Lawn Care and Landscape Professionals Speak Out

lawnwizards: “I’m close. Got rained out Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Also, there is chance of rain every day this week. My yards are gonna be 2 feet high by the time I get them done. Anyone else feeling my pain?”

LGL: “Sorry to hear that, bud. Think your region has been getting the gist of the storms lately. By the time it could get to us here in north Florida, it’s gone, but our everyday storms are coming very soon.”

Puddle of Oil: “Oh yeah, same thing here! I have one lawn where it’s almost a lake. It just won’t stop raining.”

Frue: “So how are you guys handling this? This also goes into billing issues. What is there going to be for a bill for April? Do you cut and just make mud marks or what?”

Puddle of Oil: “That is a really good question. I’m probably gonna get screamed at like I did last year. This is a 2-acre lawn and I cut it with a 52-inch stand-on. So, it takes me one hour to just cut it under normal conditions. Last year, this same thing happened. It rained for two weeks before I could cut it. I needed help, so I had another buddy use my 48-inch Lesco walk-behind, and together it took us eight hours to get the lawn under control. Needless to say, the customer was not happy with the price, so we settled for $200.

“Most of the lawns I have now are not that bad. We need one good clear day and I can cut it, but not this one.”

CLARK LAWN: “How did 2 acres take two people eight hours?

“We are totally soaked here also. I have some yards that are under water right now. Only got one day of mowing in last week, and this week ain’t looking much better.

“To the guy that said he mows rain or shine, I’ll bet your lawns look real good right now.”

Puddle of Oil: “Under-equip- ped. Very tall, thick grass that none of my two mowers can handle.”

93Chevy: “We cut rain or shine … can’t get behind schedule.”

Mahoney3223: “Explain how you mow in a thunderstorm?”

93Chevy: “We don’t, but we cut in rain.”

Mahoney3223: “So you’re telling me you will mow with your walk-behind in the pouring rain?”

93Chevy: “So long as there’s no lightning.

“Additionally, I sold about 90 percent of my business and got a crew leader position at a large landscape/excavation company. My crew mows generally one HOA each day with a few small commercials on the way or way back. I’d rather work in the rain than work Saturday if I can help it. As long as we’re literally not tearing up lawn areas, we cut. Just gotta be careful and go slow.”

Mahoney3223: “We will work if it’s a sprinkle or light rain, but not a steady rain, and I could care less about getting behind schedule. We double-bill if it’s out of control, it’s written in my contract. I’m not repairing 100 lawns because I was antsy to go do something.”

ARIENSNUT: “I wish, we have had around 1 inch since December. I’m about to go broke!”

williams lcm: “Some guys don’t mow in the rain; some do. When it is heavy rain for me, no, but nothing worse than getting behind. Or, having to listen to a customer call and ask when you will be over to cut. It can stress you out. When you do catch up, the grass is twice as long and will take longer to cut and trim, etc. This year, I am carrying a rain suit in my truck. When it rains, I just cut, trim and go; no blow or edge.”

SouthSide Cutter: “Have got everything mowed the last three weeks. This next week, really don’t know yet. Have some that cannot be cut, just too wet this week. Some were on the edge last week, and we got maybe 4 inches since cutting. No way they can be cut this week and not tear up the yard. Had everything looking good for Easter, and I think most understand. And, it’s still raining and gonna rain until Thursday they say.”

Mahoney3223: “Yeah, we’ve gotten three days of work in in the last two weeks. Weather is just terrible, but that’s Ohio. We’ll be in a burnout drought in three months like always. Right now, everything is just too wet.”

Frue: “So, how do you handle the lack of billable income? If you wait for them to dry, you could be waiting three weeks. I don’t know of any customer that will let you bill three weeks of mowing in one week. We are making a few mud marks, but trying to keep them down so they are at least manageable. It looks as though there will be no let up this week either, but hey, it’s weather that can change in the blink of an eye.

“I am also no dummy. I remember back in ’01 when we parked our trailer in June and did not pick it up until September. So, I try never to complain about the rain.”

