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Atlanta Cracker

TruGreen or other lawn chemical service

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The problem with big companies like Tru Green is the timing of applications. Because they have so many customers, it is very likely you will not get optimal timing of the products. For example, whoever just had an application done last week, Chief Dick I think, it is WAY TOO EARLY to apply a pre-emergent. It'll wear off, and crabgrass will still be germinating. Either do it yourself by finding a local wholesaler that sells the product or try to find a local guy who is smaller and has fewer customers (like me :wacko: ). Pre-emergent shouldn't go down until after the first of April.

 

We do 5 applications.

 

#1 pre-emergent / fertilizer in april

 

#2 Josh Gordon control spray / fertilizer in may

 

#3 fertilizer/ optional grub control in july

 

#4 Josh Gordon control spray / fertilizer in september

 

#5 winterizer fertilzer in november

Edited by CaptainHook

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The problem with big companies like Tru Green is the timing of applications. Because they have so many customers, it is very likely you will not get optimal timing of the products. For example, whoever just had an application done last week, Chief Dick I think, it is WAY TOO EARLY to apply a pre-emergent. It'll wear off, and crabgrass will still be germinating. Either do it yourself by finding a local wholesaler that sells the product or try to find a local guy who is smaller and has fewer customers (like me :wacko: ). Pre-emergent shouldn't go down until after the first of April.

 

We do 5 applications.

 

#1 pre-emergent / fertilizer in april

 

#2 Josh Gordon control spray / fertilizer in may

 

#3 fertilizer/ optional grub control in july

 

#4 Josh Gordon control spray / fertilizer in september

 

#5 winterizer fertilzer in november

 

note: these application timings are for Indiana. It'd be earlier the further south you go.

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Either do it yourself by finding a local wholesaler that sells the product or try to find a local guy who is smaller and has fewer customers (like me :wacko: ).

 

Ok, so how would one go about finding someone like you? I wouldn't mind doing this by myself but I need some help getting to the point where I can. My main problem is that I always forget parts and I do need some areas seeded/aerated and I don't want to do that myself.

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Ok, so how would one go about finding someone like you? I wouldn't mind doing this by myself but I need some help getting to the point where I can. My main problem is that I always forget parts and I do need some areas seeded/aerated and I don't want to do that myself.

Try to find a wholesaler in your area. Here in Indiana, they are John Deere and Advanced Turf Solutions. They will sell to homeowners all the products that the pros use. Usually they are quite friendly and will walk you through what you need to do if you are going to do it yourself. If you'd rather someone else do it, they can make a recommendation on a reliable local guy. Or ask your neighbors who they use.

Edited by CaptainHook

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I live in VA. Whoever lived here before me planted Bermuda. In the middle of summer when everone else is water their fecue lawns hoping it doesn't turn brown mine is going strong. The hotter the better. I never do a thing although there are areas that could use some work but most of it is ok

Here in Nova we're still trying to rrecover from drought conditions, that's one of the reasons I have so many bare patches as I don't water regularly. Is bermuda grass drought resistant? does it do ok in shade? is it just heat tolerant?

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Ok, so how would one go about finding someone like you? I wouldn't mind doing this by myself but I need some help getting to the point where I can. My main problem is that I always forget parts and I do need some areas seeded/aerated and I don't want to do that myself.

 

 

The main thing with seeding is watering. You are primarily responsible to see that gets done.

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The main thing with seeding is watering. You are primarily responsible to see that gets done.

 

I can handle that as long as we're allowed and someone actually puts the seeds out at the right time of year. I have bermuda in my front yard and fescue in the back where it's kind of shady.

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We're going organic with our lawn. Our massive drought has caused our city to forbid watering out-doors and we've found that the organic treatments make the lawn healthier and less reliant on water. I know it's really bad form to allow people to make money off of saving the environment, but if there's a guy in your area who offers organic lawn care, you should give him a call. They make a pretty compelling reason why it's the better way to go.

 

We used to have a chem service do the front but leave the back alone because we kept our dogs back there and didn't want them to get sick. I just sprinkled compost back there from time to time.

 

Thing is, we never watered the back even when we could and used to water the front somewhat regularly. Funny thing, the back was always lush and green and the front was a constant battle. I figured, screw that. Why are we paying some dude a bunch of money to spray poisons on our lawn if it doesn't even look better than the part we leave alone?

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Ok, I've got 3 estimates setup. One from Scotts, another from a local company, and the last from an individual as far as I can tell. If any of them happen to do organic then I'll consider it but at this point I don't need more direction to go in!

 

Depending on prices/suggestions I'll see which one seems to make the most sense or go at it on my own.

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Water is the most important thing. If you're going to be restricted from watering, applying fertilizer isn't going to do a whole lot for you.

