Here is a nice Concord NH lawn looking great due to proper treatments from our lawn program and watering.
Posts Tagged ‘Scotts’
On the surface, many lawn care companies appear exactly alike as it relates to a phone book or newspaper advertisement. If a web site is available, you are likely to see images of a thick, green lawn surrounded by bold tag lines such as “Quality service”, “Five step program”, or “Satisfaction Guaranteed” among many others. Before you start shopping, write down a short list of what you are looking for- even if you don’t know what you want. Let me explain.
What are some of your priorities? Less weeds perhaps, maybe a healthier lawn is your general desire? Do you prefer natural products over traditional ones? The final consideration should be the budget or price as any reputable company will prioritize treatments according to results and how to get there as it relates to your wishes. Said another way, you care about your lawn and have at least decided to seek additional professional help; regardless of the underlying reasons. While pricing is certainly an important component, what you get for that price varies between lawn care companies. Experience, product choice, and even rates applied can range from “light” to “generous” when it comes to the amount of material used at your home or office.
While you may not have the time or desire to execute a properly designed turf enhancement program, there are plenty of great companies that will not only make your lawn look better, but make you smile when you look out your window. All lawn programs are not created equally. All lawn programs have underlying similar themes but the product choices and execution of the program are critically different between certified, licensed lawn companies. Do you know anyone who uses a lawn care company? If so, who do they use and why? Often you might have heard “street talk”, conversations in passing good or bad of experiences with either local or distant lawn companies. While national lawn companies may boast the cheapest price, the savings in results, service, billing, customer service, and problem solving skills tend to be inconsistent and difficult to control between offices. Along the same theme, is supporting your local economy important? If so, look for lawn care companies within a 30 minute drive of your home versus 1, 2 or more hours away.
What program options are you interested in? Is your preference toward Natural or Organic fertilizers and treatments of compost tea and sea kelp? Maybe your interest is simply removing all of those juicy weeds that inhabit your front lawn! Keeping an open mind, there are many roads and options that can lead to a healthier, greener lawn. Some lawn products take longer to see visible results while others are faster or “better” simply by working on technology. Who made the lawn program you are considering? Is the program a corporate “white bread” duplicated office after office, or are the materials handpicked and the program handcrafted by a smaller company? These are all very good questions to consider while selecting a new or switching to another lawn care program.
Once you have a list of priorities and have considered some of the questions put forth in this blog post, you are ready to act! Good luck in your quest and may your phone call or e-mail be answered promptly. Get ready for spring!
The Environment #10 and #9
#10 A healthy lawn reduces water runoff and soil erosion which in turns protects our lakes and streams from sediment moving from the land into the water. Turf is a living filter which protects ground water quality through a vast network of roots, thatch, and leaves. There are many lawn products that can be used close to or up to the water without harming that ecosystem such as lime, kelp, and further back slow release products.
#9 A healthy lawn will absorb 6 times as much rainfall as a common hay-field. A healthy lawn entraps pollutants and with the help of soil microbes, biodegrades them safely. Coating grass seed with mycorrhizae improves turf defensive capabilities against insects and disease issues often reducing the need for fertilizer in a calendar year. Compost tea is a perfect example of how to improve the soil and help your lawn simultaneously.
Functional Benefits #8 thru #4
#8 A healthy lawn dissipates heat and reduces the energy required to cool homes and buildings- thus saving energy.
#7 Turf grass abates noise and reduces glare.
#6 A mown lawn decreases disease carrying ticks and reduces fire hazards near wooded areas.
#5 Well maintained turf grass reduces injury from sports played at home, school, or elsewhere.
#4 A well cared for lawn is actually a low-cost asset that can be physically used or enjoyed for pure viewing pleasure.
Health #3 thru #1
#3 Studies show the cycle of growing grass and the color green lift human spirits and provide both thoughts and feelings of happiness, privacy, and serenity.
#2 Well maintained turf is known to have therapeutic effects on humans as measured by heart rate and blood pressure- increasing recovery rate of hospital patients.
#1 Hiring a licensed, experienced turf professional will help you accomplish some if not all of the benefits above while insuring the job is done correctly. Free up valuable time and spend it with your family or friends!
As you can gather, grass is simply more than just a lawn! Winter is the perfect time to explore the advantages of utilizing the skills of your local turf care provider. Perhaps this is the year to explore natural or organic products? Stop guessing and wondering if you are putting down too much or too little material while wasting your valuable Saturday or Sunday. Send that e-mail or make that phone call today and get your lawn on the right path in 2011.
