I feel like I picked the wrong time to start my lawn care business.

The lawn care business is dependent on good grass growing weather. If it is too hot, the grass won’t grow and there will be nothing to mow. If it is too cold, there won’t be any grass growth either. But as we will see in this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, as an entrepreneur, you always have to make the best of what ever you have to work with, weather included. So if the grass isn’t growing, you need to look for other services that can be sold.

One lawn care business owner wrote “so far this spring and summer we have had 83 over 100 degree days this year and less than 5 inches of rain. This must be the worst drought on record by far. I guess I picked the wrong time to start my lawn care business. It has still been fun learning everything, but the weather is just depressingly hot.

My lawn care customers can only water their grass once a week and the yards around here are looking awful. I used to enjoy working on people’s lawns and enjoy looking at the finished outcome. I used to be proud of what the yards looked like, but now there is nothing to mow anymore. I am trying to most every 2 - 3 weeks and I can’t even see where I last mowed.

Most customers are moving their mowing frequency to every 3 to 4 weeks. The rest of them are telling me they will call me when it needs to be mowed.

This experience has got me thinking about moving into a new direction. I don’t know about you guys, but I can get very comfortable especially with mowing and to be honest I really don’t enjoy mowing. I like doing gardening more than anything and enjoy learning more about landscaping. I have so much more to learn though.

The drought has caused me to think about what is yet to come as they are saying this drought is going to continue into next year. So I’m trying to be optimistic and explore my options. I am now approaching my customers and telling them that I can do other  projects for them. I still go to most of the properties every 2 weeks, charge them the same amount, and spend the same amount of time, but it’s for doing other projects while I am there. The problem is I’m not experienced performing a lot of different services. I want to do things right and not do half-ass jobs.

So what is the future of this industry? Do we all move to pea gravel yards? Is sod going to be a thing of the past as we can’t water enough to keep grass alive? St. Augustine grass is screwed, Bermuda is dormant and Zoysia is struggling. Maybe Buffalo Grass will be the answer.

As I’m typing this, I just received another call from customer suspending service as there is no grass and it has been 3 weeks since I mowed her lawn. It is crazy depressing, but hopefully it can only improve from here.

Yes, I will be learning more and more about how to xeriscape. The one bad thing so far I have found about installing such landscape is that all the rock and stone around the house creates more heat around the house. I think I’m going to work more on adding pieces of both. Using native plants and xeriscaping at the same time. A lot of agave, yucca and cacti work great down here and look great with pea gravel around them. This is becoming huge down here.

As for gardening, there are some lawn care customers I have where I don’t even mow. All I do is go in and garden for them. Dead heading, watering, fertilizing, checking health of plants, etc… That is a blast. I prefer it over mowing any day. Plus I work with herbs, veggies, etc.

Anyway I am trying to broaden my horizons. Trying to find alternatives when the weather is not working with me. I hope some of my experiences help others in this same situation.”

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