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Seth’s Cut: This industry goes to 11

March 25, 2022 -  By
Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Spring has arrived. The excitement our readers have for this time of year is contagious. Around the office we were buzzing about the vibe in the air — it’s an exciting time to be in the industry. This month … and in general.

I’m reminded of the scene in the 1984 spoof documentary This Is Spinal Tap when Nigel explains to the documentarian that his guitar amp can be turned up to 11. “When we need that extra push over the cliff,” he explains, “You know what we do? 11. One louder.”

This industry will be asked to amp it up and “go to 11” in 2022.

I laughed when Joe Majerus, owner of Landmark Landscapes in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., told me during our interview for this month’s cover story that he was “super-jacked” about a project the company had recently completed (see that project here). Editor Christina Herrick couldn’t get AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” out of her head after visiting GROW! 2022 in Nashville; only in her head it was “Grunderstruck.” And the new guy, Rob DiFranco, Landscape Management associate editor, was excitedly packing his bags for the National Association of Landscape ProfessionalsNational Collegiate Landscape Competition in Raleigh, N.C., to see what that event is all about. (Welcome aboard, Rob!)

I’d say the mood in the industry is somewhere between super-jacked and Grunderstruck right now … you know, depending on your region.

Sure, it’s not all as pleasant as the sight of the Forsythia blooming. The situation in Ukraine is both scary and sad. The price of gasoline worsens by the day. My most recent 401(k) statement was an envelope I should have left unopened.

But hey, we can see each other smile just about anywhere outside an airport these days!

Recently I sat down for an interview with Mr. Grunderstruck himself, Marty Grunder, president and CEO of the Grow Group and Grunder Landscaping Co. in Miamisburg, Ohio. In what has become something of a tradition, we discussed his forecast for the upcoming season. This chat with Marty always gets me “super-jacked” for the season that is about to kick into high gear. We talked about his expectations for 2022, the big service addition Grunder Landscaping is making this year and the low-hanging fruit Marty thinks every company can easily pick.

As we all kick off the winter blahs, we realize that your time is about to become more precious than ever. That means we have to take our own industry coverage up a notch, or to the ‘next level,’ as our cover states. We have some things cooking at LM, your favorite industry magazine, that are sure to catch your attention, maybe even surprise you. Keep an eye on us and tell me if I’m wrong.

Meanwhile, a few notes before I invite you to peel into the rest of the issue:

⦁ A big thank you to Nate Negrin and his team at SouthernEEZ Landscaping in Fort Mill, S.C., for allowing us to come out for a few days and photograph the crew at work. Weather challenges weren’t going to keep our photographer, Rusty Williams, or the crew, from getting the job done. That’s a Ditch Witch SK600 going to work on the cover. Negrin told me he rented a Ditch Witch “forever” until he bought an SK800 two years ago. Within months, SouthernEEZ also bought an SK600.

⦁ A friendly reminder that you’re always invited to help us create this magazine. Upcoming topics we’re working on include “keys to running a lean and mean green operation,” and “companies switching to battery power.” If you have any success stories to share, sage advice or even a good old horror story of what not to do, we’d love to hear from you.

Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 19 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at

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