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How to grow a perfect lawn - 5 steps to a perfect lawn - does your lawn need aeration?

Does your lawn need aeration?

In short, yes!

You might not realise it but your lawn consists of thousands of individual plants, and often a mixture of varieties. Your lawn needs water and sunlight as a minimum to keep it looking green, but to get a really good lawn it will also need regular mowing, fertilising, weed control, pest control, disease control, aeration and scarification (thatch removal). 

Walking on your lawn (even when mowing it) and rainfall all add to the compaction of the soil in your lawn. When compaction starts to be a real issue you will notice obvious patches of water that do not easily drain away. You will also notice that the grass tips will start to turn yellow. Grass is amazingly tough stuff but it is not aquatic! Too much water and it will start to drown. We don’t want that do we.

To relieve compaction you need to aerate and we recommend that you do this every year to keep your lawn in really good shape. Aeration involves perforating the soil of your lawn so that air, water and nutrients reach the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, healthier, lawn. The soil in your lawn can be opened up with a hand-held hollow-tine aerator or you could even use the tines of your garden fork. If you have ever done this though, you will know that this is back-breaking work. 

So why not save your back and book us in to aerate your lawn? This September till March 2017 we are offering aeration for a flat fee of £45  (for lawns less than 250 m2). Book now to avoid disappointment. Your lawn will thank you!

Van - Ford transit van | Mower - Hayter pro | Aerator - Easy core 205 | Scarifier - Eliet Scarifier | Lawn feeder - scotts acupro 2000 |

We like to thank the guys at Artsigns in London  and De-sign harrogate. Both very good for van livery.

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How to grow a perfect lawn - mow stripes in your lawn

Make your own lawn striper easily and then get those stripes that set your house apart from the neighbours'! Quick and simple with great results! How to Mow Stripes In Your Lawn. Lawn striping is easy and doesn't have to cost a lot.

Van - Ford transit van | Mower - Hayter pro | Aerator - Easy core 205 | Scarifier - Eliet Scarifier | Lawn feeder - scotts acupro 2000 |

We like to thank the guys at Artsigns in London  and De-sign harrogate. Both very good for van livery.

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How to grow a business - Finding your passion means you’ll never have a job

Well just imagine if you could say your on holiday every day of the year.

If you find what you are truly passionate about, then finding your career will not be too far away. It’s a lesson I have learned from my years creating businesses. I’ve never had what I would call a job, but I’ve worked every day for just over 25 years.

What I've also learnt is that there is so much reward in giving your passion to others for them to enjoy and discover, 

It’s all about finding a balance between work and play – it’s all living. This is something Wade Davis, the renowned professor and anthropologist, knows well. So does the guy who has inspired my way of working since my 1st job on Oxford Street, London in 1986, I was just 16.

Richard Branson - He Smashed The World Record For Fastest Atlantic Crossing On The Virgin Atlantic Challenger II

Richard Branson - He Smashed The World Record For Fastest Atlantic Crossing On The Virgin Atlantic Challenger II

Among some fascinating advice to young people that Wade offers, he has some views on the nature of work. “A career is not something that you put on like a coat. It is something that grows organically around you, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, and experience-by-experience. Everything adds up. No work is beneath you. Nothing is a waste of time unless you make it so. An elderly cab driver in New York may well have as much to teach you as a wandering saint in India, a madman in the Sahara, certainly a university professor.”

As Wade said: "If you place yourself in the way of opportunities, in situations where there is no choice but to move forward, no option but success, you create a momentum that in the end propels you to new levels of experience and engagement that would have seemed beyond reach only months before.

Wade Davis - Anthropologist and explorer

Wade Davis - Anthropologist and explorer

“And you’ll find that the work you do is just a lens through which to view and experience the world, and only for a time. The goal is to make living itself, the act of being alive, one’s vocation, knowing full well that nothing ultimately can be planned or anticipated, no blueprint found to predict the outcome of something as complex as a human life.”

Whether you are a new graduate, a new pensioner, or anywhere in between, or before or after, then you have the opportunity to think about what you want you do with your life. If you can find your passion, it means you will never have a job. Now, I’m heading back to work.   

