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How to Drought-Proof Your Business
| November 29, 2012

Now is the time to remedy damage done by extreme weather.

We’re halfway into hurricane season, and government forecasters have announced revised predictions – more major storms than normal are likely.

Simultaneously, more than 60 percent of the country is experiencing a drought, the worst in 56 years.

You can argue whether the cause is global warming, manmade or otherwise, but you can’t argue with the impact such extreme weather is having on landscaping professionals.

In many areas, mowing operations have come to a standstill because of drought. Water restrictions are curtailing how and what landscapers are planting. And in some states, such as Texas and Louisiana, landscapers report that brown lawns and dying trees and shrubs have discouraged homeowners from typical expenditures on their property.

With the fall season approaching, there are several opportunities to offer remediation and new installation services that can help your clients weather the months ahead and establish more easily sustainable landscapes.

Old idea, new twists
As a child growing up in the countryside of East Tennessee, I was fascinated with cisterns that many homes relied on for water. Rainwater captured from rooftops was fed to the cisterns where it could be stored and reused. As public water systems became the norm, these simple systems were abandoned. But you still see them, and variations on the them, around the world.

In many areas, mowing operations have come to a standstill.

You can learn how this old idea is new again around the United States in “Rainwater Harvesting,” page 19. Systems range from rain barrels placed beneath downspouts to storm-water management systems using sophisticated engineering.

By providing such water-saving tools to clients, you can add to your bottom line.

Other opportunities this fall include offering drought-proofing by planting low-water-use plants or hydrozoning, according to new recommendations by experts at the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).

Fall is also a good time for irrigation-system installations with the latest smart controllers, new rotors and drip systems that save water and money. Auditing and fine-tuning existing systems should also be on your checklist.

Consider adding or promoting aeration services, which can help turf grow deeper and soil to absorb more moisture.

PLANET experts recommend overseeding lawns with drought-tolerant turf species in the coming weeks, as well.

These are all great marketing opportunities, and as always, you can turn to TLC for the best ideas on how to make them profitable.

 

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