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06 Feb 2019
This Week’s Hot Threads September 4, 2018

What’s Hot This Year? Top Five Landscape Trends For 2019








What do pergolas, pink, and metals  have in common? They all make an appearance on the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ (NALP) official list of the top lawn and landscape trends of 2019. Drawing upon the expertise of the industry’s 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals, NALP annually predicts trends that will influence the design and maintenance of backyards across America.landscape trends 2019

“Homeowners yearn for beautiful outdoor spaces without the hassle of upkeep. With the rise of multifunctional landscape design and automated processes, consumers can spend more time enjoying their landscapes than ever before,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NALP. “This year’s trends reflect current lifestyle preferences as well as innovations happening in the industry that are transforming landscapes across the country.”

The following five trends will influence outdoor spaces this year, according to NALP:

  1. Two-in-one landscape design. Functional elements are no longer a perk, but rather a necessity in today’s landscapes, as consumers desire stunning outdoor features that have been cleverly designed to serve a dual tactical purpose. An edible vertical garden on a trellis that acts as a privacy fence, a retaining wall that includes built-in seating for entertaining, and colorful garden beds that divide properties all combine function and style.
  2. Automated lawn and landscape maintenance. The latest technology and equipment allow tasks to be more streamlined and environmentally efficient than ever before. Robotic lawn mowers continue to rise in popularity among both homeowners and landscape professionals, and programmable irrigation systems and advanced lighting and electrical systems are a few ways outdoor spaces are becoming extensions of today’s smart homes. Homeowners relish knowing that these technological advancements afford them with more time to relax and enjoy their outdoor spaces.
  3. Pergolas. A staple of landscape design for years, pergolas constructed of wood or composite material are now becoming more sophisticated with major upgrades, including rolldown windows, space heaters, lighting and sound systems. When paired with a luxury kitchen, seating area or fire feature, pergolas can become the iconic structure for outdoor sanctuaries.
  4. Pretty pink. Pops of coral and blush are anticipated to add a more feminine touch to landscapes this year. With Living Coral named the Color of the Year by Pantone, a leading provider of color systems and an influencer on interior and exterior design, landscape professionals predict that this rich shade of pink could bring fresh blooms of roses, petunias, zinnias and hibiscus to flower beds. Experts also anticipate light blush tones to become “the new neutral” and another option for hardscapes and stone selections.
  5. Mesmerizing metals. Whether homeowners want a bold statement or whimsical touch, incorporating metals can bring new dimensions to landscape design. Used for decorative art, water features, or furniture and accessories, creative uses of metals including steel and iron can make for lovely accents or entire focal points.

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05 Feb 2019
Landscape Students Compete In Annual NALP Competition

Seeder Attachment For Turfco TurnAer XT8 Stand-On Aerator

Turfco, a Minneapolis, MN-based manufacturer of commercial turf care equipment, now offers a new, 30-inch drop seeder attachment for its popular TurnAer XT8 stand-on aerator. The patent-pending attachment allows crews to save time by requiring just one pass to both aerify and seed sports fields or turf.

“At this time when productivity is king, the new attachment allows landscapers to easily add a new service for customers and increase revenue, while actually decreasing time spent on individual yards,” said Scott Kinkead, executive vice president of Turfco. “Previously, this was a two-part process that required operators to go over yards twice to aerate and seed. Now, operators can get it done all at once.”

seeder

Turfco introduces seeder attachment for its TurnAer XT8 Stand-On Aerator

The seeder attachment mounts directly to the front of the TurnAer XT8 and has a 30-inch seeding width that matches the aerating width, eliminating wasted seed. The attachment is fully integrated with the machine, including controls to adjust the drop rate. The attachment holds up to 65 pounds of seed and includes a window so operators can easily see when it’s time for a refill.

The TurnAer XT8 was introduced in late 2016 and has become the aerator of choice for turf professionals for these following features.

