Tour Tuesday and Turfbot

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On this week’s Tour Tuesday, we are visited by Jeremy Sizer, owner of Turfbot. Turfbot is a lawn care and landscaping company. Jeremy gives some tips and advice for taking care of your yard during Covid19! You can find Jeremy here:

Link to Tips Article:


Tom Lyons 0:00
It’s Tour Tuesday, the day we don’t tour homes because we can’t COVID-19 we’re here anyway, and we’re here with Jeremy Sizer from Turfbot.

Tara Lyons 0:12
But first of all, we got Julie Martin, who’s here with us as part of our team, and we’re just trying to provide you valuable information during COVID. So, Jeremy, Hi, What’s your company let’s start off by talking about basically how you can get ready in a COVID situation.

Guest 0:37
Okay, so so I’m Jeremy and I own a lawn care company in Belleville and a little bit of a landscaping company and it’s it’s called Turfbots. And what we do is we kind of customize fertility programs and weed control programs towards lawns. And, you know, I spent 25 years out on the golf course still do, and it’s literally all I’ve ever done. So I moved into the residential world after We had, you know, a small family and I wanted to spend some more time at home. So here I am, and we look after, I don’t know, maybe 100 150 lawns in Belleville and it’s starting up and it’s going well.

Tom Lyons 1:11
And you do like a custom thing because you came in, you looked at our lawn before COVID started up late last fall to start this spring and you look at basically the different ecosystems that are in the yard and then customize fertilizer and seed for each section. Right?

Guest 1:27
Yeah, I mean, the one thing that I the one thing that I you know, every hole on the golf course is different. I mean, you might have one hole that’s in the full shade, you might have one hole in the Sun, you might have one hold gets more traffic, it’s sort of the same thing. So for me to say, okay, we’re just going to put this product on every lawn well, that that that doesn’t necessarily work out very well. So, I mean, I could go to a lawn that’s you know, perfectly full of 100% blue grass and go to another lawn and it’s, you know, 70% crabgrass because it’s been, you know, maybe a little bit less maintained over the years doesn’t have an irrigation system. So every lawn is different and every lawn gets treated differently and every lawn gets a different product. So a different number of products anyways, we try and put together something that will, you know, your lawns different than your neighbor’s two streets over where the guy works 12 hours a day on it, you know, or it seems like that and you you have enough time to work one hour a week. So we try and we try and fit something in that, you know, gets you caught up to that guy. And I see it’s kind of geared towards that and not saying you only work one hour a week, but it’s it’s, we do the best job we can do to get you up to speed with a good lawn. And definitely the only time they could possibly be the same as if you know you were going into a new subdivision and they were both recently saw it at the same time. You might, you know, we could handle both of those yards the same but if they’re 20 years old, then they’re going to be entirely different touch layers. When they were aerated, whether they’ve been taught cross fertilized consistently watered consistently things like that. So, it that’s that’s where we kind of that’s where it’s a little bit different. And I would say a little bit more custom. Right. And I also really like to know the customer like to know what your wants are, you know what I mean? Yeah,

Tara Lyons 3:10
And actually, what’s really neat is you go over a whole plan with us. So you find out what we want. And then you actually bring it into reality for our lawns. When is the best time right now? For watering lawns or grass cutting? I know we’re coming into our spring, so we have to start getting ready for that.

Unknown Speaker 3:27
Yeah, if you if you look at something like water, and I always go back to the golf course, because that’s what I did. And we use what’s called, we have very fancy water moisture meters. It’s, you know, they’re $2,000 $2500 pieces of equipment. So, what happens when you’re watering is ultimately with that piece of equipment, you’re looking for a moisture level. Now you go over 40% moisture, percentage in that soil moisture content, you start losing things like oxygen, and when we talked about oxygen and soil, that’s when we talked about aeration. So we’re Trying to provide that. So when you’re putting water down, you want to grab a moisture meter. And you can buy one at, you know, most department stores, if you go into the garden section, they won’t be as fancy as a golf course, but you want to pick that spot. And I would say, you know, if it’s a moisture meter of say, 1 to 10, you’re picking a spot at around six, stick that moisture meter in the ground, when it starts to get into sort of a trouble spot in that in that range of say, four to six, that’s when you’re going to start watering and get it back up to a number that that is decent. Most of them have a guide and they’ll say like a number like seven is sufficient, you’re going to want to start watering your lawn when it gets down to four. You don’t want to water your lawn too early, because when you’re building a root system in the spring, that root system over watered is going to become unhealthy and that’s where you’re going to start seeing your stress factors in July and August and September if you overwater. Now you want to really focus on your root system is particularly now. That’s that’s the time if we were going to fertilize your lawn today, you would hardly know I was there. Because I’m actually focusing on the root system.