If you would like to learn more about how the All Gardening Lawn Service can give you a passion for life, why not take a quick look at our franchise offer.

The worst thing you can do is book a 30 minute meeting - put me in the way of your life, and If I can inspire you to run your own business excellent, and if I can't well it's only been 30 minutes in your whole living life.

Just give me 30 mins......

Always the rebel, I'm sitting at the back in "the arm chair". Black top blue strip

Always the rebel, I'm sitting at the back in "the arm chair". Black top blue strip

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How to grow a business - Being Dyslexic can actually be bloody brilliant

I’m dyslexic. That’s right. Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Henry Winkler and Orlando Bloom and I can all officially high-five each other. I'm dyslexic and I run a lawn company, why?

Some people ask me why is such a bright guy looking after lawns? We'll the truth of the matter is on the surface of my business I do look after lawns, but in back ground it's a absolutely huge brain looking at all of the complications of a world that is made up of water and land and on that land there is one part of it, a very big part that is grass - some managed and sum unmanaged.

I'm interested in both types. My mind never switches off, and being self employed is a great place for my mind.

This is going to be a rambling post, but I'm just going to go with it and to be honest If its got typos or grammar mistakes well I'll leave it to you to work out what I'm trying to say. Now please make sure you keep up.....

Discovering the power of my brain:

Over the years, I've held some great jobs for some big thinking markets, Virgin and QXL are 2. The bigger the companies ambition the easier it was for my brain to find a place in it. What my mind has the power to do is to model what the consequences are of an action on a macro scale, I have to say what this does mean is that on a micro scale I drown a bit. Now thinking on a macro scale is something most people won't be able to do. I had a makers Briggs test done some 12 years ago and I was "profiled" (I do love that word) as INTJ. To those of you that care about that stuff it makes me bloody unique and one of only 3% in the world (hello Bill Gates)!

I had always thought my mind was stronger than my place in conventional world, but the big problem and the one I have started to solve by setting up my own business was, In conventional world most people are processors and they have a fairly inactive mind. most people don't think.

Which is where the phase "thinking outside of the box' is so often coined in the "normal world"

It was only at the ripe old age of 45 that a customer of mine, who happens to be an Oxford academic who teaches and tests for people on the spectrum suggested that I took the test "for some fun" - "give you something to think about Phil".

So I took the test, and yep for sure I have something going on. But its not what you all think. I have a ability to think inside my mind about many models and actions at any given time. What that would mean to most of you "normal" people is I never seem to switch off. Well I don't, never ever ever do I get down time. And its one of the things I really miss.

How my brain get me to do things:

On the basis of it I run a lawn business, which is focused on 3 services - lawn plan basic and lawn plan complete and lawn plan renovation.

But behind the funky vans, nice website and grey t shirts is a huge world of digital data and global placements. Here is a list of tools that I use to manage my mind whilst also working on the lawn.

Digital Strategy - from the offing the whole idea of all gardening lawn service was to make it possible for people to "order" a lawn cut online. Over the years that thinking has developed and it is now firmly about how we as a business engage with our customers on many levels, not just the service but an understanding of the environment and our place in the world. We have a digital strategy because we think that where things are going and that where people will be found in the future.

Website development - maintenance and hosting - I have done all of website development, the current platform is very very function, and does just what we want it to do and not much more. We have realised that a website is just like a book, you look at it for information, it gives you choices.

Technology - We had a sad story back in the winter 2008 where our offices were flooded and in turn that lead to all our PC's doing destroyed. boy o boy a nightmare. But at the time it was the turning point for cloud based technology and subscription based business models. So awesome we move the whole platform to those various cloud based systems. and we have never looked back. We use everything from basic hosting, google apps for business for email and a shared calendar and a number of other digital platforms.

Digital marketing and social - from the very earliest days I have been using all of the platforms in one way or another, the thing that makes me laugh the most is that the whole bloody thing is about writing, with very few exceptions... So I have built a digital strategy that is on one hand flattering all you "normal " people but on the other hand "completely doing my head in". On one hand I love devlivering digital content because people interact with me, but on the other hand when I get it wrong... oh boy its soon wrong.

