Contractor Profile: Johny Crooks, Owner, Blades of Grass Lawn Care

Johny Crooks, owner of Blades of Grass Lawn Care in Savannah, Ga., discusses how he got into the business, his favorite parts of the landscape industry, his YouTube channel and much more.

Johny Crooks
Johny Crooks

Contractor Profile: Johny Crooks, Owner, Blades of Grass Lawn Care

Green Industry Pros: How did you get into the business?

Crooks: While I was in the military—I’m a retiree with 25 years of service—and getting ready to get out of the military, I was stationed here in Savannah. We settled here, and when you build your house, it comes as a package with just the front yard with grass on the side. In the back, there are no shrubs, and it’s just blank. I started watching HGTV and getting ideas and started to design things, and the next thing I knew, my new neighbors were asking me how much I would charge for their houses. I would do the jobs for them, and they loved it, and I kept getting jobs and told my wife, ‘Maybe I should get into landscaping and lawn care.’ She said to try it for a year and see how I do. So, I started with basic lawn care, got my business license, and within a few months, I was into mowing and maintaining properties and I started hiring guys. Little by little, this is where I’m at.

Green Industry Pros: Can you tell me a little bit more about your company?

Crooks: We were established in 2009. We currently do federal contracts, and I have about 10 to 12 homeowners’ (properties) that I go to every day to do YouTube videos for social media. Right now, I have 281,000 followers on YouTube and 132,000 on Instagram. On TikTok, I basically teach how to get into the business, how to grow your business and showcase new equipment. We do mostly mowing and maintenance and some fertilizer for some clients.

Green Industry Pros: Since you’ve been in the business, what’ve been your favorite parts?

Crooks: I love getting out there. I love going to different functions like Equip Expo in Louisville, Ky., and looking at the new equipment. I feel like a big kid at Toys R Us. I love getting new machinery and equipment and testing it and showing others how it works.

Green Industry Pros: Building on that, what’s your favorite tool to get the job done?

Crooks: I love lawn mowers. Stand-on mowers are my favorite, and I’ve been gravitating toward battery-powered equipment. I’ve been testing out the Toro Revolution Series, and they get the job done, especially for the weekly services that I do. I go out there, plug it in overnight and the equipment works great.

Green Industry Pros: What do you think the industry could use more of?

Crooks: We need trained personnel, but we’re deep into job and tasks. It may sound far-fetched, but it’d be nice if every state had a location where you can send employees and get them trained on machinery.

Green Industry Pros: What’re you most looking forward to this year within your business?

Crooks: The technology within the business. I love the way a lot of manufacturers are coming up with new technology to make the job easier and faster. I’m looking forward to trying out new technology like robotic mowers. Some people might not like things like that because they’re into the gas power thing, but the reality is we’re professionals, and I would hope educating yourself in new technology is something they’re willing to take on.

Green Industry Pros: What’s the best advice you would give your former self just starting out?

Crooks: Don’t be afraid to try new things. We get set in our ways, and as human beings, we don’t like changes. Be open to new ideas, don’t just shut new ideas down and have an open mind.

Green Industry Pros: What types of things do you like to do outside of work?

Crooks: It sounds kind of crazy, but I enjoy working on my yard. I’m the type of guy that I like to lead by example. My yard has zero weeds in it. I love the outdoors, and my relaxing is to enjoy my yard and gardening with flowers. I can’t ever see myself in an office or even indoors. I love being outside. I love going to parks and just seeing the beauty of the landscape.