Brian Horn, editor,
Lawn & Landscape

My oldest son has recently started mowing our lawn. He and his friends tossed around the idea of starting a “lawn business” but the pool, video games and hanging out pushed that to the side this year.

When I saw him mowing, though, it made me realize he’ll never have a distinct childhood memory that I have. Trying to pour gas into the mower, then spilling it all over my shoes while I looked around to see if anyone – mostly my dad – saw how badly I missed.

I made the jump to a battery-powered mower a few years ago for a number of reasons, but dealing with gas and wondering if I put stabilizer in it over the winter was a major one.

According to our latest State of the Battery-Powered Equipment Market survey, this industry is also making more of a shift to batteries. In last year’s survey, 42% of the people who responded said they don’t use any battery-powered or electric equipment, while that number dropped to 30% this year.

We spoke with landscapers who use the equipment, and we found you’ll have those who are all-in on it, while others are coming along slowly, mainly because of local ordinances banning gas equipment.

Even those being forced to use it were open to the change, but would be more interested if the technology met their needs better.

I think those advancements are coming, but I like the fact that even though it wasn’t their top choice to use, they are at least open to the idea.

I wrote about being open to change last month when I wrote about irrigation. I write a lot about change because the industry is in a transitional state, especially when it comes to technology.

Fittingly, our cover story this month is all about change. When two sons took over their father’s business, Wasson Nursery, the father didn’t like a lot of the changes they made. But his quote at the end of the story makes me think this transition will go just fine.

“Changes have to happen for your business to grow,” he says. “The sooner you can accept that, as hard as it is, the easier it is to move on and the happier everyone will be.”