In 1967, buddies Bob Magda and Tony Giordano started a humble lawn-care outfit that now has more than 460 locations in more than 40 states. The business was born of a serendipitous overlap between need and expertise: Bob recognized the frustration on the faces of the customers who attended his hardware store’s Sunday-morning lawn-care workshops, while Tony was hard at work on the industry’s first automated lawn-care machine. Together, they decided they could cure lawn-care woes by joining forces and—with a little fertilization from hard work and customer service—the seeds of Lawn Doctor were planted.
Today, those foundations can be recognized in the free lawn evaluation that kicks off every service call. A professional lawn-care technician performs a full overview of the lawn in question, classifying grass type and identifying pests such as weeds or insects. The technicians also review maintenance habits such as watering, mowing, and styling each blade of grass with hair gel. The team takes these factors into consideration when concocting a tailored treatment plan, which might include such services as application of the proprietary Turf Tamer application, pest control, or tree and shrub care.
Nestled in the Sandhills of Moore County, McDonnell Horticulture Inc.'s 220-acre nursery and 220,000-square-foot greenhouse propagate flowering plants throughout the growing season. The family-owned business's irrigated acreage lends itself to the production of woody ornamental shrubs, which can be used to landscape backyards or the mausoleums of melted snowmen. By manually misting vegetation, McDonnell Horticulture Inc. fosters the growth of more than 60 varieties of roses, including the disease-resistant KnockOut strain, as well as annual azaleas and perennial mums. All greenery grown onsite is tax-free.
For three generations—and more than 70 years—the Nicholsons have harvested crops that complement both family farms and family tables, a tradition that Jack and Ryan Nicholson continue today. Fresh from their forest, the Nicholson Farms crew delivers and spreads pine straw of myriad varieties. Potting soil, mulch, and other landscaping materials keep outdoor areas healthy, and wood playground cushioning protects kids from the hard surfaces of playgrounds and the even harder realities of tax law. In the garden, a bountiful vineyard and orchard yields homegrown fruits and vegetables ranging from blackberries, blueberries, and watermelons to squash and peppers.
Since 1930, Toms Creek Nursery and Landscaping has greenafied lawns with vibrant shrubs, trees, and flowering plants grown by Toms' experienced cultivators. Prepare outdoor areas for a spring awakening with Double Knockout roses ($25/2 gallons) or a lush monkey-grass plant ($5/gallon), a flowering perennial that fills out gardens and looks adorable in a small fez. For vertical beautification, a Carolina Beauty crape myrtle ($15/3 gallons, $25/5 gallons) enlivens yards or oversized cocktails with its characteristic purple flowers. The direct-sales nursery also carries 50 acres of container plants and 200 acres of B&B trees and shrubs.
Weed Man turns ordinary lawns into lush outdoor paradises. For the past 40 years, the team's weeded unwanted plants, nourished plants and grass with fertilizers, and aerated lawns to inject a burst of oxygen, a more effective method than lying on the lawn and puffing on each individual grass blade. The technicians keep an eye on the health of yards, recommending treatments such as crabgrass and grub control. And before beginning a new service, the soil's pH is tested, so that the most effective blend of nutrients can be applied.