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Founded in 2008. The Landscape Juice Network (LJN) is the largest and fastest growing professional landscaping and horticultural association in the United Kingdom.

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I'm not sure if it's just me, but is anybody else noticing a huge increase in homeowners and the unqualified undertaking their own weed control using professional products, leading to a decrease in work? 

I have been trying to rebuild my business with a focus on specialist weed control of invasive species such as JKW and horsetail plus some rescue lawn treatments (trying to go more organic with lawn care), but I now have potential customers phoning me asking for advise on how to control weeds as they've purchased products online such a Kurtail and Provantage, and they haven't been able to manage it.

The same issues are popping up in various lawn care and gardening groups with the general public recommending products they've purchased without any controls from most of the well known companies we all use. It starting to grind on me because I put every control in place and use herbicides as a last resort, but then I have to wonder who's at fault.

I know the suppliers need to generate sales, but by selling to unqualified individauls they're impacting on the professionals who undertake this as their main source of revenue, plus their helping add to the ever growing impacts of pesticides. If we go to the time and effort of undertaking and observing the codes of practice, should the suppliers and government not be implementing tougher restrictions on the sales of products?

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  • PRO

    Homeowners can do what they like and will pay the price if they do something really stupid. As for the "unqualified " how can you possibly know this? Unless they tell you of course.

    dont worry yourself over it just do your thing and promote yourself as such. It's no good wasting energy on things you can't change!

    • PRO

      I know this information regarding their status to legally use the product through them supplying it either in their telephone calls, online posts or messages. When they call to ask about the service, they say, well I purchased some Kurtail from X supplier, and it hasn't worked, and I have used the whole bottle, for example.

      I just feel that herbicides are too readily available and it's impacting not only on the industry but more importantly the environment. 

      • PRO

        I get that homeowners can get this my question was more aimed at contractors who you say are not qualified.

        anyway I still think just concentrate on what you are doing and don't worry about others.

        if a homeowner does it wrong then it's time for an expensive quote

    • Well said...............  if I was in the "general public", as I suspect most of us would,  I'd do the same which could save a significant amount of money.   Let's face it........ It's not exactly "rocket science"... there's instructions on the bottles and if they get it wrong, is it really a disaster?  Best to diversify so you're not just relying on "specialist weed control"   We don't want to become to much of a "nanny state"!!

      • PRO

        Thats the issue though, it's not that simple and they abuse the herbicides and put the environment at greater risk. I and others included can sometimes struggle to calibrate certain products, so how many members of the public are going to go through the calibration process, find the target species info and observe buffer zones?


        • PRO

          If you are struggling to calibrate then maybe it's not for you.


          more to the po8nt though people in general ignore stupid/silly/over zealous laws all the time because they are one of those(or other) reasons.

          for a contractor getting qualified isn't expensive (less than a contractor grade mower to get the tickets and equipment) 

          maybe you should try and aim your service at business parks, housing associations, estate management companies, local authorities etc who will value the tickets. How public in general doesn't care

  • PRO

    My experience with this was when a customer asked me what I thought caused the brown footprints across her lawn were? I asked if she had put any weedkiller down and she had done both drives. Unfortunatelt cutting across the lawn to complete the second one.  

  • I doubt it would be too much trouble for the Government and Suppliers to control the sale of pesticides if they really wanted to. No one has ever requested confirmation of my spray qualifications. The fact that product like Kurtail are easily obtained from well known internet sites confirms that. 

    Kurtail and products such as WD40 are often suggested on Internet forums for the control of Horsetail. When I have time, I've pointed out that Kurtail is a Professional product etc and that WD40 is not an approved pesticide, but homeowners don't seem that bothered. 
    I often wonder why I went to the trouble and expense of getting qualified.

    • PRO

      I see this very seem thing regularly, and they even display the link from several well-known sites. When you point that even us as professionals can not use Kurtail due to it lacking knapsack approval, they say well they let me buy it. 

      I will help anybody that phones or message me as a business, but some get shirty when I point out they shouldn't be using it, but I guess it the system at fault.

      • PRO

        Don't tell people what to use or how to use it then. It does kind of defeat the object of specialising to then tell anyone that call you......

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