Lawn fertalizer service

I'm located in Tennessee, and just got a call from one of those lawn spraying services, True Green chem lawn. Just curious if anyone else has any opinions about whether or not those services are worth while or not. my lawn is quite weedy and the neighbors is not, ( he did have the service last year,) but, I've just moved here, so I don't know more of the history of the lawn. Thanks for any info.
Dave
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1) The fertilizer is formulated to make the customer happy because it greens up the lawn fast. Doesn't do much for healthy root growth, though. Too much nitrogen, not enough P & K.
2) They'll also sell you the weed/grub killers. The shit's not real good for the earth, and it does nothing to solve next year's problems. Also not safe for kids to play on, and the little "48 hour" signs they put up after spraying are bullshit.
Call around to a few landscapers. The best way to deal with weeds is to increase the competition from the grass. You do this by making the soil healthier. Lawn sprays don't achieve this goal. A spreader is cheap, and you can apply JUST FERTILIZER on your own. Combine this with proper mowing methods, and you're in business.
I'm sure there will be glowing testimonials from people who swear they've got perfectly healthy lawns, but based on my experience.....not so.

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On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 15:29:04 -0500, "JimmySchmittsLovesChocolateMilk"

Most of the lawn service companies overcharge, but if you don't have the time to do your own lawn it's better than nothing. You should fertilize fall, winter and early spring with a broadcast spreader. Using a garden sprayer, alternate Spectricide and Weed-B-Gone every two weeks during the springtime to spot-treat weeds. Test pH with a kit and apply 1500# of palletized lime per acre if pH reads less than 6.2. Retest and re-apply the lime every 6 months if needed. Mow fescue at 3.5". You will probably need to apply a crabgrass preventer in March (you can use a product that has both preventive crabgrass and fertilizer). In September, overseed with Rebel Supreme using the broadcast spreader and apply a Starter fertilizer at the same time. I have waited as long as October if there is a draught in September. For a really nice lawn, spread an organic fertilizer during the summer (I use chicken manure, mushroom compost, or Milorganite).
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JimmySchmittsLovesChocolateMilk wrote:

Which part of TN...since the state's 500 mi across, what's good for for E TN (where I was for 25 yr) isn't necessarily good advice for either middle or west TN.
In general, though, I think the only real reason for the services is if you're either unable or unwilling to do a little effort on your own. It rains enough in virtually all of TN that watering is rarely if ever needed although things may turn a little brown for a while in July/August if it goes a little longer than normal. You will need to control weeds and probably crabgrass. Depending on where you are and the quality of the soil in your particular area, you may or may not need to fertilize much, if at all. I never fertilized the whole time, but did need lime to help the pH.
Best source for info is your local county agent and a knowledgeable person at the local garden store (not the mass-market department type). They'll know the specifics for the area.
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I'm in central TN, close to Nashville. The soil is mostly a clay that does not absorb water well at all. I also am on the side of a hill and so the lot is quite slopped with lots (read LOTS) of stones. Its next to impossible to dig a whole in the yard. The neighbors put up a fence and had a crew jackhammer in holes to set the posts. Thanks for all your suggestions
Dave

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JimmySchmittsLovesChocolateMilk wrote:

Over all they will give you a lawn with few weeds and green grass, assuming you water as needed. They will not help your lawn become healthy and low maintenance.
Leaning to do a few things your self and spending a little time will give you a really good looking low maintenance law.
A few suggestions. Weeds don't really compete well with solid healthy grass. Work for good healthy grass and you can handle the weeds by walking around once or twice a week with a small bottle of spot week killer, water less often, cut no more often, maybe less and do little or no raking. Insects are also less likely to be a problem.
Get started by getting a soil test in the early spring. You local extension service (in the US, other names elsewhere) can help you out there, and fertilize with long lasting fertilizer with the right ingredients for long term health. In most areas cut your lawn longer than most people do, it shades the weeds and causes the grass to need less water and grow thicker and greener. You do have a putting green so don't try to care for it like one.
I may take a few months or a couple of years to get full benefits but it does pay.
If you don't think you can do this, then go ahead and use the service. It is not worse than following the suggestions on the bags of the big name fertilizers you buy in the store and doing it yourself that way. More expensive, but easier.
My lawn is as good or better than any around. I mow less, water less and fertilize twice a year with an organic long lasting fertilizer. I have not had to use any insect treatment for years. I have not raked for years. No thatch or any of the usual problems many of my neighbors have. Many of my neighbors are not following the same plan and none have ever gone back.
You may not want to follow my exact plan. Each area is different. Different grass, weather, insects, weeds, and soil. That is why you should contact your local extension service.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
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My neighbors tried their service for a while and then could not afford it any longer. The company harrassed the crap out of them trying to sign them up again. They even sent my neighbor a bill for services they never did. Robert
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During the busy season, they also hire help that has absolutely no idea what kinds of chemicals they're spraying, or the precautions needed when using them. So, for instance, they may pay no attention to the wind and hose down your neighbor's vegetable garden with pesticides which, besides being unsafe to use on lawns, should never be applied to edible plants. Then, if the neighbor does the right thing, you'll have the police at your door explaning civil trespass to you, and informing you that you will be arrested if the lawn care company is seen there again.
If this seems like an extreme scenario, it's not. It happened to me.
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I can echo what Robert said; when they get busy they hire people who couldn't make the grade at Burger King.
I sat here one day last summer and watched a lawn service guy spray my yard front and back with weed killer, stick the invoice in my door and drive away. Besides being a very quick and spotty job, he sprayed the wrong house. The invoice was for the the same house number but a different street. Had I not called to inform them of their error, they would have billed that poor guy for a service he never got.
John
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"John?] "

On the day my wife saw ChemLawn almost hose down our vegetable garden, the kid was standing facing the wind so the spray blew back all over him. After she called the police, she ran out, had him shut off the hose, and asked if he wanted medical attention (since he had breathed it). He said he didn't, and that his boss had assured him that the stuff was safe.
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On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 15:29:04 -0500, "JimmySchmittsLovesChocolateMilk"

Once you hire them, they are relentless about bugging the crap out of you for "extras" like spraying your trees. They just called me and want $40 to spray my lawn, that wouldn't be so bad, but they think they need to do it 7 times a year! I had them do my old house last summer, I had the brownest grass in the neighborhood, yet the weeds were still green. I'm not going to use them this year.
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wrote:

Congratulations. Most of their victims don't notice the results.
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