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How Large is Your Sward

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To achieve a perfect lawn, you must know how much “square footage” of actual grass that you need to take care of. Our SwardMaster customers, those with the fabulous lawns, understand this. This is the very FIRST thing you need to determine if you’re going to have a successful relationship with THE Turf Plan®

THIS AIN’T YOUR FRIGGIN’ LOT SIZE! Rather, it’s the grassy areas, excluding your driveway and walks, excluding your home, excluding your mulch beds, excluding the woods, the creek, etc. Are we clear? To properly manage fertilizer and pesticide applications, you’ve got to know how much actual turf you have. Not knowing how much turf you have will result in either routine over-application, or under-application of all of our products. If you don’t take the time to calculate your turf area, you won’t enjoy season long, beautiful turf. When you’ve finally achieved a lawn that’s so good that everyone becomes envious, you have earned the right to call it your “sward.”

Determination of your turf area is not a difficult thing to do. Just get within 10% and we’ll be happy, and so will you, because your applications will be accurate enough for you to achieve good results.

THE Turf Plan® ain’t rocket science, but it is horticultural science, and it requires a modicum of common sense. That’s a whole ‘nother issue, right?

For those of you with absolutely no common sense, here are the steps to follow that will provide you an accurate measure of your actual turf area:

  1. Find a pencil and a notepad.
  2. For this exercise, simply assume a “large step” is a three feet. You can use a tape measure to estimate more precisely, but that’s not really necessary. If you are the anal retentive type, you can measure out 100 ft and then determine how many steps it takes you to travel that 100 ft. Then you’ll know exactly how many feet per step you take.
  3. Mentally divide your lawn into “pieces” of even geometrical shapes and pace them off. For example, make a rectangle out of your front yard and pace the length and the width. Record the length and width in #steps. You’ll convert it later. Record it accurately on either your hand-drawn plot map or a copy of your plat map.
  4. Sketch it on the pad, and count the number of paces it takes to get the dimensions. Disregard mulch rings around trees and don’t worry about little “ins and outs” of landscape edges around your beds. Complete the rest of the yard in a similar manner.
  5. Simply multiply the number of paces X 3 feet (or whatever your actual number is)and figure out the square footage of each geometric shape.
  6. Include the grass between the sidewalk and street! It’s a harsh environment, so you need to give it TLC.
  7. Tally it all up and round it to the nearest 0.5 thousand sq ft. In the world of turf science, “M” represents a thousand square feet. Thus, 12,500 sq ft is written as “12.5 M”.
  8. Save this paper in a file, or in a place, until it’s fully committed to your memory. Consider tacking it up on the garage wall near your spreader.
  9. There you have it, the REAL size of your yard. Once calculated you have real power. You’re allowed to ask intelligent questions. You have officially earned the right to act like a know-it-all at the water cooler.

Some of you may be wondering why we’re making such a big deal out of this. It’s all about applying the appropriate “dose”, that’s why. THE Turf Plan® helps you manage your nitrogen, but if you’re applying a 50 lb bag of our fall fertilizer (19-0-4) to a yard that’s only 7M, you’ve applied 35% more nitrogen than the turf can handle. That’s not good for your turf, because you’ll force it to be succulent and weak, with a poor root system. That’s not good for your wallet, either! Perhaps even more important is the proper application of your preemergent crabgrass herbicide. Apply it too thin, and you’ll suffer from crabgrass all season long. Apply it too heavily, and you might stunt your turf, or prevent your reseeding efforts in September.

If you’re not willing to calculate your turf area we won’t be able to help you…you’re better off hiring a national chain to take care of your yard. And if you’re not enjoying success with our plan and our products, you’re apt to bad mouth us. You’ll be bitchin’ to your neighbors, besmirching our program–but it’s all your fault!

BUT WAIT! We have a “Sward Calculator” that accesses satellite technology. It’s amazingly accurate and we charge $25 for this service. We’ll send you the maps and calculations in an email. It’s great for those of you that don’t somehow can’t find the time to read fabulous, informative, and humorous background material. It takes about 10 minutes and we encourage you to pay on the cart ahead of time, so that we’ll have your results ready to go. If we’re slammed at the warehouse we may not be able to help you on the spot.

AND ANOTHER THING! We offer full service options, too. Just let us know if you’d like a free bid. This includes full service applications and weed control, as well as lawn mowing.

(Note: This blog was originally posted on Jan. 20th, 2012)