It was a full house with SRO at the Turf Equipment and Supply 2013 Winter Water Gardening Workshop. Chesapeake Bay area pond pros and Certified Aquascape Contractors filled the house on March 7 at the Turf Equipment headquarter in Jessup, MD. The Turf Equipment team along with “The Pond Guy” Greg Wittstock and other guest speakers doled out practical, useful, and powerful business advice for water garden and pond professionals

After Turf Equipment team introductions Greg Wittstock opened the day with his message on “Making 2013 the Best Year Ever”. A 23 year water garden industry veteran, luminary, and business owner; The Pond Guy shares the ups, downs, and ups of his experiences running Aquascape Inc., North America’s largest water garden supplier and installer ( ). He reminded and shared with the audience how important it is to have the right attitude towards owning and running a business; and managing your employees. He also gave some inside info this year’s Pondemonium 2013 event and gave everyone a glimpse at the new pond and water garden television show “The Pond Guys” slated to air sometime in Summer 2013 on Animal Planet. It’s gonna be great, stay tuned!

Steve Shinholser from Premier Ponds ( ) in Burtonsville, MD spoke on “Running a Successful Pond Business”. Aside from being known for excellent water garden and pond service, design, and install; Premier Ponds has developed an exemplary business model. Steve is the man with the plan, and he shared his business model and business systems with the Chesapeake Bay area pond pros. The audience gained an education on easy to implement systems for increasing cash flow for your pond business, and strategies for pricing on pond services, and increasing your bottom line.

winter water garden workshopAfter lunch a Pond Boot Camp provided hands on field training with some great options to choose from. Pond maintenance best practices and how to choose the right size pump for a project, how to calculate rock quantities and strap large boulders, how to seam and patch liner, and how to attach biofalls and skimmers. The Turf Equipment team along with Mike Kurylo from Premier Ponds and Jill Robertson from Aquascape Inc provided instruction and hands on demonstrations for the pond pros. Jill also gave a rundown on the current and upcoming Aquascape Inc. product line and developments that are coming to market soon!

mike gannon social media for pondsMike Gannon, from Full Service Aquatics ( ) in Summit, NJ gave a talk on “Using Social Media to Grow Your Pond Business” with strategies and advice on creating social media content for your pond business and “where and how” to put that content to best work for your business. Social media ROI was discussed and Mike gave tips on creating inbound traffic and SEO for your website to generate high rankings on the biggest search engines for FREE! Mike drew some parallels from the music world on how being social with your content can create massive success, and tried to answer the question; is Aquascape Inc. is the “Grateful Dead” of the water gardening world? “I got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again”.

The day finished with an open forum discussion between pond pros, the Turf team, and The Pond Guy on “anything you want to say” with Net from the Virginia Water Gardens team ( ) giving everyone the funniest moment of the day (but you had to be there!), and door prize drawings with some attendees walking away with Ipod accessories and Kindles, and others….a rubber chicken (really). For a rubber chicken, it was a pretty cool one at least. A CAC dinner was also hosted after the workshop by Steve Shinholser with food only a caveman would love!

The Winter Water Garden Workshop and Boot Camp was well attended and will surely grow. Turf Equipment and Supply ( ) provided quality information and training for the Chesapeake Bay / Southeast area water garden and pond pros. Companies small and large, new and veteran all shared a great day. Thanks to Turf Equipment and Supply for hosting this industry event and continued success with their future events!

One Comment


ak!!! no!! limestone raeseles calcium, which algae LOVES. don’t do it! i recommend granite, and a wide variety of sizes to make it look as natural as possible. i work at a watergardeing supplies store, and we recommmend you put rock in the bottom as well. the reason being for this is that it offers the beneficial bacteria a place to grow, therefore minimizing algae growth. this explanation could go into a really long and drawn out speech about cycles and the like, but i’ll make it easy. you do want rocks in the bottom. i’ve heard a lot of koi lovers argue that this could damage the fish, but i have koi in all five of my ponds, and all are quite happy and no limestone, granite preferrably or slate if you MUST, and try to consider putting it in the bottom of the pond as well. the web address for my store is enclosed in the sources.


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