Ruppert Landscape opens new branch in Virginia

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LAYTONSVILLE, Md. – Ruppert Landscape has expanded with a new location in the eastern region of Richmond, Virginia. This branch joins five existing landscape management branches in Virginia, located in Gainesville, Alexandria, Fredericksburg, northern and southern Richmond, and will serve existing customers as well as growth between Richmond and Williamsburg.

“One of our goals has always been to provide our customers and employees with a small company feel,” said Kevin Hazelgrove, region manager. “As the market and the company have grown rapidly in recent years, this can be increasingly difficult. We believe that the addition of this new location will help us meet this goal and provide better service to our customers.”

The Richmond East branch will be led by David Hensel, who has recently been promoted to branch manager.

Hensel began his career at age thirteen working at a large retail garden center in Richmond. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 with a degree in horticulture and landscape contracting and began working at a high-end residential landscape company in Sterling, Virginia, overseeing all facets of landscape management operations.

He joined Ruppert in early 2017 as an area manager in Richmond, where he took on the management of the branch’s second-largest portfolio and led the team in sales in 2018 and 2019. Additionally, in 2018, he was recognized with the company’s Branch Impact Award for his dedication and contributions to the team. He was promoted to associate branch manager in July of 2019, where he trained with leadership in preparation for the next opportunity to come in the Richmond market. He is a Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association certified horticulturist, landscape industry certified technician and an Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute certified hardscape installer.

“Dave’s competitive spirit, strong leadership and recruiting skills, and industry and market knowledge made him a clear choice for this position,” Hazelgrove said. “I have every confidence in his ability to lead and grow this promising new team.”

As branch manager, Hensel will be responsible for the overall welfare of the branch, including the safety and development of his team, strategic planning and budgeting, training and day-to-day operations.

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Soft Lemon Fruit – Why Container Grown Lemons Have Gone Soft

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Lemon trees produce marvelous fruit that is equally at home in sweet and savory recipes. The perfect juicy lemon can be the one simple ingredient that puts the “wow” factor into a dish, but what happens if your lemons have gone soft? Lemons may get soft before they are ripe – be it soft lemons on a tree or soft lemon fruit that occurs during storage. Of course, the question you may be asking is “Why are my lemons soft?” Why are My Lemons Soft? Understanding why you may have soft lemons means understanding how lemons ripen. Here’s the thing, lemons may be bright yellow before they are ready to eat or they may still be green but perfectly juicy and citrusy inside. This, of course, means that the ripeness of lemons isn’t easy to decipher based on color alone. While size is somewhat of an indicator, the best way

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Easy Garden Arbor Ideas – How To Make An Arbor For Your Garden

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An arbor is a tall structure for the garden that adds visual appeal and serves a purpose. Most often, these arbors are used as plant trellises, but they can also serve as interesting focal points. When it comes to the addition of a garden arbor, designs to create enjoyable greens spaces abound. Creating Garden Arbor Designs Garden arbor ideas are limitless, and can serve a multitude of purposes within the home landscape. While some arbors may be purely decorative, others can be used to create a welcoming seating area. Regardless of its beauty and usefulness, many gardeners are hesitant to add these structures into their yards. For growers who are more budget savvy, the cost to purchase and install garden arbors can be quite expensive. Luckily, for adventurous homeowners, the internet is filled with tutorials and instructional posts regarding how to build your own DIY arbor. While more ornate garden

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Belgian Endive Info – Tips For Growing Witloof Chicory Plants

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Witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a weedy-looking plant. That’s not surprising, as it’s related to the dandelion and has frilly, pointed dandelion-like leaves. What is surprising is that witloof chicory plants have a double life. This same weed-like plant is responsible for the production of chicons, a bittersweet winter salad green, which is a culinary delicacy in the U.S. What is Witloof Chicory? Witloof chicory is an herbaceous biennial, which was grown centuries ago as a cheap substitute for coffee. Like the dandelion, witloof grows a large taproot. It was this taproot that European farmers grew, harvested, stored and ground as their knock-off java. Then about two hundred years ago, a farmer in Belgium made a startling discovery. The witloof chicory roots he’d stored in his root cellar had sprouted. But they didn’t grow their normal dandelion-like leaves. Instead, the chicory roots grew a compact, pointed head of leaves much

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Timely action against scab in top fruit advised

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The mild, wet winter has been ideal for early development of primary scab infection in orchard crops.

