Question for GreenDoctor, Ric, RigglePLC, Americanlawn, Smallaxe

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by WBuster, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. WBuster

    WBuster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Okay Ive been reading on here over and over trying to learn more and more. Can you ever learn everything about turf? lol I've been in the turf industry for over ten years now and Ive learned alot. :usflag:
    I've developed a good fert program which provides great results. We have a 90% retention rate. Things are going well...
    I would like to Thank the above named for all there posts on lawnsite and those i forgot you know who you are. I dont think you guys realize how much your posts help out alot of us who are or were not quite as educated as you guys. :clapping: I think there are alot of guys out there that want to do right by there customers and provide an excellent program. That gives the customer great value and a healthy lawn. Not just a green lawn...

    But i can remember when i first started searching for answers on how to do things the right way not the screwgreen way it was difficult to sort out what was true and who was just flapping there lips. :hammerhead:

    Obviously you eventually have to settle somewhere in the middle because of economics but its also your responsibility to do right by your customer. I've learned over the years sometimes thats not so easy.

    My question to you guys that are veterans to the turf industry and have been at it much longer than me is... Do you ever stop learning about turf or feel that you know everything you need to know about your lawns? Or feel that your program cant get any better?

    Like i said ive been at this ten years have a pretty good thing going, i do my customers right and i still research everyday still look for something maybe i could add to get better results. Or maybe something i missed. Or maybe a new product that works better than what im currently using. Seems like the more i learn the more i need to learn and want to learn. Needless to say i really like my job and what i have going you could say im hooked on turf lol

    But to you veterans Does it ever end?

    BTW i know i dont post alot and probably should more
  2. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,257

    I'm not on your list but regardless; I've been at this since before there were lawn chemical to treat weeds. I remember the ddt days and on and on. So to answer your question--To quit learning is to die. If your not growing; you are dying. Learning leads to discovery and discovery leads to questions and searching for answer. Being highly educated and an ex teacher with a very early degree in ag, I can honestly saw that our best days are ahead--one never quits learning. Reading and observation is the key.
  3. WBuster

    WBuster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    RAlmaroad I appreciate any advice you guys can give. You were not on my list but as i said "those i forgot to mention knew who they were." :waving:

    I think your tag line says it all.....

    Its funny when the weather is great and the lawns are doing awesome here I still read and try to learn as much more as i can about turf.
    But when we have a bad year with 100 degree temps and no rain like this year then i really get obsessed with learning even more. Seems like the ugly looking lawns (those that refuse to water....) really motivate me to do a better job if possible. To find some magic cure for lack of water on the homeowners part. :laugh:

    maybe us lawncare guys should become hypnotist :hammerhead:
    "you will water your lawn" .... "you will mow your lawn regularly and no shorter than three inches" :dizzy:

    RAlmaroad what part of SC are you in? I actually grew up there....
  4. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,132

    It never ends. As old products go off market, I need to learn how to use the new ones or end up looking stupid. My customers are extremely conservative, even regressive, so selling new and modern to them gets bad if it does not totally work.

    Much of the technology that I use is actually old school. It is what produces the best results for me. While everyone is a buzz about one application granules, I use liquids on a regular application basis. Very 1960s or 1970s. By now, you know about the soil conditions I deal with. No fast or cheap answer for it unless someone comes up with a product that totally removes all alkalinity from the soil in one shot without killing the existing lawn and landscape.
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,807

    Last year I knew all the answers. HOWEVER...this year they changed the questions.
    Nothing stays the same. New diseases. New grass types. New equipment. New fertilizers. New herbicides, (which cost more). New weeds. New regulations. New business practices. Cost increases. Strange weather. New competition. Information technology.

    If you keep doing it the way you did 5 years ago, competitive pressures will really start to squeeze you. Myself (as I am retired) I don't get calls from the chemical salesmen anymore. I don't go to association meetings anymore. I have to read a lot of online information trying to keep up. Lots of information right on this site.

    A few years ago my wife bought me this gadget--I didn't think I needed it. It was a cell phone.

    Competition never lets up...customer satisfaction pays your bills.
  6. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    I went from applying products to selling them. I'm always learning! I read a lot of labels, try out a lot of new products, and look for results. I learned a lot from using them but I believe I've learned even more from selling them.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I generally stay suspicious of 'new and improved'... dealing with living things and the genetic limitations of those living things, it is difficult for me to believe that we'll ever do a better job getting them to flourish moreso in a manmade system, than in the natural system...
    Proven failures of a 'new and improved' idea, as an example is, bagging the grass clippings... in natural settings the recycled grass bodies provide an enormous benefit that we don't even consider anymore...

    Working with the plant's lifecycle, rather than interuptting it with a 'great technology' is best... learning how to enhance the natural systems with advance learning is so much better than replacing the natural systems...

    Another example of how we spend time and money, by replacing the natural order is 'dethatching' and removing all the natural mulch cover in the turf, reseeding, then putting down a course, unnatural straw cover that doesn't otherwise exist in turf, to help the seeds grow...

    Some ideas are good and some ideas are not... fortunately grasses grow quite well in spite of our involvement... :)
  8. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    I have been in this business 38 years this month 18 years with Ryan and 20 years with Turfco. I can tell you the industry has been continually changing and getting better. The quality of the lawns keeps gettiing better and the equipment we make keeps getting better and more productive while improving the quality of the work our machines do. We are constantly looking for ways to make your work / life better / easier while improving the quality of the job you do. Universities have better programs then ever before and the chemical / seed guys keep improving. My advice is to keep going to the meetings and seminars offered by schools and universities. Hopefully we will all keep improving and getting better. That is our goal
  9. Always need to be learning

    The industry goes in cycles

    Sometimes it's just better understanding of an old concept

    You need to keep re evaluating your knowledge
  10. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    Smallaxe, you definitely got your head on right. Observe and remember ...

    Smallaxe nailed it. Pesticides of all varieties kill pests of all varieties. These are important things to understand... just understand there is a more important wealth of knowledge that can help someone to surpass that mechanical stuff. How about this. If you pay attention to the environment more. You just might notice how some neighborhoods seem to be infested with webworms and others not. Webworms love short dense potato vine...alot! You might find that neighborhoods with more potato vine surrounding there area or in there area have much less turfgrass activity. One small example of all the tools available that don't cost $ or that needs to be applied. Their are alot of them! These things help you to master the mechanical side. Your landscape can't talk, but it sure knows sign language. Understanding you're landscapes signing is key. Like being able to have you're race horse run the race without a jockey and win. It's possible. You just need to know more about horses than jockeys.
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