It is not the intent of this article to tell anyone how to run their business. What we're discussing here are a few ideas which seem to make common sense for the ongoing survival of the turf industry and lawn care industry in Australia. Take em, leave em, laugh at em or think some more about these ideas, it's food for thought at a time when the growing of lawns, and the eventual sale of lawns is under massive threat and getting worse.
Securing a continuing, safe and environmentally friendly future for the entire turf industry, and lawn care industry begins with each individual person and business to take control of their own destiny and begin sharing the most honest information possible with homeowners and government alike.
We believe grasses like Common Kikuyu are a massive environmental nuisance, and many agree, so while there still is a market for Kikuyu, then switching to an MSK such as Kenda or Village Green seems to be the most responsible course of action for everyone, homeowners, governments and turf farmers alike.
We also believe that other old style grasses which are highly inferior to new and improved grasses should also be phased out and replaced by todays superior grass breeds. Selling awful grasses which only create massive customer dissatisfaction only hurts the reputation of the entire industry. These older grasses, many of which require far greater maintenance routines such as weed spraying, extra watering,extra mowing and detaching do no-one any good. For it's these very same high maintenance grasses which is leading water corporations and (mis-informed) environmentalists around the country to tell people to rip out their lawns, and leading many people to hate their lawns due to unsuitability and instead replace them with that awful plastic stuff.
We understand the overwhelming majority of turf farmers have solid knowledge of turf types.
They know the truthful characteristics of each grass, they know the lowest maintenance grasses, and they know which grasses sell. For the lawn industry to survive into the future, we all know that everyone will need to switch to the lowest maintenance and most environmentally friendly grasses possible. We all need to do our bit to change peoples perceptions of grasses and switch them to the better grass types. And for the turf farmer, this begins with promoting these better grass types honestly on their websites, and talking honestly about all grass types so their customers can choose the right lawn for their homes based on honest truth which goes beyond grass company advertising.
By all means - shout to the world as loud as you can about the high quality turf you grow, your quality standards, your environmental standards, your fantastic customer service and then shout to the world what the honest truth is about each grass type so they can choose the very best turf for their homes. But please - if you know it's not true - don't allow false information to be placed onto your websites for the benefit of other people… it hurts everyone and will eventually bring the entire turf industry to its knees.
Here are just a few examples of what we're talking about. Good honest information the way the turf farmer sees it, and he is trying to do the best he can for his clients. It matters not whether we all agree on what each says or sells - we just need to all do the best we can - in the right way. These people must be recognised and congratulated for using their own words to do their very best for the industry.
And then I see others which do the complete opposite… and go against every word of very high concern within this article, and which will only lead to greater customer dissatisfaction and rejection of lawns… which impacts us all.
In fact, there is a highly disturbing trend of grossly false lawn and grass information which is being put online at rapid speed - and we simply cannot understand why honest and hard working people would allow themselves to be taken into such a damaging direction - and allow themselves to become promoters of grossly false information.
What is the future of the turf industry when so many horrendous lies are flying about?
So much rubbish - and it's going to be the end of all of us.
For every advertised grass in Australia there is usually a company who owns or licenses each turf type. The overwhelming majority of these licensed grasses are very good, and each of these grasses have both strengths and weaknesses, and each grass has a suitable home and purpose somewhere.
And to each of these grass types and the businesses who own or market them, we wish them all best of luck with their futures without favour.
Along with these grass brands, also comes their marketing departments to tell people about their lawn types. Overwhelmingly - the huge majority of this marketing is done extremely well with very high levels of honesty and truth about the grasses in question, which then allows the customer to choose their new lawn wisely.
And the stand out operator in Australia today is Todd Layt of Ozbreed. Yes he advertises here on The Lawn Guide for his Palmetto, Sapphire, Empire and Nara, but competitor or not, no-one in the turf industry could disagree that there is not a single other person who does more good for the entire turf industry in Australia than he does. Not only promoting his own products with honesty, but also sharing the highest quality HONEST lawn care information with all lawn owners in Australia.
And it's for these very reasons that I could not ask for any better sponsor.
Another respectable operator can be seen on the Matilda Buffalo website, which is also honest, respectable and truthful with it's visitors and clients.
In fact - I see no problem with 99% of such advertising… but it's that 1% of irresponsible operators who spread bad information which should be of grave concern for every person involved in the turf or lawn care industries in Australia.
Sadly, there are some dreadful and massive inaccuracies being published about grass, on purpose by the tiniest 1% minority amongst all of this overwhelming decency and truthfulness within the Australian turf industry.
This is terrible for everyone involved in the lawn care and turf industry in Australia, especially so for the customers buying the turf. With the only winners being the people being less than truthful about their grass who become very wealthy from its sale.
And this is NOT turf farmers - it doesn't matter what grass a turf farmer grows, as long as the grass sells, they still make their hard earned and well deserved wages.
This situation then leads to many people buying a totally unsuitable grass type which may need a lot more maintenance, which may be a grass which is more damaging to the environment, or which may be entirely unsuitable for a person's home and specific environment.
And this only leads to massive client dissatisfaction when they discover the truth about their new lawn, environmental damage from excessive maintenance requirements, and excessive water usage by some lawn types just to name a few problems which may arise.
As some examples,
I've know a person who spent $5,000 on a new lawn, only to discover when she got home after it was laid that she had bought a Buffalo lawn. From all the advertising for this grass, it was never mentioned that the grass was Buffalo, and she hates Buffalo - she had it ripped out immediately and put down Couch instead.
I know a man who spent $7,000 on a new Kikuyu lawn last year only to find out that it dropped dead underneath all his trees, he wasn't told about Kikuyu's shade intolerance. He's selling his house, but if he were to keep it, he would poison the entire lawn and plant a new grass type.
I've seen so many lawns that were put down one year and were trashed the next, full of weeds and bare patches, or needing heavy lawn mowing or regular detaching. Not due to buying a bad grass type, but due to buying the wrong lawn for their homes and needs, and all based on incorrect grass information.
So much customer dissatisfaction...
So many people who hate their lawns...
And there's no reason for any of it...
To that 1% of the turf industry who are affecting so many people so badly - it's time they get their act together.
So I guess the message here for this 1% of the turf industry is this…
Tell the truth about your grass and let people choose honestly and wisely, and you will create massive customer satisfaction and a very high reputation amongst all your peers, creating a place for lawns in Australia as the wonderful environmental asset they are to everyone, and you will have a successful business for decades to come, and help make Australia a better place for all of us.
Be dishonest about your grass, sell as much of your grass as possible no matter how dissatisfied your customers become, ruin the reputation of lawns and begin their downfall in Australia, and run away as rich millionaires when the industry is finally trashed in your wake.
I for one, will be doing everything possible to continue to share the honest truth about lawns, and lawn types and their best suitabilities, and if they have flaws, I will always say what they are.
And it's only from the sharing of truthful information that we can all choose our lawns wisely, we can all have a lawn which is the best lawn for our homes, and we can all have a lawn which is of the greatest environmental benefit possible, while creating the lowest environmental detriment possible.
I do this because I genuinely care for the ongoing growth of all lawns in Australia as one of our greatest environmental assets to clean and reduce pollution, cool our homes, and create such wonderful environments for all of us to enjoy forever.
And I urge everyone else who loves lawns, and knows their true benefit to us all - to do exactly the same.