Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 03-26-2007, 11:59 AM
SDSAB
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 76,460
Scotts or TruGreen lawn service - or neither?

We're lived almost five years in the same house, and the lawn has always been a disappointment. Patchy in spots, too much crabgrass, a sprinkling of wild onion that we haven't been able to eradicate, and poor drainage in one spot. We've gotten the usual springtime solicitations from Scotts and TruGreen for lawn analyses and lawncare contracts. Our boys play on the lawn a lot over the summer, and we don't want to hurt either them or the environment with a lot of toxic chemicals.

Any Dopers ever used either company? Worth the money, or a ripoff?

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 03-26-2007 at 12:00 PM.
#2
Old 03-26-2007, 12:06 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 29,680
I don't think you have much to choose between them as regards safety.

Scott's will want to use lots of the company's fertilizers and herbicides on your lawn.

Trugreen (formerly known as ChemLawn) is nobody's idea of a environmentally green lawn service either.

If you're concerned about your kids and chemical runoff into streams (which is reasonable), try contacting a local company that might offer organic or limited chemical-oriented services.
#3
Old 03-26-2007, 12:11 PM
Mod Rocker
Moderator
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N E Ohio
Posts: 40,587
You will also probably get more help in IMHO rather than in GD (where you are liable to be attacked for wasting the Earth's resources growing a lawn).


Off to IMHO.
#4
Old 03-26-2007, 12:23 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,721
Adding more chemicals just makes the problem worse -- the roots grow too close to the surface, making for more thatch. A natural approach tends to work better -- this is a good product, though other companies make other natural products as well.
#5
Old 03-26-2007, 12:28 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: in a Moot
Posts: 11,621
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomndebb
You will also probably get more help in IMHO rather than in GD (where you are liable to be attacked for wasting the Earth's resources growing a lawn).
Off to IMHO.
Snort!

To the OP - What state do you reside? What kind of grass is currently down? Is it Kentucky Blue? See here . It's a great link with useful tips.

Here are some things I do - and if I do say so for myself, we have a lovely lawn - I fertilize with organic lawn conditioner. Then I use nematodes for organic pest control.

Each year my lawn looks wonderful. It browns in the winter then is lush, full in the spring and summer into autumn. It's the kind of lawn you just want to put your head down and have a nap!
#6
Old 03-26-2007, 12:29 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,171
Thes best thing you can do for your lawn (and yourself) is to lower your expectations.
Having said that, one of the best things you can do for your lawn is to use (or have a service use) a core aerator, then overseed. Use a mulching mower and fertilize using a low nitrogen organic fertilizer. Avoid "feed & weed" products that contain both fertilizer and a pre emergent herbicide.
The best way I have found to deal with onion grass is to go out after (or even during) a soaking rainfall and pull them up.
#7
Old 03-26-2007, 12:33 PM
Guest
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Tejas
Posts: 4,319
My neighbor uses a service and has for a couple of years now. I can't tell the difference between her and my lawn at all. Plus my lawn looks kinda bad.

Judging on that experience, I'd say the service is a waste of money.
#8
Old 03-26-2007, 12:59 PM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rochester, MI
Posts: 2,192
You forgot the fun you get from using these services - where they call you once a week to ask if you sent them their check yet for the bill they just mailed you.
#9
Old 03-26-2007, 01:16 PM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 687
I had Chem Lawn for a grand total of six months.

Brown grass before, brown grass after.

Starting at three months, the guy kept saying, "just give it another few months, it'll start to change." Still had weeds, still had brown.

Now I'm spending the $80/month on my own ferts and weed and feed, and grass is fine, and grows so fast, I'm mowing once per week.

Same with the pool service. That was $90/month. Useless.
#10
Old 03-26-2007, 01:58 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Mini Soda
Posts: 5,531
I used ChemLawn for a season because of the out-of-control creeping charlie that was taking over my lawn. For those unfamiliar with it, creeping charlie is a groundcover that chokes out pretty much everything else, and spreads via roots so it's nearly impossible to remove it by hand. They succeeded in killing off the weeds and my grass looked fine, at least until the next summer when my next-dorr neighbor once again did nothing for the the creeping charlie in her yard, and it migrated over again. So, I did the only sensible thing: sold my house and moved.

