The New American Lawn Plan: A Revolutionary Approach to Lawn Care

outlook_J20_bannerTo achieve a great lawn, you must not only feed the lawn, but FEED THE SOIL, too. Jonathan Green’s “New American Lawn Plan” focuses on the latter using three simple steps. In fact, you might say, that the “New American Lawn Plan” is as easy to remember as “U-S-A”:

  1. Use genetically superior BLACK BEAUTY grass seed!
  2. Stop soil compaction and stimulate soil microbes with LOVE YOUR LAWN-LOVE YOUR SOIL!
  3. Adjust soil pH levels with Mag-i-Cal!
Use genetically superior “Black Beauty” Grass Seed. The genetic improvement of grass seed is a fairly recent occurrence. Much of the credit for this progress goes to Dr. Cyril Reed Funk of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Dr. Funk was the “Einstein” of turfgrasses and his accomplishments in breeding them live on.
 
Jonathan Green has continued his work in our own turfgrass breeding program, developing truly, genetically superior grasses that produce a beautiful lawn. We call these grasses, “Black Beauty”.
 
Black Beauty varieties can root up to four feet deep, possess a dark green color, and contain endophytes for natural insect resistance. Black Beauty also has a waxy leaf coating, like that on apple skin, making them incredibly heat and drought tolerant.
 
A grass is only as good as the seed it’s grown from. Black Beauty grass seed products are unequalled in the market and will provide a lawn that the homeowner will never forget!
 
Stop soil compaction and stimulate soil microbes with Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil. Healthy soil is fundamental to healthy lawns. Bacteria, fungi, and algae are examples of beneficial microbes that help decompose organic matter via countless biological, physical, and chemical interactions in the soil. Air and water play a vital role in these reactions, too. Maintaining a biologically active soil – rich in organic material and increasingly porous – is essential to long-term turfgrass vigor.
 
In order to encourage the soil biology, Jonathan Green has developed Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil. This amazing product FEEDS soil microbes with organic humates, amino acids, and sugars to make the soil become more alive while, at the same time, loosens compacted soil for deeper air and water penetration into root zones.
 
Adjust your soil pH with Mag-i-Cal. Soil pH is how acidic (sour) or alkaline (sweet) the lawn soil is. Grass grows best in a pH range of 6.3 to 6.8. If your pH is too acidic, then you can be wasting up to 75% of your lawn fertilizer! Having the proper pH increases the ability of grass plants to utilize these “idle” nutrients.
 
Jonathan Green’s Mag-i-Cal naturally balances soil pH levels with a highly soluble form of calcium that is instantly available to the plant. Mag-i-Cal also fortifies soil with humates to further encourage microbial life.
 
Once the issues above are addressed, a revolutionary, but quite logical, lawn plan emerges. It’s a plan that deals with the underlying causes – and NOT symptoms – of poor turf. You see, growing a beautiful lawn is not that hard once you get the basics right. Jonathan Green’s “New American Lawn Plan” – and its fundamental “U-S-A” principles – accomplishes the basics for you.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: J20S7

Handy Camel Set for a Great 2015 with Expanding Product Line

outlook_h70_headerHandy Camel released a “mini” version of their successful original heavy-duty Handy Camel Bag Clip for home and smaller bag use in late 2014. After being awarded the Bronze Award for New Products and a Retailers’ Choice Award at the 2013 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, The Handy Camel didn’t want to stop momentum. So they started working on a prototype for a smaller version and released that version at the 2014 New Product Showcase at the National Hardware Show and won another Retailers Choice Award. The company plans to release 2 other products during 2015, both within the lawn and garden area.

The Handy Camel is a 17-inch bag clip with a specially designed hinge closure system that makes it capable of sealing, carrying and making it easy to pour contents from large, heavy bags. A built-in handle makes it easy to carry awkward bags with the Handy Camel. Using it can help protect the back by promoting safe lifting posture, and plastic bags are protected from stretching and tearing. The mini will do all of the same things but will fit smaller bags of pet food, bird food, and household things such as bags of flour better. It will be ideal for in home use. Both the original and mini clips come in a range of colors.
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The Handy Camel is a must-have tool for gardeners, tailgate parties, pet owners, DIY weekend warriors, bird enthusiasts, and the average homeowner. The Handy Camel can eliminate the hassle of carrying and pouring dog and cat food, birdseed, garden soil, fertilizer, grass seed, charcoal, sand, ice melt and all other bagged, bulk items. The Handy Camel has many farm uses as well. Bags of corn, horse feed, protein pellets, mineral, chicken feed, seeds, and other products can be sealed to prevent spillage in the back of a truck or between pens, and to keep pests out when stored.
 
