How DeWitt Changed The Professional Landscaping Industry

Larry DeWitt started his own landscaping business in Sikeston, Missouri, soon after earning degrees in horticulture and landscape design. In 1977, he was looking for a material to stop weeds and increase plant growth – without chemicals. But back then, black plastic was a landscaper’s only option. From hands-on experience, he knew that while plastic stops weeds, it also blocks out moisture and air. The result: disease, fungus and rot.

Unsatisfied, Larry decided to create something better. He experimented with textiles and materials until finally hitting pay dirt. He discovered that woven polypropylene did everything he wanted. And his new “landscape fabric,” later dubbed DeWitt’s Weed Barrier™, changed the professional landscaping industry.

Pros quickly realized what an outstanding product DeWitt’s Weed Barrier was – for stopping weeds and also for promoting tremendous growth. They couldn’t get enough. As a result, DeWitt products are used in more than 70% of the commercial landscaping done throughout the United States. That makes the company the #1 Choice of Landscape Professionals.

In 2000, the company moved into a 400,000 square foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which is centrally located in the heartland of America. By continually investing in technology and equipment, DeWitt is able to consistently provide the highest quality products available in the lawn and garden industry.

Customer service is a priority and DeWitt employees are fully committed to servicing their customers in the quickest, most efficient and problem-free manner possible. DeWitt’s reputation for service shows the pride that is taken in every aspect of the job.

As Larry DeWitt states “Customer satisfaction is the judge of our efforts. We strive to make zero errors in every facet of the ordering, manufacturing, delivery and billing process.”

DeWitt Company continues to lead the competition in the quality and performance of its landscaping and garden products.

DeWitt Company has added many products and product categories over the years, with a total count now of 14 unique product categories. The acquisition in 2014 of Polutuf Brands gave DeWitt Company entry into the poly tarp industry, with a full line of tarps and accessory products. DeWitt Company’s products are made for the consumer’s best interest in mind and are environmentally safe. For lawns or gardens, DeWitt Company has the best products for the best value.

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DeWitt: The Truth About Landscape Fabric

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Do I really need to use a landscape fabric? This is a question you have undoubtedly been asked, or possibly even asked yourself at some point.

Unfortunately, there is a segment of customers that perceive all landscape fabrics as equal, and due to either their own bad experience, or someone they know telling them of a bad experience, they feel that using any landscape fabric is a bad idea.
 
The truth is landscape fabric is like many products – in most cases you get what you pay for. If you are going to spend several thousand dollars on a new landscape and/or hardscape installation, is saving a few dollars on the landscape fabric by purchasing the cheapest roll available really a wise decision? The landscape fabric will be among the least expensive items in most landscape installs. Going with a better grade fabric won’t in any great degree affect the budget, and will likely actually save you money in the long run with less callback, and in the worst-case scenario, a re-work of the job.
 
DeWitt Company carries a fabric for any project, but they pride themselves on their high-quality, commercial-duty products. DeWitt Pro5 is the heaviest weight landscape fabric on the market, and is their #1 seller. DeWitt Weed Barrier Pro is the highest quality pointbond fabric on the market, and is available in bulk 300’ rolls for contractors, and also 50’ and 100’ rolls for the retail customer.
 
TYPAR is well known throughout the industry to be “Tough on Weeds, Healthy for your Landscape”. TYPAR is the strongest fabric available in the landscape fabric market, and is a great choice for any hardscape application.
 
When it comes to fabrics, DeWitt has “Fabrics for Every Reason and a Product for Every Season.”
 
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DeWitt Company: 40 Years of Innovation

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DeWitt Company celebrated 40 Years of Innovation in 2014. In 1974, Larry DeWitt was in his senior year of college and working as a landscape contractor.