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ASV to showcase new RT-50

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<![CDATA[GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – ASV Holdings will display the company’s new mid-size RT-50 Posi-Track loader for the first time at The ARA Show and CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020. The new loader features an enhanced performance-to-weight ratio and joins the RT-25 and RT-40 – two of the smallest sit-in compact track loaders – as a powerful, lightweight machine. All three are ideal for rental houses, commercial businesses, weekend warriors or as an addition to landscape, construction or snow-clearing fleets.

ASV will exhibit the new RT-50 Posi-Track loader at The ARA Show booth 3077 and CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 booth F100801.

“ASV has been a leader in the small sit-in compact track loader market for two decades, and we continue to do so,” said Justin Rupar, ASV Holdings vice president of sales and marketing. “Just like the rest of our line, these are serious, capable machines for serious work. They are lighter, faster and stronger, and their compact size allows operators to get into tight areas and do things they never thought possible with a compact track loader.”

The RT-50 features a 1,400-pound rated operating capacity while weighing just 5,350 pounds and features a 50-horsepower engine, high efficiency drive system and a light overall weight.

The RT-50 handles demanding attachments with ease. This is thanks to a highly efficient cooling system and a robust hydraulic system that includes 3,000 psi of auxiliary pressure and a 13.3 gpm flow. The system features large line sizes, hydraulic coolers and direct-drive pumps, transferring more flow and pressure directly to the attachment with maximum efficiency.

Performance

Operators can use the machine to load landscape trucks and small dump trucks thanks to the loader’s 109.6-inch pin height. The loader is capable of a 7.1 mph top speed. 

The machine minimizes the risk of turf damage as a result of a low ground pressure of 3.1 psi. An optional smooth turf track further minimizes turf damage. ASV achieves this low ground pressure with 15-inch-wide tracks and an even weight distribution brought on by the large number of contact points within the patented Posi-Track undercarriage.

The patented Posi-Track undercarriage was designed to improve operator comfort. Operators experience a smoother ride over tough terrain, meaning less fatigue during a long day in the cab. This is made possible by a torsion axle suspension system. Operation is easy and intuitive as a result of standard joystick controls.

For additional comfort, ASV offers an optional suspended seat. An optional cold weather cab with heater or pressurized all-weather cab with heat and A/C allow for year-round comfort while working in extreme temperatures.

All maintenance points are easily accessible due to the machines large rear-tilting hood. Drain plugs for draining, Zerk fittings for convenient greasing, and spin-on, frame-mounted filters with single-wrench servic add to ease of maintenance. In addition, a direct-drive pump eliminates the labor-intensive belt servicing that comes with belt-driven pump.

All of the wheels are exposed in the undercarriage, allowing material to spill out, reducing the risk of abrasive material getting trapped and wearing away at components.

All Posi-Track loaders are backed with ASV’s new 2-year/2,000-hour warranty. The warranty covers tracks for the entire period and includes the industry’s first and only no-derailment guarantee.

For more information on available options, visit ASV online: www.asvi.com

 

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Horticultural Research Institute funds several projects

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COLUMBUS – The Horticultural Research Institute, the foundation of AmericanHort, has announced the portfolio of research projects to be funded in 2020.

Funded projects fit into the cadre of research priorities established in support of the new strategic vision. Research priority areas include quantifying plant benefits, creating innovative solutions, gathering consumer insights, and producing practical and actionable solutions. A total of $345,800 will be awarded this year. 

“HRI has new research priorities in place… These will help shape what projects HRI funds, starting this year,” said HRI President Gary Knosher. “I continue to be amazed by the industry’s support of HRI’s mission and initiatives.”

The list of funded projects includes:

Commercial production of hickories: Dr. Nina Bassuk, Cornell University

Benefits or features: Which cue is more effective on retail signs?: Dr. Bridget Behe, Michigan State University

Finding the ‘Third Space’ through gardening: Strengthening relationship mutuality and lowering stress in the caregiver and care recipient who has a disabling injury or illness: Dr. Anita Catlin, Kaiser Permanente Rehabilitation Center

Fundamental aspects of auxin foliar spray applications to woody plant cuttings: Dr. Robert Geneve, University of Kentucky

Enhancing the performance of SSG as a biocontrol agent for ornamental plant disease mitigation: Dr. P. Kong, Virginia Tech

