Organic Lawn Care: Is It Right For You?

outlook_e60_bannerWe all admire a beautiful lawn. It can enhance your home’s curb appeal, provide a soft, resilient play area for your family, and even increase the value of your home. But too many people often rely on lawn care programs that apply broad, and often unnecessary, applications of conventional fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that are potentially harmful to children, pets and the environment.

 
The U.S. EPA says that Americans apply 90 million pounds of pesticides every year in order to grow lush green lawns. A better approach is organic lawn care, which maintains the lawn without these potentially harmful materials.
 
Organic lawn care focuses on growing a healthy lawn which is the best protection against weeds, insects and diseases. To have a healthy lawn, you need a healthy soil. Healthy soils are crumbly, brown, and alive with earthworms and beneficial microbes. Healthy soils let grass roots grow deep, making them more resistant to drought and stress.
 
To have a healthy soil, you need to avoid the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and follow certain guidelines that are outlined in this article. One of the keys is to feed your lawn with natural and organic fertilizers that not only help to grow a beautiful, green lawn, but also one that is safe for kids and pets.
 
One of the first questions people ask about organic lawn care is how will I control weeds? Did you know that a lawn with about 15% weeds can look practically weed-free to the average observer? A healthy lawn will grow thick deep roots that will help keep even the toughest weeds from sprouting. It is always best to dig or pull out your weeds on a regular basis so they do not over populate your lawn.
 
If weeds are a big problem for your lawn, you may want to apply Espoma Weed Preventer in the spring, which is made from corn gluten meal. Corn gluten helps prevent weeds from germinating, and it also feeds the grass, making it stronger and more resistant to weeds.
 
People often mistake quick greening after applying fertilizer with healthy grass. However, synthetic fertilizers have high percentages of water soluble nitrogen, which provides a quick jolt to your lawn much like espresso or an energy drink would provide to people. Eventually, both have to come down off the “high.” This constant up and down can actually stress your lawn and lead to more weeds and disease. Most synthetics provide more readily available nitrogen than a lawn can actually use which means the nitrogen can leach into the ground, into nearby water ways like streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and bays. When you use an organic fertilizer, the fertilizer releases to the plant much slower and actually feeds the plant as it needs it.
 
Another common concern is cost; people think organic lawn care must be expensive. However, According to a 2010 study by Environmental Grass Roots Education, once established, an organic lawn program can result in savings of more than 25% compared to a conventional lawn care program. Initial costs may be more than a conventional lawn care program as one transitions from using synthetic fertilizers and chemical herbicides. Efforts such as topdressing with compost and relatively heavy fertilizer applications become less frequent or are eliminated after several years, or when the soil biology is sufficient enough to cycle nutrients and maintain adequate fertility on its own.
Organic lawn care is not difficult or expensive and can deliver a wonderful green lawn that is safe for kids and pets to romp and roll.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: E60E1

________________________________________________________

 

outlook_e60_body
 
Sell More Espoma With E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing is a proven way to engage with your customers and keep them coming back to your store. But who has time to research the content that that drives these campaigns? Now Espoma and Arett Sales have made it easy with professional content and images right at your fingertips. Contact your Arett salesperson today to learn how you can get started with this low cost and effective sales marketing tool.

Easy Soil Repair With Encap® Fast Acting™ Gypsum

outlook_e43_bannerGypsum is a natural mineral used as a soil amendment and conditioner for improving overall soil quality. A long-time practice in the agriculture industry, the secret is out on the many benefits gypsum can offer home gardeners and landscape enthusiasts looking to boost their soil’s productivity. This multi-purpose soil amendment provides a variety of soil-saving qualities that improve soil, resulting in more fruitful harvests, healthier plants, and increased production.

 
The Many Benefits of Gypsum
As a soil amendment, gypsum offers a variety of benefits that improve soil structure and overall health, resulting in healthier plants and higher crop yields. Among these benefits:
  • Gypsum Loosens Heavy and Clay Soils
    Gypsum aerates soil by helping soil particles to stick together, creating micro-channels within the soil for nutrients, air, and water to move through. This gathering of particles loosens up even the most compact clay soils and also results in enhanced oxygen penetration, as well as water infiltration and drainage.
  • Gypsum Helps Leach out Harmful Materials
    Because gypsum creates these micro-channels within the soil, harmful materials such as de-icing salts, pet urine, and salt water are able to leach out of the soil more quickly. This is especially valuable in areas where hurricanes or irrigation systems create a salty soil environment. Gypsum will even restore the telltale brown spots along driveways and sidewalks from salt damage.
  • Gypsum Adds Calcium
    For centuries, gypsum has been used effectively as a way to add calcium to soil without altering soil pH. Calcium is essential in helping plants to create vigorous root systems, as well as to take up the nutrients they need from the soil.
  • Gypsum Improves Soil Structure
    The ability of gypsum to improve air and water penetration, in combination with added calcium, ultimately yields a significantly improved soil structure. This not only helps plants to better take in necessary nutrients, but it also allows roots and established seeds to spread and grow more freely.
  • Gypsum Promotes Efficient Water Management
    Compact soils prevent efficient use of water. The enhanced water infiltration and drainage provided by gypsum creates a soil environment that can use water more efficiently, meaning less water needs to be applied, and nutrient runoff is significantly decreased.
Gypsum is easy to use, and can be applied at any time of the year, though a popular time to apply is in spring, in order to correct salt-damaged lawns after the winter. Gypsum is easily applied with any spreader, or even by hand. Gypsum will not burn turf, and is nearly impossible to over apply. Application is encouraged at the beginning of each growing season to ensure that soil is properly conditioned and ready for plants to effectively take up nutrients.
 
