2011 Newsletter

Hello again and may I wish you a wonderful day and a fantastic year in 2011. I trust that this year’s newsletter information is useful to you, or at least, entertaining. Please read the whole thing to save 10% on your next service from Insite.

I am going to start off with some updates from last year. I hired a few subcontractors to assist me with my business. They were terrific. Many of you noticed that I personally stopped applying herbicidal chemicals to lawns. Instead, I hired Jason’s Lawn and Tree Care to do this for me for a couple reasons. First, I really didn’t have enough time. I think that I can do everything all of the time, but in reality, I can’t. Second, Jason fit in well as a subcontractor. His years of experience in the chemical application business gave me confidence that he would provide the right type of work ethic and knowledge that I was looking for. He also took the time to learn how I care for my customers and did a great job caring for you as I expected. Small businesses are wonderful! On a side note, Jason commented on how exceptional some of my customers’ lawns looked. He asked me what fertilizers and pre-emergent I was using. I told him that I used Bio-Source Plus natural fertilizer and that it contained corn gluten meal as the pre-emergent. He was amazed at how well the natural method was working. Two lawns received extra praise this year. The first one sits next to a weedy vacant lot. I first treated this lawn with Bio-Source Plus as a fertilizer and pre-emergent. This proved successful as there was no crabgrass in the lawn this year. On the second lawn, I had applied compost in addition to Bio-Source Plus in 2009. In 2010, I applied Bio-Source Plus as scheduled and have never seen a healthier stand of grass. After seeing the results firsthand I highly recommend applying compost to any and every lawn. The best time to do this is in the fall after aeration but I can apply the compost anytime when the grass is not under excessive stress such as summer heat, drought, or flooding.

I am making a change in my lawn care program for 2011. I am going to use 100% Corn Gluten Meal as my fertilizer and pre-emergent. I have had great success with Bio-Source Plus as a fertilizer and good results as a pre-emergent. After doing more research, I believe that 100% corn gluten meal will provide better pre-emergent success than what I was able to provide with Bio-Source Plus (which does not contain 100% Corn Gluten Meal). Your lawn will still receive its regular amount of nitrogen (two pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet for the season) and it will receive even better pre-emergent control.

I will still utilize Jason’s Lawn and Tree Care for all post-emergent weed control. I am also collecting and paying for soil samples on all of the properties that receive my season long fertilizer program.  I am doing this as an added benefit to my clients for free. If you wish to receive a soil test and are not currently a fertilizer customer, the cost is $20 plus tax.

Last year I changed my spot spraying program from using chemicals such as 2-4D and Trimec to horticultural grade vinegar. I had mixed results based on several factors including the overall health of the turf and soil, the temperature, and amount of sunshine. My best results were on healthy lawns with the temps above 70 degrees and sunny. I was not pleased enough with the overall results to offer it again for everyone’s lawn this year. However, I was so pleased with its results in landscape flower and garden areas that I am offering to apply it to these areas or sell it directly to you so that you can apply it yourself. As a side note, I applied the horticultural grade vinegar heavily under a group of bird feeders that had mulch under them in a flower garden. The discarded seeds from the birds would often sprout under the feeder. Nothing grew under the feeder for several weeks after the application of vinegar. That was in late summer. I can hardly wait to see if there was any carryover pre-emergent control there this spring. 

Did you happen to see me or one of my subs out riding a bike pulling the trailer with my electric mowing equipment on it? If not, look for us again this year. I received many positive comments and a few confused looks while doing this last year. All of my subs complained a little at first of how tired they were at the end of the day and how big the hills are in Ames. North Dakota and Hyland are pretty steep. At the end of the season they all thanked me for the great time they had working and commented on what great physical shape they were in. Who knew that a small company like Insite could improve so many lives with a bike, trailer, and electric mower! I want to continue expanding this part of my business this year. As an incentive, if you sign up as a new season-long mowing customer in 2011, your last mow of the year is free! In addition, if you are already a season-long mowing customer of mine and refer someone who becomes a new season long mowing customer, you too will receive your last mow of the season for free

Please ask your neighbors, friends, family, and homeowner’s associations to give me a try. A property that I have maintained for the past two seasons contains nine acres of mowing and trimming. I have had tremendous success here while decreasing their costs for mowing. I receive compliments nearly every time I work there from the residents. I also mow, fertilize, prune, maintain the irrigation system, and do snow removal for a homeowner’s association in Ames. I have saved them several hundred dollars per year! So, if you are looking to save money while providing a safer environment for everyone, please contact me for pricing. I cannot think of a better way to protect our environment, including our pets and children, than to maintain these large areas responsibly and professionally. 

I started a blog that follows my thoughts about Insite and current lawn and landscape needs. Please visit www.insite-landscaping.blogspot.com to read and subscribe to my blog. I will offer tips and some special deals throughout the year.

Now that you have read the newsletter, please follow this link to receive 10% off of your next service from Insite.

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