Each season brings its own set of lawn and landscaping needs—and challenges—and summer is no different. While we often think of summer as a time of relaxation—perhaps a chance to spend time at the pool or beach—for the lawn or landscape, summer can be a time of multiple threats.
From scorching temperatures in parts of the country to drought-stricken days, summer isn’t always the easiest season—even for the lawn or landscaping pro. There are also summertime pests and diseases to have on your radar and an increased need to educate clients on what they can expect. The last thing that you want is to take the blame for a problem that is out of your control.
Here are a few tips to help get you started.
Talk to your Clients about Drought
As a landscape professional, you have no control over Mother Nature. But clients often forget just how much the weather can impact their lawn or landscaping results even if they’ve hired a pro. The last thing that you want is for clients to be frustrated with you or think you made a mistake when it’s really the weather that’s the issue.
This is why it’s important to keep clients in-the-know when drought is on the horizon. This can set you up as a helpful resource while also helping inform your clients as to how to protect their landscape during periods of drought.
Talk to them about increasing their watering during these dry periods. It can also help to educate clients on the fact that drought-stricken lawns and landscapes, which are already under a tremendous amount of stress, can be more prone to disease and pest problems.
Summer Lawn Disease Threats
Summertime also presents new opportunities for disease to creep in. Lawn diseases are most commonly caused by fungi. There are different kinds of fungus that can attack the lawn—some being more damaging than others.
Some of the diseases we hear about most frequently include Red Thread, Brown Patch, Pythium Blight, and Dollar Spot—but depending where in the country you’re located, the diseases you see could differ.
This is another important topic to discuss with your clients as it can help set you up as a resource. Educate them on what they might see within their lawn or landscape and let them know when it’s time to give you a call if there’s a problem. During periods of high humidity, lawns are most susceptible to this threat.
As if periods of drought and lawn diseases are enough of a summertime threat, there are also pests that are more active in the summer. Bagworms, Scale, Spider Mites, Whiteflies, Armyworms, and Grubs are all common summer pests—though there are many more. As with anything, certain areas of the country are more prone to particular pests than others.
Again, education should be on your side when it comes to maintaining client relationships. There are certain pest problems that simply can’t be prevented—so it will be best to ensure your client is informed. Sometimes pest damage can mimic lawn problems. If a client’s grass is turning yellow or brown from pest damage, they might think you made a mistake. That’s why building a great relationship and frequently communicating with clients is key.
Keeping Clients Informed
At the end of the day, it really does boil down to keeping your clients well-informed. The more you communicate with them, the better. One way that successful landscaping companies achieve this is through regular newsletters, posts on social media, and website blogs. Many companies are also integrating customer portal software into their website to help their clients feel even more connected to them.
The more effort that you put into keeping clients in-the-know, the better off both of you will be. It can help prevent misunderstandings and keep your clients happy even as temperatures heat up and their lawn and landscape face some stress. They’ll know that they have you on their side.