The good health of our franchise partners, their families and all Freedom Lawn’s clients is our highest priority during the Covid-19 crises. We have taken all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone associated with Freedom Lawns USA.
We are pleased to report that while other industries are unfortunately unable to operate during these trying times, our franchise owners continue to generate revenue and growth. This is directly related to the structure of our programs and philosophies which are the perfect model for social distance mandates during economic downturns.
One of my most vivid memories while studying soil science in college, was when one of my fellow students referred to soil as “dirt.” Using the word dirt instead of soil did not go over so well to my brilliant, but stuffy professor who immediately said to my classmate. “Son, we’re taking about soil here with thousands of living microorganisms, not dirt. Dirt is something you sweep up with a vacuum cleaner.” As rude as that was, the professor got his point across. From that day forward, everyone in the class referred to that top layer of the earth where plants grow as soil, not dirt!
Truth be told, the key to all plant life is a healthy soil. A healthy soil is determined by the amount of beneficial microbial activity, nutrient value, and of course, the soils pH value. All plants have specific soil Ph factors for optimum growth and good health. For example, the soils pH for a healthy blueberry crop is 4.3 to 5.0. These pH values are considered very low and most plants would perform poorly in these acidic ranges. Contrary to that, most plants, flowers, and trees will perform well at a soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0 with 6.5 being ideal. The specific soil pH requirements for each plant type will directly affect the plant or trees ability to utilize the natural nutrients in the soil or fertilizer applied. If a pH value is not within a range considered favorable for a certain plant, that plant may not reach its fullest potential.
The amount of organic matter in a soil also plays a role in the health of a plant. Organic fertilizers, compost, and humates, all help feed microorganisms that are in turn, responsible for converting nutrients in the soil into a form that the plants can absorb and use.
A healthy soil will also have good air movement, allowing the roots to grow and breathe. This is one reason why core aeration is performed so often on golf course greens and higher maintained home lawns. The loose non-compacted soil structure will provide a healthy environment for microbes and will allow your plants root system to become more extensive and robust. In turn, the loose non-compacted soil structure will handle environmental stresses and pest pressures much better.
So, the next time you go to the garden center to buy a plant, don’t forget to pick up some good dirt….I mean soil!
Lawns USA conducted their annual Turfgrass and Plant care workshop on September
26, 2019. The event was held along the beautiful beachfront in Surf City, NC at
the Surf Center conference room.
filled lineup of speakers presented valuable information to our franchise
owners and their employees. Matt Martin Extensions Turfgrass Specialist, NC
State University discussed some of the latest research and products in the lawn
care industry. Horticulture extension coordinator Susan Brown gave us insight
into the some of the more common insect and disease
issues that were problematic during the recent growing season. Dr Susana
Milla-Lewis, NC State University gave a fascinating insight on the Turfgrass
Breeding and Genetic engineering of new Turf varieties and cultivars being
worked on at the University. Lee Butler, Coordinator of the NC State University
diagnostic lab and extension plant pathology Department, explained the process
that takes place in diagnosing various diseases and plant parasitic nematodes.
Lawns USA’s CEO and Founder Mark A. Tamn gave the group some good information
on steps for diagnosing lawn and plant care problems and making sound agronomic
decisions in the field.
The group also enjoyed a tasty lunch at Daddy Mac’s Beachfront Restaurant compliments of the Freedom Lawns Corporate office following the workshop. The day was considered a great success by all who attended!
Being a woman in a predominantly male oriented industry such
as professional lawn care hasn’t deterred Kathleen Smith, owner of Freedom
Lawns of Charleston, SC, from achieving success with her organic based lawn
At a young age, you could find her on the court and on the green with the rest of the guys. She loved sports and was always outside. When her brothers were too young to play golf, she played in a “father and son” golf tournaments with her dad. Never did Kathleen feel out of place or at a disadvantage because she was a girl. “I was just another one in the game, trying to win! That’s how I even feel now in the business world,” said Kathleen. As one would assume, lawn care of any type is not a job you would expect to see a woman in a leadership role. Never has she viewed herself as different from the guys she works with.
In owning a Freedom Lawns USA Franchise, Kathleen found that
her greatest challenge is not working with men, but rather juggling all her
responsibilities. “Owning a business means that there are many times in which
business bleeds into your personal time. I get behind on my own lawn work,
things around the house and even having quality time with my daughters,” stated
She has also faced challenges in her family life all while
trying to run her own business. In the same year that Kathleen started her
Freedom Lawns her husband was diagnosed with ALS. In a year and a half her
husband’s ALS progressed and with it came adjustments during his illness and
after he passed. To make matters worse, a couple of years later her business
partner decided to pursue other interests.
These events, however, did not discourage Kathleen from
growing her Freedom Lawns business. “I wouldn’t have believed I could overcome
all the hurdles. I don’t ever stop and think about it. I just stay in the
present and try to keep moving forward,” expressed Kathleen.
When starting the business, Kathleen stated that the corporate office really set her up for success. “The franchise gave me the framework to build my business. By following the guidelines they created for success, I was able to adapt to the world or entrepreneurship.” She also mentioned that during those difficult times in her life the corporate office was there to guide her. “It never goes without bumps in the road, but the corporate office is there to guide me through those too,” added Kathleen.
So, in her advice to woman who want to become business
owners she states that, “as in everything in life, things don’t always go as
planned. Don’t give up, just adjust to the situation and find a way to keep
moving forward.” Kathleen also mentioned that you must take the time to find
something that will be fulfilling to you and to know your strengths and
weaknesses. “Make sure you understand what you can expect out of your business
at start up and aim high but anticipate the struggles that will surely come
along with such a journey. Sometimes setting yourself up for success can take
years. You have to decide the path that will work best for you.”
Kathleen has certainly found her path and now her Freedom
Lawn operation is one of the finest lawn care companies in the Charleston area.
Great work Kathleen!
Freedom Lawns is an organic based lawn care franchise
company based out of North Carolina.