Q: Is addressing lawn fungus/brown patch included in the service? I know we have had to battle that problem at least once or twice each year since we built our home.
A: A fungus control program is available for customers who need it. About 50% of our customer’s use this service. Depending on the quality of turf you are trying to achieve (average vs pristine), whether or not you want to avoid aerating and seeding each year (every year vs every other year), the weather that year (increased heat and moisture), and the history of brown patch on your property (whether you get it or not) dictate the necessity of fungicide applications. If you are someone trying to achieve a lush green lawn, have a lawn that is low in the landscape, on a hill, southern facing, or have a history of brown patch, I would recommend adding fungicide applications to your service. We generally recommend 4 to almost completely remove any possibility of seeing brown patch on your property (with the changing weather we are getting close to needing 5) but sometimes you can sneak by with only 2 applications in the middle of the season (our June and July applications). I DO NOT RECOMMEND WAITING UNTIL YOU SEE THE PROBLEM BEFORE YOU TREAT. As with almost all plant diseases, control after infection does not work well or at all so all applications need to be preventive. If you get brown patch, fungicides can be applied there after and for the rest of the season to prevent further damage and spread but any damage caused by brown patch will not go away.
Q: Is grub prevention/ grub control included in the service?
A: Grub control is not included by default. Unlike fungus control, I only recommend this treatment if you have had problems with them in the past. Our techs will keep an eye out for sign that your lawn has a problem and recommend service if needed. However, most of our lawns do not have problems. Many homeowners (and so-called professionals!) treat grubs thinking that it is a way to control moles. Not so! While grub outbreaks and mole outbreaks can occur at the same time, more often than not they are unrelated. We offer a Mole/Vole control program which we have found to be effective.
Q: Do you do a soil test annually or just during the first year of service?
A: We soil test the first year and every three years thereafter. Testing every third year follows VT recommendations since soils tend not to change drastically from one year to the next. Also, since we include lime in our applications if a soil test indicates you need lime, we will apply it each and every year until a soil test indicates otherwise.
Q: Is there a discount for paying for the annual cost up front in one payment?
A: Yes, each spring we offer a Pre-Pay Discount for customers who wish to prepay services for the year. We offer this discount because prepayment makes our operation more efficient and we pass those savings on to you. Customers can prepay all services or just certain ones. For instance, some customers do not prepay the aeration and seeding.
Q: What happens if I have prepaid for the year and then move or otherwise have to cancel a service?
A: Hertzler & George is all about service. Even if you prepay and wish to cancel later in the year we will still refund what you paid. It’s that simple.
Q: I am also scheduled to get an estimate from [one of the nation chain lawn care companies] as well this week. I have used their lawn products for years doing it myself. Do you have any thoughts/comments on their service in comparison to yours? Do you have any current customers who were formerly using their service?
A: I try not to talk negative about other companies because I know all too well we make mistakes ourselves. That being said, when we say we do a service, we do the service. When we say we will work with you to get done what you want done, we do just that. Lastly, when you want to talk to someone, we will talk to you. I guess in some ways the best indicator will be if you get a personalized e-mail like this from [one of the national chains]. Typically, the reason people go with [one of the nation chains] over us is price. But I think our slightly higher cost is justified in the service we provide.