The Sunday Fertilizer Large Lawn Beta Test - Fall 2019
If you're like me, and you follow lawn/landscape/gardening people on Instagram, you've likely been targeted with a fertilizer product called Sunday. They're a 'better lawn' company that can send you - on a schedule - a tailored nutrient plan that is healthy (for kids, pets and the environment), easy (just arrives and you have to apply it) and effective (will keep your turf in a good spot). That's a really powerful value proposition, right? I want something that is easy to put down. Something that works - and keeps my lawn green. And...importantly....I want it safe for my kids and dog. I've gone to organic with Milorganite and I don't think I want to go back to a synthetic.
Of all the Direct-To-Consumer 'subscription' services that have popped up, I think the two that meet me right where I am are a furnace filter one and a lawn care/fertilizer one.
Unfortunately, the furnace filter service(s) are tailored to people that have/use thin filters that get replaced every 30 days. We have larger, 6" thick filters that I swap out 2x a year and the services don't seem equipped to deal with both that larger size and the frequency.
But, what about Sunday? The fertilizer subscription? Earlier this Summer I went in, created an account. Put in my address and then 'mapped' the location that I wanted to feed. Womp, womp. My 12,000 square feet of lawn? It is too big to be serviced by Sunday. Oh well, I figured. Just have to go to Home Depot and buy my own Milorganite.
I was Zero-for-Two. No filter and no fertilizer subscriptions for me.
Then...one day in August I received an email from "Get Sunday" that said that they're launching a "Get Sunday Large Lawn Beta Test" program and were looking for people to take a survey to see if they might qualify. That email is screenshot below. Of course, I'd take that survey! As part of the Beta, they said that the people they selected would receive a Fall treatment and a Spreader ($150 worth of stuff) for free.
The survey asked about my opinion on how I value natural products, if I knew my grass type, if I considered myself a 'gardener' or not, if I did DIY projects and cut my grass myself, how often I apply fertilizer, rank the order of importance of lawn products (non-toxic, ease of use, cost-effective, simple, organic), then a little bit about if we had kids/pets.
I dutifully filled it out and then submitted. Not sure what to think.
A couple of weeks later, I was sent this lovely note below: I had been selected to participate. Just needed to give them some contact info and I was on my way.
I was looking forward to seeing what the product was like - knowing that their main product was a hose-attachment spray application. I was wondering how they'd scale to meet the needs of a larger lawn (specifically...what if people didn't have a hose that reached their entire yard??)
About a month ago - in mid September, I received the next note: telling me what was included in my package. I was going to be getting some dry, granular fertilizer and a 65# spreader from Chapin.
Then right around the beginning of the month of October, I received a note that said my package had shipped and included these (below) instructions on the application. I was set to receive 2 bags of 24-0-6 Sunday Growgreen fall fertilizer. And that they calculated my lawn area at 12,076 square feet.
If you scroll all the way back up to the top of this post, you'll see the Chapin spreader and the two 15# bags of granular Sunday Fall Fertilizer (Sunday Growgreen) as they are billing it. Sure enough, it is listed as 24-0-6 for N-P-K. See the bag below. As this is a test, they simply stuck a Sunday branded sticker on the manufacturer's bag. Is this stuff organic? Or just non-toxic? I'm not sure, but it looks a lot like normal synthetic fertilizer with the multi-colored round/spherical granules. And there's no odor like there is with Milorganite.
The instructions said to put it down as soon as I received the product, so this past weekend, I spread the stuff out. The product looked nice and I liked the bright colors of some of the granules because I could see where and how I was throwing the fertilizer. As for the spreader...I don't love it. Maybe I'm not experienced enough, but I didn't like the control mechanism, it didn't feel like there was an even spread and...there isn't an edge guard. I know that the Scott's spreaders are amatuer-hour stuff, but the 'edgeguard' that they include on even their most basic spreaders is an important feature as it allows people like me to get close to the property boundary and the driveway/sidewalk without throwing tons of the product out onto the hard surfaces.
Another note: the spreader was filthy when I was done - and so were my shoes. A brownish/tanish dust covered the bottom of the spreader mechanism and my shoes/pant legs. Scroll down to see the product in the hopper - see that tan color? That's the color of the dust/dirt on the spreader.
One other thing to note...I ended up spreading a little bit too much in one spot. The spreader had a little malfunction (operator error??) so when I was filling it the first time, I ended up dropping A LOT of the product in one place. This Sunday GrowGreen product isn't billed as 'non-burning', so I'm assuming that I'm going to get a big burn spot. I did my best to get as much of the product out of the one spot - first by hand. Then with my blower. Then I watered the heck out of the area to try to saturate the turf with water in a hope that watering it down would do something? We'll see what happens with the lawn burning in the coming weeks.
I did like the Chapin spreader's capacity, but I don't like how and where it throws the product. Here, below, is a shot of the spreader with the Sunday GrowGreen granular product in the hopper about to attack the backyard.
The Beta program calls for a couple of surveys and some phone interviews. I'll gladly do both, but I also captured some 'before' photos and sent in my feedback to the Get Sunday team.
The only thing that I'm still trying to figure out now is what I need to do/should do with my LATE FALL (Think...almost Thanksgiving) time fertilization. Should I skip it? Should I just presume that this October 1st application is going to have a slow release that gets me through all the Fall root development and Winter carb storage?