Maximizing Early Order and Reward Programs

Golf

It’s that time of year again…Early Order and Reward Program overload!  Distributors and manufacturers alike are already starting to deluge your inbox with these industry staples that are designed to lock in purchase commitments for next season by offering lower prices and extended payment terms.  These programs have evolved into essential tools over the years to maximize your maintenance budget and ensure you have the products when you need them.  There are multiple additional benefits as well for the savvy turf professional.

Early Order Programs

Early order programs are terrific for locking in reduced prices for high dollar chemicals and fertilizer products.  Your commitment to the manufacturer allows them to better plan production schedules, which lowers the costs of the products through increased efficiencies.  At its heart, this is the business justification for these programs existing.  

At the same time, however, it’s also well known in the sales side of the industry that each golf facility has limited space and budget to work with.  This translates into the time-tested adage of “the early bird gets the worm” sales philosophy of securing that valuable space for a particular manufacturers or distributor’s products.  In short, if you fill that space and allocate your budget for Company A’s products, then there’s no room or money for Company B’s products.  For a superintendent, this is extremely valuable leverage.  Use that power wisely.

End User Reward Programs

There’s been a clear increase of end user reward programs that directly incentivize you for choosing Product A over Product B.  There’s an easy reason why…because they work.  In our industry we have a finite number of agronomic problems that need solutions, yet the choices to solve those problems seem to have an endless supply of potential answers.  There are multiple fungicides that will control dollar spot and brown patch; and that’s not even accounting for all the generic equivalents also available.  It can be a lot to evaluate.

The best reward programs are those that are from the manufacturers and distributors that you already trust and have confidence in.  They are designed to help build stronger customer loyalty to their brands and illustrate appreciation for that loyalty.  Often, these programs are administered through a shopping catalog for points that you’ve accrued or as some form of a gift card that can be sent to either an individual or your facility.  The really good ones also allow for the reward to be administered as a distributor credit for use on future purchases.  The latter also completely avoids any appearance of impropriety on your part.

“Double Coupon” Mentality

The real magic happens when you can use both programs together.  Many distributors already have some sort of loyalty and early order program that can be stacked on top of a manufacturer’s program.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with exploited these to work in unison to stretch your limited budget to it’s fullest potential.  

Here’s the trick, however…it may require you to do a little research and find out if your preferred manufacturer has a reward program that you can take advantage of.  Distributor sales reps are very good at talking about their own programs but may not always be aware of all the manufacturer’s programs as well.  It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes and Google your preferred manufacturer and “end user program” to see what comes up.  It just may pay off big for you in 2022.

“Growing Together” Rewards Program for Superintendents and Turf Manager

I’m going to take a moment and shamelessly promote LebanonTurf’s brand new end user reward program that’s coming out in 2022, “Growing Together”.  For all the reason I’ve already covered in this article, we felt it was time to join the party in offering a way to help our customers, especially while the current fertilizer market is so unpredictably volatile.  I’d encourage everyone to take a moment and check out this program at www.lebanonturf.com/growing-together-rewards-program.  

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How Winter Fertilizer Keeps Lawns Green and Healthy During Winter Months

Landscape

As a turf manager, you know that your customers want a healthy, verdant lawn even through cold winter months. Plus, winter fertilizer, called winterizer, adds potassium to protect turfgrass at the cellular level.

That’s why you need ProScape 25-0-5 51% MESA 1% Fe to put down on your clients’ lawns.

8 Benefits for Using Winterizer Two Times in the Fall

When should you fertilize fall lawns?

Ideally, you should apply ProScape 25-0-5 51% MESA 1% Fe from the end of August to the beginning of September. You use the second application toward the end of fall, starting in mid-to-late October. The second application of winterizer hardens turf cells and concentrates on the turfgrass’s root system.

The winter fertilizer is the best fertilizer to put down all season and can be the only fertilizer you use all season long.