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Ok, I've got 3 estimates setup. One from Scotts, another from a local company, and the last from an individual as far as I can tell. If any of them happen to do organic then I'll consider it but at this point I don't need more direction to go in!

 

Depending on prices/suggestions I'll see which one seems to make the most sense or go at it on my own.

Everybody's an "organic" gardener until they find out how much it is. :wacko:

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Water is the most important thing. If you're going to be restricted from watering, applying fertilizer isn't going to do a whole lot for you.

This is actually a great argument for organic. I makes the soil healthy and creates an environment that requires less water for a nice green lawn.

 

Everybody's an "organic" gardener until they find out how much it is. :wacko:

The organic service we're using costs barely more than the chemical service we used to use. Thing is, if you go organic, you can start using less and less treatment over time because the lawn gets healthier and healthier. Chemical programs are like drugs for your lawn. They create a dependent situation where you have a basically unhealthy lawn that needs its "fix" to keep going. The second you stop, it goes to hell.

 

Chemical lawn service is an invented need that feeds on the misunderstanding that natural treatments are insanely expensive or ineffective. Thing is, that's simply not true over the long haul.

 

Same goes for organic gardening as a whole. It may be more expensive up front and a bit more work to get established but that beats the hell out of having bags of poison sitting in your shed and really beats the hell out of having to wash said poison off vegetables you grew yourself before eating them.

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Ok, what "organic" do you use to kill the weeds?

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Ok, what "organic" do you use to kill the weeds?

Well, for starters, I don't have a huge issue with my lawn being 100% weed-free. I would, mind you, prefer to have less weeds but was in no way satisfied with the degree to which the guy we hired to spray poison on our lawn for a few years did either. Our lawn (or at least the ever shrinking amount of it we have since we're digging up most of it to replace with landscaping) is certainly a work in progress.

 

I will say this, a friend out here has a perfect lawn that he maintains organically. His theory is that the health of the soil promotes a vigorous lawn which doesn't allow room for weeds to take hold. Every now and then he says he has to pull some broad leaf weeds but that the problem is small enough that physically pulling them is actually feasible.

 

The guy we're hiring to do our lawn care uses this. I met him when he and I were both guest speakers at an EPA lunch time forum and I really liked what he had to say.

 

I suppose my question to you is why you prefer introducing poisons into your yard to having weeds?

Edited by detlef

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Because you only have to apply a herbicide once a year to kill weeds. Most customers want it twice a year, but if you are wanting to cut back on pesticides in your yard, you can get by with a fall Josh Gordon control only. All research has shown that the chemicals used DON'T cause cancer or other problems. Pesticides are one of the most regulated and tested products you can purchase. If you know what you are doing, they are not harmful.

 

The "bags of poison" you referred to earlier, just don't exist. Fertilizer contains no pesticides whatsoever. If you are happy with organics, that's great. But walking around hand-pulling weeds from my yard is not my idea of a fun-filled weekend. I'd put my yard up against any organic lawn. Mine looks better.

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Everybody's an "organic" gardener until they find out how much it is. :wacko:

 

:D True dat.

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If you have a well-manicured lawn and you want to switch over to organics, go for it. If you keep it mowed to the correct height and watered during droughts, you can avoid the majority of your weeds. (They will creep in, and you'll have to deal with 'em, pull 'em, or spray 'em) But trying to get a bad lawn under control using organics is just plain impossible. You have to be able to kill off the weeds that are competing for resources. And we haven't even begun discussing using organics to treat grub problems. (milky spore :wacko:)

 

Plus, I have a hard time believing that spreading a bag of turkey poop (yes, that's one organic product) is somehow "safer".

 

And as far as cost goes, you are getting organic fertilizer applied to your lawn WITHOUT any Josh Gordon control or insect control. And yet it is STILL more expensive than using a chemical service that applies fertilzer AND controls pests. So you are paying more, and getting LESS control.

Edited by CaptainHook

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watered during droughts,

 

Plus, I have a hard time believing that spreading a bag of turkey poop (yes, that's one organic product) is somehow "safer".

 

And as far as cost goes, you are getting organic fertilizer applied to your lawn WITHOUT any Josh Gordon control or insect control. And yet it is STILL more expensive than using a chemical service that applies fertilzer AND controls pests. So you are paying more, and getting LESS control.

I just have time right now to address a few, so I'll pick these...

 

Well, actually, I don't really no how to even start with the first one. That's the thing about droughts, you can't keep your lawn watered. Some a-holes around here sneak out at night to water their lawns so they can get around the restrictions, but...

 

I will say this in that regard. As I alluded to in my first post here about the subject. My front lawn which had seen chemical treatment for 2 years prior to us cutting the service was completely ravaged by the drought and nearly died. The backyard which hadn't had chemical treatment as long as we've lived in the house has been green throughout. I'm using that as a rather decent argument that it's fundamentally healthier.