Data, analytics and optimization - and the land of a very happy dyslexic mind, lets go and look at a bit of data and see how the universe is interacting with me. Its a bit like old fashioned chess, its game play and its dynamic. I can easily spend a whole day looking at the data from so many angles and side that most "normal" people just would have no idea what it all looks like and where its all going. BUT - in the end there is always a robust conclusion and a series of actions. I have a the power to process huge, if i had some formal training I'd be a data scientist!! - Hire me!!

E commerce and CMS implementaion - Ok, were move past the website design stage, not its all about making the platform work. I've had many iterations over the years of our website. But I've come to the point that it really doesn't matter too much what it looks like but it more important that i know its working. And equally its important to know that the investment I put in is paying back. Keeping it simple has been a huge challenge with a dyslexic mind, but i'm leaning to get control.

Data Driven UX and design - Its true that sometimes people just know what to do and how it should progress. But thats just such an old fashioned way to do things, its nice and fun - but - lets get serious we should just do some planning, trial the site, take some data on board and take it from there. Worts thing you can do is get an agency to build your website if you have no data to provide them. It won't work!! trust me i've been there and done that!

Content creation - Here we go, its the world of digital content is everything but creating it is very very easy. what is more important is getting an hand on what "primary" content you want to create and how you initially want to share it. Its a bit like on fashioned PR. I like to think about what I would like to tell about what I've discovered.

A dyslexic conclusion

I don't like to think about "being" dyslexic as I can't quite work out what that means. What I like to think is having a "dyslexic mind" is bloody awesome and its something many many companies should employ, for several reason.

We are very very bright. We see opportunities in everything. We seek to make things better. We are survivors.

So, if you think its just a lawn service I run oh boy how wrong could you be! If you have a business that you think could be explored why not drop me an email - why? because I never switch off and its nice to have new idea and information to put into the pot... whilst I'm looking after lawns.

Subscribe to my blog... you could learn something thats "outside the box"

 

 

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How to grow a business - Being Dyslexic can actually be bloody brilliant

I’m dyslexic. That’s right. Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Henry Winkler and Orlando Bloom and I can all officially high-five each other. I'm dyslexic and I run a lawn company, why?

Some people ask me why is such a bright guy looking after lawns? We'll the truth of the matter is on the surface of my business I do look after lawns, but in back ground it's a absolutely huge brain looking at all of the complications of a world that is made up of water and land and on that land there is one part of it, a very big part that is grass - some managed and sum unmanaged.

I'm interested in both types. My mind never switches off, and being self employed is a great place for my mind.

This is going to be a rambling post, but I'm just going to go with it and to be honest If its got typos or grammar mistakes well I'll leave it to you to work out what I'm trying to say. Now please make sure you keep up.....

Discovering the power of my brain:

Over the years, I've held some great jobs for some big thinking markets, Virgin and QXL are 2. The bigger the companies ambition the easier it was for my brain to find a place in it. What my mind has the power to do is to model what the consequences are of an action on a macro scale, I have to say what this does mean is that on a micro scale I drown a bit. Now thinking on a macro scale is something most people won't be able to do. I had a makers Briggs test done some 12 years ago and I was "profiled" (I do love that word) as INTJ. To those of you that care about that stuff it makes me bloody unique and one of only 3% in the world (hello Bill Gates)!

I had always thought my mind was stronger than my place in conventional world, but the big problem and the one I have started to solve by setting up my own business was, In conventional world most people are processors and they have a fairly inactive mind. most people don't think.

Which is where the phase "thinking outside of the box' is so often coined in the "normal world"

It was only at the ripe old age of 45 that a customer of mine, who happens to be an Oxford academic who teaches and tests for people on the spectrum suggested that I took the test "for some fun" - "give you something to think about Phil".