Here are eight benefits for using a winterizer in the fall:

  1. It helps the root system to develop deep into the soil. These deep roots grow root hairs that go deep enough in the ground to find hidden moisture stores.
  2. If some of your customers only fertilize once a year, it should be in the fall with a winter fertilizer because it promotes a deep green color that lasts through the winter. It also encourages early green-up in the spring.
  3. Every year, cool season turfgrass gets most of its nutrients during autumn, making winter fertilizer essential for turf’s development and longevity.
  4. The potassium in winter fertilizer hardens turfgrass’s outer cell walls to protect them from bursting due to freezing temperatures.
  5. Use winter fertilizer only on cool season grasses. Lawn care experts recommend that you plant a cover crop, such as annual ryegrass, on warm season lawns.
  6. Cool season grasses prefer temperatures between 65ºF to 75ºF. And cool season grasses remain green well into December. This type of turf will turn brown when temperatures drop to freezing temperatures.
  7. A hot, dry summer depletes cool season turfgrass. Cool season lawns need to recover from summer stress and time to prepare for the upcoming winter. 
  8. Also, you apply 75% of cool season grass’s annual nitrogen in the fall. Turf will uptake and store that nitrogen well into the winter and use it when soil temperatures drop into the mid-30’s. 

Read more: Do You Provide Fall Tree Fertilization Services?

How to Upsell Your Winter Fertilizer Services

You want to emphasize the benefits of winter fertilizer and how it helps lawns. Also, encourage your clients, who don’t put down fertilizer any other time of the year that this type of nutrition will benefit their yards the most.

Explain to your clients how winter fertilizer helps their lawns recover from heat stress and how the nutrients improve their turf’s ability to survive the winter.

You can get the word out about your winter fertilizer lawn services through your blog (educate your clients on what winterizer is and how it benefits their turf), social media channels, and a reminder in your weekly newsletter.

Learn more: Putting Turf to Bed: Late Fall Fertilization

Why LebanonTurf’s ProScape 25-0-5 51% MESA 1% Fe Is the Best Winter Fertilizer for Cool Season Grasses

If you want the best winter fertilizer for cool season grasses, you can’t go wrong with our ProScape 25-0-5 51% MESA 1% Fe. This ProScape formula is a premium straight fertilizer product with an NPK of 25-0-5. And you can use this product for residential, commercial, and general turf use.

Here are the other benefits of ProScape 25-0-5 51% MESA 1% Fe:

  • It has 51% MESA for slow release nitrogen, allowing immediate green up without a growth surge.
  • MESA is a unique nitrogen source that combines ammonium sulfate with methylene urea in a single homogenous particle.
  • Muriate potash stimulates strong cell growth and provides disease resistance by promoting a thicker cell wall.
  • 1% Fe (iron) provides added nutrition for a quick green up.
  • You’ll save time using ProScape 25-0-5 51% MESA 1% Fe because it combines all the elements needed for a complete winter fertilizer.

Give your clients the lawn they dream of when you apply ProScape 25-0-5 51% MESA 1% Fe on their yards in the fall.

At LebanonTurf, we provide a wide range of turfgrass products from fertilizer to insect and disease control, seed, and establishment. Contact your distributor today to buy your next order of ProScape and other LebanonTurf lawn care products.

Source:

Lawn-Care-Academy.com, Lawn Winterization Techniques for Cool and Warm Season Grasses.

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Do You Provide Fall Tree Fertilization Services?

Landscape

If you provide tree services, in addition to your lawn care service, it’s time to market your fall tree fertilizing.

You may have some pushback from your customers because any lawn fertilizer you use also feeds the property’s trees. But you can still sell your clients on the benefits of fall tree fertilization to maintain plant health care and longevity.

How to Fertilize Large Trees

While your customers may have some young trees on their grounds, you can educate your clients about fertilizing large trees.

Why? 

Because older trees are more susceptible to disease, dieback, and insect invasions. Plus, hot summers deplete the ground of moisture and available nutrients, leaving these majestic trees nutrient- and water-deprived. 

However, you can demonstrate a tree’s need for root fertilizer injections with a soil test. You collect soil samples around each tree’s root zone and then send them to a lab to get them tested.

