Planning for the Future

Putting together and pitching the right turf care plan for your customers in the upcoming year

As we head toward the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about what turf care plans you can offer to your customers in the new year. Now is a great time to focus on putting together and pitching your customers on year-long projects for the upcoming seasons. Let’s look at several factors that go into picking a plan that’s right for your business and customers.

Picking a plan

There are two ways to approach turf agronomic programs: One is to have a high number of applications where you’re putting down lower rates of fertilizer.

“You might be putting down the same pesticides, but you’re going to be using a lower rate of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium,” said Jeremy Bigler, landscape channel manager at LebanonTurf. “That type of plan will have a higher labor rate because you’re on the customer’s property more often.”

The second is to use higher-performing products, like our ProScape line, that feature slow-release technology. Using this type of product provides overall better fertilizer components and means fewer applications are needed to maintain your customer’s property. This also allows your company to take on even more customers because of the labor rate decrease.

These options really depend on two factors—how your company does business and the location of your business. Geography becomes a large part of choosing your turf plan, but there are other things you should keep in mind, too.

You should choose the right plan for your business based on the following:

  • Geography (weather climate)
  • Type of turf (cool vs. warm-season grasses)
  • State and local regulatory constraints. As some areas have restrictions on when fertilizers can be applied, how much can be used, how much slow release can be in it, and restrictions on pesticide applications.
  • The property itself and the requirements for the site.

Getting the timing right

Timing is also a crucial part of your turf program. When dealing with pre-emergent pesticides, such as our ProScape Pre-emergent weed control products, they need to be applied before germination—but not too early so that they start losing effectiveness when the weeds begin to become active. The same thing goes with insecticides; there is optimal timing for applying. However, just like there is proper timing to apply, there are also certain times of the year when products should not be applied. For example, during the heat of the summer when the weather is sweltering, don’t apply high-nitrogen products on cool-season grasses, and don’t apply late into the fall/winter season. A lot of the planning comes down to geography and what climate you work in. Your local county extension office has useful data on that, but a lot of it is based on soil temperature.

Of course, if you are living in a climate where the weather is a little more volatile, you may have to skip or alter an application altogether. Sometimes the best-laid plans are at the mercy of Mother Nature and modifications may have to be made…particularly in the spring.

Year-long preparation will be worthwhile when your customers reap the results of a better-looking lawn with a weed-free aesthetic. Customers will also be able to attribute their well-established lawns to less runoff and erosion of soil into nearby streams.

If you are unsure of what the best turf care plan is for your business, reach out to your local distributor or contact our customer service department at 1-800-233-0628.