So I took the test, and yep for sure I have something going on. But its not what you all think. I have a ability to think inside my mind about many models and actions at any given time. What that would mean to most of you "normal" people is I never seem to switch off. Well I don't, never ever ever do I get down time. And its one of the things I really miss.

How my brain get me to do things:

On the basis of it I run a lawn business, which is focused on 3 services - lawn plan basic and lawn plan complete and lawn plan renovation.

But behind the funky vans, nice website and grey t shirts is a huge world of digital data and global placements. Here is a list of tools that I use to manage my mind whilst also working on the lawn.

Digital Strategy - from the offing the whole idea of all gardening lawn service was to make it possible for people to "order" a lawn cut online. Over the years that thinking has developed and it is now firmly about how we as a business engage with our customers on many levels, not just the service but an understanding of the environment and our place in the world. We have a digital strategy because we think that where things are going and that where people will be found in the future.

Website development - maintenance and hosting - I have done all of website development, the current platform is very very function, and does just what we want it to do and not much more. We have realised that a website is just like a book, you look at it for information, it gives you choices.

Technology - We had a sad story back in the winter 2008 where our offices were flooded and in turn that lead to all our PC's doing destroyed. boy o boy a nightmare. But at the time it was the turning point for cloud based technology and subscription based business models. So awesome we move the whole platform to those various cloud based systems. and we have never looked back. We use everything from basic hosting, google apps for business for email and a shared calendar and a number of other digital platforms.

Digital marketing and social - from the very earliest days I have been using all of the platforms in one way or another, the thing that makes me laugh the most is that the whole bloody thing is about writing, with very few exceptions... So I have built a digital strategy that is on one hand flattering all you "normal " people but on the other hand "completely doing my head in". On one hand I love devlivering digital content because people interact with me, but on the other hand when I get it wrong... oh boy its soon wrong.

Data, analytics and optimization - and the land of a very happy dyslexic mind, lets go and look at a bit of data and see how the universe is interacting with me. Its a bit like old fashioned chess, its game play and its dynamic. I can easily spend a whole day looking at the data from so many angles and side that most "normal" people just would have no idea what it all looks like and where its all going. BUT - in the end there is always a robust conclusion and a series of actions. I have a the power to process huge, if i had some formal training I'd be a data scientist!! - Hire me!!

E commerce and CMS implementaion - Ok, were move past the website design stage, not its all about making the platform work. I've had many iterations over the years of our website. But I've come to the point that it really doesn't matter too much what it looks like but it more important that i know its working. And equally its important to know that the investment I put in is paying back. Keeping it simple has been a huge challenge with a dyslexic mind, but i'm leaning to get control.

Data Driven UX and design - Its true that sometimes people just know what to do and how it should progress. But thats just such an old fashioned way to do things, its nice and fun - but - lets get serious we should just do some planning, trial the site, take some data on board and take it from there. Worts thing you can do is get an agency to build your website if you have no data to provide them. It won't work!! trust me i've been there and done that!

Content creation - Here we go, its the world of digital content is everything but creating it is very very easy. what is more important is getting an hand on what "primary" content you want to create and how you initially want to share it. Its a bit like on fashioned PR. I like to think about what I would like to tell about what I've discovered.

A dyslexic conclusion

I don't like to think about "being" dyslexic as I can't quite work out what that means. What I like to think is having a "dyslexic mind" is bloody awesome and its something many many companies should employ, for several reason.

We are very very bright. We see opportunities in everything. We seek to make things better. We are survivors.

So, if you think its just a lawn service I run oh boy how wrong could you be! If you have a business that you think could be explored why not drop me an email - why? because I never switch off and its nice to have new idea and information to put into the pot... whilst I'm looking after lawns.

Subscribe to my blog... you could learn something thats "outside the box"

 

 

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How to do marketing - Freshly cut grass in the back of our vans smells just like banana skins, why?

Freshly cut grass in the back of our vans smells just like banana skins, why?

Today was like just any other day, out and about delivering our lawn services, a day where the weather was sunny and boy it was hot for a September day 28c. It seems to be a developing weather pattern where we get these sharp hot days in mid summer, really hot and then it drops off quickly into the dark days of autumn and onto winter, maybe its the way going forward. That's not too bad, something nice to look forward too after summer breaks.

