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    Today's Featured Article
    Welcome to the ProGardenBiz Web Portal! Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Wednesday, January 01 2003 @ 09:30 AM EST
    Contributed by: Admin

    General News

    Welcome to the ProGardenBiz Web Portal. This is the Community area of the ProGardenBiz Online Magazine. There are industry related articles, fun and interesting articles, places to chat, a forum for discussion, FAQ's on the Green Industry and more.

    Plus in this community area you can not only participate in chats and forums, but you can also contribute articles, FAQ's, and information. It's FREE to use and you don't need to sign in for many features! You can also become an Editor for various areas of the community!

    So browse around, check all the features out and if you have questions, just ask! Make this Web Portal your Home Page and check on us daily.

      [ Views: 7515 ]  
    Theft Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 06:02 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogEquipment theft continues to be a problem. It will continue to be a problem so long as you do not take seriously the possibility that you will be a victim of theft. It's too easy for someone to walk up to your truck while you're mowing Mrs. Smith's back yard and walk off with your line trimmer.

    Someone who heard about thefts everyday of the week from his customers was Tim Quantrell. Tim is the owner of Pacific Lawnmower Works in San Diego, California. "I'd sell several new line trimmers or blowers every week to gardeners who were ripped off. I got tired off hearing these stories."

    Tim got so tired that he conceived of a device that you could mount on your truck in which you could lock up all your hand-held power equipment. After several months of development his idea became real.

    It's called "The Rack".

    The Rack is a steel cage comprised of 1/2 steel rods bent and welded into a box shape measuring 18" wide, 24" deep and 15" tall. There are two places for line trimmers and two hooks for chain saws or blowers. There is room in the rack for a couple of gas cans or a tool box, a power hedge shear, a chain saw, line trimmers and more. All this equipment can be secured with one heavy duty lock!

    The Rack can be mounted across the bed of small or standard pickup trucks. It can be mounted in a stake bed on any gate or even the bed itself. It can even be mounted in a trailer.

    Not only does The Rack provide you with the security you've been looking for it also functions as an equipment organizer. No more equipment damaged from rolling around in the back of the truck. If you are an employer The Rack will eliminate all excuses regarding stolen equipment or equipment that "fell off the truck".

    The Rack is being manufactured by Don Warrant of C&M Wire Products. Full production began in March. The Green Machine of Southern California is the distributor. If you would be interested in being an outlet or distributor for The Rack call The Green Machine at (213) 604-0900.

    The Rack will be available all over California in a few months and nationwide as production and distribution points increase. If you want one for yourself or know of a dealer who might be interested in carrying The Rack please call The Green Machine. Don't wait for The Rack to appear in your area, call today.

    The price of The Rack is approximately $199.95. Compare that to the price of a new line trimmer or blower and it becomes quickly obvious how necessary this device is.

    REPORT ALL THEFTS!

    If you were to call your local law enforcement agency today and ask them how serious equipment theft was they would say that it's minimal. Why? The answer is simple. Most gardeners don't bother to report a theft to the police. The police will not exert much effort toward investigating and working on the equipment theft epidemic unless they know that there is a one. If your line trimmer is stolen, CALL THE POLICE! Report the theft even if you have to call at the end of the day. It's part of doing your part.

    PREVENTION

    Some law enforcement agencies have equipment registration programs that they want you to participate in. The program generally involves the assignment of a number to your business. You engrave this number on all your equipment. The police keep a computer record of that number. When they find a piece equipment with the code number engraved on it they enter the number into the computer to see if it has been reported as being stolen. There are also decals that you can place on the equipment and your truck warning thieves that your equipment is registered with the police. Call your local law enforcement agency today.

    SELLING and BUYING

    When you sell your equipment, place an ad in your local newspaper or trade magazine, put a notice up at your lawnmower repair shop or sell it on consignment. Do not sell your equipment out of the back of your truck. When you sell a unit provide the buyer with a bill of sale. The bill of sale should have a description of the equipment and its serial number as well as your name and phone number. Bill of sale forms are available at a good office supply store for about 25¢ each. This protects the buyer if someone thinks the equipment is stolen.
    When you buy equipment, buy it from legitimate sellers. Beware of people selling equipment from their trunks or out of the back of their trucks. Ask for a bill of sale. Ask to see the seller's identification. If you have any suspicion that the individual is selling stolen equipment, call the police! AND . . . NEVER, NEVER, NEVER buy equipment you think might be stolen. If you do, you may someday be buying your own stolen line trimmer.

