Drought in Kentucky

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Gary Ritchie, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Gary Ritchie

    Gary Ritchie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    In my area of Kentucky we haven't had a decent rain in over 3 weeks. With temps in 90s almost everyday. This week will be 2 weeks in a row I've had to skip because of no growth, most lawns are starting to turn brown. To top it all off I had just purchased a used Scag Tiger Cat for 5k that I've only put 10 hours on since August 2nd. What do you guys do when you experience this drought? In my area this is the first dry spell since 2012. Heck we had record rains in the past couple years. I've learned a valuable lesson, always diversify and never completely depend on mowing alone. What do you guys do to keep revenue flowing in these times?
    wjjones and Matthews Lawn Care like this.
  2. Mumblingboutmowers

    Mumblingboutmowers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 935

    Ask your mowing customers if they need anything else done around the property during the drought. You won't know if you don't ask. Lots of homeowners have handyman projects they would be happy to pay someone else to do.
    hort101 and Matthews Lawn Care like this.
  3. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,002

    Just have to be well balanced with your services and even then that’s no guarantee. Droughts are when I catch up on landscaping or really start pushing lawn repairs. Even tho you can’t do the repair during the drought you can still sell the service and line the work up for the fall/end of the season. Something I’ve noticed during droughts is revenue that is lost from mowing is made up by fixing the damage from the drought.

    Now if your just a mow only service prob not much you can do but if your not a mow only, bow is the time to show up and asses the lawn and build a plan to fix it and discuss it with the customer. Aerate, overseed, fertilize, insecticides, etc.

    We’ve had non stop rain it seems. Haven’t skipped a lawn the entire season due to growth. Have had to reschedule due to crazy amounts of rain tho. Excess water damages turf as well so I’ve been selling the crap out of repair work for the fall.

    Your results will depend on your customer base and your ability to sale services.
    hort101 and Doc8406 like this.
  4. Charles

    Charles Moderator, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 11,810

    We have been spoiled for the past 5 or so years. For 15 years in a row we had an incipient drought. Just enough to keep the weeds growing. This is our worst year in years. Like yours. The grass business is just not dependable. That doesn't stop many from jumping in. 15 stressful years! Heat waves. Cracking earth. Here we go again this year. 3 or 4 dry spells. Guessing who needs cut. You really need a lot of lawns so someone always needs cutting. Scrape by until it starts raining again. A strong La Nina is the worst for the SE. El Nino didn't do its job this Season. Now we are in a Neutral pattern. Could go either way. We are like farmers. At the mercy of the weather:dizzy::cry:
    Gary Ritchie likes this.
  5. zlandman

    zlandman LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 959

    I like to take the opportunity to relax, take care of things around the house, and go on short trips.
    Wish I could get a dry spell in the spring.
    Matthews Lawn Care likes this.
  6. wjjones

    wjjones LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    Clean gutters, pressure wash sidewalks, etc. Think about general home maintenance. It should help during the dry spell. Another I do myself is seal driveways.
    hort101 and Mumblingboutmowers like this.
  7. OP
    Gary Ritchie

    Gary Ritchie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Any of you guys have pressure washing setups? With chemicals and soft washing with no pressure?
  8. Mr.Roberts

    Mr.Roberts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    Aerate and seed practically all of the fescues. They’ll need it. No less than $40 per k. $120 minimum for 3k, $160 for 4K, $200 for 5k sq.ft. You can start the end of August, and go all the way to last week of October/first week of November in your area.
    They’ll need fertilized all winter. You can get a quality bag of fertilizer from site one, Ewing, Howard for around $15.
    Charge minimum of $10/1k sq ft. with the minimum price being $30 to fertilize.
    They’ll need lime.
    Cheap brown dust lime is $3.00
    2 bags per 5k lawn is $6. Charge minimum $30. $10.00 per k sq ft.
    2 man aeration and seeding crew can net $40k in 2 months
    zlandman likes this.

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