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View Full Version : Wrong Time To Start Lawn Business???


Growing Green
09-16-2011, 09:20 AM
The Heat:

We have had 83 over 100 degree days this year and less than 5 inches of rain. The worst drought on record by far. I guess I picked the wrong time to start a business? It has still been fun learning everything, but depressingly hot. Customers can now only water once a week and people's lawns are awful. I used to enjoy working on peoples lawn and then look at the finished outcome and be proud of what it looks like, but now there is nothing to mow anymore. I go every 2 - 3 weeks and I can't even see where I last mowed. Customers are moving (and I'm offering it to customers as well) to every 3 weeks or once a month or even those who say I'll call you when it needs it.

The Shift:

So this has caused me to move in 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 on 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 optomistic and see is as a way to learn more things. I am now approaching my customers and telling them that I can do projects for them. I still go every 2 weeks, charge them the same amount and spend the same amount of time, but doing other projects... The problem is I'm not experienced in a lot of different things and I want to do things right and not a half-*&*)& job.

The Future:

So what is the future of Austin? Do we all move to pea gravel yards? Soding is 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.

Anyway, sorry about the rambling. 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 hers. Crazy depressing, but hopefully it can only move up from here. :-)

Take care,

Matt

Steve
09-16-2011, 11:50 AM
Matt,

That is a very interesting insight!

Have you thought of marketing Xeriscaping?

(Xeriscaping refers to a method of landscape design that minimizes water use.)

Could this become big in your area?

What kinds of things are you doing with your gardening?

Sprinkler Buddy
09-16-2011, 03:32 PM
You guys have had it rough in Texas, I hear similar stories on other forums as well about Texas. Things will turn around, wait it out if you can and you'll have a jump on the competition that has already given up on the profession due to the extreme drought.

Growing Green
09-18-2011, 09:17 PM
Matt,

That is a very interesting insight!

Have you thought of marketing Xeriscaping?

(Xeriscaping refers to a method of landscape design that minimizes water use.)

Could this become big in your area?

What kinds of things are you doing with your gardening?

Yes, I'm learning more and more how to Xeriscape. The one bad thing is that this creates more heat when you add a lot of rock causing it to be even hotter here in Austin, plus 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, well there are some customers 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, vegies, etc...

Matt

Steve
09-19-2011, 10:23 PM
Are these vegetable gardens you are talking about or flower gardens or just everything?

Growing Green
09-19-2011, 11:16 PM
Are these vegetable gardens you are talking about or flower gardens or just everything?

Everything...

Matt

jasonw
10-02-2011, 05:39 PM
Install AstroTurf and offer to pressure wash it for $20 per week. Problem solved.