Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Forget the ground hog...

Here are the true signs spring is coming:

January-  the Tommy Knockers appear.
No this isn't about the Stephen King novel of the same name. This is about an occurrence that starts annually in the early part of January---Weedman door to door sales.

It's not that I begrudge this tactic- what ever works, right?  For a company this size it's simply a numbers game as it is with Trugreen, Nutrilawn and other medium to large-sized lawn businesses. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before you dip your big toe into the thought of lawn care for your property.

You may not be interested in signing at your front door as dinner gets cold on the table,
but you may be saying yes to a phone call from a closer sometime in the near future just to shoo the kid in the neon yellow vest away. Now the company has carte blanche to call you repeatedly....and they will.
It's a common thread I hear from ex-customers of the lawn giant.

The price may be high at first but with every "no" a counter offer may come into play. Anyone who has suffered the onslaught of a time share seminar will understand. You must ask yourself, "why didn't I get the best price from the start." Not exactly the solid foundation of trust I want to start a relationship on.

Yet, that, "too good", price you find yourself negotiating may be just that. Once the smoke has cleared at the end of the season you may find you've paid for a lot of upsell....some of which you may not have even ordered.

If this is a service you are considering for your home, then like all things, you should do your research, or proceed with caution. Homestars, I find, is an excellent place to start for those who want to read others experiences with the company you are considering before jotting your John Hancock on anything.

February- by now most lawn care companies have started to call/ email/ send out renewal notices. You may wonder with snow on the ground why they just can't wait until the end of March when you are more in a spring-like mood.

I don't want to show up and start work on a lawn that was green-lighted last year. Circumstances change, people move, or some may want to D.I.Y. this year. With an extensive customer base it takes time to contact everyone and routes for the trucks need to be set long before the season starts so February makes sense.

March- Many times before the last remnants of snow and ice disappear you can see the ubiquitous workers of Property Stars pushing their aerators up and down the streets trying to entice you into a early spring aeration.

It may sound like a good deal, but consider this. Too early in the season the ground is still frozen and you don't get the benefit of a deep core. Too soggy and more damage than good is caused to the lawns composition.

There is also the weed-seed factor to keep in mind as dormant seeds will be disturbed and exposed to the elements. There are hundreds of weed seeds in your lawn per square metre just waiting for such an opportunity.

If you want an aeration done properly, at the appropriate time, wait to the last weeks of August or September and do some over-seeding with it. Your lawn will be much more forgiving.

Spring may start, officially, March 20th, but the preparation begins long before.


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