If you think you have to sacrifice a beautiful, lush green lawn when you switch to an organic treatment program, think again. For too long, people have believed applying environmentally friendly lawn fertilizer means dealing with weeds and weak growth as they look longingly at a neighbor’s plush, green turf.
It’s a misconception one local company is tackling head on, and it has the expertise and customer growth to prove it’s right. Enter Lawnganics, a lawn treatment company focused exclusively on an organic approach to lawn care.
Over three years ago, the lawn experts at Vision Scapes recognized the need for a lawn care service provider that focuses on a new, environmentally friendly treatment system. Knowing the difference these products and services could make, they believed the Fort Wayne market was ready for a safer, better, healthier approach to lawn care, and so they launched sister company Lawnganics in 2019.
With proven expertise in lawn care management and a 23-year reputation in lawn and landscape services, owners Cristi Spilker, Mark Nolot and Mark Worrel knew they could make this new division work, but the growth of Lawnganics has exceeded even their expectations. “In the past three years we have seen a spike in this organic growth,” says Nolot. “We’ve added several hundred customers each year.”
Now that the company is well past its learning curve, Lawnganics is ready to expand its reach. “We’ve managed to double our customer base each year since our launch,” says Spilker. In 2022, they hope to expand that reach even further.
And that’s just residential. Lawnganics is also partnering with top-of-mind Fort Wayne community innovators to bring a healthier approach to their lawns as well. “There are too many companies to name them all,” says Nolot, “but a few we treat organically include the Ash Brokerage rooftop, Fort Wayne TinCaps and Indiana Tech.”
If you never knew these companies use an organic solution to lawn care, that’s the point. “You’re not sacrificing a beautiful lawn with Lawnganics,” says Worrel. “You’re just adopting a safer approach. If you put one of our lawns up against a lawn using traditional, synthetic fertilizers, you would have a hard time noticing the difference.”
While customers and the general public might not see a difference in the end result, the soil just under the surface of those beautiful, green lawns does. That’s because Lawnganics operates under the philosophy that better soil equals better grass.
“We’re essentially reducing residuals in the soil,” says Worrel. “With a synthetic fertilizer, half the effectiveness is used up in the first ten days after the application, thanks to the high levels of quick-release nitrogen.”
The effectiveness of these traditional applications begins to drop after 30 days, requiring more treatments to keep up appearances. Organics, on the other hand, remain in the soil longer, giving customers a longer feeding zone with a lower environmental impact.
Lawnganics even offers custom lawn solutions, thanks to a partnership with A & L Great Lakes Laboratories, Inc. “Through Great Lakes we can send out soil samples and get a third-party analysis, telling us what our customer’s yard is lacking,” says Worrel. This real-time testing allows Lawnganics to customize applications that provide exactly what the lawn is missing—nothing more, nothing less.
It’s an approach that is catching on quickly, spurring growth within the company as well as the lawns. “For every couple hundred customers we gain, we’re adding another technician who needs his or her own truck and customized training,” says Nolot. It’s real growth that is making an impact in the economy as well as the environment. “Our goal is to add a new technician and new truck each year for the foreseeable future,” says Spilker.
As employees demonstrate loyalty and dependability, Lawnganics also offers career growth opportunities by promoting from within. “We love rewarding talent and dedication with better pay and more responsibility,” says Worrel.
Nolot concurs. “We plan to continue our growth by building our service area while also building our teams,” he says. “We mentor our crews and are ready to show the young men and women of our community that we offer a career pathway that can help them realize their short-term and long-term financial and family goals.”
Another way Lawnganics is growing community leaders is by creating a culture of community service. “The community has been good to us,” says Spilker, “and we want to be sure to give back.”
At Lawnganics, that means offering people power to organizations such as Christmas on Broadway, Summit City Sluggers and the Blue Jacket’s Fantasy of Lights. “For the last six or seven years, Lawnganics and Vision Scapes have helped take down all the light displays for Fantasy of Lights,” says Spilker. “What takes three months to set up takes Lawnganics four or five days to tear down. We send out crews of around seven people to each location.”
The teams know that owners Spilker, Nolot and Worrel, while paying the crew, are donating the services for free to these organizations. “It’s good for our environment here,” says Spilker. “It gives us all something to rally around. It’s really good for our team.”
So what lies ahead for this forward-thinking company? Nolot has the answer. “We are continually growing our footprint.” Whether it’s treating lawns, training teams or giving back to community programs, one thing’s for sure; Lawnganics is providing Fort Wayne with healthy lawns and healthy business.
Owner(s): Cristi Spilker, Mark Nolot and Mark Worrel
Address: 6608 Saint Joe Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46835
Phone: (260) 492-LAWN
Years in Business: 3
Number of Employees: 7
Products & Services: Organic lawn treatment solutions, aeration and overseeding, perimeter pest control and grub control.