Unknown Speaker 5:03
Yeah, so what’s a good time to start, like planting flowers? When do you think?

Unknown Speaker 5:08
It depends on the flowers? I mean, obviously if you want to add some color you could there’s a lot of frost hardy tolerant annuals that add some colors. I mean, we know about all the varieties of Viola like pansies, obviously all your bulbs to love stuff. Those are out right now you can pick those up a lot of the local nurseries, I see that they’re opening and I’m sure that they’re, you know, really appreciative if people are stopping in and doing a pickup I know a lot of them are offering curbside pickup as we get through this. So I know even on Turfbots, I advertised one yesterday for now, just because I use these people myself. So for me to go and to pick use, pick you guys up something, I’ve got to go to those spots. So I want to make sure they get some support. I understand that they’re not, you know, maybe essential but mental health is essential to so you know, adding some tulips to your front entrance maybe gets you through your day, so it’s a perfect time for those. Typically, if you want to start seeding indoors and you To You know, try a little growing you can do that now you can start growing a certain plants inside now and get them ready for after the typical rule of thumb is that may long weekend but you can do that you can do the work yourself you can watch for frost nights and those are the things that are going to hurt your plants. So if you see a night of like minus three minus four yeah geranium aren’t gonna like that.

Tara Lyons 6:19
Yeah, so COVID-19 you wanted to come on and you wanted to say your you can’t go out and do lawns and stuff right now, right? Because

Guest 6:28
I found yesterday to the non essential line because we are starting to get some, you know, some questions as to when we’re coming and we do fall into sort of that property maintenance, but at the same time, it’s it I’m in the community I want to do my part to and and, and and people think well you can distance yourself and things like that I still touch gates I still go and you know, I’m around people when they’re home right now and a few of the things that we do I mean, I don’t love to see a dog walk on a property you know about for at least an hour or two after we spray. We Need a drying time, so it’s a little bit more difficult than people may think. So I did write up how to get your lawn through a pandemic on my own Facebook page. And it’s kind of similar to like if we were getting a golf course ready, which I actually still do. I kind of wrote it similarly to what they would be doing right now with less staff and how we would be getting through this and it’s kind of a 10 step thing. It’s not what we would typically do, but we’re in different times. So it’s, it’s something there’s a few little tricks that I would do not say tricks, but when when I think about a lot, I think about how it’s gonna look in July and August. So how it’s gonna look in July and August is what you’re doing right now. So I wrote it kind of, let’s make sure that it’s it’s going to be healthy going into those times, we’re going to see a few more weeds. We might see some more crabgrass. If you have 15, 20 minutes a day. It’s a really good soothing thing to go out and get rid of that stuff.

Tara Lyons 7:53
A lot of people might have thought right now maybe we will share the links below as well. For his site, so you can go on and see what those 10 steps are and any advice in that that he can share. So is there anything else you want to add Jeremy?

Unknown Speaker 8:08
No, I would say don’t stress. I mean, I think in a couple of weeks, everything that we relate things to is soil temperature. And one of the things that I posted in the video last week was, typically bluegrass, which is what we really want in our yards. It’s good four season grass. Dandelions, the soil temperature needs to be around seven degrees, whereas bluegrass is 11. So one of those things that we would do is we would try and jumpstart your grass to keep up with those dandelions. We’re not going to be able to do that this year, and most people aren’t. So don’t stress that you’re going to see some dandelion growth in the next couple of weeks. I know it can be stressful. There’s some there’s some advantages to leaving dandelions out anyways, but if any of that crap that’s

Tara Lyons 8:48
Easy, we I think we did very, very, pretty wonderful. Yes, yes.

