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.
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.
On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 15:29:04 -0500, "JimmySchmittsLovesChocolateMilk"
Here's good advice for Tennessee Zone 7...
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
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.
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
Thanks for all your suggestions
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
I may take a few months or a couple of years to get full benefits but it
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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