    Equipment theft is a problem nearly everyone has had some personal experience with. Most of these thefts could have been prevented with a simple lock and chain and in the future with The Rack.

      [ Views: 1834 ]  

    Pruning With A Saw Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 06:02 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogPRUNING WITH A SAW

    Whether it's a hand saw or a chain saw the cutting techniques are similar.

    Saws are generally used to prune branches or limbs that are too large to be properly cut with a lopper. The decision to use a saw is generally based on the diameter of the branch. Another consideration is the weight of the branch and the plant material growing on it. A branch that may be thin enough for a lopper might need to be undercut to prevent splitting or bark stripping. A third consideration is the amount of pruning that will be done.

    Gas or electric chain saws have definite advantages over hand saws and the biggest one is speed. One man can prune substantially more branches with a chain saw than with a hand saw. This however leads to a problem: over-pruning. Just because you can cut more branches doesn't mean that you should. Being able to prune a lot of branches does not make someone an expert at pruning. You should take the same careful planned action whether you use a lopper, hand saw or chain saw.

    A pole saw is a must in every gardener's collection of tools. You can get one that is just a pole saw or you can get one that is a pole saw and pole pruner. Your best bet is to get separate units. Individually they will last longer and do a better job. Separate units are less troublesome to operate. The lopper on a combination lopper/pole saw can interfere with the operation of the saw and visa versa.

    Since saws can cut larger branches than loppers you should be more careful about what branches you remove. Study the tree or shrub. Walk around it. Look up onto it. An improper cut can damage the tree. Removal of the wrong limb could disfigure it. Know how the branch will fall. Under cut it if there is the slightest possibility that it might strip the bark or splinter when it is cut.

    Some people will actually make a sketch of the tree before they begin pruning. That way they can erase branches that they are considering removing. This will give them a good idea of what the tree will look like if it's pruned the way they "pruned" it on paper. It's much easier to draw a branch back in than it is to grow a new one.

    Some people will take photographs of their customer's deciduous trees in Fall or Winter, after all the leaves have fallen off. This gives them an excellent opportunity to study the tree and make wise decisions about where to make cuts.

    A good saw is a sharp saw. A sharp saw always does a better job than a dull one. Keeping your blades sharp can save a lot of muscle aches. A sharp chain saw means a chain saw engine that will last longer. Nothing will contribute to a shorter chain saw life than operating it with a dull blade. The engine has to work too hard. It will eat up oil and destroy its viscosity very quickly.

    You should have more than one pruning saw. That way, if you do a lot of cutting in one day you will be assured of having a sharp blade. Always keep a couple of sharp chain saw chains with your chain saw. That way you will be assured of having an easier time of trimming lots of branches.

    When your blades get dull drop them off at your equipment repair shop or sharpening shop as soon as you can. The sooner you get them in the sooner you'll get them back. There is nothing worse than having to wait a week to complete a job because all your blades and chains were dull.

    Another solution to the dull blade or chain is to have the right file in your tool box so that you can sharpen blades or chains in the field. That way you can at least get by.

    Many plant saps can cause a saw blade to stick inside the cut and bind up. Some solutions to this problem are the use of lubricants such as WD-40 or silicon based lubricants. Some gardeners and tree workers have used petroleum based oils and vaselines. This is potentially dangerous to the plant, unless you are removing the plant and then it doesn't matter. Some of these products might injure the plant or retard healing at the cut. If you must use a lubricant you might think about trying a vegetable cooking oil. You can even purchase some in aerosol form.

    The best solution to the sticking blade is to clean the blade. Soapy water in a nearby bucket and a scrub brush will do the trick. A few swishes and a few quick licks with the brush will eliminate most of your problems. Keep a bucket of clean water to rinse off the soap. And, of course, a nearby convenient pump spray bottle of alcohol, to disinfect the blade and kill any harmful virus or bacteria, is good added bonus to protect the plant.

