I know you have heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. We all know this is true and it is very important in the green industry because we are all about how it looks!

How many times have you lost the location of a valve box, quick coupler, splice box, or a drain cover on the property you manage? In my experience, I have spent countless hours looking for those elusive items (I know it is right here!!) only to find it a short time later with my aerifier, and then I have bigger problems.

I was recently asked to return to a property that I had managed for several years.  The superintendent was a doing some reconstruction and wanted to know if I could remember how the work had been done and the location of pipe wires, etc. Even with a drawing the task was difficult, and a photo would have been a lot more accurate. Leaving the property that day, I could not help but think, “if only I had taken pictures”.

With the advances of digital photography today, photo record keeping is easier than ever. We carry the necessary tools with us everywhere we go (our smart phones). It only takes a second to have that visual record, which might save you or someone else countless hours.

When you start to think of the ways that pictures could help you in planning and selling ideas, the list goes on forever:

  • Irrigation- installations, repairs, locations
  • Drainage- installations, repairs, locations
  • Tree plantings- locations, soil type, did we remove the rope on the ball?
  • Before and after project pictures
  • Equipment inventories
  • Employee training
  • Mapping for pre and post emergence applications- Pictures of areas you need to do an expanded application on pre or post controls.  Fall is a great time for pictures of areas where we need more crabgrass controls.  If you are an application company selling a job next spring, that picture of a perspective customer’s lawn might just sell itself.
  • Documenting environmental conditions- shade, sun, low air movement
  • Documenting plant pest problems- and getting recommendations via e-mail

These are only a few of the many ways pictures can help you in your daily maintance tasks. Here are some simple suggestions:

1. When taking a photo, look not only at the subject, but also at the background in the frame.

2. When sending photo to help with plant problem diagnoses be sure to include

a) An overview of the area
b) A mid-range photo of problem
c) A close-up of the area with some object in photo to provide a size comparison i.e.: golf ball, keys, knife

Have some fun with photos!  Post some pictures of your staff in the maintenance facility from time to time and see what reaction you get.

Thank you for your business.  Have a great rest of the year!