Lawn Technicians Wanted!!

Great Care Lawn Service is looking for licensed applicators for the 2018 season. We pay at the top of the market and are looking for qualified pros. Are you an efficient technician? Can you handle a heavy workload without sacrificing quality?

Please respond with your resume if;

  • you are self employed and looking for a great, consistent paycheck
  • you are currently working at a lawn care company and looking for             something different (and a bigger paycheck)
  • you are early in your lawn care career and looking for a great place to learn the industry (and, of course, a big paycheck)

Our starting pay is great, and there’s potential for a very quick raise within 6 weeks. Overtime is available and we pay high commission as well. Please provide us with a good resume and we can set up an interview. 2 positions available.

We look forward to talking with you! Thanks for looking,

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $18.00 to $24.00 /hour (overtime available)

7.5% Commission

Email resumes to:     greatcare@greatcarelawnservice.com

 

 

Choosing a Lawn Care Company, continued

I want to build off the last post a little bit by adding some ideas when looking to hire a lawn care company. If you read “What is the best lawn care company“, there will be some repetition here. But I want to quickly go over some things to look for as a homeowner to make sure you hire a competent company.

Of course some of the basics always apply regardless of what need you are looking for, plumbing, painting, lawn care or anything else. An initial search will eliminate some companies off your list right away because their contact info is wrong. And then as you start to call, the list will get shorter. They will not answer, call back or be dismissive on the phone. If they are late without a call, or don’t show up (duh), never call them again. And any gut feeling you have when talking with them about the person and company they are. These are basic ways to cross companies off your list.

I recently needed plumbing help and I paid careful attention to how companies handle me as a consumer. I did a google search for plumbers in the area and started calling around. About half of my original list was immediately crossed out because of their answering system. I shouldn’t have to go out of my way to pay you. And I shouldn’t be required to ask the right question in order for you to do the right thing. A couple of these companies left it up to me to tell them how to operate, “Soo, is a guy coming out?” They should listen to you and find out what you need, and then explain how they can help.

For me, the operation of a company is important. I do not want to be required to figure out what you are supposed to do. So when meeting or talking to companies, how well can they explain what you are paying for? A good company will be able to paint a pretty good picture of what they will do. The relationship is mutual, and needs to be fair. You will pay them, so find out what they will do in return. The program they offer should be easily explained and probably be printed out on professional letterhead so you can keep it and go over it. The process in which they will provide the service should be easily explained as well. If they talk in general terms, they are not the best guys. “We’ll treat your lawn with whatever it needs” is a general term. Get specifics from them. Some specifics are what fertilizer’s are used, what’s the calendar, their plan for weed control, how their operation works with concerning you, the billing process (to name a few).

Price of course is important. I recommend to negotiate a ‘market value’ for you lawn. Please go to our Pricing page and check out our price sheet as a guideline. 10,000 square feet should cost around $55 per treatment. Don’t pay much higher, but also don’t pay much lower. If you have a large lawn paying $30, it’s very likely you are not getting the proper amount of fertilizer and weed control. This is a business relationship and needs to be equal, so it has to be worth it for the company as well. If they are not making much money, or even losing money, than corners will be cut. I suggest to be in the ball park of ‘market value’ so the balance is fair for customer and company. You don’t want to be the customer where the lawn technician wants to skip because it’s a waste of time.

It is a service that you are looking for, so the operation needs to be smooth. If it’s not, than more than likely they will not treat your lawn properly. And the operation should be smooth from your initial contact, through the hiring process and then into billing. Should be explained properly so you know what to expect.

 

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

 

 

How to choose a Lawn Care Company?

The best company around is a difficult thing to quantify in a service industry, but let’s take a shot, shall we? Spend a couple minutes with this post to help guide your decision when picking out a lawn care provider.

Image result for thinkingThe ‘Lawn Care Industry’ is different than the landscape industry. We are talking specifically about application based companies that offer fertilizer programs and probably tree/shrub care and some pest control. Some companies offer a wide variety of services and could be included in both industries. Don’t be confused, let’s outline the lawn care companies.