The lawn looking good with a 25mm cut, bit stressed but it does get used a lot.

The lawn looking good with a 25mm cut, bit stressed but it does get used a lot.

 

On hot sunny days like this the most important thing I can tell you about is to make sure you have a "sharp" lawnmower blade, the importance of the sharp blade is if you do have a sharp blade you "cut" the grass, if its blunt you "strike and tear" the grass. If you have a blunt blade what it means is the grass gets damaged and it will die back and go yellow and if your really careless with the cut it will go brown or "burn out" . So make sure you check your blade mid season, which is July onwards.

Today It seem to me that the summer was giving us one last blast before it packs up and goes elsewhere, the lawns looked tired, some well kept and some showing the signs of a year of harsh cuts and hard use. With our lawn plan services we often get to see the lawns on a weekly or bi weekly basis (lawnplan complete) but with some of our treatment only services (lawnplan basic) we only get to see the lawns on a handful of occasions. With that in mind we try and keep a record of the lawns conditions as the year goes on by taking pictures every visit.

A happy habit

For me I made a conscious effort to cut my own lawn this morning and I did it early doors 8am, again, I've got into the habit of giving it a cut every other day. I'm keen as mustard to try and get my own bit of green stuff looking its best. They often say a greenkeepers never have a good lawn at home because they have done enough grass care at work, but for me it's a great start to the day.

The cut was no different to any other day, I cut it at the same length and in the same direction. I quite like to cut my lawn in different directions depending on time of year, condition of the grass and what the cut length is and ultimately if anyone is coming over who might see it {if thats the case I always double cut the lawn, one time in one direction and the 2nd cut of the same length in another direction}. What I find with a fine lawn is once you get below a cut length around 15 mm the "stripy ness" of the lawn will become less obvious, you get a stripier lawn with longer grass (not many people know that! check a little video on cutting a stripy lawn here.  

I love the smell of fresh cut grass in the morning, its the smell of optimism and opportunity and Banana's!!

So back to today, when I cut the lawn I was strangely over come by the power of the smell of the newly cut grass. Which got me thinking what does the smell of freshly cut grass actually smell of? 

The funny thing about the smell of fresh cut grass is some days the cut gives off a smell and others it doesn’t. At a guess I’m thinking that they lawn gives off a smell when it has a bit more moisture in it, maybe it's when its had a flush of new growth, maybe it's because the ground conditions are cooler and the air above it warmer - so as the warm air rises the whiff of cut grass comes up too. To be honest I’m not sure but I do know that it's not a constantly delivered smell from every cut.

A bit of wondering around the web and came across an article in The Atlantic discussing that most languages have so few words for smells, it's kinda true in a way. I think we probably use very few words to describe smells on a day to day basis, not sure why, maybe it's not the thing to do to be too descriptive on one of the senses as its going to be so subjective, Piff and piffall!

SO WHAT DOES CUT GRASS SMELL OF?

The smell of green

The smell of green

   Banana skins - the bananas you buy from Tesco, picked green and never really ripen correctly

    •    Rocket leaf - sometimes in the morning the new grass cuts can give off a smell thats quite sharp, green leaf,  dusty and a bit peppery

    •    Pea pods - its the inside of pea pods

    •    The one smell you often get when cutting a lawn is one that luckily doesn't travel far, the smell of the mower engine. Chuffing and blowing fumes.

{there are many other aroma notes you get from our van, the wiff of petrol, lawn treatments and dust are a few that come to mind} 

The one thing that we are all sure, even those that get hay fever is the smell of freshly cut grass is a positive one, one that congers up memories of summer and days out, the smell of hope and adventures, the smell of new opportunities. 

Our vans are a fresh on the outside as the inside.

Our vans are a fresh on the outside as the inside.

Do our vans have the smell of fresh cut grass every day? Sadly not the cutting service typically only runs from March to November. 