My new place has a crappy lawn, too, so I am intrigued by this Wow stuff, or any other suggestions for non-poisonous methods of lawn maintenance.
#11
Old 03-26-2007, 04:25 PM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 29,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlosphr
Each year my lawn looks wonderful. It browns in the winter then is lush, full in the spring and summer into autumn. It's the kind of lawn you just want to put your head down and have a nap!
My lawn is the kind that makes you want to put your head down...between your knees (until the nausea passes).

Well, it isn't really that bad. It is green and that's great unless you're picky about a goodly percentage of the green stuff not being grass. There's a fantastic dandelion show every spring. Still I don't have to worry about discharging chemicals into the runoff and pizening my well water, as well as paying for all the fertilizer and weed and feed.

Someone mentioned paying $80/month on lawn care products. Jeez, I spent about that much last year for a single application of organic fertilizer and felt like a Big Spender.

By the way, this outfit offers a bunch of "environmentally aware" lawn care products. I have no experience with them.
#12
Old 03-26-2007, 04:42 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,760
Speaking of which, is there any real evidence basis for any of the lawn treatments being touted or booed in this thread?

As the semi-owner of a lawn that both looks like a scene ripped from the soccer-field in Black Hawk Down and a veritable jungle of lucious soft grass, I have to say that the only thing that really makes a bit of difference in my book is water. And watering your lawn a billion times over the summer isn't cheap or environmentally friendly in most regions of this country.

Like ethelbert suggested, try lowering your expectations first.
__________________
You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is right.

--Lyndon B. Johnson

Last edited by threemae; 03-26-2007 at 04:42 PM.
#13
Old 03-26-2007, 06:11 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,182
Take it as an anecdote, but I have yet to meet anyone that was happy to have a lawn service. Between the cost, and not being able to have the kids and pets on the grass for a day after the applications, and every so often there'd be a goof and the lawn gets burned, it just seems like there are better ways to manage grass.
#14
Old 03-26-2007, 08:11 PM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii
By the way, this outfit offers a bunch of "environmentally aware" lawn care products. I have no experience with them.
They're the same people I recommended, though you linked to a different product.

I agree with the advice that keeping your expectations low is the best, and most environmentally responsible, approach. There is no way to get a putting-green lawn without a hell of a lot of chemicals (which then enter the water table), water, and effort.

That said, a healthy lawn will take care of itself pretty well. If you encourage deep root growth, your lawn will be healthy, and you won't need to water it to keep it alive. (During the dog days of summer, you probably should let the lawn go dormant for a while, and not water it. If it's healthy, it won't die -- just take some time off.)

Since natural products are generally "slow-release" (don't shoot their entire nutritional wad at once, as petro-based chemicals do), you can generally get away with fertilizing once or twice a season (spring and/or fall), not once a week or once a month. The fertilizer will continue to feed your lawn for months, encouraging slow, steady, deep growth.

Last edited by twickster; 03-26-2007 at 08:13 PM.
#15
Old 03-27-2007, 07:56 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: in a Moot
Posts: 11,621
Best way to get rid of danelions O'Naturale is with boiling water...it takes a few passes but it's a great way to kill them with no mess...
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:04 PM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: taxidermy humans money chain chineese basket radar love meaning malcolm x christianity hipaa spouse rhotacism causes sweat fever out glasses numbers home video songs truckers fucking sara lee slogans baldur's gate plot steel wool on windshield how to pronounce putin ikea luroy slats instructions what do rolly polly eat can lava melt steel songs about car accidents man made lakes in minnesota is it illegal to walk around late at night terms of endearment for friends one hour photo movie ending how to fry a burrito can see pulse in wrist