In general, service companies are more judged on how they handle the day to day operation. Do they do the simple things right, like answer the phone or call back right away? Are they willing to listen to you? Do they show up when they are scheduled to do so, and if not, do they call and let you know? How consistent is the billing? Are you confused on what you are paying for or receive the bill weeks later? These simple tasks should be routine by a good company. Let’s now define the differences in companies.

The size of the provider is a good place to start. You can typically figure this out through their website and how many locations they have. The larger companies will have many locations of course. They tend to have lower prices and really concentrate on volume, treat more houses at a smaller dollar amount. This of course will lead to the technician spending less time on your lawn because he is required to treat many houses in a day. Customer service may be difficult at times for the same reason. The technician will not want to spend 20 minutes meeting a customer for free. The employee turnover rate will be high and you will probably deal with a different technician year to year. Some of the benefits will be the price of course, you will be able to get the lowest price on market. The answering service will be professional and quick. You can expect to talk to someone very quickly and start working towards an answer to your question or problem. To me, this is a great benefit. You should also expect a very professional service. Their trucks will be painted and clean, clean uniforms and professional looking technicians, and also professional invoices, paperwork and an online presence. You’ll have the different payment options and probably have an online account to check in from time to time.

Here are some of the biggest companies around, and share similar traits;

  •        Trugreen
  •        The Lawn Company, TLC
  •        Lawn Doctor
  •        Naturalawn of America
  •        Weedman

Smaller companies on the other hand should be able to provide more attention to your lawn. You will be dealing with the owner or a loyal member of the company. When the technician is on your lawn, there will be better detail given. Although these companies may not have a professional answering service, a good small company should answer the phone or call back quickly. When you do get in touch with them, there will be a far greater effort to help you because customers cannot be replaced that quickly. The price will probably be slightly higher because they need to maximize each application. You may not be dealing with a ‘professional’ looking company, but may very well get better service. The truck may not be painted, they may not have uniforms or even company shirts, and the invoice and paperwork will be of low quality.

Your safest decision when hiring one of these companies somewhere in between – a larger company that has stayed local. The owner will not be out treating your lawn, but he will have a hand in the day to day workings of the company operation. They will have the ability to handle all the work they have scheduled and processes in place to provide a consistent service. Your questions and concerns will be close to the top of the priority list because they understand the value of a single customer, and the cost of losing one. You will probably be dealing with the same technician, which is comforting to know they are familiar with your property and your specific needs. They will have a professional appearance. A few examples in central MA are Ford’s, Gatsby Grounds, Turf Logic or Turf Unlimited.

Full disclosure, I have no personal dealings with any of these companies. Your best judgement will be to trust your gut. I have high support for the small company and helping them get started. They may be the best in the market, even without the professional look. And many complaints of the larger companies lack of customer service, may not apply to you and you have a great relationship with them. I would recommend to pay for each application as they are done and keep yourself flexible by not getting involved with a contract. I will write another post on hiring a company and things to look out for, to help make the ‘gut’ decision. Hopefully this post gave some insights on the potential companies out there. Thanks for reading!

Service area

Great Care Lawn Service is located in Worcester, MA and our service area covers all of central MA. We have customers near the border of NH and also near the border of RI. Our area is beginning to expand east and west of Worcester as well. Here is a list of towns that we currently service.

Worcester, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Douglas, Sutton, Harvard, Stow, Hudson, Acton, Boxboro, Groton, Pepperell, Leominster, Fitchburg, Sterling, Lancaster, Clinton, Shrewsbury, Dudley, Oxford, Charlton, Rutland, Holden, Leicester, Concord, Berlin, Boylston, Spencer, Westboro, Lunenburg, Northboro, Framingham, Franklin, Hopkinton, Grafton, Natick, Bellingham, Fiskedale, Paxton, Bolton, Webster, Auburn, West Boylston, Mendon, Southboro, Millbury, South Grafton,

 

Lawn care Northboro, Lawn care Westboro, Lawn care Shrewsbury, Lawn care Paxton, Lawn care Rutland, Lawn care Holden

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

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Caterpillar Dormant Oil Spray

After the incredible damage caused by a waive of caterpillars last year, let’s protect our landscape early, before that happens again. We can spray every tree on your property and along the wood line to make sure they do not hatch this year. One dormant oil spray will typically take care of the problem, making sure to get good coverage over the entire tree, top to bottom. This oil smothers any over wintering eggs, but needs to be done in a timely manner. Typically towards the end of the winter and into the start of the spring, there is a window to spray. When the weather begins to warm up, but not warm enough to hatch.