The Handy Camel creates a tight seal on open bags using a side hinge opening and ratchet locking system. It features rounded teeth on the interior of the clip that grip bags without tearing. To use the Handy Camel, you simply open the clip, slide it sideways across the width of the bag you want to seal, and as you begin to shut the clip across the bag, the ratchet system will lock the bag closed. The Handy Camel original is rated to carry up to 40 pounds and the Mini is rated to carry up to 10 lbs. The mini can also be taken apart and popped in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
 
About Handy Camel
Invented in Germany and made in the U.S.A., the patented Handy Camel offers lots of convenience as it keeps all your bag’s contents sealed tight. It’s easy to use, easy to open, and to close. The Handy Camel can seal and carry bags of flour, rice bags, charcoal, tile adhesives, sugar, bird seed, planting soil, bulk seed, road salt, pet food, pet litter and much more. The Handy Camel has won numerous awards including: INPEX International Award Winner – Gold Medal Innovative Excellence, INPEX International Award Winner – Award of Excellence.
 
The Handy Camel also won 2nd place at Arett’s 2014 Fall Show. They offer a 20 pack Handy Camel Original multi color retail box (4 each of White, Lime Green, Sky Blue, Red & Terracotta) SKU# H70 THC62. The mini is offered in a 12 pk multi color box with the item on backing cards to be clip stripped (3 each of White, Lime Green, Sky Blue & Red) SKU# H70 THC262.
 

 
Order Now Using Program Number: H70E1

5 Miniature Gardening Must-Dos

outlook_gg96b_headerBy Abby Kleckler Managing Editor, Lawn & Garden Retailer

 
Miniature gardening is here to stay, and many retailers have been amping up their products in this category. Whether you haven’t given miniatures much thought, or have fully embraced the offerings, Clark Hermanson, garden center manager at Pesche’s Garden Center in Des Plaines, Illinois, has five merchandising tips for scaling up your scaled-down offerings.
 
1. CATCH THEIR EYE
Give customers something on a large scale to draw them in no matter how big or small the department. Pesche’s started its miniature gardening department at its brick-and-mortar store five years ago with 8 square feet in the store, and now they have approximately 700 square feet.
 
The team at Pesche’s has created a 10-by-10-foot fairy garden display they change out every year and for the holidays.
 
“The kids bring the parents over to the section automatically because they want to know what we’ve done,” Hermanson says.
 
Some of the displays have been more intricate with water features such as small lakes or rain coming from overhead, but it’s the size that is really key.
 
Hermanson says to aim for at least 4 feet by 2 feet. This could be a small village on an old planting bench, a tabletop or inside a wheelbarrow. The key is to create an inspirational feature.
 
outlook_gg96b_body12. HAVE A GOOD PRODUCT MIX 
With miniature gardening, Hermanson has found that customers care more about variety instead of depth of product.
 
“It is better to have six pieces of 30 different items than 12 pieces of 15 different items,” he says. “You can always reorder.” Some people prefer a more folksy look while other might like a more detailed, realistic look.
 
Hermanson recommends asking wholesalers for their top 10 or 20 sellers and then order a small amount of those items to begin. Instead of stocking all fairies or all accessories, you want to mix in little pots, bistro sets, etc. with those staple pieces.
 
“The more different types of items you can fit in your budget will make you a destination for fairy gardens and keeps people coming in,” Hermanson says.
 
outlook_gg96b_body23. KEEP LIKE ITEMS TOGETHER 
With such a variety of items, it is important for your merchandising to make sense. For example, make sure to keep all the fairies together or all the animals together on your shelves.
 
Organize displays by theme. “You need to tell a story and show customers how to use the product by completing a variety of different scenes using houses, supplies, and fairies,” Hermanson says. “A lot of times customers may copy what you are doing if they like the look.”
 
Jeremie Corp. set up a farm scene for their display at the IGC East show in Maryland (above), which could easily translate to your garden center.
 
outlook_gg96b_body34. SHOW OFF YOUR MINIATURES 
People need to know you have a strong miniature gardening department. Whenever Pesche’s gets a new product in, Hermanson posts the vendors’ photos on its Facebook site to notify customers.
 
A large sign depicting Pesche’s as a “Fairy Garden Headquarters!” stops drivers and beckons them to come inside, while signage at the entrance drives people back to the miniature garden display. Although some fairy gardening products are situated right near the registers, it is important to have signage, since everything cannot be in that prime location of the store, according to Hermanson.
 