    So remember, don't just start whacking away at the tree or shrub. Take a moment to look at it. As you grow more accustomed to making deliberate well thought out cuts you will see your pruning skills improve. When you make the correct cuts you will actually reduce the amount of time needed to reprune the plant at a later date. The real reward is to come back a year later to see how effective your well thought out and planned work was.

      [ Views: 2529 ]  

    Aqua Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 06:01 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogWhen using an emersed versus a submersed pump on a water feature there is field of technology everyone should be familiar with: the use of check valves in plumbing.

    Check valves or one-way valves are devices that hold water static in plumbing when the pumps are off. Their lack of appropriate use is the cause of much time lost and frustration in re-priming lines, replacing plumbing and flooded equipment.

    By judicious use of check valves a would-be waterscaper can keep their sanity by keeping their plumbing lines primed; i.e. full of water. Without them all manner of havoc is manifest: loss of prime, motors, hair (from pulling out).

    So what are these magical devices, how do they work and when and where do you use them?

    What: Check valves are specialized fittings that are attached in line with your plumbing; that when water stops being pumped, are actuated to prevent the water from back-flowing. Most often used and available are: Swing, spring and ball-types.

    How: These three types basically function the same. The force of moving water unseats the check allowing flow through the valve. When flow stops, the weight of water (or in the case of the spring check, with the additional "push" of the spring) closes the valve.

    Where & When: So what's the big idea you ask? Hah! How many of us have sucked on, put hoses in, swore at, begged, cried and prayed that your pump, drain lines would work; all for naught because you couldn't get enough liquid in them.

    Well, check valves can change all that ! As elucidated in the arrangements for a pump that's not underwater. These are above and below the water level of the lowest basin. In either case the desire is to have the ability to clean the pump trap or filter, do repairs or removal of the pump/filter systems without the loss of prime or flooding.

    If your water effect's pump/filter system is below water level, you will want to have a shut-off valve before the pump to stop water flow while you're working on the system. Similarly, you will want to provide a shut off or check valve immediately after the pump/filter to prevent the line from back-siphoning and thereby draining the upper basin and/or discharge line.

    A shut-off valve may be used on the discharge line rather than a check valve, but these are more expensive and flow restricting.

    In the second scenario where the pump/filter system is above water level, two check valves may be used instead of one check, one shut-off.

    Choice: Now my views re what types of check valves are best per given application: Most commonly available are brass and PVC bodied check valves. By and large the PVC are more appropriate for systems with less than 3" plumbing. This is especially true with lower flow rate, low head pumps with PVC lines.

    For systems with fish and/or plants in them, swing-type checks are the hands down favorites. Various flotsam and jetsam will usually not clog a swing check as readily, they're cheaper and have the longer service life.

    For "poisoned" systems with no life in them, a more preferred type may be low tension spring checks. These are especially useful in a low situation where there is little difference between the highest and lowest water levels. With the added force of the spring, a positive seat is assured. What may be otherwise lost is some pressure and volume compared to a swing-type check valve.

    Shut-off Valves: As per our previous articles, the best available, most-appropriate technology in valves are plastic (usually PVC), schedule 40 or rarely 80, ball valves. True union valves that will allow easy removal of parts without cutting are strongly suggested.

    Note: With a submersed pump, you may still want to install a check valve on the discharge line to prevent back-siphoning if the discharge point is below water level.

    Also Note: Many people believe their pumps are self-priming or "it will start after a while" running dry. This is a dangerous notion. Do not run your pump dry. It hurts the life of the motor, ruins the pump and can be extremely dangerous. If you discover your pump has been running without water in it, turn it off to allow it to cool down. Discover the causes of the problem. Cure them, re-prime the lines & then turn the pump back on.

    Conclusion: So there you have it; everything you always wanted to know and more regarding check valves. Next time you're bemoaning having to prime your lines for lack of them, think of this article and smile.

