Beating the Rush
Case Studies
Beating the Rush
Whats-in-the-Bag Lots of planning, along with products such as XCU® slow-release fertilizer from Koch Turf & Ornamental, helped The Yard Works stay one step ahead all season long.

Chad Haney has a lot of people to please and a lot of bosses. That’s because his company, The Yard Works of Avon Lake, Ohio, exclusively services homeowners’ associations (HOAs), planned developments and multi-unit housing communities.

“You have to deal with a lot of decision-makers,” says Haney. “Not only do we have to do a good job for the developers and property managers, but each and every resident ends up being a decision-maker to some degree.”

Haney knows the turf is the largest and most visible aspect of these properties, and the residents of these communities view the lawn as their lawn and judge Haney and his company on mowing, fertilizing and weed control. That’s one of the reasons he uses enhanced efficiency fertilizer products from Koch, specifically XCU® slow-release fertilizers.

Haney uses a 14-0-4 with Prodiamine for crabgrass prevention, which gives him great results and great value, and a 32-3-5 with XCU® fertilizer for the rest of the season, which lasts longer and offers more consistent nitrogen release.

“Late spring and early summer can be very wet in northeast Ohio, and what I found with products that I used in the past is that my lawns were losing color two to three weeks into an application,” says Haney. “The other problem is that the temperatures are pretty good for optimal turf growth almost all summer, so, along with the rain factor, I also didn’t need surge growth. The last thing I wanted was to have to go back and re-fertilize what I already did or feel like I needed to cut what I was using in order to slow down growth. When XCU® fertilizer became an option, I felt like it solved a lot of these problems because it gives me more consistent release.”

Every year, Haney sits down at the end of the season and reviews his fertilization program to see if any changes need to be made. He looks at how his fertilization impacted his other services, such as mowing. He also looks at what challenges his company faced through the growing season and how they can make improvements for the next season.

When it comes to determining fertilizer product selection and what types of fertilizers to use, Haney relies on what he has seen in the field throughout the year. 

“Apart from running The Yard Works, one of my job tasks is being a good account manager to all of my clients by going out and keeping a close eye on the impact our fertilizer program is having on their properties,” Haney says. “I love doing this because it keeps me in touch with what is going on in the field. I think to myself, ‘Is the mowing being impacted? Is our weed control good enough? Did I have grub breakthrough? How did our customers think we did this season?’ Asking myself these questions helps me determine what I need to change or keep the same for the next season.”

Aside from selection, there’s inventory to manage, which can be tricky. But Haney says he’s fortunate to have a consistent book of business and to be able to manage his growth. Since he focuses on multi-unit housing, he usually has a pretty good idea by the end of the year how much acreage he’ll be managing the next season and how much material he’ll need.

“I’m fortunate to have enough space at our facility to order and store several applications at one time, but I’m also able to work with my suppliers to schedule and delay delivery on material until I need it,” Haney says. “I can count on the distributors and manufacturers that Koch is partnered with to provide me with good, consistent, quality fertilizer. This all allows me to meet with my suppliers over the winter and sit down to discuss products and options, as well as take advantage of early-order programs and discounts.”