  • Auto-depth control that ensures consistent tine depth throughout use
  • Zero-turn agility
  • 30-inch aerating width that can still fit through a 48” gate
  • Unique design protects drive chains, stopping aeration debris from getting in chains
  • Sealed, self-aligning bearings and zero grease zerks
  • A 22-horsepower engine from Briggs & Stratton with a cyclonic air cleaner
  • Operator-focused standing platform that reduces vibration and shock for reduced fatigue and increased comfort

The XT8 and 30-inch drop seeder attachment are on sale immediately through Turfco Direct, which ships orders directly to customers. Turfco Direct offers contractors one-on-one customer support, 24-hour online purchases for equipment and parts, and guaranteed next-day air orders.

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04 Feb 2019
This Week’s Hot Threads September 4, 2018

Lawn Service Firm In MD Supports Local Fire Company








For the 10th year, Grosh’s Lawn Service of Clear Spring, MD has continued its annual sponsorship of the Michael L. Reid Volunteer of the Year Award. Reid, who joined the Clear Spring Volunteer Fire Company in November 1979 has dedicated nearly 40 years  to the fire company and the Clear Spring community.

lawn care

Karen Grosh (left) Jacob T. Altman (center) Tom Grosh (right)

Along with his wife, Karen, Tom Grosh, founder and owner of Grosh’s Lawn Service, had a desire to honor Reid for his dedication to the fire company and the community overall. They decided to name an award in his honor and to each year select a firefighter who goes above the call of duty as Reid has demonstrated in his years of service.

This year’s recipient of the Michael L. Reid Volunteer of the Year Award is Jacob T Altman. Grosh’s Lawn Service presents the selected firefighter a trophy and a check for $250. The annual awards banquet was held on January 26, 2019.

 

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01 Feb 2019
This Week’s Hot Threads September 4, 2018

Seven Steps To Reducing Your Salt Use

Not ready or can’t make a big investment in equipment that can help you reduce your company’s salt usage? It’s OK to start small and to grow and invest as you’re able – even the most basic steps can result in big gains.

Reducing Salt Use1. YOU HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE

Examine your current operations to identify areas of weakness or opportunities for improvement in material inventory and tracking, product types, application rates, calibration processes, etc. This could take awhile to identify and correct, so be patient! A hastily implemented plan can result in failure or unrealistic and unrealized expectations.

Reducing Salt Use2. BABY STEPS

They say: “Go big or go home!” But that may not be the best rallying cry when it comes to wholesale changes in your salt management program. Consider clients who might be receptive to experimentation with application rates, alternative products, etc. Once you have success on one site, expand your horizons.

Reducing Salt Use3. EXPAND YOUR PRODUCT TOOLBOX

Consider treated products that can be used in colder temperatures and when dealing with longer-duration storms can generally allow you to use less. If treated salt is cost prohibitive, consider purchasing a liquid product to prewet your salt stockpile. Take it a step further by adding a system to your spreaders to prewet salt at the spinner.

Reducing Salt Use4. GET YOUR FEET WET

Research anti-icing as a prestorm tool to reduce bonding of snow and ice. Do your homework and test and train before starting with liquids. Again, start small. Sidewalks are a great place to start with a smaller investment. Learn how to make your own brine or investigate the best products on the market that fit your needs.

Reducing Salt Use5. GO OVER THE EDGE

Invest in plows and pushers that offer a cleaner scrape to reduce material use.

 

Reducing Salt Use6. TAKE THE NEXT STEP

Investing in software, technology, and systems (including brine making systems and combination spreaders) that will streamline applications, tracking and documentation of material applications.

Reducing Salt Use7. GO BACK TO SQUARE ONE

Achieve constant improvement by returning to the first step to evaluate each process you’ve implemented and track its success or whether changes need made. Documentation and tracking are essential for successfully evaluating your program and how your team is implementing it.

This article was featured in the Snow & Ice Management Association’s SB In Focus issue focused on transitioning from a residential to commercial snow company. Read the whole issue, sponsored by Buyers Products, here.

