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Schill Blog

What is Sustainable Snow Removal?

In the 25 years that we’ve been doing commercial snow removal and landscaping work, we’ve prided ourselves on being stewards of the environment.

But while sustainable landscaping practices are easy to define and put in place (in part due to the vast amount of research on how certain methods affect the earth and laws that restrict usage of certain chemicals), achieving sustainable snow removal is something that the industry is still navigating. For environmentally-conscious companies like Schill Grounds Management, this means having to set our own guidelines in determining what’s best for our customers, our company, and the planet.

Unfortunately, the practice of removing snow and ice overall isn’t the best for the earth. Ice melt products like salt and liquid deicers are essential to keeping pavement safe for walking and driving on, and each type of product has a different level of impact on the water, soil, as well as plant and animal life.

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Topics: Sustainability, Snow and Ice Removal

Not your Grandpa’s Lawn Care: How Technology Has Changed Landscaping

When we first started Schill Grounds Management 25 years ago, the industry looked very different than what it is today. Search engines Google and Yahoo didn’t exist, so potential customers had to find us in the phone book or by word of mouth, and we received weather our reports via fax and by phone. Now our website receives thousands of visitors each month (most of which come through social media) and we can monitor weather in real time online by looking at traffic cameras and doppler radar.

Innovation within the landscaping industry is something that we’re always looking out for, but it’s also good to take a look back at how things have developed in order to understand what future trends will be. So, we wrote this article to help our readers understand how advances in software, communication, and equipment have changed the commercial landscaping industry for the better.

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Topics: Sustainability, Landscape Maintenance

Propane Mowers vs. Electric Mowers vs. Gasoline Mowers: Which is best?

Corporate sustainability is something that our clients are increasingly concerned about as more and more organizations seek to minimize their impact on the environment by being intentional about their grounds maintenance solution.

Fortunately, sustainability is one of our main goals here at Schill Grounds Management, and we love to educate others about how they can do more to protect the planet’s resources. So, it’s no surprise that we’re intentional about the efficiency of the equipment we use.

Furthermore, because our crews are out mowing over 10,000 times from spring through fall and because mowers use a lot of fuel, we wrote this article on why we choose to use propane mowers over ones powered by electricity and gasoline, as well as the benefits of each.

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Topics: Sustainability, Landscape Maintenance

4 Startling Reasons to Reduce Your Synthetic Fertilizer Use Immediately

As sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices become an increasing concern for people and businesses alike, many are beginning to take a closer look at products that used to be common place. In the landscaping industry, this couldn’t be truer than for synthetic fertilizers.

Beginning over 90 years ago, the Green Revolution allowed for greater crop yields due to the introduction of synthetic fertilizers all over the world. It’s only recently, however, that researchers and concerned citizens have begun to discover the unfortunate effects that using such chemicals on soil can have on plants and animals alike—humans included.

At Schill Grounds Management, we consider ourselves to be stewards of the environment because we work so closely with the land. We know that if used improperly, the products we use can cause great harm to the places so many people live, work, and play.

Because we care so much for the environment, we wrote this short article about why we think more property managers and owners are switching from synthetic to organic fertilizers.

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Topics: Sustainability, Landscape Maintenance

What does an irrigation audit include?

Audits have an awful connotation, often bringing stress and lots of negative consequences to mind. An audit by the IRS that goes the wrong way could mean bad news for your finances, and a failed compliance audit within your industry could mean steep fines.

But what if we told you there was an audit designed to save you money?

A comprehensive irrigation audit, typically performed every 3-5 years (though sometimes annually), is just that.

Here at Schill, we work with hundreds of commercial properties with complex irrigation systems. There’s always a head to adjust, and there’s always a controller that can be modified to save water.

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Topics: Sustainability, Irrigation, Landscape Maintenance

4 Steps to Salvage Your Turf Before Winter Hits

After the summer we’ve had, the fact we’re less than a week away from fall might come as good news for many of you (and your exhausted landscapes).

We realize not every commercial property in Northeast Ohio is fully irrigated. If that rings true for you, this summer’s minimal rainfall and 90-degree days most likely took its toll on your turf by way of drought stress. To say things were a little on the dry side would be putting it mildly, right?

Whether you’ve run an aggressive irrigation schedule or no irrigation whatsoever, let’s take a closer look at the potentially damaging effects of drought stress on your grass and what it’s going to take to salvage your turf ahead of another Northeast Ohio winter.

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Topics: Sustainability, Pest, Disease, and Weed Control, Landscape Maintenance

SMALL BUSINESS CLEVELAND: Jerry Schill On Sustainability

Schill Grounds Management has a unique take on what sustainability means in business today. It's a concept we extend to every aspect of what we do: within the walls of our office, on our clients' properties, and out in the community.

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Topics: Sustainability

Organic Vs. Synthetic — What Is The Best Fertilizer For Grass?

What exactly is organic fertilizer, and does a synthetic lawn care program really make grass greener? What about hybrid fertilizers—what do they contain, and is this a way to get the best of both worlds?

Fertilizer can be confusing, and our commercial clients who value sustainability often want to know, “What’s the real difference between these fertilizers?”  

There is an abundance of information out there about the pros and cons of various fertilizers: synthetic vs. organic vs. hybrid. Unfortunately, a lot of what you read and hear can be grounded in bias marketing.

Commercial lawn care companies that promote synthetic programs talk about “quick green-up,” while organic-based landscape services promote a natural solution (you’ve heard you’ll have to put up with some weeds here and there). Hybrid fertilizer is just confusing. What is it exactly?

Let’s halt the fertilizer debate for a minute and run through the pros and cons of each type of fertilizer.

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Topics: Sustainability, Landscape Maintenance

5 Outdoor Workspace Ideas For Office Parks

Rather than decking the office with a pool table and supplying snacks to encourage a creative, balanced workplace, companies today are recognizing that the ultimate “break” for their employees is a breath of fresh air.

Outdoor workspaces are the new game room!

You don’t have to be Twitter — with its 20,000 square-foot outdoor deck — to create functional, much-appreciated natural environments for your people.

At Schill, we work with clients that value their outdoor living spaces and understand that giving employees access to the outside during the workday brings a business and its people great benefits, such as boosting productivity. Outdoor workspaces also give workers a chance to mingle and collaborate.

Of course, you need an appropriate outdoor environment to encourage healthy breaks outside and to facilitate productive work experiences there.

When we talk to our commercial clients in Northeast Ohio about creating landscapes that align with their values, which almost always includes fostering a sustainable environment and promoting community engagement, we recommend these five outdoor workspace ideas for office parks and other campus-like settings.

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Topics: Sustainability, Enhancements & Add-On Services

Smart Irrigation: 3 Key Upgrades For Commercial Irrigation Systems

Ask the expert — that’s what we did to find out more about water-saving irrigation system technology and ways to upgrade a system this spring. John Newlin, president of Quality Sprinkler Services, joins us to share ways to improve the way we water our commercial properties.

John is recognized for his expertise at the national and state levels, this year becoming the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) Legislative Advocate of the Year. What we love about John is his passion for water and the way he digs deep to seek out solutions that will conserve water and protect the environment, while understanding the budget needs of clients.

John has the amazing ability to translate technical irrigation concepts into understandable, meaningful calls to action. And his call is always: Let’s find a better way. We really admire that philosophy, and that’s exactly the way we operate at Schill when we consider how we can make systems — like irrigation — work smarter and more sustainable.

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Topics: Sustainability, Irrigation

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