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Archive for the ‘lawn care’ tag

Weekly round-up

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Big week this week. Lots of cool stuff on new turf research, end-of-year plans and why your truck is now the most-stolen vehicle in America.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

July 12th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Mission: nematodes

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Thanks to the fine folks at Becker Underwood, this the best video about beneficial nematodes you’ll see today. Guarantee you’ll still have the heebie-jeebies this weekend, though.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

June 27th, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Giving back

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Next month, OLCA and ONLA will team up again for the 19th annual Grateful Embrace. It’s a local version of PLANET’s Renewal and Remembrance. The two Ohio associations gather on a Saturday to work on Dayton National Veterans Cemetery and the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio.

Last year, about 100 LCOs and contractors volunteered their Saturday to fertilize, mulch and maintain the two properties – 160 acres in all.

Here’s how an OLCA member described the experience:

To stand atop Monument Hill in Dayton and look out in every direction at over 40,000 ivory white markers, each representing a soldier, a spouse, a son or a daughter that gave of themselves the fullest measure of commitment and sacrifice is enough to bring anyone to their knees. To walk through the Memorial Trail at Rittman gives one a true understanding of the loyalty, devotion and honor that so many of the men and women whom since our infancy as a country have displayed and continue to display in guaranteeing a lasting peace and to ensure a secure future for all of us. These things, etched on our hearts and minds my friends are what bring us back year after year. I see so many of the same faces with each passing year and I know that the passion that I feel is shared by more than just myself.

The group has most of the materials donated already, but if you’ve got some spare spreaders, it’s a great event and they’d love to have you.

The event takes place the morning Saturday Nov. 10. To participate, or for more information, contact Mark Grunkemeyer markg@buckeyeecocare.com.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

October 17th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

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Quote of the day

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I used to never pay technicians. I’d pay market rate. I was younger, I was stubborn and I was scared. The guys you pay more, it always comes back to you. We put so much on them, so much more responsibility … we get it back 10-fold in return.

That’s Matt Noon, one half of the leadership team at Noon Turf Care, speaking about how he learned to change his mind about paying his lawn care technicians. Look for more from Matt and his brother Chris in an upcoming issue of L&L.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

April 10th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

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A book in the woods

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A few years ago, Brad Johnson set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, a 2,100-mile long path that snakes from Maine to Georgia.

We spoke with Brad, who runs Lawn America in Tulsa, Okla., last March about his journey. Here’s an excerpt from that feature:

“I hate sitting at my desk all day. I always have,” Johnson says. As a kid, he’d spent countless summers hiking in the Rockies, and continued backpacking with his wife and children.

During his trip, Johnson averaged 16 miles a day with a 30-pound pack for four months. Oh, and he raised $105,000 for five local charities.

“I’m no spring chicken. I’m 56 years of age. That’s why I wanted to do it before I retired and couldn’t do it physically. Or be dead,” he says. “We’re not guaranteed anything.”

During the past year, Brad wrote a book about his experiences.

Half the net proceeds sales of “A Compassionate Journey” – which you can pre-order here – will go to Habitat for Humanity, Young Life and the Tulsa Little Lighthouse.

Anyone who’s met Brad knows that he’s a soft-spoken, modest guy who just happens to run a wildly successful lawn care company in the Midwest. But he’s smart and savvy and his story isn’t just about a middle-aged guy plodding through the woods. It’s about understanding – just a little better – his place in the world.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

February 1st, 2012 at 12:59 pm

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Winter webinar

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Last week, I called up Matt Noon to ask him about a webinar invitation he sent me.

Noon, part owner of Noon Turf Care with his brother Chris in Hudson, Mass., held a webinar last fall for his customers and prospects.

One of his friends had recently bought a house, and kept calling Noon with questions about how to take care of various parts of it – the lawn, the plants, the gutters.

“That’s what our clients are like,” he says – lots of questions about the same stuff, all the time.

So, to help answer these questions, Noon put together a webinar and sent the invitation to his Outlook contacts. (That’s how I made the cut.)

The webinar went over fall maintenance tips for homeowners, and focused on their, turf, plants, outdoor power equipment and exterior maintenance.

At the end of the presentation, Noon took questions, and offered attendees a free tree and shrub evaluation.

He told me he didn’t get hundreds of people on the call – more like a few dozen. But it allowed him to get in front of a few dozen people at once – people who were interested in hearing his message about lawn care.

The cost to put on a webinar is minimal and the upside is good. You can download Noon’s slides here, and read more in an upcoming issue of Lawn & Landscape.

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

January 30th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

You’re gonna like the way we constantly badger you…

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I guarantee it.

So, I dread going into Men’s Wearhouse. Aside from my overall hatred for clothes shopping, I also can’t stand over-zealous retail employees. And Men’s Wearhouse combines those two entities better than anyone.  I don’t even have my second foot in the door, and I have someone in my face, “How can I help you?” I know what I’m looking for, so I say, “Just looking, thanks.”

I head for the rack of discount shirts, and peruse for, oh, two minutes when I hear “Can I help you find anything, sir,” asks a different salesman. “Nope, I’m good.”

A few more minutes dissecting which bargain-bin shirt I’ll wear to my next formal event,  I decide to look up and see if they have any other shirts around the store that might be up my alley. “Sure I can’t help you find anything buddy,” the second sales associate inquires. “No, I’m still OK, thanks, though.”

I’m trying like hell to get out of this store as fast as possible, but I won’t let their anal sales practices drive me into a shirt purchase even I won’t wear. So I pick up a couple of shirts and hold them up…”Hi, have you been helped,” the polite, teenage girl asks. Yes, she’s the third different employee within a 7-minute period to ask me if I need help. Oh, and there are about 6 employees working, and only about two customers in the store.

Finally, I pick out two shirts that will hopefully last me 20 years so I never have to do this again (I had a gift card and it was buy one, get one, which is why I was there in the first place.)

I get to the checkout counter and hear, “Did you find everything OK?” And I’m thinking to myself “What do you think?”

Listen, I get it. You want to have great customer service and be attentive. But you have to draw the line somewhere. Now, Men’s Wearhouse line is apparently nowhere to be found. Hopefully, you aren’t running your business like this. It’s one thing to be attentive, it’s another to be ridiculously annoying.

 

 

Written by bhorn@gie.net

November 7th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

OSU turf update

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Jennifer Andon, a research assistant with Dr. Dave Shetlar in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University, discusses turf insect pests they were seeing this summer.

(via)

Written by CBOWEN@GIE.NET

October 14th, 2011 at 11:36 am