Mad about March: TLC’s top 10 most read stories for March 2019

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As part of Total Landscape Care’s look back on 2019, here are the top 10 stories during the month of March.

10. Former NCLC competitors share their past experiences

Nathan Gantt won the 2017 NCLC small engine repair competition. Photo: Jill Odom/Total Landscape CareNathan Gantt won the 2017 NCLC small engine repair competition.
Photo: Jill Odom/Total Landscape Care

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) came from humble beginnings, but it hasn’t managed to last 43 years based on pure nostalgia. This event has been going strong and is continually growing due to the multiple benefits it provides, for both the students attending and the companies involved.

Two former NCLC competitors who now have jobs in the green industry shared with TLC what NCLC means to them and why it is so important for the industry.

Click here to read the full story. 

9. Springtime means pruning time for roses

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With spring officially starting this week, it’s a good time to take a look at your customer’s roses and see if they need pruning.

Light pruning and deadheading can be performed in both the summer and winter, but major pruning should be done in the early spring after the last frost in colder climates.

Click here to read the full story. 

8. How to: Maintaining ornamental grasses

Photo: Jan JohnsenPhoto: Jan Johnsen

Ornamental grasses have become a popular commodity for customers over the past few years, as they can fit well in almost any type of garden theme.

Having ornamental grasses present can add movement, height, depth and long-season color, but the type present in the area will determine what its cutting and dividing rules are.

Click here to read the full story.

7. NexTraq offers a number of fleet solutions with its telematics system

Landscape companies use NexTraq to stay in touch with their crews throughout the day. Photo: NexTraqLandscape companies use NexTraq to stay in touch with their crews throughout the day.
Photo: NexTraq

If you’ve been around in the landscaping industry for any period of time, you’ve probably come across the buzzword of telematics when it comes to managing your fleets.

But have you ever wondered where the word comes from or if your company could benefit from applying telematics to your fleet? Below is a brief history of telematics, the benefits of adding a telematics system and an overview of NexTraq.

Click here to read the full story. 

6. Students show off their industry skills during NCLC’s competition day

A student takes measurements during the landscape lighting event. Photo: Jill Odom/Total Landscape CareA student takes measurements during the landscape lighting event.
Photo: Jill Odom/Total Landscape Care

As March Madness carried on March 22, landscaping and horticulture students from colleges across the country participated in another type of madness entirely, the National Collegiate Landscape Competition’s (NCLC) competition day.

Competition day is a collection of 29 different green industry events designed to test students’ knowledge and skills on everything from plant problem diagnosis to tractor loader backhoe operation.

Click here to read the full story.

5. Which weed is it? Henbit and purple deadnettle

Purple deadnettle can be differentiated from henbit by the shape of its leaves, which are triangular, while henbit’s are scalloped. Photo: Caleb OdomPurple deadnettle can be differentiated from henbit by the shape of its leaves, which are triangular, while henbit’s are scalloped.
Photo: Caleb Odom

As the official start of spring inches closer, customers may be looking for any hint of color in the landscape that might indicate winter’s grasp is loosening.

What they’ll often see are swaths of purple of either henbit, purple deadnettle or both growing with exuberance if no steps are taken to control them.

Click here to read the full story. 

4. Valley fever and the threat it poses to landscaping crews

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It is a given that in the landscaping business you and/or your employees are going to disrupt the soil to get the job done.

What you may not be aware of is the inherent risk this creates if you are working in the southwestern United States. A spore known as Coccidioides lives in the soil and can be breathed in when dirt is moved. Around 60 percent of people who are exposed will never experience symptoms, but for those who do, the effects can be life threatening.

The infection is called coccidioidomycosis but is better known as Valley fever and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has called it a “silent epidemic.”

Click here to read the full story.

3. Ford adding F-600 to F-Series Super Duty lineup

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Ford is introducing a new “tweener” model aimed at commercial customers who find themselves needing more payload than what an F-550 can provide, but don’t need the full capability of the F-650 model.

The all-new F-600 chassis cab, which made its debut at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis Tuesday night, features a Class 6 maximum GVWR of 22,000 pounds in a Class 5 Super Duty package, hitting what super duty chief engineer Michael Pruitt calls the “sweet spot in capability.”

Click here to read the full story.

2. Proper pruning practices to share with clients for their hydrangeas

Photo: PixabayPhoto: Pixabay

Hydrangeas are a beautiful addition to any landscape with their eye-catching blossoms and generally hardy nature.

While having numerous varieties of this shrub tends to be an advantage, it can be a drawback when it comes to your customers knowing how to properly care for their hydrangeas.

Click here to read the full story.

1. The main ingredients of an effective digital marketing strategy

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Marketing plays an important role in any business. Since the main objective is to make money, marketing products and services can bring them closer to this goal. When a business has a good marketing strategy, it can build strong brand awareness, grow the customer base, and increase sales.

In the modern age, marketing has evolved into leveraging the latest technology to remain effective. Although traditional advertising still has its old grandeur, digital marketing is slowly becoming a necessity in an era defined by the internet.

Click here to read the full story.

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