Wednesday, March 22 is World Water Day, and the City of Peterborough, Ont. is encouraging people to reduce the amount of wastewater they produce by adopting simple measures tied to personal hygiene, landscaping and household activities.
Writing this column is tougher is tougher than being locked in a small room because I have children, and children are the very soul of complexity. The computer upon which I write this is located in the basement recreation room. The reason it’s there, instead of someplace private where – and this is just a stray thought–a fellow could concentrate is because the children need it to play computer games involving demons and multi-barreled rocket launchers and enemies whose heads explode in three dimensions.
One of the most significant leadership skills you need to develop is your confidence. It is an essential core leadership competency. Confidence allows you to have impact far beyond your title or level within your organization.
Corporate leaders need to teach workers resilience to navigate change.
Mark Kuhns is no stranger to serving as host superintendent at a PGA Tour major championship. Since 1999, he has been the director of grounds at Springfield, N.J.’s Baltusrol Golf Club where the PGA Championship was played in 2005 and 2016. Prior to that, he was superintendent at the Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania where the 1994 U.S. Open was played.
Retaining “satisfied” customers is not in the best interests of a landscape contractor, nor will it contribute to a business’ growth, an audience of landscape contractors was told in January at the 44th Landscape Ontario Congress in Toronto.
Job costing is an important part of a landscape contractor’s operation, yet few companies know how to effectively utilize it. Effective job costing will boost a contractor’s bottom line, benefit a company’s culture, create employee work incentives and simplify paper work.
The turf industry, like just about any other green industry, is dependent upon Mother Nature to help it along. Turfgrass needs water to survive and thrive. When Mother Nature fails to produce, irrigation is needed, yet water sources might not always be plentiful.
A property management company in Fredericton, N.B. has been working around the clock to keep on top of the more than 70 centimetres of snow that has fallen on the city this week. The company owner and his staff of five have been challenged by the latest winter storm.
Landscape contractor Chris Maton keeps busy during the winter months, juggling two professions. Not only does he own his own landscaping business, providing snow removal services to customers in the winter, but he is also trainer for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
There are certain rites of passage in the lives of parents and children, some good… some so painful that if you’d seen them coming, you would have had a vasectomy at 15 and become one of those crazy cat or dog people.
The Canadian pickup truck market is huge. It caters to the multiple needs of work, institutional and personal trucks–sometimes all of them in one package. In fact, pickups that serve the workplace and family are becoming the norm–this fact alone makes choosing the right one simply that much more complex. Trying to offer buyers an unbiased perspective is one of the reasons that I started the Canadian Truck King Challenge 10 years ago. Since then, each year, my group of journalist judges continues to fulfill that original mandate: testing pickup trucks and vans the same way that owners use them.
Winter seasons in Atlantic Canada used to be predictable. Snow would arrive in the latter half of December and would remain until March when it would melt with rising spring temperatures.
Knowing when to prune a tree and how to do it properly as well as understanding why it must be done can make a significant difference in its lifespan and its structural integrity.
Winter temperatures that have soared into double digit figures this week in southern Ontario and other areas, including the U.S. midwest, could come with a price. Experts say the fluctuations in temperature without snow cover is apt to put stress on golf course turf and home lawns.
A Purdue University researcher has found that the amount of carbon deposited into the soil is affected by turfgrass species and how it is mowed.
This December, my crew and I were honoured by being named the 2016 Sports Turf Managers Association’s “Mowing Patterns Contest” winner for our opening day mowing pattern at Fifth Third Field, home to the Dayton Dragons (Class A affiliate, Cincinnati Reds).
Often is the case when an individual does his best work when faced with the pressure of a deadline. Such was the circumstance in Moncton, N.B., last summer when four natural turf soccer fields needed to be whipped into shape in time for the Canadian Under 14 Soccer Championships played in October.