There was a day when if you wanted a green lawn, you grabbed a bag of fertilizer and loaded up your toy spreader. The amount used did not matter, just the joy of showing the neighbors you had skill and most certainly cared for your green piece of America. Even if your efforts created a checker board of stripes, it was fun and those dark green stripes glowed at night. It was most likely a hack job at best, but you did not mind- until the neighbor starting using a lawn company.
No one paid attention to soil pH, fertilizer leaching, amounts, weeds, or pesky bugs- what disease? Then came liquid gold from Chemlawn started in the 60’s, spraying lawns with fertilizers that delivered a color response in mere days. As the decades passed more companies sprung up and manicured lawns became an obsession and passion each glorious spring to fall. Someone just raised the stakes in the game of lawn poker meaning throwing down fertilizer would simply just not do.
How much fertilizer was enough? Who could know? Suburban streets became lined with tiles of green, lawns created a patchwork within each town or city. Too much of any good thing can cause harm and the volume of materials applied for decades will undoubtedly be measured into the future in respect to pesticides.
The bad part about synthetic fertilizer is it requires a lot of propane or oil to manufacture. One ton of Urea (N) takes 5 tons of petroleum to manufacture. I like chocolate too but wow! How much is enough? In the days of hybrid cars, solar energy and alike, we need to give a hard look at how much fertilizer is really needed and if there are alternatives. The good news about fertilizer use is there are alternatives and the use of standard fertilizers must continue to decline in the future. How long can we continue to rely on manufactured fertilizers when it depends upon a finite resource like oil or some other petroleum product? Just like a hybrid car uses less gas and employs additional technology (batteries, biofuels) to function- so lawns can continue with less fertilizer (gas) and employ other means (kelp, compost tea, mycorrihizae, rhizobacteria, lime) to stay healthy and green.
Perhaps a good course of action would be to start reducing our use of old style fertilizers now while moving toward other management systems before there is a shortage of petroleum. Planning ahead takes thought and moving in a new direction takes education and determination. Staying the same is really not a good option based upon the need to conserve energy. In this case, helping you lawn run more efficient and healthy by itself, while using organic and natural products seems like a good place to start. There is no need to run out of the kitchen yelling fire- stop using fertilizer, but certainly- like a spice- fertilizer should be used in moderation. After all, you would not put lots of garlic on everything right? Yuck!
Are you considering some lawn treatments but you are concerned about the kids, pets, the environment, and general safety of what is going down around your house? All of these concerns are valid with plenty of solutions available. There are organic options to control lawn insects, diseases, and even reduce fertilizer demand. Does choosing an organic pest control option give companies a free pass from obtaining the proper state licensing, insurance, and company certification? Let’s find out! I will not address education or background experience in this blog post- even though it is a very significant factor in choosing a lawn company (see prior blog posts for more information).
Let’s explore one scenario and see if you know the answer. This fictitious company is based in NH only- however- VT has similar statues.
Doug hires Organic Landscapes (fictitious name) and assumes they have all the proper credentials’, after all; their pickup truck has a nice logo. Doug hires Organic Landscapes to improve his lawn and still control some insects like grubs which he has had a problem with for years. Doug agrees to a few basic fertilizer treatments, lime, and a grub control treatment- all organic. Does Organic Landscapes need a NH Supervisory and perhaps an Operational pesticide license?
What Doug does not realize is any claim made to control a pest requires significant state licensing, insurance, and certification. An easy way to determine if a company is certified in NH is to look at the truck itself. Any state certified company will have 2” black letters on the service vehicles showing “NHPC” followed by a registration number unique to that business. If the truck(s) lack this, they either are not licensed, perhaps are pretending to be- or forgot. In this case, there is no NHPC number on the trucks because Organic Landscapes does not realize they even need this certification.
While you may not need a license or any of the aforementioned qualifications to treat your own lawn, if you are doing it “for hire” – money, the business must hold the proper credentials when controlling pests- organic or not in NH. This goes for spraying weeds with vinegar, applying oils to control surface insects like chinch bugs, or botanical extracts to knock back red thread disease.
Before you consider any lawn care program change, be sure to inquire about how long the company has been in business, its reputation, its insurance, its certifications and so forth. If this article has your juices flowing for more- check out my earlier BBB blog post and why a good rating and accreditation is vital. I have several more blog posts on just how to select a lawn company and why you should consider these factors in your final decision. Thanks for visiting!