The uncertainty of the weather is one of landscapers’ biggest challenges no matter where they live. But when you are based in an area where the climate is frequently all over the board, it can be very difficult to plan ahead. Giuseppe Baldi, account manager for Baldi Gardens, Inc., in Arlington says the Texas climate is very challenging. In fact, at press time the weather had just gone from 80 degrees one day to 40 the next. And of course, Texas is known for its intensely hot summers that often come with periods of drought. As someone who likes to plan ahead, Baldi has had to learn to go with the flow some days.
Baldi says that in 2016, there really wasn’t a Texas winter as it never froze. While there were a few sporadic cold days, the company wound up being busy year-round. In fact, January and February came out as the busiest months of the entire year. So, for 2017, they had planned to kick off the year in high gear again — and it simply didn’t happen. There have been freezing temperatures and Baldi says they already feel “behind.” He says it can be frustrating to feel like you don’t know what’s coming.
“Summer is very challenging as well because it gets so hot that people aren’t even leaving their homes,” Baldi says. “And when they aren’t going outside, they aren’t thinking about landscaping projects that they want done. The unpredictability of the weather makes planning a challenge.”
But Baldi says they’ve begun to deal with it by “assuming the worst-case scenario.” They’re already assuming this summer could be very difficult, so they’ve decided to start more aggressive advertising efforts in April and in May. By investing more in marketing, they hope to be able to overcome the slow months.
“We are also talking about our backlog a lot these days,” Baldi continues. “Our maintenance work is pretty consistent, so it’s on our project side that we’re experiencing these peaks and valleys. We talk about what we can do in the spring to build a good solid backlog so that by July 1, we’ve already scheduled 8 weeks’ worth of work. If we can meet that goal, that will carry us through the summer.”
Looking ahead, Baldi says they have also talked about making more of an effort to review the weather forecasting research out there. Baldi says that reviewing the Farmer’s Almanac and just trying to keep better track of what they’ve personally experienced with weather over the years might help them make slightly more accurate predictions. But Baldi knows that even that effort is only a small part of the puzzle.
“At the end of the day, weather is just that big unknown — and even the researchers and forecasters don’t always get it right,” Baldi says. “Sometimes it just comes down to being flexible and being able to change our plans as the weather changes.”