Van - Ford transit van | Mower - Hayter pro | Aerator - Easy core 205 | Scarifier - Eliet Scarifier | Lawn feeder - scotts acupro 2000 |

We like to thank the guys at Artsigns in London  and De-sign harrogate. Both very good for van livery.

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How to grow a perfect lawn - grow a superior lawn - Lawn fertiliser & springtime prep

Welcome to our springtime lawn care review. This video showcases what we typically do in spring to get a lawn ready for the season ahead. In the video you will see Paul (a senior residential lawn specialist) carrying out a full range of key lawn care tasks from a simple lawn cut | aeration | scarafication | lawn fertiliser.

Van - Ford transit van | Mower - Hayter pro | Aerator - Easy core 205 | Scarifier - Eliet Scarifier | Lawn feeder - scotts acupro 2000 |

We like to thank the guys at Artsigns in London  and De-sign harrogate. Both very good for van livery.

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How to grow a perfect lawn - your lawn will help sell you house #facts

Selling your house? Have you got kerb-appeal? 

Your lawn can help sell your house

Your lawn can help sell your house

Putting your home up for sale through an estate agent is just the first step. You expect them to market your home - but what are you doing to help market it yourself? 

Baking bread and the smell of freshly brewed coffee might be attractive for potential buyers once they are in your home. An attractive garden and well maintained lawn will help entice them in. 

There is an old adage that first impressions count . Yet I pass many homes up for sale where the home owners have just given up. The garden is unkempt and the lawn has given way to weeds. Not a very good first impression!

Research by This Is Money identified a well maintained garden as one of the best returns on money invested in your home, second only to the addition of a conservatory. In most instances passers by cannot see what lies at the back of your property. So, if you want kerb-appeal, you need to maintain your garden and tidy-up your lawn. This will enhance your house Dale with a very cost effective 88% return on investment, they say. A well maintained lawn costs significantly less than building work so why not book a lawn assessment from us? We can also recommend a plan that will get your lawn looking lovely! 

The equipment we use:

Van - Ford transit van | Mower - Hayter pro | Aerator - Easy core 205 | Scarifier - Eliet Scarifier | Lawn feeder - scotts acupro 2000 |

We like to thank the guys at Artsigns in London  and De-sign harrogate. Both very good for van livery.

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How to grow a perfect lawn - before and after photos are brilliant

{this blog is written by Phil Argent, The Dyslexic Blogger - so there might be a few typos, a few bits that don't seem to make sense, but should be a general good read)

Lawn Care Hacks - before and after photos are brilliant

So you think your lawn is bad, well to be honest most lawns we get invited to look after start in a bad condition (technically speaking we find that most lawns are underfed, over cut and just simply not looked after by anyone who cares - thats why were here.

A before photo - this is quite unusual, but sometimes a lawn can run away from you.

A before photo - this is quite unusual, but sometimes a lawn can run away from you.

Where you employe a All Gardening Lawn Service technician, we have a really good process of sorting out the 1st visit. Once we've done that we take the time to have a really good look at the lawn, how its used and also how it might be looked after in the future.

The process often goes like this: 3 easy steps:

  1. Carry out the 1st cut - now the trick to the 1st cut is we just want to get it in hand, we also don't want to hammer it. So the rule is cut it down to around 70mm. This leaves lots of grass length for the plant to recover. We may have to cut the lawn 3 times to get it to this length but once there we just tidy it up and trim the edges.

  2. Assess 1m2 - what we now do is look at 1m2 of the lawn, all to often people will look at the whole lawn and then work out a program how to fix it. But its a lot easier just looking at 1 little bit, if we need to we may look at a few 1m sections. Once we've done this we can get a really good idea of what the problems are - moss, weeds, poor grass growth, no grass.....

  3. Design a program - this is the best bit, once we've looked at the lawn, and we've worked on it to get the 1st cut it, we can then plan how to get it back into condition. It can be very easy and can be done in just 1 - 2 visits. That said we like to give nature a chance and often design a program over a series of seasons so we can take into account how it responds as the year goes along. Technically this is better as we can then support the lawn into the following year.