    If you have questions, problems or suggestions re the contents of this article or other water feature concerns, please contact me at Aquatic Environments, 8535 Arjons Dr., Ste. X, San Diego, CA 92126, 619-549-2688

      [ Views: 1817 ]  

    Tree Tops Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 06:00 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogTREE STAKES . . . AND WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER, EVER REMOVE THEM

    or

    GEE, DAD! HOW DID THAT PIECE OF RUBBER HOSE GET PUT ALL THE WAY THROUGH THAT TREE?

    Everybody's seen it. That tree with the old brittle piece of rubber hose sticking through its trunk. It must have taken 10 or 15 years for the tree to envelop it.

    And then there's the tree with its stake still firmly affixed by a length of 12 gauge wire. Of course, the stake rotted off at its base a few years ago.

    The best ones are the stakes that are standing guard over the tree. The tie wire or strapping has long since disappeared, but the stake is standing tall and proud!

    Are tree stakes necessary? Of course they are. Stakes play an important role in the early development of young trees. They can often mean the difference between a tree that grows straight or one that grows bent.

    Nearly every tree you buy at a nursery will be staked. This is true of one gallon sizes as well as boxed trees. Your nursery will stake trees to give them an opportunity to grow tall inside a small container. A tree grown from seed in the ground will develop an extensive root system to support itself. A tree grown in a container does not have this opportunity.

    Container grown trees, after they are planted in the ground, still need support. Smaller trees often do well with one or two stakes. Larger trees sometimes need to be guyed. In all cases artificial support should be considered as a temporary measure. A tree only needs to be supported until it develops a root system capable of supporting itself. Once the root system is sufficiently developed the supports should be removed.

    A container grown tree will not develop a good strong root system if it doesn't have to. If the tree is over-supported development of a sufficient root system could take years instead of weeks or months. As far as the staked tree is concerned it has plenty of support therefore it will not expend energy in the development of support roots. The result is a tree that has to be staked or guyed against leaning for many years.

    The best way to avoid these problems is to help the newly planted tree develop strong supporting roots. The first step is the hole the tree is to be planted in and the composition of the soil. If the soil is rocky, shallow, clay or otherwise hard then the tree will have a tougher time growing support roots. It is thus up to you to dig a deeper wider hole.

    The soil you backfill the hole with doesn't have to be a perfect planting medium. It simply must be loose enough to allow the tree's roots the opportunity to penetrate and anchor the tree. The variety of tree, the climate, the soil, the irrigation method and the expected intensity of maintenance all play a part in the consideration of soil amendments to the back fill. Some soil amendment in the form of organics is generally a good idea. However, some situations may only require the use of one material such as gypsum to help break up difficult sub-soil or the addition of certain trace minerals that might be lacking. A soil test is mandatory to help give the tree a good start.

    The new school of thought is that plants, and trees especially, should be backfilled with the excavated soil. If the backfill is made too rich and easy to grow in by the addition of too much in the way organics and sandy loam for example, then the tree will not send out support roots. The roots will stay primarily in the area of the original hole. The result is a weakly supported tree that has to be staked for years.

    The right hole is not the only thing you can do to give a tree a good start. Most container grown trees have poorly developed roots. Often the main roots coil and curl around the inside of the container. After the tree is removed from its container carefully examine the roots. If you find a large root circling the root ball it is generally recommended that the root be pruned. If it is not pruned then there is a strong likelihood that the root will continue to grow in a circular pattern for a time after the tree is planted. A curling root is not as strong as one that grows directly out and away from the tree.

    Some small trees, one to 15 gallon sizes, can be pruned after they are planted. Selective and careful removal of some of the top growth can eliminate the need for initial staking. If properly pruned, a young tree will not grow into a disfigured version of its species. Not all species can or should be pruned. The determining factors are the species and its environment. All dead and damaged growth should be removed from any newly planted tree no matter what the species.

    Irrigation plays a major role in root development. For a few weeks or months after the tree has been planted, water applied directly to the base of the tree is good. If this practice is continued for too long the tree will figure out that it does not have to send out roots in search of water. Water applied directly to the base of the tree should be discontinued after the tree has passed its initial post planting shock phase.