Dormant Spray in action – in this video, we are spraying a hemlock tree to take care of woolly adelgid. But the same process is used for spraying caterpillars.

Here is a good article talking about the rise of the moths over the past couple seasons. Caterpillars

Please contact our office to set up a dormant oil spray on your property, the window to spray is small so let’s get them set up. Pricing depends on the size of the property, but starts out at $50. We can spray the smaller trees with a backpack sprayer. And our tank sprayer takes care of larger areas and trees, up to 30 feet in the air.

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2017 Lawn Care Program

Happy New Year! We hope that this year is great for you and your family!

As we get ready for the 2017 season, we wanted to make our program available online for everyone to check and reference throughout the year. The products listed were used last year and may change this year. We will update you as we move throughout the season.

  • Round 1Crabgrass Control with Fertilizer – Dimension 0.15% + fertilizer. This product provides season-long control of crabgrass and control or suppression of other listed annual grassed and broadleaf weeds in established lawns.
  • Round 2Turf Fertilizer 24-0-5 2% Fe – Slow release fertilizer that gradually releases nutrients for continuous feeding. Iron provides deep green color without excessive top growth.
  • Round 3Grub Control with Fertilizer – Mallet-Lambda 17-0-3 Provides insect control above and below the ground. Also has slow release fertilizer for continuous feeding. Iron provides deep green color without excessive top growth.
  • Round 4Turf Fertilizer 24-0-11 Slow release fertilizer that gradually releases nutrients for continuous feeding.
  • Round 513-0-6 Lesco Cal. Professional Turf Fertilizer with Calcium
  • Round 6Turf Fertilizer 18-2-18. Sulfur Coated Urea provides uniform growth with extended nitrogen feeding
  • Spring Lime – This treatment is applied with the first or second application to help maintain the pH level in your lawn. The soil in New England can be very acidic and lime helps balance this.

Your program will consist of all 6 of these granular treatments along with weed control. Each one is season specific and are scheduled approximately 42 days apart. The program also comes with complimentary service visits, per request.

As part of our service, we keep you up to date throughout the season of what to expect and what you can do to make your lawn look its best. We provide you with information on each visit and also send weekly tips to help.

Great Care is proud of what we provide and look forward to working with all of you!

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

 

Caterpillars

Image result for caterpillar damage on big trees

<—  Trees look like this??

If you remember the incredibly popularized caterpillar that was always known for its sensational hunger, then it is no surprise that the creatures you find eating the leaves off your tree are just as hungry as their ancestor. Caterpillars are becoming quite an issue these days, and learning what to do about them is an important step to be taking… so good job!

Caterpillars are the larvae of both moths and butterflies; the variety of different caterpillars out there also leads to a variety of different pest levels.

– – Some caterpillars can eat an entire plant’s leaves in one night!! – -, Image result for caterpillars in new englandwhile others may work at a slower pace. No matter how quickly they can scarf down a tree though, all caterpillars will be gnawing on some sort of plant in order to work towards their prestigious butterfly figures. As harmless to you as caterpillars can be, the harm they do to your plants is another story. There are many organic ways that can help, as well as some chemical ones as well. It truly depends on whatever method suits your fancy. I’ll give you some examples for you to work with.

First thing first, simply handpicking any caterpillars you find chomping on your plants and relocating them will help do the trick. It has been said that dropping them into some soapy water would do the job of killing them, too (if relocating isn’t your thing).