Developing environmental and cultural protocols for the production of containerized succulents in greenhouses and nurseries: Dr. Roberto Lopez, Michigan State University

A sustainable approach to Phytophthora-infested landscape beds: the search for tolerant or resistant annuals and herbaceous perennials: Dr. Inga Meadows, North Carolina State University

Using Grow Wise, Bee Smart and Oregon Bee Project Plant Picks to promote pollinator-attractive nursery plants in Oregon: Dr. Andony Melathopoulos, Oregon State University

Automation in container nursery weed control: Dr. Joe Neal, North Carolina State University

In defense of nativars: Comparing the conservation value of native milkweed cultivars and straight species for monarch butterflies, bees, and other pollinators in small gardens: Dr. Daniel Potter, University of Kentucky

Biocontrol agents for the vector of rose rosette virus: Dr. Ioannis Tzanetakis, University of Arkansas

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LG Has Come up With a ‘Smart Greenhouse’ — for Your Kitchen!

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Veggie plants growing in LG's indoor garden applianceThe new indoor gardening appliance from home electronics giant is said to grow 20 different varieties of plants.

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Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference exhibit hall sold out

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VALLEY VIEW, Ohio – Lawn & Landscape magazine is excited to announce that the exhibit hall for the inaugural Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference is officially sold out! The exhibit hall will feature some of the industry’s most innovative software and technology companies. Click here to see which companies will be in attendance.

The Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference is set to take place Feb. 19-21, 2020 at the Wyndham Orlando in Orlando, Florida. The three-day event will feature high-level educational programming with some of the brightest minds in the industry.

Registrants who purchase the All-Access Pass will have the opportunity to attend two pre-show workshops, hosted by Ben Collinsworth of Yellowstone Landscape and Brian Williams of Perspectivity International. Both workshops will help attendees learn how to embrace technology in their businesses at a time when digital integration is key.

The Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference will officially open on Wednesday, Feb. 19 with a keynote by Gabe Zichermann. As an author, futurist and entrepreneur, Zichermann’s session, The Future of Technology is People, will show attendees how they can embrace new technology that also empowers customers, employees and executives alike.

On Thursday, Pam Dooley and Joseph DiPlacido of Plants Creative Landscapes will present a session titled Robotic Mowers: The Innovative Labor Solution. Dooley and DiPlacido integrated six automowers into their fleet and will discuss the challenges and early wins they’ve experienced with the new technology. As one of the industry’s most talked about new technologies, this session is a must for all attendees.

The conference will also feature three Lawn Care Spotlight sessions, including one on Friday with speaker Ayman Taha of TruGreen. Lawn Care Spotlight – The Digital Evolution will address how a digital transformation can play a role in enabling business strategy, as well as driving growth and productivity.

Head to the event website to check out the full schedule, as well as the full speaker lineup.

Current registration rates expire on Friday, Feb. 14 at 11:59 pm EST. Purchasing the All-Access Pass for $599 ($649 on site) ensures you will get the best experience the conference has to offer by providing access to pre-show workshops and post-show video access, as well as admittance to the educational sessions and exhibit hall. For more information, visit the event website.

 

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The Harvest Group debuts account manager training program

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WILTON, Conn. – The Harvest Group has launched its Account Manager Online Training program to help companies coach their account managers into bringing positive results, internally and externally.

The program is the culmination of the collective hands-on experience of the Harvester team, a team that has spent years growing their own businesses as well as working with landscape companies of all sizes across the country.

The online video course offers tips and tactics to establish an effective account manager training program. The course also includes real-world examples and quiz questions to help account managers listen, learn and test their knowledge.

The course includes 11 training modules with more than 150 video lessons totaling 16 hours of content. Modules include:

  • Module 1 – Selling enhancements
  • Module 2 – Pricing and estimating enhancement jobs
  • Module 3 – Building and sustaining customer relationships
  • Module 4 – Retaining and renewing client contracts
  • Module 5 – Time management
  • Module 6 – Client conflict resolution
  • Module 7 – Quality counts
  • Module 8 – Conducting successful walkthroughs
  • Module 9 – Success behaviors
  • Module 10 – Job exits and turnover
  • Module 11 – New job startups

The Harvest Group Account Manager Online Training program also includes exclusive access to a private Facebook Group and monthly conference call to share information, ask questions and get additional advice. 

The Account Manager Training program is available for $895 and can be ordered by clicking here

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