Friday, March 27, 2009

Home Show and tell

Alas it's spring and every weekend there's a Home Show happening somewhere. Vendors are coming out of the woodwork after a long winter's hibernation- some in a rather grumpy mood.

Despite the economy, people are still willing to buy, but the perception is, competition for the dollar is fierce.

I saw this first hand at a recent Home Show I had the fortune to be represented at where more that one deck guy, more than one landscaper, more than one hot-tub sales dude all bumped one another for pole position like antsy racecar drivers.

I'm not saying they were all like this, but there were a few who refused to play nicely and resorted to under-handed tactics and- dare I say it? slander- to gain a competitive edge.

I'm from the old school of live-and-let-live. I understand people have families to feed and bills to pay- we all do, but there is enough work out there for everyone, if you have the ambition to find it and the commitment to follow through and deliver the job, or product.

Yet some will insist on trying to strong-arm others out of the arena. Personally I feel the consumer is smarter than they're given credit for and the transparencies of these companies are quite easily spotted.

So shape up guys. Play nice. The world's a big place. Put faith in your abilities not the animosity for your fellow handyman.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The new bylaw is here! The new bylaw is here!

OK, maybe not greeted with the same enthusiasm as Steve Martin's telephone book rant in the Jerk, but none-the-less there's at least some news on the bylaw front.

If you've been living under a rock, I'm talking about the Provincial bylaw banning pesticides for the purpose of cosmetic use on lawns in Ontario.

This has been coming for sometime as, one by one, municipalities drafted their own legislation to deal with this issue. Yet, until now, no clear agenda was in place.

As of Earth Day, April 22nd the playing field will be leveled and traditional lawn care will be outlawed province wide. No more Killex. No more Par III. No more Merit, Dimension, Acclaim....the list goes on.

The provincial bylaw will supersede those already in place by various municipalities.

In fact, as I understand it, only under conditions where there are health issues affecting the public, will traditional methods be considered and then only after alternative methods have failed.

Sounds like IPM to me.

If you're worried about Nazi's marching into your neighbourhood to force compliance, relax. Although there will be no phasing in of the new law, it is not the Ministry's, or the Government's intent to fine, or jail anyone out at 3:00 in the morning with a Miner's helmet spraying Killex on dandelions.

Education will be the buzz word and the key to changing the mind of the homeowner.

Personally I welcome this shift with open arms, having set up my lawn care business to run eco-friendly from the get-go while the major players scramble to reinvent their brands.

With the implementation of various organic methods, it is possible to control pests and have the outstanding lawn you've come to know if you are willing to embrace the new breed of lawn care. Just make sure you do your research before you choose an option.

A healthy, thick lawn is still the best defence against any invasion, whether it be insect, turf disease, or lazy neighbour who refuses to manage his weed problem and subsequently makes it yours.

The best advice I can give anyone who is freaking out over the impending ban is, forget it. Utilize the tools and products you have at your disposal...they will work, whether you're a do-it-yourselfer, or in partnership with a lawn care provider who knows what they are doing. And remember new products will be developed, of which Sarritor is only the first tiny step.

The future of Green can also be friendly.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Joe Landscaper

Today I was going to post something concerning the upcoming Provincial pesticide ban, but no one seems to have the answers. Not the Ministry of the Environment, not Landscape Ontario, not my suppliers, not my fellow lawn care experts. Hell....I don't know for sure either. After all, we're talking about legislation that hasn't even been written yet, but is supposed to be passed in April. Yet, I ask you, is anyone surprised by this?

So, with virtually no information to work with I've decided a post of a lighter nature should take it's place.