    Deep watering, injection watering and drip irrigation can be used to draw the tree's roots out and away from the tree. Watering at the tree's drip line will achieve this aim. The same holds for fertilization. The tree needs food as well as water. By feeding the tree at its drip line you can induce roots to grow out and away from the tree. Besides, the drip line is generally where most trees have their feeder roots.

    How do you tell if the stakes can be removed? By removing them and observing the tree. Maybe, for the first few months the tree needed an "H" frame staking structure with rigid strapping. Now it may only require a single stake with a loose tie. Most tree stakes are approximately six feet tall and the ties are near the top of the stake. A more developed tree may only require a short stake and support at a lower height.

    A staked tree will often be top heavy. Lots of new vigorous growth can de detrimental to the tree. Top heavy trees need to be staked, but the solution is selective pruning. After the ties have been removed the tree may want to lean. Pruning may eliminate or lessen that tendency.

    The decision to remove stakes or alter the staking method is up to the gardener. This is a situation that the landscape architect or landscape contractor can not specify. Some trees in a planting may require stakes for a longer period than others. Only the gardener, through familiarity with the individual trees will be able to make a sound accurate decision.

    Another consideration towards the removal of stakes or guys is the time and labor factor in regard to maintenance, especially if the tree is in a lawn. Stakes and guys have to be mowed around and trimmed around. The more obstacles and perimeters there are in a lawn the longer it takes to mow and trim. It is not unusual for a lawn full of guyed trees to have to be mowed with 22" push mowers instead of a more efficient larger width mower. Also, stakes and guys have to be maintained, ties replaced, strapping tightened or loosened and guys adjusted. That means more labor. Five minutes here and five minutes there can add up real fast.

    Stakes and other supports should be removed as soon as the tree is able to support itself. For some trees that time period is a couple weeks and for others its a few months. If, after several months, a tree still needs support then there is either something wrong with the tree or the maintenance method. Stakes and guys are not meant to be permanent features of the landscape. A properly planted tree will only need to be supported for a short period of time.

      [ Views: 1861 ]  

    Q&A Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 05:56 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogQ. We have a horse ranch in our area that gives the manure away free all you have to do is haul it away. I was warned by our local supplier (irrigation and garden supplies) not to use it because it will cause weeds in the areas we use it. Is this true or is the supplier just trying to keep us buying from him?

    L.W.
    Riverside, CA

    A. Your local supplier is usually your best source for advise and this case is no different. They are right about the weeds. Natural fertilizer, if it has not been composted completely, may contain weed seeds. These seeds pass thru the animals digestive tract unharmed. This is one of nature most effective ways of spreading plant life. Not only does the seed get moved to another area, but it starts life with an extra advantage its own fertilizer. If the manure has been composted completely and properly than it should cause no problem, but this is unlikely if you are carting it away directly from the farm. For your own home this may not be a big concern, but when installing a job for a customer you would be wise to stick to weed free fertilizers.

    Q. I've heard that it's possible to carry diseases from lawn to lawn on your lawnmower. Is this possible?

    H.J.
    San Diego, CA

    A. Many turfgrass diseases could be transmitted thru your equipment from the grass clippings that cling to it. A safe practice to stop such spread is to clean the underside of your equipment between jobs and to spray the equipment down with a solution of chlorox or bleach.

    Q. Do you always end this column with a silly question?

    A. No, I always end this column with a silly answer.

      [ Views: 1900 ]  

    Q&A Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 05:56 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogQ. I have a lot of equipment, lawnmowers, edgers, line trimmers, blowers and a whole lot more. Maintenance and servicing is very expensive. Do you have any suggestions about what I can do to keep some of those costs down?

    A. Yes.

    Preventive maintenance is the most cost effective way to control your repair and replacement costs. Establish a routine maintenance program for each piece of equipment. Check the manufacturer's recommendations for servicing. This information will be in the owner/operator/service manual you got when you bought the equipment new. (What do you mean, you threw them away? Your equipment dealer should be able to provide replacements.)

