Walking The Walk
This is my favorite issue of the year. The idea of taking landscaping into the realm of landcare is one I find exciting, rewarding, and full of possibility. Our outdoor spaces—from small suburban yards to large, wild areas—are in desperate need of stewardship right now. And lawn and landscape pros are uniquely positioned to fulfill this crucially important role for the planet.
Talking with professionals like Jack Pizzo, who does ecological restoration in Illinois, and Justin Hayes, landscape supervisor for an environmentally sustainable district at University of Texas, is downright inspiring. They not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, showing what is truly possible when a dedicated team approaches a landscape as part of the greater ecosystem. Are there challenges? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Read their articles and you’ll find a resounding “yes.”
Though in different regions, both Pizzo and Hayes say a great portion of time and focus is spent on invasives removal. And this is where my own personal tug between horticulturalist and naturalist is keenly felt. I feel equal joy in a botanical garden or in the woods. I am fascinated by exotic plants and new hybrids, while equally lamenting the barberry I personally witness invading local forests. So imagine my happiness when I found a nandina, long admired at a horticultural garden where I once worked, half price at a nursery. Then imagine my dismay when I planted it, admired it all Winter, only to find it listed in our article on invasives by expert Jil Swearingen. Sigh. Naturally I entitled the article, “Our Own Worst Enemy.” Yes, the struggle is real and walking the walk can be more of a zig zag than a straight line for most of us.
Finally, whether you’re eco-minded or not, the era of electric is coming. So we’ve put a focus on new battery powered equipment, real-world costs, and the infrastructure requirements they will present. I hope it helps make that transition—be it next month or in a few years—a little more straightforward.
Turf April 2023 Issue | Table of Contents
The Landscape As Ecosystem | Pizzo & Associates works with Nature to solve landscape challenges.
Gas vs. Electric Landscape Equipment: Real World Costs | A facility service company reveals its numbers.
Ornamental Invasives | Learn the common landscape plants that are damaging invasives— and what to plant instead.
Amazing Mycorrhizae | What is arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis and why is it important to turfgrass and plant growth?
Landscape Business Pain Point Fixes | Three solutions to maintain business growth in uncertain times.
DesignBuild®: An Eco-Oasis In The Heart of Austin | Justin Hayes reveals the sustainable practices at his SITES Gold Certified district at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Yardstick: Tim Fox | The owner of Meticulous Landscapes in Indiana talks about his journey from sole laborer at age 45 to creation of a winning team.