For more than 25 years, Tim Fredericks has been designing irrigation systems. On Friday, Nov. 18, the partner in Fredericks McGuire Ltd., based in Bolton, Ont., shared his experiences in the field with the members of the Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association as one of a roster of speakers at the annual Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association annual general meeting.
Meeting plant requirements and managing irrigation systems can be a difficult task under normal circumstances. When slope plantings are involved, applying water efficiently and effectively can be extremely challenging. Too little water and plants won’t grow, and too much water and you’ve got other problems.
Try to kill a plant and most survive. Why? Plants are intelligent. They have evolved to develop themselves with multiple modules, so Stefano Mancuso notes. These modules function together and, if damaged, the plant continues to function.  The Internet functions with multiple computers, but if one is damaged the system continues. So do plants.
The importance of soil health and composition on golf courses is addressed by Purdue University's Dr. Cale Bigelow in a question-and-answer segment published by Golf Course Industry magazine. He discusses such topics as soil testing and fertility strategies in the interview.
A genetically-modified turfgrass variety that "escaped" test plots in Idaho has taken root elsewhere in the state as well as in Oregon and has been difficult to kill due to its modification, making it resistant to Roundup. The issue now has everyone from seed dealers and environmentalists to scientists and farmers up in arms.
There will be no subsidy for residents of Vernon, B.C. who wish to replace their lawns with drought-tolerant plantings. A program to promote xeriscape landscaping to achieve improved water use efficiency has been recommended for the municipality, but a rebate program will not be in the works.
Norfolk County council has given its blessing for the provision of a golf cart crossing across a county road at the new Dover Coast golf course in Port Dover, Ont. The crossing provides access to two of the course's holes.
Kelowna, B.C. residents have been provided a day during which they can purchase discounted trees for their properties and help improve the area's urban forest ecosystem. Monday is the city's annual NeighbourWood tree program when six different varieties of trees will cost $40.
Council in Delta, B.C. has awarded a pair of contracts for almost $1 million to replace the surface of its synthetic field in North Delta's Mackie Park. The project will give local soccer players a new surface on which to play, beginning in the fall.
A Brampton, Ont. city councillor has backtracked on her quest for the municipality to purchase a local money-losing nine-hole golf course. The city has been in negotiations to purchase the floundering Riverstone Golf Club.
The Town of East Gwillimbury, Ont. has ended its contract with a local landscaper following delays to finish the entrance to the new Civic Centre. The town cited insufficient progress as the reason for ending its arrangement with Forest Ridge Landscaping.
The City of Hamilton, Ont.'s plan to increase its urban forest cover to 30 per cent is a great idea whose time has long been coming, but action needs to begin immediately, The Hamilton Spectator argues. Studies to achieve this long-term goal are useful, but works needs to get underway at once, the newspaper states.
A pair of Catholic high schools in Thunder Bay, Ont. will be getting new synthetic turf playing fields as well as surrounding all-weather tracks in time for the fall sports season. Each is valued at about $2.3 million.
The City of Langley, B.C. is ending its agreement with the local township to fund the city's McLeod Athletic Park. After 25 years, the city is cutting its contribution this year by 50 per cent and then eliminating it altogether next year.
The city of Hamilton, Ont. is launching a two-year study aimed at growing its urban forest canopy. The city wishes to achieve a 30 per cent cover, but may find the goal somewhat lofty after having to cut thousands of trees to combat destruction caused by the emerald ash borer.
A Summerside, P.E.I. lawn care operator says the city's proposed pesticide bylaw will be too costly and wishes to see it phased in while suggesting its IPM component be delayed.
As city council in Summerside, P.E.I. continues to mull over a potential pesticide ban, an editorial in the local newspaper says watering down a bylaw will make it less effective.
The Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI), a recognized world-class hub for turfgrass education, research, extension and professional development, will soon have a new home on the University of Guelph campus.
The Toro Company has improved upon its GreensPro® greens roller with a new model that features split stainless steel smoothing rollers. The GreensPro 1260's smoothing rollers reduce the risk of scuffing during turns and overlapping heads that deliver a consistent playing surface with each pass.
