Celebrating Lawn & Garden Month with Allentown’s John Mraz


The biggest challenges in the Northeast are production planning and labor management — all within the whirlwind of our unpredictable weather. We experience many seasonal changes in a matter of weeks.

We had our earliest spring operations well under way by February, with twelve sites cleaned, edged and mulched and record high temperatures in the sixties. Then came March: On the thirteenth, we received thirteen inches of snow and sleet in twenty-four hours. It took five days to clean up and shut production down for two weeks. The storm varied in amounts and types of precipitation. Fifty miles south and east of us, the Philadelphia and New Jersey branches received only about six inches with sleet and freezing rain. In Baltimore, Dulles and Richmond, the branches received even less snow, but even more sleet. Overall, the entire East Coast was shut down for a week.

We had to scramble to convert our trucks from spring operations back to winter the day before the storm. From removing sideboards, tool boxes and other equipment, to pulling spreaders out of storage and remounting, we had our work cut out for us.

Two weeks after the storm, we went back into the “Spring Push” and was hit again with dramatic weather changes! Record high temperatures and heavy rains not only caused lost production days, but flushed grass growth leading to our earliest mowing season. Now, we’re busy finishing spring operations AND mowing all the new green growth.

– John Mraz, Branch Manager Allentown