Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Promises, promises

Monday's IPM symposium at the Congress Centre had it's usual highs and disappointing lows. On the high note, Michael "Pinball" Clemons was fantastic as the keynote speaker touting teamwork, self motivation and a never quit attitude. By far, the highlight reel of the day, or as Pinball would have probably preferred, "the sweeeeeet-spot."

Yet with all the fanfare and the rays of hope of last year's 2014 symposium
not word one was said about the, "next great weed control" Phoma macrostoma, or crabgrass pre-emergent Opportune and barely a passing sentence on Phyllom grub control.

Most of the time was spent on endophytic grass studies, changing weather patterns and the relation of grubs and chinch bug infestations. So was there any new information on how to deal?
Surprise, surprise....not a hell of a lot. Most of the information passed along you can already find in past posts, right here on this blog--- application timing, ideal conditions, proper mowing height etc.

There was even a fact or fiction panel, who for the most of the time, danced around the issues with a sly smile. Questions about nematode true effectiveness, or lack there of, possible amendment to the bylaw...lol, glyphosate vs 2-4-D for the sake of public health and to treat dangerous weed infestations.
At times the panel seemed fidgety and uncomfortable with what they were being asked. After all, those in attendance have lost a stadium worth of clientele between them due to a five-year-old bylaw that has yet to show and significant decline in chemical use.

The only useful information came from one of my suppliers after the presentations. They informed me, a new crabgrass pre-emergent had been approved by the PMRA for testing but was still two years away from going to market.

So, fact, or fiction? Were the products of last year just smoke and mirrors to appease the angry natives? The Big Foot and Loch Ness Monster of the lawn care world?
I don't know? No one answered those questions.

Either way it looks like we've a few years to go until we experience the "sweeeeet spot", and I, like many others, am not impressed.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy anniversary to us

As we prepare to embark on our eighth season in the lawn care industry I'm reminded of the New Year's morning 2008 when I woke up to a law suit courtesy of my former employer.
It seemed they didn't take too kindly to me leaving them to start my own business on the opposite side of the GTA.

Looking back, I see how frivolous and asinine the legal action actually was--- nothing more than a scare tactic of a small child throwing a temper tantrum. There was never any documentation to support a "non-compete," or any of the other erroneous claims they were making. Yet, it wasn't how I perceived it at the time and I still had to seek legal help to defend my position.

It seems we spend much of our time complaining about the negative we have thrust upon us, but it is exactly these moments we should be grateful for. It shaped who I am and how I treat others now. It gave me the resolve and determination to push forward from the corner I had been backed into.

Without that hurdle I don't believe I would have had the focus to start the business, or been as passionate about it. In fact, I probably would have gone to work for...egad!...Weedman.

So, it is with glass raised, I toast that moment in my life and celebrate the journey. Without the flaming bags of excrement on our doorstep once in a while our voices are monotone, the sweet moments are less colorful and the victories less resounding.

A happy and healthy new year to you all.