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Lawn 'treatment'

Hi all, HNY to you. My first job back this week after being away in the sun for a couple of weeks was a Laurel hedge hard prune for an occasional client. The clients aren't actually living in the property atm, but when I arrived on Tuesday the first thing I noticed was a granular lawn treatment had just been applied. Hmm.... why would anyone put this down in January?  I questioned the client when I spoke to them about why had they done this.

Greenthumb of course. This was applied on Monday, the daytime temperture did not get above 2c for two days, there is no rain forecast until at least the weekend, so possibly 5-6 days at least.

What sort of person applies granular treatment on the coldest days/ month of the year, with no rain forecast, how do they get away with charging for this? I know we all have a living to make but this at best is a waste of money, at worst will burn the lawn.

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  • PRO

    Yes that's what they do now since last January a new schedule spring fert with a dose of iron Jan/Feb it used to start end of March the theory is Jan/Feb they would be aerating/scarifying where the big money is if we get a bad Jan/Feb then they lose a lot of money doing the mechanical work so now they cram all the mechanical stuff in sept/Dec......




  • I saw this too.  My customer was told that the granules were inert and would release their contents when the time was right.  Science and magic have become one!

  • This is all about the nationals keeping employees in work and cash rolling in and relying on customer ignorance.

    Grass needs an average soil temperature of 6 to 8 degrees to take up nutrients and grow. This very roughly equates to an average air temperature of 10 to 12 degrees.

    Talk about having a laugh at customers expense!

    We have gained several lawn treatment clients from the nationals who were scarifying lawns in December! Turning them into replica's of first world war battlefields!

    Never mind the quality feel the width!!

    How do they get away with it?

    • PRO

      The client didn't know they were attending until after it was done. As you say Peter, the soil temp is far too low. They have asked me to take over the treatment regime, although I won't hold my breath as they are not a 'regular' client. I have taken over a couple of others last year though.

  • PRO

    there are 3 scenarios here that come to mind:

    1. It's a normal release 6 week spring fert and they are taking the micky (I don't think this is the case).

    2. It's a high iron very low N granule, used for moss control. This is fine and for some customers better as pet access is not disrupted.

    3. It's a coated controlled release spring fert which will only breakdown once the temp becomes sufficient. Allows flexibility in scheduling and will give a good result at the right time.  Again, I think this is fine.

    I think 3. is most likely as 2. is quite expensive compared to liquid iron. So much as I like to bash some of the franchise practices, I think this one is unlikely to be just.

    • Yeah no 3 is what g t has just done for one of my customers. It's just frustrating, if we get more days like today I'll potentially be scarifying in 4/5 weeks time. It'll be a waste of fertiliser. Unfortunately g t just turned up and didn't even tell the customer they were there so no opportunity to discuss timings. They also spread the fertiliser well into the borders. High N fertiliser is the last thing I want in my herbaceous borders!

      They're cheap, so customers think they are getting a good deal. 

  • ive seen them scarifying lawns that have been white over with a hard frost also saw one that went to the tap to put a bit of water in the sprayer without adding more weed killer to finish the lawn off 

    • PRO

      Last year a customer going away left a bag of granular feed in January as advised by the supplier to spread asap .

      I rang the supplier to check and they advised to water it in if no rain forecast no reference to temperature being minus 2 .

      I didn't apply it until the spring but what upset me was the supplier was right in the customers eyes and I was wrong .


  • I've had an infuriating one too. I cut grass at one very large garden, a  horticultural lady does all the borders and planting and pruning. A lawn treatment franchise -not GT in this case_ treats the grass, and I clear the leaves in Autumn and cut the hedges in Winter. A fish guy does the pond and a hard landscaper comes in as and when required to maintain paths etc. So a good few of us maintain the gardens. Last week I attended and the owner asked when I was going to rake the lawns, the last treatment of the year has left the lawns moss blackened?  I asked when they were due to scarify and the client had been advised to get the gardener to rake the lawns! I intend to ring the "lawn specialist" and ask which gardener he means? Me, the horticulturist, the fish guy .....or the Lawn Specialist? i'm also recommending someone else to take over, this guy just wants to walk around with a spreader.

    • a lot of thees dont have a waste licence or the ability to remove waste 

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