How do I make it through the winter landscaping & lawn care season?
Wintertime is usually the slow season for those in the lawn care maintenance and landscaping business. However, winter landscaping can offer a world of opportunities to help homeowners prepare for the upcoming season. Wintertime is perfect for renovating the landscape and getting ready for the upcoming growing season. Here are some ways to use winter landscaping to keep the business moving until spring.
Tips for keeping your service business busy during the winter landscaping season.
Rejuvenate client lawns
Winter is time to rejuvenate lawns that have brown spots, thin patches, and are ready for some new seeds. Reseeding during the winter months has several advantages. During this time, there is plenty of water available to germinate the new seedlings. You can easily see any brown spots or spots that are thinning from the previous season. Make certain to cover your seeds carefully to protect them from hungry birds until they emerge in about 3 to 4 weeks.
Crab Grass and Weed Removal
Crabgrass and weed removal is a winter landscaping task that Arborgold recommends to help clients get ahead of spring germination. Crabgrass and other weeds are ready to sprout as soon as the temperature begins to warm up. In most clients, the right time to spray pre-emergent weed killer is the last week in February. If you wait much longer, the seedlings will have already begun to emerge. Prevention during the winter months is the best way to stay ahead of unwanted weeds and crabgrass.
Clean Out Flowerbeds
Removing fallen leaves and old blooms from flowerbeds in winter can help prevent fungus and molds from spreading. If you want to move plants, such as perennials, winter is a good time to do this. Moving them after buds began to emerge can stunt their growth for the following season and prevent blooms.
Plant Trees and Shrubs
Many trees, shrubs, and perennials are best planted or moved when they are dormant. By doing this during winter you can often take advantage of some of the best pricing of the year. Planting trees and shrubs at this time of year assure that they will be off to a good start as soon as the first rays of spring light begin to thaw the earth. However, make certain that you use plenty of mulch to protect them from the winter chill.
One of the winter landscaping tasks that can help keep your business blooming is winter pruning. Roses and fruit trees are best pruned when they are dormant. These must be pruned before they start to break bud in the spring. It is also a great time to cut back overgrown bushes and other non-fruiting trees before they began to grow again in spring. Professional pruning includes removing any crossing branches and thinning the branches so that they do not become too heavy with fruit during the summer and break.
Clean Fixtures and Ponds
If you want to keep your concrete fixtures and ponds looking good, winter care is important. Frost heave can do considerable damage to walkways and patios. Shifts in temperature can cause concrete and brick to heave and settle in a way that is uneven and difficult to walk on in the spring. The changes in temperature can also cause cracking. Keeping these areas free of water and debris will help to reduce the damage caused by winter freeze and chill cycles. Emptying sprinklers and taking care of watering systems is another task that needs to be attended to before the first freeze. Arborgold finds that offering winter landscaping services can help prevent the winter freeze from settling into your business.
Plant for the Winter Landscape
Planting for the winter landscape means placing an emphasis on evergreens and shape. Giving bushes and trees one last shaping before cooler weather can peak interest when they are covered in snow. Some good examples of plants that add interest in any season include:
Developing the winter landscape begins in summer. Planning to have an attractive yard that adds interest all year long can allow your clients to enjoy the changing seasons and make the most of them. When performing summer landscape tasks for your clients, you should always advise them to consider plants that will look good all year round.
Some plants such as snowdrops, helleborus, and winter jasmine are hardy and can add a touch of spring even as the last winter’s snow covers the ground. Planting early spring flowers can help brighten a long winter and get your client thinking about spring. Plants that have colorful berries are also an excellent choice for the winter landscape.
Winter is also a great time to tend to soil fertility by applying any additives that are needed or by adding grass clippings and vegetable trimmings to a compost pile. Winter is the perfect time to redesign a landscape that has become tired or that needs a lift.
Winter Landscaping Education Is Key
The key to maintaining a thriving business throughout the winter is educating clients about the different tasks that need to be done throughout the year. Many people think of landscaping as something that only involves the spring and summer seasons. Offering winter services and keeping clients informed about tasks that are needed to maintain is important for providing business all year round.
Preparation for a thriving winter landscaping business and preparing clientele begins now. Preparing them and making suggestions to help keep their landscaping looking beautiful throughout the year takes planning and promotion year-round. Just as you begin to think about these cold winter months, you need to get your clients thinking alongside yours. There are many landscaping and lawn maintenance tasks that are best done during colder months. Winter landscaping tasks will help keep your client’s yards looking their best and providing you with year-round income opportunities.
Arborgold can help automate winter landscaping opportunity notifications
Build an annual landscaping plan for your clients now (it’s not too later for winter). Sign up for Arborgold and learn about using its features to boost winter revenues.