Unknown Speaker 8:55
Our yard and when you’re allowed to visit you’re going to see them.

Unknown Speaker 8:59
That’s okay. I mean, we understand pollination and it’s it I do. Pollination is basically what you’re doing for those bees and Julie and and one of the things we like to do is if we remove dandelions either manually or start putting the fertility in the ground that starts, you know, choking those out with your with your lawns, we try and replace that pollination or those pollinator options for those bees with another plant. We typically use lavender but I mean Google away and you’ll find far superior plants to dandelions that those pollinators will love. And we do do that.

Unknown Speaker 9:35
Perfect. That’s our family. We’re a family of beekeepers. So we got to keep our eye out for the bees take care of them.

Unknown Speaker 9:43
Ya. Yeah, golf course superintendents are very, very cautious as to what they do to their bee populations. And you might be surprised to know that but it’s a very serious issue for us. We don’t use as much chemical as people may think and we really look after the pollination part.

Tara Lyons 10:00
That’s amazing. That’s good to know. Yeah. Wow. Okay, Jeremy, we so appreciate you being on with us.

Guest 10:06
I really appreciate coming on. That’s great. And anytime I can stay here through the rest of it if you want. Yeah, absolutely. I’d enjoy it.

Tara Lyons 10:18
Yeah, no problem. Yeah. So we do have a little bit of news for the rest of your Tuesday. Yeah, interestingly, it really changed over the last week. So we actually saw still a pretty good market in March. And we saw a lot of homes coming on still a lot of sales, all those people that had, you know, either purchased a home or how to move how to get their home sold. So we saw a lot of activity even into the first two weeks of April. However, in the last week, everybody has really been doing their part. We have really only been dealing with essential homes, people who have had to buy and sell And shelter is one of the top three things that you need in life. So it’s been amazing because we have our if you look at our board stats, we are down probably about 80%. as to where we normally are this time of year, so that 20% are those essentials that need to move. So you know what, kudos to our community for really doing their part.

Tom Lyons 11:24
Yeah, thank you for like, thank you for thinking twice, about whether or not you have to list or you have to move at this point in time. It’s because if you can wait until this is over, it keeps everybody safe. That means less people need to come through your home, your family safer, they’re safer, right? And when all this is over, we’ll be able to start moving around again.

Tara Lyons 11:45
And the number one question that we’re getting right now is when do we think this is going to be over? Well, while we’re in a state of emergency, we were we are under the guidelines of being essential. So right now that’s the middle of May. So if you’re thinking of actually getting your home Ready for market. There are about 40% of you out there doing home renovations. No one else to do solos and wrote in and Home Depot and everything else that you can do curbside pickup. So I think I read this thing on Facebook. And I’m going to say this is a really important statement. Don’t give a hard time to those people that are going around and picking supplies up from Home Depot or Lowe’s, we’re doing curbside pickup, we’re being as safe as possible. But Jeremy, you said it earlier. Mental health is really important. Yeah, this may be something that makes somebody with depression, get out of their depression because they can paint their house, it may get somebody outside into their yard and you know, fix a deck. These are just as important as as as keeping people’s physical health. Mental health is extremely important. And I read that I thought, you know what, let’s have lots of patience. Let’s have lots of have empathy and towards each other and not just jump to a conclusion like, Oh, I can’t believe they’re outside and picking something up. That may be what they need to stay mental healthy, mentally healthy mental, mental, mental health.

Tom Lyons 13:14
And the same at the grocery store. If you see somebody you see somebody like me who has this really super full shopping cart, right, and it looks like they’re hoarding because they’re there. What’s happening is they might be purchasing for four families or five families because that’s what I do. I’m purchasing for for four families and then delivering for them so that the elderly don’t have to get sick. And I see a few other people doing that at the same time. They’re going around and it’s clear, they’re checking different checklists, they’re checking different lists as they’re doing it. But it looks really strange because they have these overwhelmingly full carts, they’re probably helping someone out.

Tara Lyons 13:59
So stay healthy. Stay safe. If you need us. You know how to get us. We have the time to chat. keep you informed.

Unknown Speaker 14:09
Oh, Jeremy, you want to deal with us today

Unknown Speaker 14:15
Tour Tuesday OUT!!