Sunday, November 2, 2014

The song remains the same

I'm reminded of a story I once heard about Neil Peart the drummer for Rush and how, when they were recording new material, Neil would always start out with a full drum kit. Yet, with each pass he would be informed that a certain instrument- perhaps the cowbell, wasn't right for the song. So Neil would remove it from the kit and toss it in the corner.
With each repetition of the song the pile of discarded instruments would grow until the right percussive mix was established.

Where am I going with all this?

The lawn care industry is much the same way. Think of each season as a different song that needs the right mix of instruments. This year the song was exceptionally good but there was still a problem with the overall sound.

In the summer chinch bugs came in full force and caused damage, but one discouraging result I found, was most of the damage I saw revolved around my customers with Eco-Lawn- a grass seed that I was told, flat-out, by my supplier was an endophytic cultivar.

Simply, this means it is a grass type meant to withstand chinch bug and grub invasions. However, I witnessed many of my eco-lawns destroyed by chinch. In one case where we treat adjoining fronts of two lawns the feeding only took place on the Eco-Lawn side and stopped once it reached the more traditional blends of perennial ryes, fescue and blue grass.

That raises some serious questions not to mention my frustration.

Now not all my Eco-Lawns were affected, but I have now seen chinch and white grub dine heavily on this supposedly insect resistant grass. Since I too, have touted the insect resistant value of this seed, I must now remove that statement from my vocabulary.

Don't get me wrong, I still feel Eco-Lawn grass seed is a useful instrument in the right situations. However, for this year's song it ended up in the corner and with chinch bug becoming a frequent problem I can't see it returning to the kit anytime soon.

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