DeWalt has expanded its Flexvolt system with outdoor power equipment featuring batteries that automatically change voltage when the operator changes tools.
John Deere Golf and software company OnGolf have joined forces to provide golf courses with a cloud-based golf course management system that collects data and manages equipment, labour, water, chemicals, nutrients and playing conditions.
The Irrigation Association’s version of ABC’s popular reality TV show “Shark Tank,” Pitcher’s Mound, debuted at the recent 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference. Pitcher’s Mound was designed as an avenue to help inventors, entrepreneurs and business people in the irrigation arena bring new products to market.
DeWalt has expanded its 40V Max battery-powered outdoor equipment line for landscapers with the addition of its six-pack charging station (DCB116) and pole hedge trimmers (DCHT895 family).
A new cordless cooling fan jacket has been introduced by Makita to be worm in circumstances where heat could be an issue. The jacket provides constant air flow to improve sweat evaporation and maintain ideal body temperatures. It features three external pockets on both the left and right sides as well as the left chest. There are three air flow settings (low, medium and high) plus a turbo mode with LED indication. The turbo mode operates at maximum speed for about one minute when rapid cooling is desired. The fan can easily be removed from the jacket when it isn't required. Sleeves can be unzipped to convert the long-sleeved jacket into a short-sleeved one. The battery adaptor features dual USB ports to enable convenient charging of mobile devices on the job site. The shell is 100 per cent polyester. For more information, visit
Harper Turf Equipment has introduced its next generation of self-propelled turf vacuums. The T35 has been redesigned to save time and includes such economical features as a new cooling system, ergonomic operator station and smooth foot pedal operation. Most notable is the remote-mounted radiator and oil cooler for improved temperature control. The hydraulic powered cooling fan can be reversed to blow debris off the screen. The screen can be easily removed for deep cleaning. The operator station layout addresses performance and well-being through the ergonomic control placement and convenient adjustments. Controls for the unit have been moved to the right of the operator, providing greater productivity and increased visibility. The new, fully adjustable suspension seat reduces driver discomfort and improves posture. Brake release tools and cylinder stops can be stored in the operator station tool box. A manually controlled hydrostatis foot pedal provides a wide speed selection for comfort and convenience. The features allows operators to keep both hands on the steering wheel while adjusting ground speed and direction. The system increases pedal feedback, improving control and performance. The Kubota engine is available in either diesel or gasoline models. The four-cylinder Tier IV interim turbocharged diesel engine combines clean and quite power at 44 horsepower. The spark-ignited gas engine, at 49 horsepower, saves money and promotes faster job completion.
The Grasshopper Company's V-Series mower line has been expanded with the new model 227V-EFI. It features 12cc pump-and-wheel-motor transmission, 747 cc Kohler Confidant electronic fuel injection engine (with a limited three-year engine manufacturer warranty), 5.5-inch, extra deep decks in 52 and 61-inch cutting widths with foot pedal and drop pin height adjustment, large turf-style drive tires, and fully cushioned Cordura® covered seats with padded armrests. The V-Series mowers provide the agility of a zero-turn mower with a compact size that is able to manoeuvre in tight spaces without the fatigue associated with walk-behind mowers. These compact power units are ideal for landscape contractors who maintain small acreages and confined areas.
Tanners Turf, a landscaping service in Langley, B.C., has added synthetic turf installation to its array of services. The company's synthetic turf products are ideal for properties which receive little sun on a regular basis.
The following section features some of the newest equipment available to the turf and grounds maintenance industry for 2017.
A new web-enabled smart controller platform has been introduced by The Toro Company's irrigation division. The SMRT Logic works with the SMRTscape app to enable mobile wireless control of irrigation systems, outdoor lighting and other applications by using a smart phone, tablet or PC.
The Japanese engineers at Shindaiwa have designed and created the next generation of professional trimmers —the 262 series.

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