BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: A Lay of the Landscape with Craig Hartwig of North Florida Landscape and The Grounds Guys

Posted by: Caryn Best in Uncategorized

GroundsGuys1Native Floridian Craig Hartwig knows a thing or two about Florida landscaping. His company North Florida Landscape has been in business since 1962 and he opened The Grounds Guys franchise in March of this year.  To appreciate Hartwig’s handiwork, check out some of the common areas in World Golf Village and The King & Bear.  Hartwig’s team worked with Davidson Development’s Rick Pariani to implement a rustic pastoral design featuring columns of trees and foliage placement to create natural corridors and framed views in the award winning Jacksonville golf course community. He’s also the “go to” guy for many of the best yards in The Neighborhoods of World Golf Village and neighboring golf course communities.

Here’s what we learned recently when we talked with Craig Hartwig.

Your businesses include North Florida Landscape & The Grounds Guys.  What kinds of services does each offer?
North Florida Landscape offers landscape design and installation of new construction, renovations and existing landscapes in Jacksonville, St. Augustine and throughout North Florida. The Grounds Guys, a national franchise, provides landscape management and maintenance, and we service the World Golf Village and northwest St. Johns County areas exclusively.
How long have you been in business?
North Florida Landscape has been in business since 1962. My whole family was born and raised in Florida and we’ve been in the Jacksonville area since the late 50’s.  I worked on the landscape and irrigation infrastructure for World Golf Village back when it all began and I fell in love with the area.  My family and I decided to make the area our home and we still love it here.

We opened The Grounds Guys franchise in March 2011 and we’re excited about this new concept in grounds maintenance – providing top-notch professional service with quality controls and state-of-the-art technology.
What trends are you seeing in landscaping in our area?
Both nationally and here in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, there is a movement toward more native types of material and less water use. Along these same lines, we’re also seeing a trend towards larger planting areas and less lawn. 

Environmentally friendly pest control is not a new trend but it’s a technology that has vast improved recently and is a very effective option for Jacksonville and St. Augustine homes.  We’re using some products that are organic ground up plant materials which are natural bug repellents – they are a lot safer for the homeowner and the community.

What are your top 3 tips for a great lawn?
Number 1 is water management.  Not necessarily more water, but efficient use and the proper amount.
Number 2 is a schedule for lawn feeding and control of pests, ideally identifying pests before they take over.
Number 3 is mowing at the correct height for the type of lawn and not taking more than 1/2 off during each mowing.
What are the biggest mistakes people make with their landscape?
This goes back to water management – watering smarter not just more.  Also choosing the right plant or tree for a particular location. If a plant isn’t thriving in a particular location, try moving it somewhere else. Understanding the PH balance of your soil is a huge advantage.  For example, the World Golf Village area has neutral or alkaline soil which is why camellias, azaleas and some border grasses don’t always thrive here.

Craig Hartwig can be reached at 904-962-3004 or you can visit


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