“We make sure that the people who are working the entrance to the garden center and greeting people in our busy times, steer people (especially those with children) to take a look at the miniature gardens,” he says. “That keeps them coming back.”
 
outlook_gg96b_body45. DON’T SHY AWAY FROM FAIRY PLANTS 
Pesche’s miniature gardening department has grown to $82,000 annually for the brick-and-mortar store, $22,000 of the total coming from fairy plants.
 
At $2.99 for each plant, the demand is high. Pesche’s puts them in baby blue or pink 3-inch pots. Customers have almost a collector’s mentality where they need to have all the different plants, according to Hermanson.
 
Incorporating these plants in your large-scale miniature garden displays can also inspire, as Roger’s Gardens in California shows (above).
 
“You can get fairy plants from anybody unbranded, but it’s all about the tag. Brand these as fairy plants and people can see how to use them,” Hermanson says. “People walk out with so many of these as opposed to an unbranded pot.”
 
outlook_gg96b_body5.jpg(Article provided by Lawn & Garden Retailer)

Great Lakes Forest Products

outlook_g85_header.jpgGreat Lakes Forest Products, Inc. announces the launch of a wood cedar product line that greatly enhances the beauty and experience of outdoor gardening.

Since 1989, Great Lakes Forest Products has been producing value added wood products for various markets throughout the United States. They are a family owned business that takes much pride in building high quality wood products for their customers. Recently, the employees of Great Lakes decided to merge their passion for gardening with their love for wood. The result is a host of cedar garden products that will lend beauty and functionality to any outdoor or indoor setting. The new line is called Great Lakes Outdoor Living.
 
All products are built from red cedar. Red cedar is the most beautiful and most resilient species of wood that works well for outside applications. Its warm honey brown color, decay resistance and ability to adjust to humidity and temperature fluctuations make it the logical choice of wood to use. In fact, many wood-sided homes throughout the United States are made of cedar.
 
Whether it is trellises, arbors, pots or container gardens, Great Lakes Forest Products produces the right product for any space. Both urban and rural consumers continue to spend increasing amounts of money to enhance their indoor and outdoor settings. Wood remains a vastly untapped reservoir of potential. Bring this alternative product to your store and success will follow!
 
Great Lakes’ conviction to partner with retail stores that share their passion is strong. They believe exposure of their products is the key to success. Please contact your local Arett representative to hear details about their new incentivized drop ship program.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: G85D1

Japanese Beetles Eating Up Everything!

outlook_r30_headerJapanese beetles made a comeback especially in the mid-Atlantic region of the country. For every 1000 adult beetles you saw during the summer months last year, there may be up to 50,000 grubs come this spring. The best way to combat Japanese beetles is to attack them at their most vulnerable stage of their life cycle…the grub stage.

Proper education is key to eradicating the beetle. Most consumers don’t realize the grub is part of the life cycle of the beetle and don’t properly treat for the insect. We see adult beetles eating away lush vegetation during the summer months, including crape myrtle, roses, and Japanese plum trees. As fall approaches, the beetles lay eggs in the grassy lawn areas of the yard where they hatch into grubs. The grubs eat the roots of grass to build up body fat to survive the winter months. If a lawn has over ten grubs per square foot it begins to stress, ultimately browning out and creating bare patches in the yard. The following spring, the grubs reemerge to feed for a short period of time, before pupating into the adult beetle, whereby the process repeats again.
 
One of the most used and successful products to combat the Japanese Beetle is Milky Spore. A natural bacteria, first developed by USDA, it has been used for over 60 years. Milky Spore is applied to the lawn as the grubs feed on the roots and they ingest the bacteria. Once ingested, the bacteria begin to multiply, killing the grub. An infected grub turns milky in color as the bacteria multiply. (see picture) The grub decays and the bacteria is re-released back into the soil to work again. Milky spore has been known to be viable for up to 20 years. Milky spore is safe, not harming man, animal, or beneficial insects.
 
