5 On Your Side

Cary woman in turf battle with lawn care company

Posted June 9, 2010
Updated June 10, 2010

— Many homeowners hire professionals to ensure their lawn is green, but a lawn care company's mistake created a turf battle for a Cary woman.

Michelle Collier says the bare patches in her yard make her once-green lawn look more like a deserted wasteland.

Michelle Collier's lawn Cary woman in turf battle

The grass died in March after her lawn care company, ProLawn, treated it, she says.

"I noticed that the grass was starting to turn brown after they put it down, and it was early spring, so everybody else's grass was greening up, and mine was just getting progressively browner," she said.

Parts of her neighbors' yards are also brown.

After assessing the problem, ProLawn owner Mark Schaffer offered to aerate and seed the affected areas.

When the seed was down, however, Collier got opinions from other lawn companies who all recommended the yard be re-sodded.

So Collier asked Schaffer to pay for another company to do the job. He refused, and the dispute reached a standstill.

"I had an established, green, healthy, uniform, even grass before they killed it," Collier said. "I think I should have the same thing back."

So Collier called 5 on Your Side, which contacted Shaffer.

"This has never happened in thousands of applications," he said, adding that he's still not sure what was sprayed on Collier's lawn.

"We went back and reviewed all the records, and we couldn't find any mistakes," he said.

He believes the spring seeding, combined with a re-seed in the fall, would have fixed the problem. But as long as his company does the job, he agreed to re-sod nearly the entire yard.

"We're going to sod sections of the yard, and we'll do the back and side and portions of the front as well," Shaffer said. "Hopefully, we can make it right for (Collier) and gain a little trust back."

Schaffer says he will also fix the neighbors' yards. Both he and Collier also say they have decided to wait until the fall to put down the sod.


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  • Desiderata Jun 15, 2010

    If she took the time , and learned how, she could do this for herself and not "hire" someone to do it..it is called LAZY! No pity for her ..I do all my own lawn care..and have a beautiful lawn because I did the work...

  • Humungous Jun 11, 2010

    Who's to say Collier applied some type of chemical to her own lawn and screwed it up herself. Maybe the neighbor's dog or kids are using her lawn for a latrine. There's always three sides to every story and this case, there's Collier's side, Prolawn's side and the third side is usually the truth.

  • LuvLivingInCary Jun 10, 2010

    now come on...this all broke loose because the homeowner wouldn't be flexible and let the lawn company do the sodding.

    so 5 on your side gets involved and she gives in. prolawn gets nice coverage here.

  • Jammer512 Jun 10, 2010

    She has a right to expect the company to fix their mistake, and the owner even said he will fix it.

  • Mugu Jun 10, 2010

    Collier needs to get a grip on life.