    Number all your equipment so that you can design a simple calendar/service schedule on a large grid sheet. Dates across the top and equipment name or number on the left side. Cross reference the date with the unit. Mark that box with a circle. When you service the unit on that date put an "X" in the circle to indicate that the unit was serviced. If you service the unit before the scheduled date indicate the servicing date with an "X".

    You can also keep a log on each unit. This should be a more detailed record of servicing and other problems including costs to repair, time involved, days out of service, and man-hours lost. That way you can tell if a unit is costing more money than it's making.

    If you have employees, a very effective way to keep your equipment in good shape is to make them responsible for its routine maintenance. Post a service schedule on the bulletin board and give them their own copy. Just make sure that they have the opportunity to use the same equipment every day. A reward system for the cleanest equipment or for accomplishing all service tasks on time for a month could be a good incentive.

    To aid you in your efforts to keep repair costs down you might consider hiring a company that will provide you with a cleaning solvent system complete with a large shallow tub to put the equipment in. This is a great way to keep grease and oil from building up and ruining equipment.

    Provide an area in your shop or garage for servicing equipment. A work bench, vice, clean rags, solvent or cleaners, and the proper tools will make it much easier and will be an incentive to employees to perform routine maintenance tasks.

    Keep plenty of air filters on hand. If you don't have a grease gun then get one. They aren't expensive.

    Simply washing your equipment on a daily basis can go a long way towards reducing repair costs.

    You can also hire an employee with mechanical skills. Or establish a routine scheduled service program with your equipment service dealer. You bring cetain equipment in on a scheduled date even if you think that it's running perfect. It would also be possible to set up a pre-payment schedule in the form of a service contract. This program could work very well with new equipment.

      [ Views: 1684 ]  

    Tools Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 05:56 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogThis month we'll take a look at Village Blacksmith's compound action bypass lopper.

    But, first a few words on compound loppers . . .

    Cutting thick branches on shrubs and trees probably ranks as one of the gardener's least favorite tasks. The work can be hard and tedious. However, modern technology has made it a bit easier. High quality loppers employing compound action leverage make pruning tasks a lot simpler than they used to be. Branches up to two inches in diameter are quickly and easily lopped off with a compound lopper. Leverage is the key to their ease of operation.

    Leverage is the principle that makes compound loppers work with you and not against you. Leverage is one of the important advancements leading to the development of civilization as we know it. It was the principle behind the balance scale and leverage helped the Egyptians build the pyramids. Using a lever, a man can do jobs that would be impossible without it.

    In most loppers and shears the pivot point is located at the junction of the two blades. The longer the handle the more leverage you get. Compound action improves upon on the conventional design by creating an independent pivot point. The cutting surfaces work at angles that are different than those of the handles, creating substantial advantages in terms of cutting pressures. With this design, the compressive force along the cutting edge is roughly 150% greater than the force produced by conventional loppers. The result: more pruning with less effort!

    Village Blacksmith makes two models of compound bypass loppers. Model 5261 has 20" handles and can cut branches up to1 1/ 2" thick. Model 5263 has 24" handles and can prune limbs up to two inches thick. Each comes with a lifetime guarantee for the blades, teflon coated blades, kiln dried handles, vinyl bumpers to reduce shock and custom vinyl contoured grips.

    When purchasing new cutting tools such as loppers you should also consider the quality of the materials used. Quality materials will last longer and stand up to abuse better.

    For more information about Village Blacksmith's complete line of loppers please circle (108) on the Reader Service Card.

      [ Views: 2049 ]  

    Mailbag Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 05:55 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    LettersDear Sir,
    I find PG&L to be very interesting as well as a valuable source of information.

    Jose Simas
    California Garden Care Services
    Los Angeles, CA

    Dear Jeff,
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sending PG&L to each one of my foremen as well as myself. The guys really get a lot of valuable information from your publication. I thoroughly enjoy many of the articles, but I get the most pleasure out of the outrageous pictures in the "What's Wrong With This Picture" series. Sea-West is grateful to your insights and my guys really get a kick out of hearing about other peoples mistakes, instead of listening to me moan at them all the time. We are thankful that you provide our industry with PG&L, truly a periodical that cares about the Green Industry.
    Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you could send PG&L to a couple of our clients. We honestly believe that they will better understand the "malarky" we feed them if they could use your publication as an information source to keep us on the straight and narrow.

