A big one....

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Pristine1, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Pristine1

    Pristine1 LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 81

    Ok, tomorrow I have an appointment to meet with the owner of a large waterfront estate. He was about to re-up with TruGreen when he got my flier in the mail. He is an extremely particular person and wants to "step out of his hot tub and walk barefoot across a lush deep green lawn". He then asks me if I thought I could provide this with an organic program. I, of course, say "without a doubt".

    How the hell am I going to provide this organically?!?!

    OK organic support system, I need a boost of confidence and any advice you may have. This could be a home run account if I convince him that I can do it....and of course then do it!
  2. robtown

    robtown LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 224

    spend his money...
    Start where it always starts
    Soil test. ..that will tell you what is there and not there.
    Everything else is a guess.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Seems to me that this might be the one account that could make or break your future.

    Do well here and you are the darling of a great neighborhood in which to work. Screw it up and you are back to the squirt and fert routine - pre-m,ing dead spots till fall..

    If he has nice grass now there is no reason for him to oay for a soil test. He will resent that.

    If - you are serious... what kind of soil and grass coverage does he have at the moment?... Clay, sand, weedy, spotty, compacted and discoloured, etc., etc... Ask him about his philosophy of watering and if you cannot talk him into allowing the soil to dry before watering again, you run a risk.

    So if you are serious about landing a good account be sure to know what you are talking about.
  4. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    1. Well you are from Maine... home of king Tukey, you could ask him.

    2. You should do a whole bunch of reading right now.

    3. Mentor somebody

    4. Find a consultant

    5. Pray

    6. Offer a hybrid program where you "spot shot" problems that may arise in the first year of the organic program... as an organic lawn transition might be hard for a drug addict lawn that may be suffering from withdrawl in the future.

    7. Front load your contract billing because if you aren't confident you will make it through this year then you might not be able to so make your money early before things might get bad.

    ...jk... well at least half joking anyway... sorry I got a little of topic there its been a long day.

    I think its easier than people think it is to be "organic." Be sure to educate the customer on what to expect and what you are doing. Be a teacher and a landscaper at the same time...That's what I try to do.
  5. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Oh yeah...

    As Rob said I second that...

    Soil test... Make that #1.
  6. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Tell the customer its part of your yearly routine on every property or something. You need a soil test.

    ...sorry for the triple post :)
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Chemlawn never requires a soil test... and everything works fine with them... What's wrong with this guy?!?!

    Not being difficult, just realistically portryaing the way customers think about things... Especially once you go into a rant about HOW organics work and WHAT he can expect and there MAY BE a downturn in results. Don't tell the client anything except that watering is an important key - and only, if he is not willing to give it up without a discussion.

    There is no need for additional herbicides if Chemlawn has been doing their thing for 2 or 3 years. Organics only means growing grass w/out EXCESSIVE pesticide tools.

    But - you do need to know how grass grows and not be so caught up in the hype.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Go here and download the standards for organic land care www.organiclandcare.net
    This will give you the tool to move forward
    go to amazon and buy "teaming with microbes" by Jeff Lowenfels this will explain why it works and why it is so powerful especially in lawn and landscape care

    Also know that there are estates all up and down the sea coast that have been taken care of by NOFA folks that have not seen a bag of fertilizer or pesticide in 20 years and they are stunning

    Call us if you have any questions or are questioning your self I know some good composters up there
    DO NOT call Paul, he is a wonderful guy just don't mention the address or customer
  9. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    ...:confused:...why? what will he do? Take his customer? ... have his time wasted?

    One of my professors gave me his personal number. I wish I could call him or meet him but I don't even know enough stuff to be able to have an intelligent conversation with him... Until I get some degrees under my belt I will stay here on the lawnsite. :)
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Know your soils, know what they are capable of naturally, know the plant needs.

    Soil test IS (should be) the beginning of any management program. This is really not an optional item, unless you do your own "field" tests and manage the system based on plant response.

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