Editor’s Letter: In The Bleak Mid-Winter
If you’re like me, you’d rather hibernate this winter under a sign reading, “Wake me when the pandemic’s over!” Since that’s not an option, we need to take comfort knowing it’s the beginning of the end. A friend of mine created a positive spin for her family by deciding to list what they’ll actually miss about the pandemic.
For me, one thing will be the amount of time spent outside. I finally made real progress converting a narrow side yard from pathetic grass in poor soil to a compost enriched cutting garden. After 17 years of working in my yard, I didn’t perform a soil test. The moss, blueberries, and blue hydrangeas tell me it’s alkaline. The standing water tells me I have clay. But I see great value in testing, particularly for landscapers—if you know how to read the results. Enter Spectrum Analytic Chief Agronomist Bill Urbanowicz, who demystifies all those numbers and symbols for you.
One of the plants added to my new garden is a gorgeous Blonde Ambition blue grama grass. Imagine my surprise when researching xeriscaping and discovering the expert I hoped to interview was actually the plant’s developer! David Salman is a horticultural rock star with over 30 years of experience in greenhouse production, perennial propagation, xeriscape design, and more. Founder of High Country Gardens, he currently runs WATERWISE Gardening, focusing on xeric plants. For Turf’s readers, he graciously wrote an article about emerging low-water choices for turfgrass in zones across the U.S. And he names names!
For those in the throes of winter’s wrath, we bring three different deicing articles: “Liquid Courage” by industry expert Matt Duran; Off The Record opinions on making brine; and a snapshot of “hot” melting products.
Using these months for business planning instead? Alyssa Sanders of Service Autopilot tackles pricing issues post-COVID, while Lindsey Getz examines if third-party referral services are friend or foe.
These are just a few articles in this issue. So after you’ve kicked 2020 to the curb, kick off your shoes, get comfy, pick up Turf, and start planning for a sunnier 2021!
Managing Editor, Turf
Winter 2020 Issue Table of Contents
Third-Party Referral Services | Competitors or lead generating partners?
Keeping Workers Safe In The Field | In hot weather conditions, ensure employee safety with proper procedures and equipment.
Marketing Your Business For 2021 | Prepare for the Spring season with tech tools and more.
Lawn Care Pricing & Profit | After a tumultuous 2020, how should you handle the coming year?
Preventative Tree Care For Long-Term Health | Conduct a visual inspection of trees during each customer site visit.
Reading A Soil Test Report | Understand terminology and nutrient levels for healthy soil.
Xeric Grasses | Expert choices for eco-friendly and low maintenance turf, meadows, and more.
Labor Shortage? Construction Equipment Tips | Consider these equipment features to boost productivity.
Liquid Courage | Anti-icing, deicing, and the whys of dry.
Off The Record: A Low Salt Diet? | In Turf’s PlowSite® forum, participants discuss liquid deicing.
My Landscape: A Wide Ranging Residence | In St. Louis, MO, Focal Pointe Outdoor Solutions helps to transform the Woodlands Edge Estate.