Encap Fast Acting Gypsum is the leading gypsum product on the market. Made from the most pure calcium, Encap Fast Acting Gypsum is finely ground to promote fast, enhanced uptake by plants. Its pelletized form allows for fast product break down and long lasting results, without the dust or mess found with the use of traditional gypsum products.
 
In addition, Encap Fast Acting Gypsum is blended with their patented Advanced Soil Technology, which holds calcium in the root zone where it is needed, even after it rains. This means longer lasting results with fewer applications. The gypsum combined with AST improves soil by providing better water and air infiltration, preventing crusting, and improving structure of clay soils.
 
Whether you’re looking to add calcium to your soil, or correct salt-damaged turf, Encap Fast Acting Gypsum is fast, effective, and easy to use.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: E43E2

Dr. Earth® Multiplies Your Profits With Marketing Innovation

outlook_d71b_bannerYou know that sick feeling you get when you see a customer walk out empty-handed and drive off, taking your profits with them. You need sales, and you just lost one. Maybe you were busy helping someone else, didn’t have enough employees on hand, or for whatever reason couldn’t connect with that prospect in time before they slipped away. And what if they never come back?

 
At Dr. Earth®, we understand the challenges and concerns of independent nursery and garden center owners. We’re in business to meet your needs, exclusively. We don’t deal with those big box stores that compete with you unfairly. Instead, we offer a brilliant innovation to increase your profits: kit branding. Our Recipe For Success Kits make marketing so simple, so bold and beautiful, and so compelling, that you’ll wonder how you ever did business without them.
 
Here’s what often happens with worn-out, conventional retail approaches—
 
A potential customer, Sally Brown, drives along on a spring day, she sees your colorful nursery and can’t resist stopping. She comes in, wanders around, and decides to pick up a $2.00 tomato plant. Then, Sally remembers that she needs fertilizer. In fact, she should get some potting soil, too, as well as insect and disease control products.
 
She starts looking. Wow. So many choices in so many locations require her to search far and wide. She picks up (and puts down) numerous products. The label information is either too vague or too confusing. Sally sighs and looks at her watch. Then she abandons her cart, taking only her $2.00 plant to the checkout. Or maybe she abandons that, too. When it comes to customers, confuse them and you lose them.
 
Now, imagine the Kit Branding Difference:
 
Sally Brown is in a hurry. She only recently got into gardening and feels a little insecure, but she’d like to grow a tomato plant in a pot on her deck. Here’s where your green goods and hard goods team up for maximized profits; next to your tomato plants, you’ve set up a super-colorful Dr. Earth display that offers everything she needs in a gorgeous, eye-catching kit, an irresistible temptation that saves her time, trouble, and confusion, thereby making her happy.
 
The Dr. Earth Recipe For Success Kit for vegetables, now in Sally’s cart, is only the beginning. What if she buys several types of plants and kits to match? Your profits increase exponentially with each combination. And by assuring her success, you’ve gained a loyal customer.
 
Our custom-designed kits target the essentials of successful gardening; everything needed to plant, provide, and protect. Each includes soil, fertilizer, and insect and disease control products, reinforced by the brand power of Probiotic. They focus the concept of one-stop-shopping to a sharper point than ever before.
 
Dr. Earth® carefully coordinated formulas and label designs in specific categories, so you can easily combine and display them as attractive kits such as:
 
• Pot of Gold® All Purpose Potting
• Mother Land® All Purpose Planting
• Home Grown® Vegetable Gardens
• Natural Wonder® Fruit Trees
• Flower Girl® Bud & Bloom Booster
• Total Advantage® Rose & Flower Gardens
• Organic Medicine Gardens®
 
To succeed in your business, it’s essential to recognize the trends that drive your industry. As you already know, going “green” equals “green.” But remember that long before organic became the commodity it is today, it was already the passion of the Dr. Earth Company. Organic is not only what we’ve been about since 1992; it’s all we’ve been about. As an industry leader, Dr. Earth has a track record and credibility like no one else, because of our integrity and unequaled quality, and expertise. Long ago, we built the brand that changed America.
 
Your success is our success, and it all starts with your customers’ success. The recipe for that success is Kit Branding, yet another Dr. Earth innovation for hardworking, independent nursery owners, like you. Taste the victory.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: D71E1

Easy Does It!

outlook_g81b_bannerAccording to the 2012 National Gardening Association’s survey market research report on what gardeners think – leading consumers to lawn and gardening success as it fits into their lifestyle with quick, easy solutions will be paramount to retailer success. When asked what would encourage them to do more with their lawns and gardens, 42% responded they would do more if it were less work or took less time. When asked what information they were most interested in, 47% responded they were interested in low maintenance or time-saving lawn and garden practices.