The soil test will tell you what nutrients are missing and the pH of the soil. You can treat your customers’ trees with ROOTS Fertilizer for Trees and balance the pH with lime or sulfur. 

You want the soil’s pH to be balanced to uptake the fertilizer into the tree’s root zone and to the rest of the tree.

When you fertilize trees in the fall, you’ll be injecting a mix of water and nutrition through a long tube that’s inserted into the tree’s root zone.

Did you know that you can use half as much water when you do soil injections? Since water is the carrier that mixes with the fertilizer, its job is to move the tree fertilizer to the woody plant’s root zone.

However, you still use the same amount of fertilizer, even though you’re cutting back on H2O. Yet, you don’t want to cut the water back too far because you could burn the tree’s roots and have a paste that won’t make it through the injector.

At LebanonTurf, we advise only cutting the water in half. And don’t use this formulation when putting down herbicides and pesticides. Instead, read the manufacturer’s instructions when using these products.

Here are five points to remember about using less water when injecting tree fertilizer:

  1. Reduce the amount of water you’re using, but still use the same amount of fertilizer.

  2. Reduce the injection volume per hole by the same amount.

  3. Don’t reduce the water too low when using soluble tree fertilizers because it can lead to root burn.

  4. Remember to halve the water amount and not go any further to avoid causing delivery problems.

  5. Always check with your herbicide and pesticide manufacturer before reducing the water in those formulations.

Read more: Fall Fertilizer—No Skipping or Skimping!

Why You Need to Fertilize Trees in the Fall

Like winterizing a lawn, fall fertilizer contains high levels of potassium and phosphorous that hardens off leaf tissues before the first frost.

Tree fertilizers have some nitrogen in them, but it’s a low dose or slow-release N that won’t encourage leaf and twig development at the top of the tree before winter.

Slow-release or low doses of N help the tree to leaf up again in the spring.

Learn more: Fall Overseeding and Aeration Services for Cool Season Lawns—Increase Seeding Success with PennMulch® Seed Accelerator

How to Market Your Tree Fertilization Services

Use your blog and social media to educate your clients about the benefits of fall tree fertilization. Assure your commercial and residential clients that you’ll first assess the tree for any stress or disease and that you’ll test the soil before using any tree fertilizer.

Also, include information about plant health care (PHC) if you provide these services. While many homeowners and property managers may poo-poo tree fertilization, remind them that drought stress, insects, and disease will shorten a tree’s life span—and will cost them money to remove it and buy a new tree.

However, when you put down fertilizer specified for trees, you’re increasing the odds that trees will survive whatever Mother Nature throws their way.

If You Provide Tree Services, You Want to Use LebanonTurf’s ROOTS Tree Fertilizer

If you want humic acid, minerals, and beneficial rhizosphere bacteria in the tree fertilizer you use on customers’ properties, then you need LebanonTurf’s ROOTS Tree Fertilizer, 11-22-22.

ROOTS Fertilizer for Trees has the following six benefits:

  1. It’s a water-dispersible fertilizer with NPK, 11-22-22.

  2. Explicitly made for trees.

  3. It’s an all-mineral fertilizer with nutrients ready for uptake. Put down lime or sulfur before injecting the roots to get the soil pH to the right level for uptake.

  4. It contains a combination of .1% Fe (iron) and .05% Mn (manganese) to address micronutrient deficiencies.

  5. It contains beneficial rhizosphere bacteria, sea plant extracts, and humic acids to improve soil and plant health.

  6. Cut the water in half, but still use the same strength of fertilizer.

If you’re ready to up your tree fertilizer game, invest in LebanonTurf’s ROOTS Fertilizer for Trees 11-22-22. Find your local distributor at LebanonTurf’s website to buy this tree fertilizer.

Sources:

TreesAreGood.org, Mature Tree Care, pdf.

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Fall Fertilizer- No Skipping or Skimping!

