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swstout
10-18-2009, 07:38 PM
Been out of work for almost a month (ruptured appendix) - bored stiff and I put on 16 pounds.. Got released by doctor and wife Thursday.

Two weeks ago, the manager of Lowe's asked me if I would do a lawn care clinic for the store. I did it that Saturday and got this job from it.

For the last 2 years the owner fertilized about every month during the growing season. Twice a year he used Weed and Feed. (On advice from the Lawn and Garden Center at Wal Mart). He also bought a pH meter from them and lime to raise hi pH to 7.0.

His turf was Centipede. A turf grass that should only get about 9# of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. a year. A turf that phosphorous harms the root system. A turf that doesn't handle potassium well. A turf that has an ideal ph range of 5.0 to 6.0.

In short, he nearly killed his lawn and I got a contract to revive it.

Thursday, I rototilled the lot, used a box blade to level it out and then rolled it.

Friday, I applied Nature's Magic and Liquefy to detoxify and decompress the soil.


Saturday, I applied liquid sulfur to lower the pH.
The lot is a little over 45,000 sq. ft. I charged $100.00 per K ($4,500.00) and he paid on the spot.

In November, I will apply Nature's magic and liquid sulfur again. Quoted $1,500.00.

Next spring I will apply MN, sulfur and Biological dethatcher before sodding the lot. I told him I would not be able to estimate the sod costs until next spring because of price uncertainty and he agreed.

After sodding, I will maintain the soil every 5 to 6 weeks and he will do the mowing.

Steve

Job images (http://www.swstout.com/job.html)

I can't figure out how to post pictures without creating a web page. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

picframer
10-18-2009, 08:15 PM
First off congradulations on the job and glad you are back in the saddle again.

I have seen a lot of pretty bad lawns but buddy that one takes the cake, OMG that is in bad shape.

mark123
10-18-2009, 10:32 PM
Glad you're well again and back at it! :)

Steve
10-19-2009, 05:06 AM
I am very happy you are feeling better! Welcome back :)

I can't figure out how to post pictures without creating a web page. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Check out this f.a.q.
http://www.gopherforum.com/faq.php?faq=vb3_reading_posting#faq_vb3_attachment s

When you make a post, you should see a grey button below in the additional options section that allows you to attach files.

Two weeks ago, the manager of Lowe's asked me if I would do a lawn care clinic for the store. I did it that Saturday and got this job from it.

Could you tell us about that experience? What kind of presentation did you put on? How long did it last? How was it promoted?

If another lawn care business owner was looking into providing seminars like that, what advise would you have?

swstout
10-19-2009, 09:17 AM
Could you tell us about that experience? What kind of presentation did you put on? How long did it last? How was it promoted?

If another lawn care business owner was looking into providing seminars like that, what advise would you have?

Presentation:
I had a poster board with the four main turfs for the area - Bermuda, Centipede, Tall Fescue, and Kentucky Blue Grass. For each, I had :

Mowing height
Irrigation
Ideal pH
Proper feeding (not just fertilization, covering macro and micro nutrients))
Lawn diseases
Insect Control
Sun preference and ranges
Over seeding (when and how)
I then showed lawn maintenance procedures (edging, aerating, dethatching) with store supplied equipment. I showed how using a mulching blade (again with store blades) put both macro and micro nutrients back into the soil.

Probably 85% of all lawns here have Centipede grass which requires different care than all other turfs. I stressed this during the presentation and covered what needs to be done differently.

The theme for all was organic techniques (again with store products for display).

The presentation lasted about a hour including question and answer period. They paid me with a $75.00 gift card.

Advice:

Remember they want you to promote their products
Know the types of turf for the area
Don't promote yourself over the store
I have a flyer to hand out that basically tells them to go to my website for more information where they can contact thru the contact page with any questions or specific needs.

Steve

Steve
10-20-2009, 12:47 AM
That is really brilliant. What did you think of the turn out? Would you do this again? How often do you feel this could be done?

Could you do this In the Spring, Summer, and Fall and talk about lawn issues each season?

swstout
10-20-2009, 01:07 AM
That is really brilliant. What did you think of the turn out? Would you do this again? How often do you feel this could be done?

Could you do this In the Spring, Summer, and Fall and talk about lawn issues each season?


They have already been asked me to do the seminars at 3 area Lowe's and will pay me $0.50 per mile traveled plus the $75.00.

The turnout at the Hartsville store was 43. So far I have 9 responses.

Steve

Steve
10-20-2009, 03:49 AM
That is outstanding!

You know what you could also consider doing is create a handout that customers could keep with them that goes over the topics you cover. Includes in it, the products Lowes wants to promote along with it and then have your contact information in it.

If they can use it as a reference, they will most likely keep it handy. Also maybe put together a refrigerator magnet that reminds them when to do certain things throughout the year to their lawn. On the bottom, have your contact information and Lowe's Garden Center contact information as well.

To attract more people, maybe you can talk to Lowe's and have some sort of raffle or giveaway of some store product. Then they would have something to really promote in their mailers and maybe you could even put together some kind of poster that could be put up in the store to update customers when your next seminar will be, what it will cover and what will be given away.

Could you have refreshments? Could you get a local restaurant to maybe sell food there? Have balloons for the kids?

Have product samples from the store of what ever they want to promote and give that away to everyone who attends?

MikeO
10-24-2009, 10:16 AM
wow that looks terrible how did it get like that in the first place? Just environmental or combo of many things? Or was it the fertilizing every month that did it in?

swstout
10-24-2009, 11:32 AM
wow that looks terrible how did it get like that in the first place? Just environmental or combo of many things? Or was it the fertilizing every month that did it in?

Centipede grass is unlike any of the other turf grasses. Regular fertilizer and especially weed & feed do more harm than good. It can't handle potassium well and phosphorus kills the roots. More than pounds of nitrogen a year per 1,000 sq. ft. is also harmful.

You green it up with sulfur and iron not nitrogen. This homeowner killed the lawn with misguided good intentions. So much weed & feed, fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides that he basically killed the soil. Bio activity in the soil is basically non-existent.

Steve