outlook_r30_body1There are two forms of Milky Spore, powder and granule. The powder is applied in level teaspoon amounts every four feet in rows four feet apart, making a grid pattern. The powder is concentrated and only requires one application. Once applied, it is watered in for about 25 minutes. It can also be watered in by rain if rain is in the forecast for the following few days. St. Gabriel Organics makes a dispenser tube for easy application of the powder. The granular product is used in drop spreaders and is a multi-step program. This form of the product requires three applications over two seasons. It should be applied in spring, summer, and fall for two seasons.
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Whichever method is applied, milky spore is guaranteed to keep working for up to 10 years. If the Japanese Beetle grubs continue to be a problem, St. Gabriel Organics will replace the product at no charge. Also, if your customers are not sure they have Japanese Beetle grubs, St. Gabriel Organics provides a free service to assist in the identification of grubs. Please contact the company to inquire about this service at 800-801-0061 FREE.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: R30E1

Neptune’s Harvest: Designed For The Consumer And The Environment

outlook_n17b_headerOcean Crest Seafoods Inc., Neptune’s Harvest Fertilizer’s parent company, in Gloucester, MA, inadvertently ended up in the organic fertilizer business. A wholesale fish and seafood company established in 1965, Ocean Crest had a need to dispose of the fish remains, called gurry, that are created after processing. Gurry makes up 60 to 70% of the fish after it is filleted. Initially, a plant in Gloucester was taking the remains and turning it into pet food, but in the early 1980s, this company went out of business, leaving all the fish processors in Gloucester high and dry.

 
“We were all paying fishermen to bring it back out to sea and dump it,” recalls Ann Molloy, director of sales and marketing. “This was expensive, wasteful and bad for the environment.” So Ocean Crest got together with researchers from the University of Massachusetts’ marine science research center and developed the process of turning the gurry into fertilizer, which allows the company to utilize 100% of the fish.
 
The products that this collaboration came up with are beneficial to the environment in more than one way. First of all, the products are organic. “To make our products, we use what nature has given us from the mineral-rich North Atlantic Ocean, which is nature’s perfect source for the nutrients plants and soil need,” says Ann.
 
Secondly, the company uses every part of each fish and shellfish, so there is no waste that is being dumped back into the ocean or sent to landfills; instead, the “waste” is used to help grow stronger, healthier plants. “We are constantly growing and innovating,” shares Ann. “The process we use did not exist before we developed it. We are currently looking into new and exciting products made from other seafood by-products.”
 
Neptune’s Harvest Fish Fertilizer differs from Fish Emulsion in many ways. First off, it does not stink like Fish Emulsion. This is because the fish comes off the boats fresh and is filleted, ground and stabilized the same day. Also, it is not cooked. It is cold processed so the heat sensitive nutrients are intact. Unlike Emulsions, it is made with several species of fish caught well offshore in clean, cold waters.
 
“The whole world use to be under water. They found fish fossils on the top of Mount Everest. Ever since then it’s been demineralizing. By adding products from the ocean back to the soil, it replenishes it and brings it back to life,” says Ann.
 
The company is always looking for other environmentally friendly products to complement their line, which includes the Hydrolyzed Fish Fertilizer, Fish-Seaweed Blend, Seaweed Plant Food, Crab Shell, Kelp Meal, and Turf Formula.
 
The trend toward organic products has never been stronger. “We feel very strongly about sustainable development. Everything we do is toward that goal. We need to love our Mother Earth.” Ann says the overarching goal of Neptune’s Harvest is to produce organic fertilizers that work better than chemicals so more people are using organics and protecting our land and groundwater.
 
“We sell to big farms, small home growers and everyone in between,” she explains. The more chemical growers we can convert to organic, the better off our planet and all of us will be. Profit comes when you are doing the right things and putting the planet and its people first. We believe fully in karma. What goes around comes around and if we are doing the right things, it feels good and good things come of it.”
 
The company’s plan for the future is to continue to expand the market for its products and to keep developing new organic products that will help the environment. “We recently bought a huge warehouse to continue our expansion,” shares Ann.
 
A final fun fact about Neptune’s Harvest is that it is a family-run businesses. Out of 45 employees, 16 are family.
 
The following Neptune’s Harvest dry products are tilled into the soil before planting:
 
KELP MEAL 1-0-2
• Ascophyllum Nodosum (Norwegian kelp) Dry form
• Add to soil or potting mixes
• Contains many trace minerals
• Adds organic matter and helps retain moisture
• Builds a strong root system
• Excellent for gardens and lawns
 
CRAB SHELL 2-3-0
• 23% Calcium and 1.3% Magnesium
• High in Chitin (Kite-en)
• Controls nematodes, grubs, ants, slugs and fungus
• Adds organic matter to soil and retains moisture
• Excellent dry organic fertilizer
 
For more information on Neptune’s Harvest Organic Fertilizer go to neptunesharvest.com.
 
Order Now Using Program Number: N17E1