What he didn’t know at the time, was how he would pioneer the use of landscape fabric and change the future of the industry forever. After graduating with a degree in horticulture, he launched DeWitt Landscaping, a landscape design and contracting firm. In 1975, DeWitt expanded the operation and opened DeWitt Landscaping & Garden Center, a full service garden center from design to build. As business grew he also started a re-wholesale division. In 1977, DeWitt was searching for a material to stop weeds and increase plant growth without the use of harmful chemicals. At the time, black plastic was a landscaper’s only option. From hands-on experience, he knew that while plastic stops weeds, it also blocks out moisture and air. The result: disease, fungus and rot.
 
 “I was using black plastic for weed control in rock gardens and I saw the effects of the suffocated soil,” said Larry DeWitt. “I turned this problem into an opportunity by producing the first-ever permeable landscaped fabric that allowed air and water through. Hence, the birth of the DeWitt Company.”
 
Pros quickly realized what an outstanding product it was for stopping weeds and also for promoting tremendous growth. They couldn’t get enough. DeWitt landscaping products and plant fabrics are the number one choice of professionals in the lawn and garden industry.
 
“My life and passion became my career with a mission to always strive for a better tomorrow,” said DeWitt.
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Since 1974, DeWitt Company has made a serious commitment to the lawn and garden industry by introducing new products, improving existing products, and developing innovative merchandising solutions. Celebrating 40 years in business, DeWitt Company believes that the future of the industry is not only bright, but also beaming with opportunities to grow, learn and evolve.
 
In July of 2014, DeWitt Company acquired Polytuf Brands, a premier tarp and accessories supplier out of Cuyahoga Falls, OH. The Polytuf Brands Company had many similarities to DeWitt, including the fact that they were both family-owned companies that have a passion to offer the best quality product at competitive prices. With the addition of Polytuf, the DeWitt product offering is expanded to include a strong category of products that has not historically been available to lawn and garden dealers.
 
For years, customers have been able to consolidate more and more vendors due to the ever expanding product line available through DeWitt. If the past is any indication, that product line will continue to grow over the next 40 plus years!
 
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Landscape Fabric Sales – Thinking Outside The Box

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If you are not currently marketing landscape fabrics to applications outside the traditional lawn and garden use, you could be missing sales.
 
It’s easy to think of landscape fabric in terms of simple 3′ x 50′ rolls of a “good, better, best” offering, or in some cases just a single SKU to have for your retail customers to buy. Many dealers will also offer bulk rolls as either a full roll purchase, or price it per running foot and cut off for the customer the desired length. In both cases, most of those sales are presumed to be going to a traditional landscape setting involving flowers, shrubs, mulch and/or decorative stone coverings.
 
According to the Freedonia Group, hardscape products will be the fastest growing segment of the landscaping industry through 2017. This will be through demand for stone or paver patios, and outdoor living areas. It is impossible to ignore the tremendous growth this part of the industry has seen over the last several years. There are entire shows on channels such as HGTV and DIY dedicated to outdoor living spaces. However, you may not realize that landscape fabrics (in a commercial grade) can play an important role in this market as well. Whether it is TYPAR Landscape Fabric, Weed Barrier Pro, or Pro5, professional grade fabrics can be used for underneath pavers for weed growth protection between the pavers. DeWitt also has available a full line of geotextiles (think landscape fabrics in a heavier form) for soil separation or stabilization in heavier-duty requirements.
 
Another growing industry, even in the Midwest and Eastern United States, is the synthetic or artificial turf market. The Western US is the largest market for this product due to water restrictions and the difficulty in growing a traditional lawn, but the Midwest and Eastern regions are beginning to see demand for this product as well. Whether it is a small putting green, or an entire section of lawn being converted to synthetic turf, weed barrier is needed for use underneath the turf to keep weeds from growing through the turf, ruining the look of the “perfect” synthetic grass. TYPAR and Weed Barrier Pro are very popular products for use underneath synthetic grass due to the easy installation and superior weed control capabilities.
 
Most likely you are already selling hardscape products in some capacity, and maybe you are also even carrying the synthetic grass as well. Some simple cross promotion of landscape fabric as an add-on sale to both of these product categories can add significant dollars to your bottom line at the end of the season.
 
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