After photo - the lawn after the 1st visit, it took 3 passes to get the length down.

After photo - the lawn after the 1st visit, it took 3 passes to get the length down.

As you can see from the picture above, a lawn after the 1st visit can look quite tidy, but it also shows there it need care.

To watch a video of the whole visit and the process of getting the lawn down into condition watch it now:

To get a quick quote just fill in your details here

The equipment we use:

Van - Ford transit van | Mower - Hayter pro | Aerator - Easy core 205 | Scarifier - Eliet Scarifier | Lawn feeder - scotts acupro 2000 |

We like to thank the guys at Artsigns in London  and De-sign harrogate. Both very good for van livery.

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How to grow a perfect lawn - 5 top tips for cutting your lawn correctly

{this blog is written by Phil Argent, The Dyslexic Blogger - so there might be a few typos, a few bits that don't seem to make sense, but should be a general good read)

A perfect cut lawn -

A perfect cut lawn -

Lawn Care Hacks - 5 top tips for cutting your lawn correctly

Looking after a lawn is a careful balance of cutting, watering and feeding. There are many other tasks you can carry out but its all about the basics to start with.

Can you cut a lawn in the rain or when its wet
— Number 1 customer question

The best line I often hear from customers or prospective customers is "can you cut the lawn in the rain or when it wet"?

My answer to that is always the same, YES. Below are the 5 top tips for cutting the lawn in any weather. 

  1. Sharpe lawn mower blades - the one thing that is very common with all new or used lawn mowers is the blades are all to often blunt. They are either polished off because of all the cutting or they were never really that sharp when you first too ownership of the mower. The best tip is to take off the blades and get a kitchen steel and give them a good sharpen. The do not need to be pin sharp but what they do need to be is constantly sharp. The trick is to sharpen them up so you can cut paper cutting through the paper. Often you can hear and feel a sharp cut and also you can see when you have cut that the grass leaf has a clean cut rather than a "tear" the grass. A note on tearing grass, if its a very hot day, and people do like to cut there lawn on a hot day you need a sharp blade, if its blunt and you tear the grass the leaf will die back, just like a badly pruned plant.

  2. Cut high when its wet - Its often very hard to cut the lawn on a wet day or on a day with very heavy dew, on those days its best that you set the lawn mower blades at a setting a bit higher than normal so you just clip off the top leaf. By cutting off the top leaf when you will do is stop that leaf getting any longer and the whole plan will put its effort into producing the new leafs. Once it dries out then take the cut down to normal heigh.

  3. Less is more - If the lawn is longer than normal because you have been away or you have missed a cut for some reason, don't be tempted to cut the hell out of it, the first cut you do should be long and just the once. Then a few days later have a second cut at the same height again. Once you have a nice clean cut then start to progressively take the cut length down to what ever you want it to be

  4. Short lawns don't happen in one cut - this is really important to understand. If you want a nice lawn you have to take it a day at a time. Its important that you get an idea of the condition of the lawn when its long and then take the cut down gradually and look at how the lawn responds with each next cut. You might find that as the lawn gets shorter and the grass gets more stressed you may need to give it a feed or aerate it to get some additional stimulation into the root zone.

  5. Different cut directions - some might say its lawn art, and other may say I like the stripes. The truth is you need to cut the lawn in different directions to keep the grass growing correctly. Some grasses over time will start running in one directing and the new grass may set up secondary plants which root in the thatch of the existing grasses. This is bad news as one dry day when you push the lawn for a lower cut you may find the mower pulls up a whole section of grass. So its a good idea to have a common direction that you like but from time to time (every 4 weeks) change the direction.

Less is more when cutting a lawn for the 1st time
— Phil Argent - senior lawn guy

The one thing I have always found about cutting lawn is it should be a pleasure. The pleasure is from getting a consistent result, which includes grass condition, grass colour and a good length.

If you have a well cut lawn and it can be at any height it can easily be a show case for the garden. And in my experience if you have a nice lawn a un kept garden don't look that bad either.

