Editor’s Letter: Strange Times Indeed
It’s downright surreal to be writing this as the world fights a virus unlike anything I’ve experienced in my lifetime. While working from home, tying my children to chairs for online learning, and seeking solace in my garden, it is all unbelievable—and quite scary. As Turf managing editor, covering COVID-19 is especially challenging due to its uncertainty and constantly changing nature. Do we go on buying mowers as usual or stock up on disinfectant? Is the curve flattening yet? How do you balance economic survival with bodily survival? What loans are available? Will it get worse in the fall? Masks aren’t necessary; then required. From the micro details of hand sanitizer to the macro picture of death toll and market forecasts, it’s hard to know what version of “normal” to live and work by today, and especially tomorrow.
One thing is clear: we’re all a little freaked out financially. So Turf looked into going the franchise route—could a national name offer greater stability in these times? Or maybe you’re looking long term and want to maximize company value for potential buyers? These business articles kick off the issue and continue with real-world debt advice from fellow landscapers in “Off The Record.”
With summer in full swing, humans aren’t the only ones fighting illness and stress—so are lawns, trees, and ornamentals. The experts at PBI-Gordon share their knowledge on summer lawn diseases and solutions; while three horticulturalists in different regions provide tips on combating plant heat stress. And it’s not your imagination, some stressed plants do look worse after watering!
Good news is especially welcome now so our “Made In America” coverage has a timely spin, focusing on company outreach during COVID-19. In other good news, we bring you an article on “regenerative” lawn care, a concept where the focus on soil has big impacts not only on reduced chemical use, but on climate change itself. It’s an eye-opening read and something every landscaper should think about. Stay safe out there. The grass always gets greener—eventually!
Managing Editor, Turf
Table of Contents
Is Franchising For You? | This business approach offers systems and support, versus the flexibility afforded by individualism.
Boosting The Value Of Your Business | Whether selling next year or looking long term, examine your operation to increase its worth.
Software For Design Services | To provide landscape design, keep these features in mind.
Made In America | Earlier this year, the industry responded to the COVID-19 crisis with innovation and a community spirit.
Summer Disease Solutions | Combat these common lawn maladies by disrupting the “triangle” of host, pathogen, and environment.
Counteracting Summer Stress On Ornamentals | Experts in three regions discuss helping plants battle extreme heat.
Keeping It Green, With Less Water | Technology fosters smart irrigation for landscape care.
Introducing Regenerative Lawn Care | Can dialing back synthetics still deliver the results your customers are seeking?
Inspire Customers With Hardscape | Demand for outdoor living spaces is surging.
Off The Record: How Much Debt Should You Carry? | From the Turf LawnSite online forum, members discuss factoring the true cost of aging equipment versus new.
My Landscape: Pollinator Garden Means Business | In Bethseda, MD, Lincoln Property Company installed a pollinator garden on its grounds.