Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making The Right Choice

Horticulture Hotline 06/05/17
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

The magnolias and gardenias are filling the Low Country air with some great fragrance. The kids are getting out of school and summer vacation plans are getting their final touches. The heat and humidity are raising and I start to get asked, “who is a good lawn care professional (landscape contractor, lawn maintenance contractor, mosquito control company …)?

I have been hit with some variation of this question a lot recently. Since we sell products to many different companies, it is best to ask your friends. We rarely see the end results of our customer’s applications to various yards. Also, we wouldn’t want you to be at a family reunion talking to your distant cousin that is also a good customer of ours, and say that Possum’s recommended a different company other than your distant cousin.

Lawn care companies can spray several different products to solve several different issues at once. In order to tank mix different control products, they need to make sure the products are compatible with each other.  Also, the lawn care applicator must calibrate the sprayer to make sure they are getting the proper amount of product out, in the given amount of square feet according to the product labels.  Knowing the correct amounts to put into the sprayer to control what you are trying to control is critical.  Does this all sound “Greek” to you?

A professional lawn service regularly mix several control products together to control many issues in the lawn at one time.  They are licensed by the state to apply control products and they apply control products on a daily basis.  Many applicators have years of experience putting out products as well.   Most companies have different programs and they will either treat your yard on an “on call” basis, quarterly program, or complete yearly programs.  Check with the individual companies for what they have to offer. Just beware that if your yard is all green weeds and they kill all your weeds, then your yard will be brown. I have been told, “Bill, they came out and killed my yard!” When in reality the yard was weeds and they killed the weeds.

When choosing a lawn care company or any contractor, it is good to get references from neighbors and friends.  With lawn care companies, it is especially important to find one that is doing good work in your neighborhood.  Most applicators that work for a lawn care company have a route in a certain area and different applicators have different abilities and experience.  If you sign up with a company who is doing a good job at your neighbor’s two doors down, chances are you will get the same applicator that they have.

One thing to remember, even though your house is right next to another house, the results of lawn care can be totally different because of sun / shade patterns. Trees and the way your house is positioned on your lot can greatly affect the way the grass grows. A sunny yard is best for good grass growth.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.