    Thanks a Million!
    Dan Trotter
    Sea-West Landscape Design
    La Mesa, CA

    Letter to the Editor . . . or whatever,
    Howdy partner!
    Your publication, PG&L is very good and your first Texas Edition (you call it your Southwest Edition) is even better. Much of the credit goes to articles such as the very credible report in "Once Upon a Time . . . " about the "Grosso-Poto", by Robert P. Deason, of Dearborn Valley, California.
    Poor, Bob! We Texans understand because we are used to things being Bigger and Better! Glad to learn that there are places like that in California, too!
    Keep 'em comin', Sean! We like seeing PG&L getting classier all the time.

    Optimistically,
    Charles Heinselman
    Pine Haven Nursery
    Houston, TX

    P.S. Bet most of the skeptics look like the Lone Gardener, too!

    Dear Editor,
    You guys blew it this time! My January issue is missing eight pages (9-16)! What happened? What did I miss?

    Faithful Reader,
    George Hall
    Phoenix, AZ

    Starting with our January issue we started our Regional Editions. Since you live in the Arizona you receive the Southwest Edition of PG&L (look at the cover of your magazine). The January West Coast Edition was 64 pages and the Southwest Edition was 56 pages. The missing sixteen pages consist of advertising from the West Coast region and editorial material that pertains only to the states in the West Coast region. So really, being in Arizona you missed nothing at all. Because of the way the magazine is printed the page numbering left eight pages "missing". As our advertising base continues to grow in the Southwest your edition will continue to get bigger. If you want even more confusion, starting with this issue we now have three editions West Coast (72pgs), Southwest (56pgs), and Southeast (48pgs). Eventually we expect to have five regional editions covering the entire country.

    Dear Reader,
    This is the April Fools' issue isn't it?

    Seriously,
    THE Lone Gardener

    P.S. I really look like Charles "Chuckie Baby" Heinselman!

    Dear Mr. Turnage,
    Your letter of February 20th, addressed to our Sacramento store has finally found it's way to me.
    We would be delighted to assist you by distributing free copies of Professional Gardening & Landscaping magazine to our customers at our three Northern California stores. At least for the first few months I would recommend that you ship 150 copies to our Concord store, 75 to Sacramento and 50 to San Jose. Then sometime in June or July we can re-evaluate these quantities and make any necessary adjustments.
    It appears to us that you are well on your way to establishing a niche for yourself within our industry. Keep up the good work. We're pleased to be a small part of your growth.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas L. Blosl
    President
    Bay Irrigation & Turf Supply, Inc.
    Concord, CA

    Dear Sirs,
    Where can I get a post hole digger like the one in Mowbots (January, 1987). I'd like to make him my landscape foreman. It's just what my crew needs!
    Thanks for PG&L, we love it.

    Sincerely,
    Nat Banks
    Houston, TX

    Dear Sirs,
    We are proud to announce a new concept in landscape education in Southern California. Beginning September 3, 1987, The Landscape Management Program will initiate its thirty-eight course curriculum.
    Landscape companies most valuable resource employees can now improve job skills, increase technical knowledge, and enhance their landscape careers while remaining in their own work environment.
    Our highly experienced staff, together with outstanding industry speakers, will travel to their facility and provide the most advanced and up-to-date landscape curriculum available.
    If your readers are interested in receiving more information they can call (714) 835-5550.

    Sincerely,
    Wayne Smith
    Program Director
    The Landscape Management Program
    Orange, CA

    Dear Editor,
    We really appreciated the article on weeds by Cynthia Drake in the December and January issues. We have made copies of both articles and passed them out to our workers to use in the field. Keep material like this coming each month. Thanks.

    Sincerely,
    Ed Johnson
    Dallas, TX

    Dear PG&L,
    Just wanted to write a quick note to say I've never seen such an up-to-date and readable magazine. Keep up the good work! Now please start sending my copy to my home. It disappears too fast at work.