If handpicking them seems a little to flashy for you, there are other certain oils and powders that can also work towards a plush and voluptuous yard. There is neem oil, which can be sprayed on plants in order to control caterpillars. This is a natural vegetable oil that will not do the damage that occurs with other chemical treatments. These oils are dormant oils, meaning they will smother the eggs before hatching. This treatment is time sensitive and needs to be done early in the spring. Here is a video of spraying dormant oil over hemlocks (we are targeting woolly adelgid here and not caterpillars, but the process is the same). There is also a powder available called bacillus thuringiensis, which is a natural bacterium that will also keep the caterpillars at bay.

For a sneaky trick under your sleeve that could repel caterpillars all together, plant a variety of herbs and flowers around your landscape. Scents like lavender, sage, and peppermint are disliked by many insects, including caterpillars.

Another method involves bringing in the birds and letting the natural swing of the food pyramid do its work. Birds and caterpillars are a natural predator – prey relationship and with simply setting up a bird feeder or a bird bath, you should start seeing results eventually.

Of course, all these methods are also followed by the chemical sprays and treatments that can be done to get rid of hungry, hungry caterpillars quickly and efficiently. Whatever method you prefer is entirely your choice. As long as your trees stay full and thick with their leaves, then the winner will be you! It’s now up to you to decide which path to follow. Good luck on your journey.

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

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Weeds; Clover and sedge grass

Clover

Clover is one that youImage result for lawn clover may not be able to picture right away, so close your eyes and simply imagine a small flower that has multiplied by 1000 (maybe) and completely speckled your lawn. Those are clovers. Most lawns have these weeds, and they really don’t do any harm besides some visual upset. These are more commonly found in white, so they tend to stand out in the average lawn.

Because these don’t do any harm, there really is no consequence of ignoring them. However, if you really don’t like to look at clovers flooding your lawn, there are things that you could do to control them. There are fertilizer applications that can help prevent clovers. If you’d rather go a product-less route, though, simply setting your lawn mower blade to three inches or higher will keep shade over areas that would normally provide sunlight for these clovers. Mowing also mows off seed heads, which will help prevent further distribution of the clover seeds.

NutsedgeImage result for nutsedge

Probably the least commonly-known among the four mentioned, nutsedge is a grass-like weed with a spiky head of purple or yellow. Nutsedges grow quickly and are lighter than grass, so they will stick out greatly in your lawn. These are tough weeds to control because they grow from tubers that form on roots that can get up to 14 inches deep. If you pull out the roots, the tubers can still stay behind and end up growing more. How frustrating is that?

To control these, changing the way you mow could help tremendously. Just like clover, mowing higher will help crowd out nutsedge. There are also ways such as removing the plants before they develop tubers, this is usually before they have five to six leaves. You can also reduce the amount of weeds by drying, shading, and using herbicides on the area. Tubers, though, are the key. Along the lines of these, if you find nutsedge, dig out the patch down to at least eight inches deep, refill, and then seed or sod the patch.

Hopefully you have learned a little about the different types of weeds that can pop up and the different ways to control each one. Weeds don’t have to be an upsetting topic of conversation. Soon, controlling weeds will become one of your bragging points and will impress even the most professional lawn care individuals.

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

Weeds, dandelions and crabgrass

Let’s be honest, talking about weeds gets your blood boiling just a little. Preventing and controlling weeds are possibly the most frustrating aspects of lawn care. Finding your strength and willpower being challenged by the strength and willpower of a plant can make your frustration peak to the point of complete helplessness. Weeds don’t need to win, though. Let’s talk about four specific weeds and ways that you can overcome their seemingly indestructible selves.

DandelionsImage result for dandelion

These will probably be the weed that you are most familiar with. Dandelions are incredibly common, as well as incredibly noticeable. They start with a bright yellow top and slowly transition into a fragile, white puffball that loses its seeds with a slight blow of the wind. These weeds appear seemingly out of nowhere in the early spring and continue to grow at an alarming rate. Dandelions can have roots up to three feet deep. Whoa, right?

These weeds are pesky, and of course the best course of action to take with them is to do whatever you can to prevent them. This involves having and maintaining a thick and healthy lawn, if it’s mowed routinely then the weed won’t be able to mature and create even more of a problem for you. If it does mature, the seeds spread from the puffball will end up creating more dandelions the next year.

