, but you may be too far north for that.

 

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