    Thank you,
    Tim Baker
    Azusa, CA

      [ Views: 1843 ]  

    ALCA Awards Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
    Saturday, July 19 2008 @ 05:55 PM EDT
    Contributed by: Editor

    ProGardenBiz LogALCA's Environmental Improvement Awards Program reflects the Association's commitment to creating and preserving the beauty of our landscape. The program is designed to reward landscape contracting professionals who execute quality landscaping projects, and to recognize citizens who underwrite such work. In sponsoring the Awards Program, ALCA also strives to increase public awareness of environmental improvement through quality landscaping and to encourage the landscape contractors' consistent use of quality materials and workmanship.

    Eligibility

    All commercial landscape firms which devote a major part of their business operation to Landscape Contracting, Interior Landscaping, Erosion Control and/or Landscape Maintenance are eligible to participate in the Awards Program. Work performed on entered projects must have been done by private industry. Membership in ALCA is not required of entering firms.

    Each entry must be accompanied by a fee of $100 for members or $150 for nonmembers. There is a limit of four entries per firm.

    Presentation of Awards

    The Environmental Improvement Awards are presented in a special ceremony during the ALCA Annual Convention. Grand Merit and Distinction plaques will be presented. As there is no set number of awards to be presented, judges may recommend as many entries as they determine deserving of this special recognition.

    The ceremony will honor the landscape firm, the landscape architect and the project owner. If the award recipient desires to have the landscape architect and/or owner receive the Award Plaque with him or her, such arrangements can be made .

    Slides of winning entries and their descriptive texts will become part of a permanent ALCA collection and will be sent to industry publications for national exposure. They will also be shown during the Annual Convention, and to various trade, professional, civic, and educational groups throughout the year.

    Entry Categories

    Landscape projects on which the entrant has executed the major portion of the work may be entered for judging in one of the following categories. (Refer to entry form for detailed information.)

    1. Erosion Control/Revegetation
    2. Residential Landscape Maintenance
    3. Commercial Landscape Maintenance
    4. Interior Landscape Maintenance
    5. Interior Landscape Installation
    6. Interior Design/Build
    7. Residential Design/Build
    8. Commercial Design/Build
    9. Residential Landscape Contracting
    10. Commercial Landscape Contracting

    Judging Criteria

    Each of the entry categories will be evaluated independently. A jury of experts in these respective fields will judge the entries and recommend award recipients to the ALCA Awards Committee. Work will be judged on the basis of craftmanship, relative contribution to the quality of the environment, and overall excellence. The type, size and cost of the project are not criteria for judging and should not be part of the text.

    Erosion Control/Revegetation, Interior Landscape Installation , Residential Landscape Contracting, and Commercial Landscape Contracting will be judged primarily on the quality of work performed, including coordination of work, quality of materials and workmanship, and overall appearance.

    Design/Build will be judged on the basis of the design, in addition to the above criteria used for installation. Plans must be shown to the extent and quality of work performed. Entering firm must have maintained the project for at least 12 months prior to entry date. Slides, taken at least 12 months after assumption of project, must show sufficient detail to allow judges to adequately determine quality of work performed. Entry must include the date the project was taken over.

    Entry Procedures

    1. Complete both sides of the entry form. Be sure to include all relevant information, as only this information will be given to the judges. Do not include company name on any of the descriptions.

    2. Submit a set of not less than 10, or more than 15, 35mm color slides. Identify each with the name of the entering firm, and number each to correspond to the slide description on the entry form. Description should be typed on the entry form and must fit within the assigned space or the project will not be judged. Slides should clearly display the quality of materials and workmanship involved. Whenever possible, "in-progress" and/or "before and after" slides of the project should be included.

    3. Submit each entry in a single envelope or package.

    4. Entries must be received in the ALCA office no later than October. Entries received late or incomplete will not be judged. All entries accepted become the property of the ALCA and may be used for publication or for any other purpose the American deems appropriate.

    5. All material submitted must be cleared for release upon submission. ALCA accepts no responsibility for copyrights or photographic fees.

    Entry Deadline

    All entries must be sent to ALCA headquarters. For more information on entry contact ALCA, 405 N. Washington St., Suite 104, Falls Church, VA 2046.

      [ Views: 1993 ]  

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