So, you’re after a solution with a particular lawn issue you have, or even anticipate having with your lawn?
Even that first line conjures up all kinds of issues. Firstly, is the problem on your lawn, in your lawn or around your lawn?
The first step is the diagnosis. Google can be a great preliminary information tool. Use it to get an idea of the problem and then away you go ….. or can you?
Before you put all your faith in Google, is the information relevant and applicable to your location and specific lawn?
If you are not completely confident with your diagnosis and don’t want to waste time and money on doing it yourself, employ an experienced lawn contractor/technician to correctly diagnose and treat the issue/s.
This is where things get a bit more definite. You’ve detailed the issue, made your diagnosis and now time for the product. At this point you can either engage a contractor who is already equipped to handle or do it yourself.
If you choose to do it yourself, a few questions to ask yourself:
Are you confident in your diagnosis based on your own experience and/or the information you’ve gained from the internet?
Do you understand the method required for adequate treatment?
Do you understand the product?
Have you read the label completely?
Do you understand the mixing procedures, water volume (carrying fine, medium or coarse droplet sizes)?
Do you have the Personal Protective Equipment needed?
Do you know about withholding periods, re-entry times, mowing, irrigation routines dependent on the products performance?
Is it a leaf absorbed or a soil active, root absorption product?
In other words, have you’ve read and digested the labels information completely?
Timing of Application
The next step is application. Weather conditions and timing of the application is imperative to ensure optimal performance and have an active/receptive target. Again, if you choose to do it yourself, consider the following questions:
Will you need repeat applications?
Do you need a surfactant? Leaf wetter?
Will you be mixing pH buffer?
Do you need a sticker, water-proofer, adjuvant? Did you pre-purchase these items along with the initial order of the product?
A licensed contractor, through experience, already knows and pre-plans for all these variables. They carry all this knowledge and product information with them. It is in their best interest to apply the products as per label instructions, ensuring the product’s effectiveness and safe application.
Once you have gathered the correct situation information and desired outcome for your lawn issue, selected the product and familiarised yourself with the legal and environmental issues regarding the use of that product in a domestic situation, and armed yourself with the correct PPE, how do you apply?
Are you going to flat fan the product out? Fish eye nozzle it out?
Are you going to boom spray it out? If so, you will need to fully calibrate your swath width and your output along with your walking speed.
How are you going to gauge pressure?
Is there colour in the product? Will staining of walls and paving/porous surfaces become an issue?
What about overlap?
What about prevailing winds, susceptible plants, non-target damage?
In reading the product label you know the recommendation concerning medium, coarse or fine droplet sizes. Be sure to use the correct filter mesh sizes for the nozzle size.
You will need to get familiar with commercial spray equipment suppliers who can advise on droplet sizes achieved through different nozzle styles. Remember one style doesn’t fit all, a commercial contractor will be constantly changing nozzle sizes to either achieve sticking adhesion for foliar entry products or splash off for the root active, soil absorption products.
There’s a lot to consider so perhaps consider leaving it to the experts.
A licensed experienced spray contractor ensures the correct product is applied at the correct time in the optimal conditions. The last thing the turf industry needs is improper/incorrect use of products, leading to a general view from the public that “these products don’t really seem to work”.
I guarantee you that the products do work! The cutting-edge professional products are the result of years of pre-release trials and testing, we just need to fulfil our end, by applying them at the right rate, on the right date using methods that are appropriate.