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Steve
11-30-2006, 01:09 AM
Here are some considerations from the University of Florida. Maybe this could be used when you talk with your potential clients or possibly in future marketing material.

When selecting a turf maintenance company, consider the following: (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/LH030)

* Ask for consultation which will include a survey of the landscape by the lawn applicator, agronomist or horticulturist. A description of services and treatments should be included and the pricing structure determined.

* Make certain the program will meet local needs for fertility, mowing and pest control. IFAS recommendations should be closely followed for maintenance practices. Ask your county Cooperative Extension Service agent or refer to the other sections in this handbook for specific maintenance recommendations.

* Lawn maintenance firms should have capable personnel that can promptly and courteously answer your questions. Ask the contact person how much training and experience they have with Florida turfgrasses. Some companies have been known to initiate business and hire people with no previous experience or educational background in lawn care, pesticide application, agronomy or horticulture. Many people that have relocated from cool-season turfgrass areas are not familiar with Florida's warm-season turfgrasses and their maintenance and pest problems. It takes years of training for an individual to correctly identify turfgrass and weed species, insect and disease problems, and to thoroughly understand turfgrass cultural practices.

* Ask if all personnel are licensed for pesticide application. This is a critical point since many of these materials can be hazardous to humans, pets, and nontarget landscape plants, if improperly applied. The correct pesticide applied at the correct rate and for a specific pest problem is essential for proper maintenance practices.

* As with all commercial businesses, some lawn service companies are better than others. Find out the reputations of specific companies within your community. Some have better maintenance programs than others, and more satisfied customers than others. Ask them for references you may contact to verify results.