Golf

Ok, let’s be honest…fertilizer prices have gone nuts throughout the entire season, creating yet another unexpected challenge to managing your golf course.  The quick fixes of downgrading products and reducing the overall number of acres are not long-term strategies for healthy turf.  With Fall now upon us, I urge you all to not skip or skimp on this critical application.

While we all know this, it bares repeating for the sake of emphasizing the agronomic necessity of a full blown, nutrient application while the leaves are starting to turn color and the weather condition is optimal for growing cool-season turf.

The focus of fall fertilization is on rejuvenating and recouping that turf ahead of Winter and the following Spring.  It’s one of the biggest factors that dictates the ultimate health of the plant going into dormancy and how it emerges in the Spring ready for another season.  In short, it improves the overall health, increases the density and vigor and extends the green color of the turf.  Most importantly, the plant’s physiology is transitioning from an actively growing state to one where it’s storing carbohydrates for later use as an energy source.  By fertilizing turf in the fall, you’re providing it with nutrients it can store away for the next growing season.

Depending on the makeup of your specific nutrient program that you’ve tailored for your course, you may be starting earlier or later in the Fall.  This timing will impact the nutrient type needed to get the results you’re trying to achieve.  

In early Fall, utilizing slow-release nitrogen sources will always get you reliably predictable results.  The microbes in the soil are still active enough to feed the turf to sustain active growth and start packing away some carbohydrates for later use.  A nicely balanced fertilizer can yield the results you need to get.

In late Fall, you’re going to need to switch over to more quick release sources that will be immediately available to the plant.  Often times, this strategy can employ multiple application of “spoon feeding” shots to get the turf plant ready for dormancy.  

It’s noteworthy to mention that an emerging trend is to utilize water-soluble nutrient sources and applying them as liquids.  This tactic is more commonly being seen on greens but is also being used on tees and fairways in the right circumstance.

One last recommendation that I’d like to offer is that you perform a soil test before building your Fall application strategy.  Considering the gravity of the situation, having a complete understanding on what you need and don’t need will allow you to further dial in the precise nutrients you need, while still allowing you the opportunity to address it in time.

Yes, 2021 was exceptionally challenging for multiple reasons.  Unfortunately, turf doesn’t understand any of that…it only knows what it needs to thrive and perform it’s best.  The Fall fertilizer application will lay the foundation for the 2022 season in terms of plant and soil health.  Any decision to skip or skimp of this vital nutrient application simply seems like a bad gamble that’s not worth taking.

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Fall Overseeding and Aeration Services for Cool Season Lawns—Increase Seeding Success with PennMulch® Seed Accelerator

Landscape

Are you marketing your aeration, dethatching, and overseeding services for cool season lawns? 

You should be—September through mid-October marks the season for rejuvenating yards after a hot and dry summer.

You may also be seeding new lawns or renovating them if they’re primarily weeds with little turf.

If you’re providing the above services, then impress your customers with PennMulch® Seed Accelerator by LebanonTurf.

The Best Time to Overseed a Lawn in the Northeast & Northern Part of the U.S.

As you know, September through mid-October is the time to aerate and overseed northern U.S. lawns as well as temperate states that have tall fescue growing in their yards.

Cool season lawns that contain Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass suffer when the temperatures reach past 85ºF and will stay that way until temperatures drop to 80ºF and below. Add in the lack of water, and your client’s lawns start turning brown.

Plus, backyards get a lot of foot traffic from parties, kids playing, and lawn mowers going back and forth.

By September, your customer’s lawns look worn out. So, if you want to upsell your core aeration and overseeding services, it’s good to start now.

You can convince your customers that aeration and overseeding is worth it because

  • When you aerate a customer’s lawn, the aerator pulls small plugs of soil so the earth can breathe out carbon dioxide and take in nutrients and oxygen
  • Core aeration removes excess thatch that leads to turf diseases
  • Core aeration prepares the soil for seed
  • Core aeration opens up the soil to help seedling roots develop deep root systems before the winter
  • Overseeding covers any bare spots and thin areas, so weeds don’t dominate
  • Cool season turf thrives in the colder fall temperatures
  • Fall lawn services, including core aeration and overseeding, prepares new grass to develop aboveground before winter sets in.

