Families’ #1 Commitment
Mar 04, 2013 02:38PM
By Beth Davis
In 2005, husband and wife Kevin and Tina Montone launched The #1 Lawn Guy, LLC, to provide organic lawn maintenance services for residential, commercial, private schools, municipal and HOA property owners in and around the Lehigh Valley.
Kevin had been dedicated to maintaining properties since 1994, so when the opportunity to start his own business presented itself; it seemed to be a logical step toward the future. And making it a family affair seemed only natural. “His parents owned a successful restaurant together for 20 years and my parents also own a business since 1976,” says Tina Montone. “We knew that a husband and wife team could work.”
At the time, the Montones had two children (they are now parents to four youngsters) so creating a healthy environment was not only a priority, but it is the foundation on which the business was built. Therefore, The #1 Lawn Guy is dedicated to using organic practices.
According to Kevin, research has lead experts to believe that chemical fertilizers and pesticides could be having a negative effect on people’s health, the environment and our water quality. Although this can be debated, many local, county and state governments) have begun to enact legislation banning the use of many commonly used products. “It is our opinion that if there is a way to create healthy turf without using these products why should we be taking the risk in the first place,” he says.
Tina adds, “We want to feel good about what we are putting on a lawn. We want to know that what we do is safe for families, pets and the environment.”
When the company was first established, Kevin used an organic-based fertilizing program for his clients. Understanding that the health of the lawn is crucial, he continued to do his research and in 2011, made the switch to a completely organic program (not organic-based) that he considers one of the best in the industry—BeeSafe Program by Natural Technologies Inc. The six-step program focuses on the science of soil biology to enhance the ability of turf to efficiently use nutrients and to naturally withstand pests, diseases and stresses.
To ensure he remains knowledgeable and informed, he goes through continuous training through the Bee Safe dealer network. He has also been trained by Chip Osborne, of Osborne Organics, a leader in organic turf care and is backed by more than 18 years of experience in the industry.
For clients wanting to make the switch, Kevin says the goal is to transition to a chemical free approach and to not make a cold turkey change. “Clients will see us begin to implement a program that uses products that are based on increasing organic matter in their soil,” he explains. “These products contain things like kelp, humates and actual strains of biologically diverse inputs. A simple way to think about it is that we are trying to create compost under your lawn.”
The transition to chemical free could take from one to three years, according to Tina. “Chemicals are almost like drugs to a lawn—the more they’ve had, the more they want,” she states. “We are essentially nurturing the soil back to its natural state. Therefore, depending on the amount of chemicals that were used and in what timeframe, the process could take time.”
The #1 Lawn Guy provides a range of services for every season that are designed to improve and maintain the appearance of a home or business including lawn mowing, seasonal clean ups, general maintenance, weeding and trimming, landscaping and mulching, pruning, aeration, snow plowing and salting and three levels—silver, gold and platinum—for seasonal organic fertilization. The services are designed to meet the specific needs of each individual client.
Customers can get a quote for these services online via a satellite image of their lawn. This is a new and instant way of communicating with a potential and existing client. This estimating service can be found on the website.
“Our goal is to keep things looking healthy,” explains Tina. “A well-maintained property makes a positive, lasting impression.”
The Montones don’t just talk the organic talk. They live it, as well. “We have built a network of organic resources,” says Tina. “We buy organic food, use cloth diapers, I go to an organic hair salon; we align ourselves with the people and services we believe in. We look forward to continuing to grow our business and proving people with healthy, safe solutions for their lawn.”
For more information, call 610-762-6127 or visit TheNumber1LawnGuy.com.