You should you this equipment:

Van - Ford transit van | Mower - Hayter pro | Aerator - Easy core 205 | Scarifier - Eliet Scarifier | Lawn feeder - scotts acupro 2000 |

We like to thank the guys at Artsigns in London  and De-sign harrogate. Both very good for van livery.

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How to grow a business - The old vs the new - Part 1 - what could we do with 207,000,000 hours

How we used to do things

It's never been more true that time is "the commodity we all trade". Everything we do is managed by productivity and how we make most use of our time is measured my some hundreds of systems and kpi's .

Once upon a time we would phone each other to arrange going out for a beer; now we just announce where we are heading and when we get there. We use snap chat, Facebook, instagram to announce what we are doing as we do it. Time is measured in nano seconds....

We used to travel in cars with maps; we now book a driver via uber and monitor where were going via google maps. We can almost teleport to places! 

We used to see looking after the lawn as a nice way to pass the time, but now we just see it as a distraction to doing stuff that's more valuable. How can I get someone to easily do it for me?

Things have changed so much the we have developed our businesses around the changes in how we value our time and how we get things done, like the lawn cutting.

We have worked out that in the UK people spend some 207,000,000 hours a year cutting grass because they have to....... Until recently there has been no one who can support "on demand" bookings. Just imagine what we could do if we did something more valuable in those hours.

We have also calculated that the average cost for you to cut your lawn is £26 which includes the cost of a lawn mower,your time and maintenance costs.

Sharing community

There was once a time when we would cut the grass and a customer would ask us questions about the lawn. We would make a follow up visit and then sell additional services to deal with the problem. That was until we started sharing photos of all our visits before and after with our team and our clients. This recording happened by chance initially and we started doing it well before mobile phone were called smart... we would just text back then... (expensive but useful). Then the smart phone arrived and we started taking photos and emailing them to us and to our clients.  We then developed the system to host photos on google apps.

Today we keep a record of every visit, every problem and everything that happens. We have some 30,000 visits of data over some 10 years in business. We know whats happened in the past and we have a good idea of what might happen in the future - we are God like!!

The cloud

Our systems have developed over the years, not over night. We have developed systems as our clients have developed their relationship with us. At first we did have a website of sorts, but everything was run on microsoft technology on PC's. Then one sad but good day we had a flood in the office that took out every system with every bit of data on everything - all 900 customers - we mean every system.

On that day we moved to the cloud. We embraced every cloud based system, CRM system, payment system, booking system -  we got rid of all the PC's and upgraded the mobile phones.

We now run every day via google apps, an integrated website. We track and record everything that happens and the only cloud we worry about now is the one that makes for a rainy day.  

Mapping the world

When we started we used A to Z maps - there was a book in all the vans.  We ran our systems and looked in the book. We now have all the online systems aligned so the schedule is optimised and we can get to any customer whenever they want us there. All very simple and very easy to manage. This has given us the flexibly to be "on demand" at any time of the week.

 

 

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How to grow a business - The old vs the new - Part 2 - data, insight and technology assess your lawn

One price for all

Now, every lawn company will tell you they need to "see your lawn" to do a "assessment".

The truth is this - using conventional hand held measuring tools and wheels it is very difficult to correctly measure your lawn unless it is a rectangle. Therefore any lawn company assessing your lawn can only "assume" the size. In the majority of cases it will be easier to over estimate than under estimate the size of a lawn by 10-15%.

With this in mind we have made good use of online mapping technology to correctly assess the size of your lawn.

Using local data, insight and technology we get a good idea of the aspect of the lawn and key components like:

the garden aspect - where is south, tree canopies and the surrounding land conditions - this stuff is what is really important!!! Most companies will never do this key data assessment.

We actually only really assess your lawn for the important things. The general condition of the lawn we assume is poor  - (and we know this to be the case in 99.9% of the time) -  and needs correct cutting and treatments to maintain it to the correct condition.

So, we save time and money assessing your lawn using data, insight and technology to ultimately save you money. Because we don't waste time assessing the lawn face to face, we are able to give you a fixed price offer.

The old way is the old way. 

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