 

As for #2 (literally, I suppose), I understand that you're going for shock value, but you do understand that any manure based fertilizer is composted. At that stage it's plenty safe. I'll make you a deal, you drink some dissolved scotts turf builder in water and I'll drink a smoothie of composted turkey poop. Let's see who's in the hospital.

 

As far as getting less. That's one way of looking at it. Of course, I don't want poison sprayed on my lawn so I don't feel shortchanged. That's like saying one guy will mow your lawn and kick you in the balls for cheaper than another guy will just mow your lawn. Or less extreme, I'd say, you're buying the lawn equivalent to a McDonald's value meal (cheap filler that doesn't make you healthier) and I'm paying for a handcrafted meal built from naturally raised foods. Sure, I'm paying more for my entree than you are for you big mac, fries, and diet coke combined, but I'm cool with that.

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I will say this in that regard. As I alluded to in my first post here about the subject. My front lawn which had seen chemical treatment for 2 years prior to us cutting the service was completely ravaged by the drought and nearly died. The backyard which hadn't had chemical treatment as long as we've lived in the house has been green throughout. I'm using that as a rather decent argument that it's fundamentally healthier.

FYI, there could be MANY reasons for this circumstance. Soil conditions, light, etc can all effect why a front yard grows worse/better than the backyard. It happens ALL the time, even when both are receiving identical treatments. Sounds like you have decided that organics are superior, your front yard/ back yard fit this objective, and you've run with it.

Edited by CaptainHook

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Or less extreme, I'd say, you're buying the lawn equivalent to a McDonald's value meal (cheap filler that doesn't make you healthier) and I'm paying for a handcrafted meal built from naturally raised foods. Sure, I'm paying more for my entree than you are for you big mac, fries, and diet coke combined, but I'm cool with that.

And I would say my lawn is just as healthy, if not healthier, than an organic lawn.

 

Oh, and no weeds. :wacko:

 

and I paid less.

Edited by CaptainHook

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The problem with big companies like Tru Green is the timing of applications. Because they have so many customers, it is very likely you will not get optimal timing of the products. For example, whoever just had an application done last week, Chief Dick I think, it is WAY TOO EARLY to apply a pre-emergent. It'll wear off, and crabgrass will still be germinating. Either do it yourself by finding a local wholesaler that sells the product or try to find a local guy who is smaller and has fewer customers (like me :wacko: ). Pre-emergent shouldn't go down until after the first of April.

 

We do 5 applications.

 

#1 pre-emergent / fertilizer in april

 

#2 Josh Gordon control spray / fertilizer in may

 

#3 fertilizer/ optional grub control in july

 

#4 Josh Gordon control spray / fertilizer in september

 

#5 winterizer fertilzer in november

 

 

This isn't a bad program let me add a few things.

 

#1 pre-mergent - 1) crabgrass doesn't start germinating until soil temps are a consistent 50 degrees 2) you need water to activate this product about 1/2 inch. 3) this product will only last so long. April in my area is perfect timing for pre-emergent and it will last all summer. You want to use a product with prodiamine as the active ingredient, this product will stain so be careful. If you want to use a product that doesn't stain use dithiopyr, you can actually apply this product much later, even up to the first tiller stage on crab crass. Apply a good fertilizer separately, a 50% slow release nitrogen will do.

 

#2 You definitely want to spray for broad leaf weeds use a good three way product (2,4-D + Mecoprop (MCPP) + dicamba). If you have had grub problems in the past this is the time to treat for them before damage starts. I recommend a product with imidacloprid as the active. If you apply around May you should get a full season out of it. Fertilize with a high quality fert with about 60%-70% slow release nitrogen.

 

#3 It ist typically hot out. This is the time disease starts showing up....good luck with that. When it's hot out most grasses will go into a dormant stage, this is the time to fertilize with a high iron fertilizer 5%-6% should do and about a 60% slow release nitrogen. Spray for weeds if you want (do it in the morning). And if you didn't apply grub control in the last application and are seeing damage, do it now but use bifenthren or sevin.

 

#4 Apply high quality fert and spray for weeds this will keep your lawn healthy. Diseased lawn will start to look better now.

 

#5 Use a fertilizer with a 1 to 1 ratio of nitrogen and potassium try to find one with sulfur added this will help protect your lawn from disease over wintering months.

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When you come to a conclusion about which new organic stuff you decide to use, share the info if you don't mind. My lawn to start the spring and early summer is always looking great and then as the dog days of summer roll around I get brown patches and tons of weeds. Drives me nuts as I can't figure it out. :wacko: It also looks like I get some type of algae on the soil and mushrooms are always growing throughout the lawn.

 

you should PM this guy, he has the exact same problem. I mean, exactly. uncanny, huh?

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