Changing with the seasons

I have noticed a number of new ground maintenance start up businesses around Glasgow this season, as always happens at the start of a new growing season.

2013 must be a particularly difficult year to try and start such a company though due to the late start of the real growing spurt that has usually kicked off by now. Cold nights and dry weather in many areas has slowed down any new growth of grass, weeds (not such a bad thing!) and shrubs. Clients are reluctant to start paying for maintenance again for the year as they feel their gardens look ok for the time being. But what does this mean for gardeners and maintenance contractors?

Well, it makes it more difficult to get a garden under control to begin with. Typically March would be a time for a real gutting out of borders, under shrubs and hedges, clearing up all leaves lying around and edging/scraping/sweeping all the unwanted debris that gathers, cultivating and hoeing. The clear-up would move on to April where lawn treatments form a large part of the work. Moss treatment and scarifying take a couple of weeks between visits and are ideally carried out in dry conditions but with a wet forecast to water things after the vigorous process that involves raking moss out of lawns.

Where clients postpone the commencement of gardening work this sets off a delay that can last months in some cases. Weather conditions might not be suitable for certain work and getting a late start to lawn preparation will make getitng perfect results more difficult.

For this reason I prefer to take management of grounds and gardens where a client is happy to allow me to choose when and how to carry out the work that best suits their garden's needs. An annual garden care agreement won't work out any more expensive than pay-per-visit, it allows payments to be spread out over 12 months of the year rather than 9 and gives me the flexibility to make visits as I see a need for them. This invariably results in a nicer-looking garden for 12 months a year, rather than a mad rush in spring after 4 months of looking out at a messy area covered in leaves.

So those new businesses that start up might find things difficult if they only stick to what some clients feel is the 'gardening season'. Those that can adapt, offer extra value and take control of gardens are the ones who I feel will make a greater success of their businesses.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

PRO Supplier

A recent school grounds seminar held at Charterhouse in Surrey has been hailed a huge success by all who attended.

The event attracted over 50 delegates from all levels as several topical issues were explored and discussed. Supported by…

Read more…

Open forum activity

David Benson replied to Gary's discussion Industry never ceases to amaze me
"its amazing i wounder if its ajustable for differant size balls"
3 hours ago
Glen Stillman replied to Gary's discussion Industry never ceases to amaze me
"That's amazing, do they do one for cubes?
4 hours ago
John Culpin replied to Ben Gooding's discussion Pressure washing detergents
"This recipe is reccomended on the Paving Expert website. I know the guy (Roger) who first posted the recipe - he runs a very susccessful pressure washing company.
I have used it on a brown/buff Indian sandstone as well as some block paving with it -…"
5 hours ago
Connor Galbraith and Mike Baker joined Landscape Juice Network
5 hours ago
Gary posted a discussion
6 hours ago
Paul Doyle replied to James Macleod's discussion pa1 / pa6 exam
"and well done!!!
6 hours ago
Paul Doyle replied to James Macleod's discussion pa1 / pa6 exam
"your not alone!!!"
6 hours ago
Fleur Voice posted a blog post
“Gardening programmes tend to be very ‘traditional’ white middle-class in their attitude towards gardening”, Julia Sargeant said in an interview after she won gold at Chelsea Flower Show in 2016. She was the first black gardener to design a Chelse…
7 hours ago
Steven Mills replied to Peter sellers's discussion budget scarifier
"I picked up an Einhell at the back end of last year and have been pleased with it."
7 hours ago
Gary replied to James Macleod's discussion pa1 / pa6 exam
"Well done. It's been a pretty challenging day out there today...
9 hours ago
Jon Davidson replied to James Macleod's discussion pa1 / pa6 exam
"Passed my PA6 exam today in far from ideal weather conditions, but onwards and upwards and looking forward to using the knowledge come better weather!"
10 hours ago
Liam Wetherall replied to Joe McWilliams's discussion weed kill
"Hi joe, 
chemical weed control is always  my last solution but many unwelcome weeds find their way into drives and the cracks between paving.
most weed killers work best when the application of the herbicide occurs during several days of dry weather…"
13 hours ago
Glen Stillman replied to Peter sellers's discussion budget scarifier
"+ 1 for the einhell. I had an older model than this but was very pleased with it for the money. Had it for three years I think before it died a death, but I was using for far more than it was designed for. I thought it did a really good job, and the…"
15 hours ago
Richard Farley replied to Peter sellers's discussion budget scarifier
"Hi I bought one of these Einhell machines about 4 years ago it does a decent job on my lawn a a few others I use it on every year.I m more than happy with it and for what it its great.
Regards Charlie"
15 hours ago
Fusion Media posted a blog post
Weed-free soil with just one applicationUNIQUE residual turf herbicide, Valdor® Flex, is now available from Agrovista Amenity.Valdor Flex was introduced to the UK turf and amenity market last year and has been widely praised for providing excellent…
16 hours ago
Adrian Noble posted a discussion
We are getting emails every day which proclaim to come for our website provider "1&1 Ionos", but are in fact a scam.If you are a 1&1 customer make sure you don't open any emails with this address :-
16 hours ago