Field Report – September 2008

Hydro-Scape hosts Build-a-Pond in Orange County
Hydro-Scape and Mystic Water Gardens, a Certified Aquascape Contractor, hosted a Build-a-Pond event in Orange County, California, earlier this year to teach contractors the mechanics and techniques of building a large water feature.

Twenty-five participants worked to create an 11-foot by 16-foot pond flowing into a four-foot waterfall connected by a 45-foot stream. The entire build was completed in less than two days. Steve Sandalis, owner of Mystic Water Gardens, and Sarah Tiglio, Hydro-Scape Pond Division Manager, taught participants some tricks of the trade including tips for lining ponds, rocking waterfalls, installing a biological bog system, and hooking up multiple pumps.

Aquascape manufactures a 20-step pond building kit, which was used to create the feature in Orange County. Sandalis says the 20 steps are easy-learning the aesthetics is the hard part. It takes time to learn how to place the rocks to create a natural looking landscape.

According to Aquascape, contractors can yield up to 50 percent or more profit from installing a basic 11-foot by 16-foot pond.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor:

I recently read the article in your magazine about Xeriscapes and water restrictions, but never saw any mention of artificial turf? I know, I know: ooh, artificial turf. That is the normal reaction when you say the word because everyone thinks of AstroTurf. Artificial turf has come a long way since AstroTurf. You can check out our website We have different types of turf designed for different applications and tastes; we even have K9Grass – the only turf designed just for dogs. There are a lot of turf products on the market, many of which are cheap and not aesthetically pleasing. These products give turf a bad name. That is exactly what we set out to change when we started ForeverLawn. We don’t install athletic field grass on residential lawns. Quite the contrary. A lot of our turf we designed for residential use is being requested for athletic fields because of the quality, look and durability.

I am not proposing that everyone switch to artificial turf, but it does make a great option for people looking to add some green to their low-maintenance, water-less backyard landscapes. I also do not want to put landscapers out of business. I am just offering a product that they can add to their product lines to meet the ever changing environment.

David Trotter
Forever Lawn of NC
Mooresville, North Carolina

Dear Editor:

If you are going to write about something, I sure hope you try it. I put the magnet on my truck and used eight gallons less per week. Another friend put a fuel molecule system on and improved his mileage by four miles per gallon.

Dale Kooiker
Dale’s Mowing Service
Holland, Michigan

Dear Editor:

Please cancel my subscription. While I was enjoying it, you decided to add Spanish pages to it. This is America and people need to read and speak English in this country. You are a sell-out, and I’m sick and tired of consumers having to adapt to what editors like you decide for us. If you want to appeal to the Hispanic population, create a magazine totally in Spanish and send it to them. I’m not going to have it rammed down my throat.

Dianne Olson

John Deere, Stihl enter marketing agreement

John Deere’s Worldwide Commercial & Consumer Equipment Division announces Stihl Inc. and Stihl Ltd. as its preferred supplier of gas-powered and corded hand-held power equipment in the U.S. and Canada. Existing John Deere-branded hand-held power equipment will be substituted with Stihl products at many John Deere servicing dealers in North America.

Syngenta’s Meridian approved for use in California
Syngenta Professional Products’ Meridian insecticide is registered for use in California. Meridian controls soil and foliar pests on turfgrasses and can be used on trees and shrubs. It works through contact and ingestion on insects like white grubs, billbugs and sod webworms. Immediate watering is not required.

Register now for UMass Extension’s Green School
UMass Extension’s Green School is accepting registration for its 11-day certificate short course for green industry professionals. Green School starts November 6 at the Radisson Hotel in Milford, Massachusetts. Three tracks will be offered: turf management, landscape management and arboriculture. Deadline is October 31.

Toro’s Watering Group Assistant used in SNWA study
Toro Irrigation was chosen by the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) to develop a device to automatically keep residential irrigation systems in compliance with SNWA’s Watering Group Program. Toro’s device is called the Watering Group Assistant. Toro is one of five companies chosen to participate in the study.

HydroLogic organizes bike project in Mexico
HydroLogic, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based turf irrigation distributor recently organized the “Bike Build” project for children in Cancun, Mexico. Eighty-four dealers and 32 HydroLogic employees and spouses participated in the project. Participants were paired with a child, and together the teams built a bike for each child to ride to school.

Doosan Infracore establishes global headquarters
Doosan Infracore International (DII) established its global headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. In November 2007, Doosan Infracore acquired Bobcat Utility Equipment and Attachments from Ingersoll-Rand Company, and established DII. Bobcat, Doosan Infracore Portable Power and DII Attachments operate as entities of DII.

First half of H-2B cap met for fiscal year ’09
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received a sufficient amount of petitions to reach the mandated 33,000 H-2B cap for the first half of the fiscal year. This means that landscapers who did not meet the first half cap will be unable to obtain workers for a start date ranging between October 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009.

The USCIS will continue to process petitions for current H-2B workers that fit into these categories:

  • Extending the stay of a current H-2B worker in the United States
  • Changing the terms of employment for current H-2B workers and extending their stay
  • Allowing current H-2B workers to change or add employers and extend their stay

Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) asks that landscapers continue to call their senators and Congress members, asking them to renew the H-2B returning worker exemption immediately. Ask for the staff person in charge of immigration issues and explain to them the impact not having H-2B workers in 2009 will have on your business. The congressional switchboard number is (202) 225-3121.
~ Jennifer Mitchell

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover