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Scotts "Water Smart"

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    We're now seeing TV ads by Scotts suggesting a new product ('Water Smart') that will reduce water usage on lawns. Is this false advertising or what? rscvp, thanks
  2. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,585

    Is it pazollon or zeolite?
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Of the four "tips" to the Water Smart program, the Scotts tips 2, 3 and 4, at least...are just common sense stuff to build "deeper roots to absorb water and nutrients", as they're indeed advertising.

    And they are, respectively (in the order Scotts lays them out)...

    Tip 2- Set your lawn mower to the highest setting. Mowing high (3" or highest mower setting) allows the grass to develop a deep root system and helps your lawn use water better.

    (obviously this advice is geared toward the summer season...they make no mention of other acceptable advice about cooler season temps, such as lowering the blades to a degree at the fall's last mowing, and the spring's first mowing, etc.)

    Tip 3 - Leave the grass clippings on your lawn. This recycles the plant nutrients back into the soil.

    (Very common sense....a no-brainer in this day and age.
    For every bag of clippings that's thrown away, a little bit of fertilizer $$ is thrown away, too.)

    Tip 4 - Rely on Rain. Your lawn will begin to wilt when water is needed. As much as possible, take advantage of nature's sprinkler and rely on the rain to water your lawn.

    Ahhhhh.....only in a PERFECT world, Scotts ! :waving:
    But obviously 'relying on rain' has alot to do with other things, such as complying with Scotts tips 2 & 3, plus the type of soil makeup and % of organic matter, general soil porosity, etc.

    I see too many so-called "well aerated" lawns literally WEEPING into the street and sewers this time of year, because of the dreaded 'sheet wash' effect of irrigation H2O and storm water not being able to percolate.
    Often it's simply not having enough balance between the need for sand &/or compost, on a lawn that is otherwise very small-pored, and is siltly and/or clay-based.

    Oh....almost forgot...:confused:
    What is Tip 1 ?
    ....oh, "buy Scott's fertilizer", of course ! :laugh:
    (Actually....Very forgettable.)

    If you want to indeed make a lawn more 'water smart', in my opinion....yeah, do the 'common sense' stuff like tips 2, 3 & 4.
    But steer clear of high N fert.... entirely !
    Plan a program that would feed the turf more gradually than before, largely with a steady diet of vegetable proteins.
    Topdress the lawn with compost once every other year or so.

    Not only will the turf be more "water smart", but it, in time, will be more mower smart, too !
    Because it will no longer be blasting out all that stupid, unnecessary surge growth, caused from pouring on all the N !!

    Gee....think of the gas some of you might save, not double-cutting so much !!!:waving:
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Marcos you are a hoot, great stuff

    I like the telephone commercials that tell you all of the great features you get for free, call waiting, three party conference, speed dialing

    Like its some great new feature jeez I've had those since 1980

    Scott's is a very good advertiser, not only do they sell you a product but they make you feel good about paying a rediculous price for free features

    Mow high, how do they fit that in the bag???
  5. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Huge ditto..........to see a National company mislead fellow Americans just ain't right. Man -- they must be getting desperate! Picturing a water sprinkler on TV and then saying they can save your lawn from drought with some "miracle product" is just "un-American" and a complete lie. This is unexcusable IMO. No "chemical" can do this.

    Heck -- after my post, I will probably expect "another" threat from the Scotts company attorney's...........I say to Scotts.......Bring it on, cuz we beat you before. Your's truly..........and I know you know who I am. You lost once....want to try it again?
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    OK.... I'm coming out of the closet here. I took a seasonal job with Scotts this spring to supplement my income as I got my new company off the ground.... easy work, just talking to the public about how to use Scotts products. As far as the whole "Water Smart" ad campaign.... it's complete horse manure.

    Yes, a healthy thick lawn with great root developmemt will conserve water. they mislead people by making them think that using Scotts fert products adds a water conserving benefit of it's own.... which it does not.

    Now that the season is over, and I doubt I will have the time to spare working for them next year..... I can confess...I told customers to use the Step 1 Fert, add some Pendi (Scotts' name Halts) in early July, use the step 4 (straight fert) at half the recommended label rate for their other fert apps, buy a freakin sprayer for broadleaf controls (while I still was recommending many Ortho products, which IS Scotts) and other control apps.

    Basically, I told them the 4 step program was for people who wanted to invest minimal time, learn nothing about turf, but could use that plan and likely still have a decent lawn. If you want a GREAT lawn.... learn more, cut the N, buy a sprayer.... etc.

    Scotts has some very good product, actually. The step 4 fert is a good product, if applied at half the recommended rate. The seed is extremely high quality. Miricle grow is awesome N for annuals and veggies. But that whole "Water Smart" campaign was misleading at best. A lie at worst.

    So, now I'm out of the closet.... but I did score some very cheap product while I educated people at Home Depot and Lowes! I know the custromers appreciated the info.... I had many come back just to say thank you. All on the up and up mind you as far as the cheap product aquisitions..... but I do wonder if the Scotts Company would have approved of my cross sell away from the 4 step program into a fert and squirt recommendation.
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115


    great stuff, and people coming back and appreciating it that had to be the best part

    Don't worry the marketing department/company that did the whole rollout of the waterstuff will probably be fired or may have already been. It is produce or be fired at that comapny, especially in marketing

    I do believe that mentality (scotts) is a lot of what has gotten us where we are today, strong but not as strong as we would like or could be

    Now if we had more whitey4's out there, strong and honest

    thanks you made my day
  8. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,117

    I thought it pretty funny them advertising inferring their product will grow deeper roots, now that soil temps are up and root growth has stopped. And lets talk about Turf Builder with Crabgrass PRE-M , can you say ROOT PRUNING..........
  9. JFF

    JFF LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    Yes, dead grass uses much less water than live. If you insist, I will petition the government for a gazillion dollar grant to study the phenomenon.

    Or, we could all just learn to identify the snake oil vendors by sight.
  10. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Thanks, Bill. I tell my customers how the heavy N apps used in the spring by TG, et al, is bad for the turf. Let the grass stretch it's roots into the soil.... searching for N. Delay that pre-M combo fert as long as possible. Better summer stress brown out resitstance, thicker root system, fewer weeds. Not exactly the Scotts company line.... so it was a tricky balance of work ethic while representing them, and not being a liar.

    I DID learn a few things.... most people have a strong desire to be envorinentally responsible, but still want the traditional great looking lawn with minimal chemical apps. I'm a died in the wool IPM'er.... no preventatve apps on my program for insects or fungi..... but will apply when I diagnose a problem.

    I think the most gratifying thing was teachng people how to renovate a lawn, and Scotts has GREAT product for that. When people came back to not buy anything, but just to say thank you, well, it doesn't get any better than that. Preaching minimal chemical use, but taking an IPM approach seems to me what the general public wants. Yes, that means more organic management, but not exclusively organics. The trend is there, but it is not complete, and I think that the mainstream trend will remain an IPM philosophy, as opposed to total organic management.

    No doubt, organics are the trend, but the chemical guys will ever go out of business either.

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