What are you ATL guys doing about the drought?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tjsquickcuts, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 943

    Just curious to know what you guys are doing with your weekly scheduled accounts that don't have irrigation systems. With no real deal rainfall since March, I have some lawns that are not growing at all, and starting to look really bad, to the point where I have had to skip almost 10% of my accounts because of fear of having ruts all over the lawn. With no rain in sight, I am scared I will have to cut back on a lot of customers, and just try and pick up New ones to replace those until we start getting more rain....but the downside is, when we do get into our rainy pattern, I dont think I will be able to maintain all my accounts because the cup is already overflowing. Luckily, I have had more landscape work then I can handle, booked solid at the time.....but just wanted to know what your ATLiens are doing......I have even started stop by some of the homes in between stops to turn the water on......and I dont forget about the water bans.....:cry: .........might be a slow finish after a blazing start.....
  2. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 898

    hoping texas will send us some rain !!!! or from anywhere as long as it rains
    we need it pretty bad too !!!!
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    sigh... I keep trying to tell you guys the weekly cut thing don't work year-round but ok look:

    I save my money when times are good so then I get through the drought no problem. Ok no it is not without problem and I don't like it either but there's not much you can do...

    For those who have a hard time keeping money in the bank, the best I can recommend is if you have to spend money, buy supplies that don't deteriorate in time (example: blades, oil, zerks, pins and clips and grommets (those that always break) and tools and stuff...) and keep those supplies someplace so that when things run dry, you can operate for months without nothing but fuel.

    As for me, most of my lawns are on 14 days and here soon it will be July so that means most lawns go on 2-3 week schedules, some once / month.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    There is a benefit to hard times, thou it is hard to see at first, hard times make your business lean and mean which is a way to say this is a good time to figure out how to reduce your OR cost, learn to run on less money / supplies and learn how to make your company (and yourself) survive on less. This comes in extremely handy later when things improve, you keep running it lean and you really rake it in but don't spend it omg you can put so much money away once you got it down (which is why it don't bother me but so much) :rolleyes:

    So, always save your money.

    Also if you have a lot of money in the bank what you do is wait for stuff to go on sale (by on sale I mean at least 30% off retail, 50% is even better and sometimes you can find 70% off and stuff) so then when stuff goes on sale (whatever, motor oil / antifreeze it could be whatever) then you buy a whole lot at the same time, buy as much as you can with the following rules in mind:
    - How long will this last / keep? If stuff only keeps for 6-12 months then obviously you don't want to buy 2 year's worth but also even if it does not expire you don't want to buy more than you'll ever use lol, but don't be afraid to buy 5-10 or even 20 year's worth of something if it doesn't spoil / rot.
    - The deeper the discount, the more you buy. I wouldn't get too excited over no 20-30% off thing, but certainly half price is nice and if it's like 60-70% off then I buy as much as I can. This is how I got into 100-some quarts of synthetic blend motor oil (5w-30 and 10w-30 mostly) all at about a price of 1.99 a quart (retail is around $3+ each quart) so I stocked up! On that note, Big Lots sells a lot of synthetic blend for 1.99 a quart and less. Yeah it cost me a couple of hundred dollars so I did it over time but also now I got motor oil until the cows come home, and every time something needs an oil change, my money in the bank grows because I am not spending it one, two I don't got to run to the store and then it doesn't cost $3+ for another.
    - Watch store limits, some things you can only get so much of heh...

    DAVEY PROS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I agree with topsites. That is a very good method and will save you money when you are trying to keep everything you have b/c there is no more weekly work.

    As for the rain - hopefully this hurrican season will send us some water. Even our number one account has almost dead, withering grass in his front. BUT he knows its not our fault. I think if you are willing to explain to your customers and tell them the things only you can do then they will understand.
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,739

    Article in the news yesterday saying the drought may linger a long time. Rainfall is way down for the year. The drought began last september. We would get a little bit of rain to float along this spring and then its just gotten longer and longer between rains. Then when you do get rain its just enough to make it turn green a little. This has been happening off and on here since I have been in the grass biz and you never get use to it. The last drought lasted 3 or 4 years:cry:
  7. bushhogman

    bushhogman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Right now I am looking pretty good because most of accounts are on irrgation. But, I read in the paper today that the odd even day thing might be coming an end and a total outdoor band might start up very soon. Seems the army corps of engineers allowed lake lainer to drain out an excessive amount of water due to a bad water gauge. The lake is actually 2 feet lower than they thought which means they released 420 million gallons of water that should have stayed in atlanta. By august, lainer is going to a mud hole if we dont see any rain. Maybe I can afford a place up there when the lake is gone!!

  8. Mower For Less

    Mower For Less LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    I let them choose. They can either:

    1. Water their lawn like they should so their grass will be healthy so I can cut it every week


    2. Pay me to cut their dead and/or dormant grass every week

    They either come to a decision on 1 or 2, or find a new service. I'm not skipping cuts becuase you dont care enough about you grass to water it. I have yet to have 1 lawn that has been watered not need cutting every week.

  9. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    How does a rock hard dry lawn get ruts?
  10. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,739

    96 degrees here yesterday and the lawns are looking fried to a crisp. The only thing that will save us is some tropical action. Not wishing for a deadly Hurricane but.......they do serve a purpose of being drought busters. Without them we would just dry up and blow away most of the time.

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