When it comes to making lawn care easier – Lebanon Seaboard’s new Ready2Go Spreader products are right on target. They make lawn care easy and give customers confidence that they can get it right. Anyone who’s ever wrestled a bulky bag of fertilizer into a rotary or drop spreader and then struggled with calibration, cleaning and maintenance will appreciate the new handheld, battery-operated Ready2Go Spreader. Pre-loaded with product and pre-calibrated, the new spreader is a time saver designed for ease, speed and mobility.
 
The refillable, reusable spreader is ideally suited to homeowners with a variety of lawn care needs. For anyone faced with rough terrain, slopes, or tight spaces where a walk-behind spreader is awkward, the lightweight, handheld unit tackles applications with ease. For those who care for small lawns under ¼ acre, the new battery-powered spreader can eliminate the need for a hand-cranked or walk-behind spreader entirely.
 
Available with selected lawn care products from two popular national brands, Preen and GreenView, it is literally ready for use at purchase – right off the shelf. Each spreader comes filled with fertilizer or weed control product, and is calibrated for that product. The calibration is fixed and never needs adjusting. There are no handles to attach or wheels to adjust. The batteries are installed. Simply pick up the spreader, remove the container seal and battery-contact strip, flip a switch and walk at a steady pace to feed or treat a small lawn or spot treat a larger lawn in minutes.
 
outlook_g81b_bodyConsumers love this new battery-powered, hand-held,
granular lawn care product spreader that’s always ready to go!
 
The Ready2Go Spreader is designed to distribute granular lawn care products, broadly with controlled even application. Its integrated fan system projects a steady, even spray of granular product approximately two feet straight ahead in a band three feet wide, making precision application a breeze.
 
Each spreader feeds or treats an area up to 2,500 square feet. Ready2Go branded refill bags offer an additional 2,500 square feet of coverage each. The unit also can be refilled from larger bags of the same product. The new hand-carried spreader requires no measuring and never needs emptying or maintenance. Four AA batteries are included and can easily be replaced as needed. Leftover product is stored right in the spreader, which fits easily on a shelf.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: G81E2

The Right Glove for the Job


outlook_a63b_banner

“Which glove do you recommend?”
 
People often ask this question, especially when faced with a bewildering array of styles in a glove aisle. They want to know how to choose the right glove, what to look for, and why. These are good questions, and your glove sales will reflect how well you answer them.
 
“What are you planning to do?”
 
LFS Glove National Sales Manager Paulette Bergh says she usually answers with a question of her own: how are you planning to use the gloves? Because the job dictates which is the right glove. This is a simple answer, of course, but it will help the customer make the best choice.
 
Ask if they need protection from thorns or abrasive materials. A cushion against blisters from heavy shoveling or raking? Do they need the dexterity of the lightweight, thinly-coated palm dipped styles? Will they need a warmer, insulated glove? A cooler, breathable style? Waterproof? Chemical resistant? Do they need a dependable grip? All these factors will help determine the right glove for the job.
 
Of course, busy retailers won’t have time to converse in depth with each of their potential glove customers, so they can help the decision process by strategic placement of gloves near other merchandise. It’s not rocket science, and most retailers already do some cross merchandising; the good news is, the more you do, the more gloves you’ll sell.
 
In fact, skillful cross merchandising can increase sales overall. Customers appreciate easy access to the things they need for their projects, and often a well-designed retail display will remind them of accessories they might have forgotten or show them possibilities they were not aware of.
 
Instead of the daunting “wall of gloves” on aisle Z, invest in some freestanding floor racks and countertop glove display racks. LFS Glove offers display racks, spinners, clip strips, and bin boxes free with minimum purchases. Once you have some displays, you can spread your glove inventory throughout the store.
 
The creative possibilities are as varied as your product mix. Put the heavy-duty work gloves near the shovels and rakes. Put the fully-coated gloves by the fertilizers and pesticides, and near the water garden supplies. Make sure there are plenty of thin, dexterous styles with the seed planting pots and seeds, and prominently displayed by the bedding plants.
 
Be sure to put a countertop spinner of children’s styles by the checkout counter! Moms and Grandmothers find these pint-sized gloves hard to resist. Add a floor rack with some other brightly colored styles as well, because gloves are the perfect impulse item.
 
“Gloves are actually pretty easy to sell,” Bergh said. “They don’t cost much, they’re attractive and comfortable, and they’re useful. So, they are a purchase that’s easy for customers to justify, especially if you can show them the right glove to get a particular job done.”
 
“It really does make a difference to have the right glove when you start a job,” she emphasized. “If your hands stay warm when it’s cold outside, or dry when you’re working in the mud, you don’t get stabbed by blackberry thorns, or develop a blister from pushing the lawnmower – you’re a much happier customer.”
 
Happy customers come back again and again, and tell their friends about your store. This is a win-win situation!
 
Order Now Using Program Number: A63E1