Revised and updated January 8, 2020.
Lawn care and landscaping services raked in $99 billion in revenues in 2019, fueled by the longest post-recession economic recovery in history. Entrepreneurs who like the look of that greener grass have a great shortlist to consider with these top 6 lawn care and landscaping franchises of 2020.
According to some estimates, just having a great-looking lawn can increase the resale value of a home by as much as 15%! But busy families these days don’t have the time to work on it themselves, so working with a professional lawn care and landscaping company makes sense.
Franchise companies in this market that deliver quality results and great customer service enjoy high customer retention rates, which also becomes a way to grow the business by getting loyal customers to make referrals and act as brand ambassadors in their neighborhoods. Here are the 6 best lawn care and landscaping franchises of 2020:
1. Lawn Doctor
Lawn Doctor has developed its own line of proprietary, patented equipment known today as Turf Tamer. The chain offers a wide array of lawn care services and customers can choose which services they want. Among the offerings are lawn maintenance, natural lawn care, fertilization, pH balancing/lime, core aeration, power seeding, soil enrichment, lawn pest control (including moles, fire ants, ticks, mosquitos, and grubs), weed control, lawn mower maintenance, disease control, tree and shrub care, and commercial lawn care.
The company claims to have the highest customer retention rate and the highest TrustPilot online review score in the industry. It also guarantees that if customers are not 100% satisfied, the company will make it right.
Founded by Bob Magda and Tony Giordano in 1967 and franchising since that same year, the number of locations has expanded in recent years to reach the current total of 583 (up from last year’s total of 568), of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.
2. Weed Man
Weed Man offers an array of lawn care services to customers, including weed control (Bermuda grass, crabgrass, Dallisgrass, moss, Nutsedge, etc.), pest control (white grubs, moles, fire ants, fleas, ticks, etc.), seeding, fertilization, disease control, aeration, pH control, vegetation control, soil revitalization, and organic lawn dressing.
The company emphasizes proactive prevention and integrated pest management (IPM). Franchisees can opt for starting a brand-new location or converting an existing company to the Weed Man brand.
Founded by Des Rice in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada in 1970 and franchising since 1976, the number of locations has been on the rise in recent years from 237 in 2011 to the current total of 344 (up from the previous year’s total of 342), of which 41 are company-owned and 95 are located outside the US.
3. U.S. Lawns
U.S. Lawns is the only company on this list that focuses exclusively on commercial lawn care and landscaping services for business clients.
The company has six different categories of services, including lawn care (mowing, fertilization, irrigation, overseeding, aeration, dethatching, pest and disease control), landscape maintenance (mowing, edging, trimming, pruning, debris removal, weeding, spring cleanup, fall cleanup, and bed detail), irrigation (regular inspections, adjustments, service and repairs, spring startup, and winterization), landscape improvements (improving soil health, topographical changes to reroute water flow, native plants, water drainage and storage solutions for reuse, rain garden design and installation), hardscaping (elements of landscaping built from stone, concrete, or wood), tree care (trimming, pruning, fertilization, and other special treatments), and snow/ice management.
Founded in Orlando, Florida in 1986 and franchising since 1987, the number of locations currently stands at 260 (nine more than the previous year), of which none are company-owned and all are located in the US.
4. The Grounds Guys
The Grounds Guys offers lawn care and landscaping services to both residential and commercial customers, including lawn and bed maintenance, landscape/hardscape, pest/weed control, fertilization, outdoor lighting, snow and ice management, irrigation, artificial turf, and gutters (for residential customers only).
This chain is part of the Neighborly (formerly the Dwyer Group) family of home service companies. Founded by Tim van Stralen and his nine brothers in 2010 and franchising since then, the number of locations has reached a current total of 193 (down one from the previous year), of which none are company-owned and 31 are located outside the US.
5. Spring-Green Lawn Care
Spring-Green Lawn Care works with both residential and commercial clients to deliver personalized lawn care services based on recommendations that come out of their turf assessment consultation. Customers who are not happy with how their lawn looks after Spring-Green’s services get a treatment for free.
The company is a little different from most in that it doesn’t do mowing. Instead, its services are focused on lawn improvement through fertilization, aeration, insect control, and disease control, which can be traditional or organic by customer preference.
Customers get a transparent quote upfront for a season’s worth of treatments, including a mid-season assessment to see if program adjustments are needed. Existing companies can add the Spring-Green methods as one of the services offered.
Founded by Bill Fisher in Naperville, Illinois in 1977 and franchising since then, the number of locations has grown slightly in recent years to the current total of 143 (same as previous year), of which 26 are company-owned and all are located in the US.
6. NaturaLawn of America
NaturaLawn of America is on a mission to delivery an eco-friendlier lawncare service by helping consumers understand how “the picture-perfect, weed-free, insect-free lawn is a myth that endorses unnecessary and irresponsible pesticide use.” Its greener approach uses a proprietary line of products made and packaged exclusively for the company, combining organic fertilization and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control weeds and insects.
Important to its approach is preserving the natural enemies of turf pests, installing newer turf varieties with natural pest resistance, and customer education on better mowing and water practices.
Founded by Beecher Smith and Philip Catron in 1987 and franchising since 1989, the number of locations has grown in recent years to the current total of 91 (one more than the previous year), of which nine are company-owned and all are located in the US.
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.