I started in the turf industry back in high school where I worked at the local golf course in Lewisville, Texas. That was a lot of fun, but a lot of work, often putting in 16 hour days.
After school I abandoned the green industry for the military, but returned years later. This About Us page is the perfect place to tell you about it.
You know, you don't really know how much you don't know about something until adversity hits and you are forced to figure it all out. That's where I was when I first started. Every problem was a challenge. For example, it isn't enough just to recognize a turf disease. A professional must know why they happen, when and where they are likely to occur, what accelerates the spread, how to manage them, and if possible, how to prevent them from happening in the first place.
It was necessity that led me back to the books. Turf management, soil nutrients and chemical problems, turf diseases, microorganisms, and more. When you care about the quality of work you do, you must know cause and effect, environmental factors that affect plants, and so much more. This is what I stress to newbies to the industry. There is so much more to this job than people realize.
I have developed a special fondness for the science and research side. I really enjoyed diagnosing and treating problems, monitoring insects and diseases, and observing pathogens under the microscope.
I suffered too much in the early years not to share what I have learned. The advice on these pages are from my experiences and knowledge, a lot from those early years of trial and error. You can rest assured there were many sleepless nights and hours of prayer (sometimes hoping for a miracle) while learning the right way of doing things. The advice I give on these pages have been well-tested.
(The photo shows me preparing a tree for Mauget Micro-Injection.)
I have also studied tree biology and other aspects of arboriculture. As part of the job, I diagnosed and treated tree conditions, collected samples, photographed insect and diseased areas, and tracked insect movements.
I have recently added the study of our native bees to my repertoire. With the decline of the European honeybee, our gentle native bees are becoming increasingly important with renewed interest in understanding them.
Now that I am semi-retired, my goal is to continue offering sound and helpful advice through Lawn Care Academy. I addition to this website, I have been published in garden magazines and teach others the basics of turf management.
Russ James lives in the Missouri Ozarks. Married for 30 years, he is also an avid photographer and an outdoor sportsman. He especially enjoys kayak fishing. Ever catch a shark on a kayak? (To the slightly crazy, this is big fun.) He is also involved with Heroes on the Water (HOW), a group that helps our wounded warriors in rehabilitation through the art of kayak fishing.