Sustainability is becoming more important to people’s spending choices and landscape companies are responding by offering more sustainable services—a growing trend that can give you a sustainable edge over your competition.
Studies and surveys show that sustainability continues to be a growing decision-maker for many consumers: 66 percent of consumers say they would spend more on a products from sustainable brands and consumers are increasingly rewarding sustainable companies offering products that are healthier and better for the environment.
When it comes to sustainable lawn care practices, approaches vary: Some clients and companies care most about having the greenest lawns possible, others want to reduce the chemical use near their home and some want what’s best for the environment.
Luckily new products are making it easier than ever to provide clients with the exact benefits they’re looking for.
Here’s how some lawn maintenance companies are greening up their lawn care services with sustainable solutions.
Sustainability starts in the soil
Luke Haymond of Haymond Horticulture in Reno, Nevada, specializes in design/build landscape services with a focus on sustainability.
When he heard about Holganix liquid soil amendments he was especially intrigued by some of its unique ingredients, like mycorrhizae, a beneficial bacterial that aid in plant health that he was familiar with from his academic and professional background in horticulture.
Holganix is like a plant probiotic that uses soil microorganisms for healthier, more sustainable plants, and can supplement up to 50 percent of traditional fertilizers and up to 75 percent of pesticides typically used. Haymond recommends it to his clients with fertigation systems as an easy way to keep their turf and plants healthy.
Haymond also uses Healthy Grow with Holganix, an organic granular fertilizer with Holganix, to prep turf before spring and before sodding.
“Most customers are impressed to see very little plant stress,” he said.
Mirimichi Green’s CarbonizPN Soil Enhancer is another product improving sustainability from the soil. CarbonizPN blends organic ingredients with bio-based carbon to increase soil fertility and water absorption while decreasing nutrient leaching.
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It’s been a very popular product in Florida where nitrogen leaching is a major environmental concern and believed to contribute to red tide algal blooms.
Ewing manager Jerod Jesso says CarbonizPN has been a popular seller in the Kissimmee area.
“It’s just an all-around good product. It maintains the health of soil and helps with water retention,” said Jesso.
Reducing waste with fertilizer
For Emerald Lawns in central Texas, making the switch to a more sustainable fertilizer has helped them give clients lusher and greener lawns, with the added benefit of reducing waste.
Anuvia’s GreenTRX is a partially organic fertilizer made with reclaimed waste, without the use of coatings or polymers. The GreenTRX formula helps reduces nutrient loss to leaching and volatilization, resulting in healthy, green grass.
When this new product came out, Ewing Service Professional, Tavo Zamora, put it to the test in his own yard first.
“I ran an experiment with it in my yard, took pictures and it got people really excited,” said Zamora. “The product speaks for itself.”
Emerald Lawns began using GreenTRX this year after trying a sample, said Keith Vass, procurement manager.
“It helps with color and turf density and you can’t really overfeed with it,” Vass said.
It’s also helps fill in bare spots quicker and doesn’t cause the yellowing they often seen with fertilizer use. Some of their clients saw lawn improve and green so quickly they called to say, “You’ve gotta see this!”
“I’ve been here seven years and it’s best product I’ve seen,” Vass said.
Cleaner mowers and blowers
Gas powered mowers, blowers and other outdoor power equipment are a major cause of smog-causing emissions that result in poor air quality and health risks.
NV Earth is one of the companies looking to change that with their bio-based lubricants, alternatives to the petroleum based oils typically used for landscape maintenance equipment.
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Their bar and chain, 2-cycle engine and 4-cycle engine oils offer high performance without the smoke and smell of petroleum while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85 percent.
Jay Velasquez, Ewing Santa Maria manager, says NV Earths products have become especially popular with schools and apartments in his area, and the reduction in smoke is major plus for power-equipment operators, too.
“The proof is in the pudding. I took it out to my ranch and cut with it for four hours and I’m a believer. Once someone tries it, it sells itself,” Velasquez said.
The next big thing
Alternatives to traditional weed and pest control products are also capturing some attention.
Haymond said he’s seen customers in the Reno area becoming more concerned about chemical use in their landscapes and opting out from using them in some cases.
Alternatives like Mirimichi Green Weed Control, Civitas WEEDFree Brand Concentrate and Mirimichi Green Pest Control are giving landscape companies ways to rid customers’ landscapes of weeds and pests with more sustainable options.
With these products and more, it’s becoming virtually impossible to tell a tradition lawn care maintenance program from a more sustainable one.
Using more sustainable products and practices can be a smart way to gain a competitive advantage for your business as more people look for more sustainable alternatives.