You can set up your aeration and overseeding services as a la carte services or design a lawn maintenance program that includes these jobs.

Learn more: The Basics of Understanding Mycorrhizae

Mulching after Overseeding

You may typically use hay or straw to cover the area where you planted grass seed. However, would you use a product that works better and cuts costs for you in place of hay and straw?

Then, you need LebanonTurf’s seed accelerator called PennMulch® Seed Accelerator.

Remember, you or your clients must water the newly seeded lawn daily to start the seed accelerator and aid in seed germination.

What Is PennMulch® Seed Accelerator?

PennMulch® Seed Accelerator is a pelleted seed establishment mulch that contains recycled newsprint, starter fertilizer, and Moisture Cell Technology. It’s adaptable to any soil type and establishes a thicker, healthier lawn in one convenient application.

You can use it on residential and commercial properties.

Here are 11 benefits of PennMulch® Seed Accelerator:

  1. It’s 100% weed-free.
  2. You’ll notice faster, more successful turf seeding.
  3. The product costs less overall because it contains fertilizer and mulch.
  4. Moisture Cell Technology acts as a tackifier that hydro-bonds for faster germination.
  5. You’ll notice fewer dry spots.
  6. The paper mulch works as a starter fertilizer.
  7. You use your current equipment—no need to buy new spreaders.
  8. You don’t need to rake in the seed accelerator.
  9. You’ll notice fewer weeds when you use the product.
  10. You’ll save money, time, and labor with this product because your customers won’t need to call you back to the site. You get the job done right the first time.
  11. You’ll free up your schedule to take on more clients.

Read more: Do You Want to Resuscitate a Stressed Lawn That Looks Dead?

PennMulch® Seed Accelerator Near You

You can find your local PennMulch® Seed Accelerator distributor near you when you plug in your zip code at LebanonTurf.

September is around the corner, and now is the time to market your core aeration and overseeding services.

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The Basics of Understanding Mycorrhizae

GolfLandscape

As the Fall aerification season creeps towards us, mycorrhizae again becomes a hot topic of conversation and discussion in the turf world. Even though it is one of the most utilized biostimulants, not everyone understands what they are and, more importantly, what benefit they can deliver. The symbiotic relationship between the turf plant and their mycorrhizae is fairly complex, so let’s breakdown a cursory review of “all things” mycorrhizae.

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Do You Want to Resuscitate a Stressed Lawn that Looks Dead?

Landscape

The title may sound dramatic. But to your lawn care customers, their yards look dead during a drought. Depending on where you live, area municipalities may have enacted water restrictions, making it harder for cool season grasses to look green and lush. So, what do you do when you have angry customers calling you, wondering why their lawns are looking dry and dead?

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What’s going on with the fertilizer market?

GolfLandscape

I think we can agree that 2021 hasn’t been a typical year. The unusual amount of turmoil on the supply side of the industry has been anything but normal. The fertilizer market, specifically, has been especially problematic, as we’ve all seen a steady increase of fertilizer prices since the beginning of the year with no real signs that it will be retreating anytime soon.

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Implementing Grub Control Into Your Landscaping Arsenal

Landscape

May and June are the months to add commercial grub control to your clients’ turfgrass—whether that’s a residential property or an HOA, POA, retail center, or office park.
As you know, grubs are now at the top of the soil’s surface, gorging themselves on turf roots while killing the aboveground grass at the same time.
Since curb appeal is the number one priority with homeowners, property managers, and HOA boards, you need a commercial grub control that will feed the soil at the same time.

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Strategies for Summer Stress

Golf

Like the simple, yet incredibly suspenseful, two-note motif “shark” theme from Jaws, we all are sensing the feeling of approaching danger now that we’ve entered the month of June. It is the inevitability of managing turfgrass in the worst possible environmental conditions that demands us to be as prepared as we possibly can be to handle whatever Mother Nature is going to throw at us and our golf courses.

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