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MikeTA95
10-19-2009, 03:28 PM
I have a small lawn mowing business, and we do some small maintenance jobs such as mulching, shrubs, etc...

I want to be able to do more, such as the things listen in this section, design, architecture, installation, etc. Where have you guys learned the things you know? I figure maybe half of you learned from other companies, and the rest learned from school. I'm very interested to know and learn. Thanks.

yamadooski
10-19-2009, 05:07 PM
I learned by keeping my eyes opened and observing everything around me.
I now have other landscapers asking me questions about plams and tropical plants.
I have no college degree.
We are now designing and building swimming pools. Here we need a contractors lic. for that and you cant go to school for pool building so I learned on my own and how I got my lic to build pools is a trade secret as the economy sucks right now and I dont need 10,000 lawn guys in the Tampa area building pools either, because they will just lowball that too.
It is nice to do something that the ordinary joe blow cant do.

Yes you can go to school for what you want to do but to me that is waste of time and money.
I learn everything on my own. Hands on experience and not afraid to make and learn from my mistakes.
Nothing worse than arguing with a snot nozed LA telling him that his bushes will not survive in that area because he is to stinking about himself that he cant go to the jobsite that is 1000 miles away and look at it for himself.
The specs they put on some bid sheets and the price we are to come in at sometimes cant be done cause they live in lalalala land.
I do all rough designs right at the jobsite even as construction is going on.

Dreams To Designs
10-20-2009, 09:18 AM
Mike, fortunately you are in a state that offers many education opportunities. From manufacturer sponsored seminars at dealers and trade shows, to county college programs to the state university, Rutgers offers winter short courses for aspiring professionals, like yourself.
http://www.cpe.rutgers.edu/programs/landscape.html

The short courses are taught by experienced, knowledgeable professionals and they throw in some talented professors for the technical material.

The first two things you should learn; are drainage and soil. These two things will apply to everything you do outside, from cutting the grass to patios and pools. These two subjects can make the difference between working with you environment, or constantly fighting mother nature for control. You don't need a college degree to understand soil and water, but some good programs are available locally.

OJT, On the Job Training will go a long way, if it's correct information you are learning. I have worked with many that proclaim years of experience, but they were taught, and are still doing it wrong.

Kirk

MikeTA95
10-21-2009, 01:22 AM
thanks for the help I'll definitely check out the rutgers stuff.

GrazerZ
10-22-2009, 07:21 AM
Read, go to classes, certification programs etc. Bad habits can be learned if you just do it with taking the time to learn.

Smallaxe
10-23-2009, 03:21 AM
Just ask yourself... What Would Chemlawn Do???? :)

Keep the 'common sense alert' sharp. Not everything in academics, nor practice is reality.

Make the plants happy and like the other fella said.... learn drainage and soil. If you can put plants in a proper soil - necessary for the individual plant and figure out the timing,, and water needs... you are at the top. Very few LCO's can plant a plant properly.

Now they believe that certain chemicals will cure any and all transplant shock.

White Gardens
10-23-2009, 10:39 PM
I mostly learned as I went with some basic knowledge learned from working for a couple other companies.

The thing is to not be afraid to make mistakes. The key is to make sure you identify and fix those mistakes before the completion of a project. Be honest with your customers too about any area that "Might Cause Issues". Some things are out of your control and you have to adapt as you go. Customers like the fact that you can show a human side to your work.

Smallaxe
10-24-2009, 07:48 AM
... Customers like the fact that you can show a human side to your work.

That is going to depend on the human. Some LCOs are better off as anomynous service robots, that disappear when everything looks nice. :)