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01 Feb 2019
Landscape Students Compete In Annual NALP Competition

Passion For Turf Management Scores Auburn Student Trip To Super Bowl

By Amy Byrnes

Unlike most fans heading to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta this Sunday to see if Tom Brady can pull off another Super Bowl win, Wilson Morgan won’t be focused on the action on the field. Instead, the Auburn University junior will be watching how the field withstands football’s biggest game of the year.

Super Bowl

Wilson Morgan, a turf management major at Auburn University, landed a trip to Super Bowl LIII to help prepare the field for the big game in Atlanta on February 3, 2019. (Photo: Auburn University)

The Huntsville, AL native was the grand prize winner in this year’s Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training competition, which earned him a a trip to Super Bowl LIII to work with the grounds crew preparing the field for the big game. Morgan will spend the week leading up to the Rams and Patriots faceoff learning from the tops in the field of turf management all about synthetic field maintenance, lining, logo painting, irrigation maintenance, field preparation for media day, halftime prep, and clean-up.

Morgan, 21, is a turf management major at Auburn who says he’s known since high school that taking care of playing fields would be a career that would let him combine all of his passions. “I got some crazy looks back then,” he laughs.

It was during a greenhouse management class in the 10th grade that Morgan came across a copy of the teacher’s SportsTurf magazine, a publication of the Sports Turf Managers Association, and was struck while leafing through it by all the “serious” equipment he saw on the pages that were used to maintain sports fields. “That’s when I realized that caring for sports fields was a significant industry,” he says. “I had no idea people took care of sports fields for a living.”

An avid outdoorsman even then — he loves fishing and hunting and played football during high school — Morgan says it was then that he locked onto the idea of majoring in turf management in college. “There was no changing my mind,” he says, adding that Auburn’s Turfgrass Management Program, within its School of Agriculture, was the perfect fit to meet his goals. While his official major is Crop, Soil and Environmental Science, the turfgrass management program has offered a wide opportunity to learn how to care for a variety of field conditions and sports and tackles everything from irrigation to plant biology and weed management.

He’s been a part of Auburn’s grounds crew caring for the university’s sports fields, including Jordan-Hare Stadium — home of Tigers football — which boasts a Bermuda Grass surface and holds 70,000 fans, which becomes Alabama’s fifth-largest city on game days.

Last summer, Morgan scored an internship working on the grounds crew for the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium, where he got his first taste of caring for an NFL team’s artificial turf and the opportunity to work side-by-side with fellow crew members who were part of the Super Bowl grounds crew.

“I started there the day after they’d had a huge concert and left the week after the first preseason game,” Morgan told The Season, Auburn University’s College of Agriculture magazine. “One thing I learned there was that managing the playing field is a full-time, year-round job.”

In 2002, Toro created the competition to give emerging sports turf professionals hands-on experience maintaining one of the highest quality and safest playing surfaces in the world and learning from top professionals in the field. Applicants — who are required to  be enrolled in at least the second year of a two-year turf program, or in at least the junior year of a four-year turf program — completed an application as well as an essay detailing their professional goals. Toro equipment and representatives have been involved in preparing the stadium and practice fields for the Super Bowl for over 50 years.

Morgan, who arrived in Atlanta a week before the February 3 game, says he’s looking forward to the experience of working with an artificial playing surface, as opposed to Auburn’s natural grass football field. “I’m also really excited to meet the crew, who are legends in the sports turf management industry.”

This summer, Morgan will expand his range of field-type expertise when he takes up residence as an intern for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team. “That will give me experience in college sports, the NFL, and Major League Baseball,” he tells The Season. “Plus, I’ve only worked with warm-season turf, but the Phillies play on Kentucky bluegrass, so then I’d have experience managing a cool-season grass.

As for the future, Morgan says he’s conflicted about which direction he’d like to move in: baseball versus football and college versus professional sports fields. But for now, he’s focused on this once-in-a-lifetime Super Bowl experience. “This is an amazing opportunity to learn from the best of the best,” he says.

Byrnes is a freelance journalist. You can read more of her work at amybyrnes.com.

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