Dry spell, grass not growing.

Well it's finally happened this week, first time this year. After a long dry spell 2 customers have asked me not to visit this week as their lawns haven't grown. To be fair, it is true, and as it happens, I'm so busy at present I'm happy to crack on with the rest of my work. I have to say though, today's rain is welcome as I wouldn't like it to happen too often. Funnily enough, both of the customers mentioned are friendly, drink offering types. Maybe it would be harder for them to ask if they weren't so familiar with me? Both are fortnightly cuts and with a backlog of work I intend to leave them now for another 2 weeks. Hope this doesn't backfire on me resulting in a mountain of clippings!

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      • PRO

        the trick is to keep the bags in the van and just take a flask of boiling water with the milk in a separate bottle ;-)

  • I am not expecting to do much mowing till the end of next month. I have been raising the mower through June to try and keep the grass green.

    I think there is more chance of loosing customers f you are not flexible. 

  • PRO

    I don't think it unreasonable to set a non-attendance fee at the beginning of the season. 

    As a contractors you need stability and if you build a slot into schedules for a client then you are relying on that client to use your service otherwise you will lose business.

    Maybe allow a single missed cut but charge, say, 50-75% fee if the client cancels your visit(s) thereafter.

  • PRO

    Being in the South East corner i am used to the grass not growing as much in summer and base my work plan on either 2 or 4 week visits. I only deal with residential and actively DISCOURAGE WEEKLY customers, preferring to spread the risk by having more customers .... in reality there is minimal/zero demand for weekly visits in my area. 

    MOST people stick with fortnightly throughout the year, but a handful will put me off if there is little growth ... but then i allow for that. To enforce or contract them for me to come and cut their grass without any growth seems unnecessarily confrontational to me and bad for business reputation. My advice is to allow a drop off in the warmer months and take on a few more customers to compensate 

  • PRO

    While considering all responses I believe we, as landscapers, are naturally putting our own interests first here.  Only 2 customers this year requested I leave theirs for a few days.,while I know this could become a problem, so far it hasn't. I genuinely would feel a fraud had I insisted on cutting the lawns after being requested not to. Those that haven't asked me to stay away, well I've given them a light trim and sure enough they're striped and tidy. As I say, this has never become a huge problem and I'm happy not to fall out with any customers over it. 

  • if you just do grass cutting it will be a problem if it turns into a long dry summer, and if you take on more clients and its a long wet summer even more problems if you do all the garden there is always something else that wants doing there is no easy answer 

  • PRO

    Feeling like a very negative thread this one, and the weather is just a business risk that we can do little to protect ourselves from frankly.

    The total number of mows I've had cancel due to a lack of growth sits at 3 for the year. Maybe £50, for the year. Each week we visit maybe 100. We're not mowing inside 27mm to protect the base of the plant, we are advising customers to water if they want best value from our service. 

    All you can do folks, but we're still cutting fortnightly in the Midlands and I'm enjoying the sun. At least the 'hot' days are few and far between. However it is still early in the summer for this conversation and there's another two months ahead of potential dry weather. We will see. 

    • PRO

      Jack is 27mm a standard safe point ? Most residential mowers i use jump at best from 25 to 30, which is the area i use.

      • PRO
        I think that's really difficult to answer as lawns/areas of grass are all different.
        I've been cutting on 3rd lowest on the back and 4th lowest on the front on the lawnflite this year on most. What that equates too in mm I don't know.
        • PRO

          being a noob -- i thought the indications where 10 ml jumps and you could alter that slightly by raising or lowering the back :) but im guessing thats not correct 

          on the ride on john deeres i use they have the mm clear on the adjustment control -- which makes life easier - also the john deere walk behinds seem to have similar -- 

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