Training and Technical Talk: Staying Alive!

If you were alive in the 70's, you know Staying Alive was a popular movie with John Travolta, a signature dance move, and a white leisure suit. Find out what "staying alive" means for us! Plus, Dave Holmes talks 2019 Snow School! 

Staying Alive!

If you were alive in the 70's, you know Staying Alive was a popular movie with John Travolta, a signature dance move, and a white leisure suit:


Unfortunately, that's not the kind of "staying alive" that's needed for us this July! This industry is tricky when it comes to keeping plants alive in excess water, or not enough water to sustain viability. I'm going to focus on those locations that are not receiving enough water for plant material to stay alive. Those of you still getting tons of rain can read this for future reference. It will dry up some day!

Let’s begin with the water requirement of the plant itself. I'm going to assume that the right plant is in the right place with the soil type and light/shade suitable for the plant. Is it a low-watering or water-wise variety? Spring is officially over on the calendar, but when places like Colorado are still getting snow, it’s hard to think we're really in the first 10 days of summer. Therefore, I prefer looking at the air temperature and not the calendar date when advising on water needs. Let me explain:

When the air temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 Celsius) to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius), you will need to water once a week for water-wise plants. Summer begins with 96⁰ (35.5⁰) plus and watering two to three times a week is necessary. Fall is back to once a week and the air is below the spring warmth. Winter requires less water with every 10 to 14 days being enough, and the sun gives warmth of only 50⁰F (10⁰) and below. Newly-planted shrubs and may require more their first year in the ground.

Plants requiring moderate watering will increase the number by one to two times. For instance, spring would require watering twice a week, and winter temperatures will solicit needs every week instead of 10 to 14 days. This can get confusing for the general public. I suggest making a chart to offer your clients, including plant varieties that are common in your area to help them know how often to water.


Tropical plants need the most water. The biggest difference is during the summer. You can water these plants about the same for moderate during spring, fall and winter but not in the heat of the summer.  These babies need all the love you can give them! I personally love the look of tropical plants, especially around water features. However, they do require extra attention to keep them healthy. I’m willing to put in the effort and a little higher water bill, but make sure your clients understand what it takes to keep them as beautiful as the day you planted them!

That pretty much covers seasons for watering your plants and keeping them at their best. Remember that the air temperature is a better gauge than the month on the calendar. Understand the water requirements for the particular plant, and by all means educate your clients so that they can maintain plants in your absence. Have fun and make the world a greener place!



Who's Ready for Snow School?

This is a can’t-miss event for those snow warriors planning to attend Reunion!  We've decided this year to move Snow School to Texas!  WHAT???? Yes, Texas!

Thursday, August 8 
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Extend your stay and join us for a great day of technical and logistic training!  Key topics we will cover are:

Contract Structure, Estimating & Proposals

We'll walk through setting up your contract structure templates.  Per visit and seasonal estimating will be reviewed.  We'll also show you how to put together customer proposals for best presentation.

Snow Operations Efficiency through Processes & Technology

These days, every minute counts and operational efficiency is the key to leveraging time. We'll share how to use our processes and systems to drive efficiency, improve communication and provide excellent customer service.

Using Liquids for Ice Melting

We'll discuss the benefits of using liquids and both business and industry best practices. Each attendee will walk away with advice to help make sound business and management decisions related to using liquids for de-icing.

Snow & Ice Terms & Conditions

We'll cover standard industry terms and conditions for snow and ice service operations.  Several examples will be reviewed, and key details will be discussed.  Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to protect their business from liability by using well written terms and conditions.

There is a $50/person fee to attend this event.  Snacks, drinks and lunch will be provided. 

Please reach out to your FBC or Dave Holmes at with questions regarding this great event!

Topics: Technical Training



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