JayD: “Rained out here in Indy. I am getting a very bad feeling about all this rain. This is how last year started out and then we had a three-month drought. Hmmm, I hope I’m wrong.”

JasonsLawnCare1: “It rain- ed me out Wednesday and Thursday this week. I just worked longer on Friday to make up for it. Finished by last yard in the dark with the lights on.”

LilRabbit: “Only two weeks into clean ups and rain four days this coming week. Last Wednesday, 8 inches of wet heavy snow (just melted, but everything is very wet). Getting so far behind it is frustrating.”

nobagger: “Yesterday (Saturday) was the only sunny day we’ve had in weeks it seems. We have one major clean up left and about 15 regular residentials done in a week or so. We’ve blown through all our commercial clean ups; we managed to get roughly 10 or so done, but it’s been crappy every time. By that time, the grass will be 8 inches tall. Break out the rain suit, I guess.”

ohiogreenworks: “We have been doing very well getting things done on Saturdays the last few weeks. We are only behind a mulch job or two, but I think this week is going to be rough trying to stay on schedule. I have a feeling we are going to have a drought later this year and look back at all this rain and laugh.”

nobagger: “This weather pattern reminds me of the same pattern we had a few years ago. It rained just about every day in spring, and then every Wednesday through Saturday the rest of the season. And, on hell of a winter to follow. We average around 100 inches of snow and that year we had somewhere around 150 inches.”

gebby: “In Ohio, we are 5 inches above the yearly average. That statement was on the news earlier this week. By now, that number could be 8 inches. Only missed two last week due to cutting in between the rain drops. I consider myself lucky. There were a few places where I left tracks. Hate to do it that way, but it’s got to get cut or else.”

Groomer: “Southwest Ohio stands at 10-plus inches for April, wettest on record and not finished yet, looks to go over a foot-plus for the month. I’ve got standing water in many lawns, the ground is saturated to the extreme. The thunder is rumbling to the West again as I type this, and I should be out mowing. All this after last summer’s drought and heat. Ahh, the life of a lawnsman!”

R & R Yard Designs: “Done raining for about three hours then heavy rain all night. I need to get something done, but can’t, it’s too wet out. But, some guys are out making a mess out of everything. Have to plant tomorrow no matter what.”

XLS: “We have had 12 days all month across the state that has been clear and dry to get all of our lawns down. We got 2,000 lawns done last week in a two-day run that ended on Saturday morning at 4 a.m. We have had so much rain we have had more guys mowing with our string-trimmer setups than our mowers. For the year, we have been seeing tornadoes and high winds and rains that have us at a near standstill.

“If it’s a flood, we mow until our own body weight tears the grass or our body weight makes us sink in the lawns.

“One way or the other, we get done, but we also bill double if we get into the 10 to 14-day cycles, which happens when you go string-trimming 2-acre lawns.”

GrandMaster: “Yep, but you need to still mow them. The weather here is not hot and won’t hurt lawns. Also, make sure to really go easy and stance your tracks so you don’t make ruts, etc.”

Creative Cuts: “Haven’t mow- ed all week and only one day last week. Starting to get way behind.”

pressley10r: “You guys up north sound like you’ve had it rough here lately. It’s not really been anything out of the ordinary here in the South, rained a couple days last week, yelled at by a couple overly demanding customers, the usual springtime-type thing.”

Prestigelawncare: “Raining again in mid-Michigan, and not too many dry days in sight. It averages 2.74 inches here in April, and already at 4.1 inches and counting. With all the fertilizer down, if the sun does ever shine, I am going to have to break out and bail the grass it will be so high. I try to think of it like this: three months ago I was complaining about the snow and cold, and now it’s 50 and rain. In Michigan, I can’t mow snow, so I guess rain is not all that bad!”

“In Your Own Words” is contributed from the lawn care and landscape forum at www.lawnsite.com, which has been named one of 10 Great Media Sites by Media Business magazine and has been chosen as a winner of the Most Engaged Media Brands for 2010 by min, a firm that tracks the media industry. Visit them, and join in the discussions.