For other treatment options, chemicals are incredibly effective. Products such as roundup – glyphosate – are very effective, but will also kill any and all things in the yard. If you choose to go the chemical route it is suggested to only use it in beds, walks, or driveways rather than the entire lawn. Spray the weeds when they have sprouted and before they mature. There are also options such as crabgrass control or pre-emergent that can be applied in early spring to help reduce the amount of dandelions. Dandelions in the lawn will need a broadleaf, selective weed control which is incredibly effective.

CrabgrassImage result for crabgrass

There are the crabs of the ocean and the crabgrass of our lawns, and each are equally upsetting. Crabgrass, though, can be controlled. Crabgrass is that weed that has a center root low across the ground with leaves sprawled all around. This weed will first appear around mid-spring, but it is especially prevalent during the summer due to how well it thrives in hot, dry conditions. They’ll die in the fall, but before they pass they’ll make sure to spread thousands of seeds across your lawn just waiting to pop up the next year.

The key to crabgrass control is to stop the spread of these little seeds. Preventing the germination will help prevent crabgrass, which will in turn help make your lawn look quite flawless. To stop the seeds, there are multiple different techniques. Just like dandelions, and just like many other lawn imperfections that come about, a healthy lawn will greatly help prevention. There are also other things such as pre-emergent that will work to kill seedlings as they germinate. However, pre-emergent won’t help if the crabgrass has already sprung up. For crabgrass already there, then post-emergent will be useful to control their spread of seeds. Just make sure to not apply too much herbicide. (If your lawn is browning, that’s a good sign you have.) To prevent death of your lawn just make sure to water the area extensively.

www.greatcarelawnservice.com

 

Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos

Okay, picture spending a beautiful day in your back yard with your friends and family. Now, picture constantly having to be making sure ticks aren’t crawling on anyone… or maybe picture constantly having to swat mosquitoes away from you and your friends. The picture started to not look very fun, right? That’s right, because ticks and mosquitoes are not fun.Image result for ticks

They’re more than just annoying bugs, though. Ticks and mosquitoes are also common carriers of diseases such as Lyme disease, eastern equine encephalitis, and west Nile virus. These diseases can all be fatal if not caught early enough. Which simply gives even more reason for not wanting ticks and mosquitoes surrounding your property.

Both these insects thrive in the same habitats, and they won’t be hiding in the nicely-kept areas of your lawn. They usually can be seen under and around the foundation of the house or deck, swing sets, sheds, or simply any leaf or branch pile you could have.

Image result for fleasThese unkept areas of your lawn could be the thriving home base for ticks and mosquitoes everywhere, but there are some things that can be done to reclaim your home. We have applications that safely and effectively kill ticks while at the same time drastically reducing the mosquito population. The treatment could be as little as $50, and a couple hours after it has been applied, you won’t have to be worrying about ticks or mosquitoes. Your kids or pets or family or friends could wander and have fun without feeling a tick crawling up their leg or hitting mosquitoes away from their arms.

The application is a liquid spray that is dispersed where ticks and mosquitoes live. It is odorless with no visible residue and each application dispersed lasts up to two months. Along with your scheduled lawn care visits, we suggest that you add this application five times a year for consistent protection from mosquitoes and ticks all season long. Each property is unique though, so we will perform individual analyses to do the best we can for your lawn. If your lawn is more or less hospitable for insects, we can work to figure out how many treatments are truly necessary to keep the bugs away. If your property does need more than the recommended 5 sprays, than we can lower the price per treatment. It’s up to you though, we can spray it as often or as little as you would like.

This application loses its potency as time goes on, and mosquitoes may come back quicker than ticks. However, this application is truly responsible for some drastic differences in yards and their tick and mosquito populations. If you want to rid your lawn of these biting, blood-sucking insects then call our office and we can work together to understand the price and what program best fits your property. Once that’s over, picture spending a beautiful day in your back yard with your family and friends. The end.

 

www.greatcarelawnservice.com