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Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Anyone Have Any Garden Maintenance Advice?

As part of our business, we provide a regular garden care service to many clients around the Durban area. We care for our gardens on a regular basis - mainly on a weekly or 2 weekly cycle.

For years we have struggled with finding a solution to the complications to our schedule created by not being able to work in heavy rain. Fortunately this is not much of a problem in our dry winter, but summer is just around the corner, and soon we'll be having our usual summer rains.

Sunny Durban in winter

Missing a day because of rain isn't too big a deal especially for our weekly clients - the garden still looks reasonably good. But missing 2 services in a row for fortnightly clients results in a gap of nearly a month between services. With the growth that we experience in summer, you'd be lucky to find your way to the front door through your garden.

I would love to find a solution that would make our clients happy, but would also not require us having to constantly play catch-up.

Any ideas or advice?


Claire said...

Maybe you should nominate a day of the week during summer that is always free to re-schedule jobs that were rained out. Not sure how feasible this is with a heavy schedule?

Chookie said...

Tricky! Does it typically rain for a few days at a time, or for longer stretches? Could you split your labour force up and have one group looking after the fortnightly people and the other after the weeklies, with catch-up their own responsibility? And do you know how often you've had to postpone jobs in past summers? It might give you an idea of how to plan this year.

susan morrison (garden chick) said...

Unfortunately, I don't have any advice but I do commend you on considering the rain at all. My neighborhood HOA has a gardening service that takes care of all the front yards (although I won't let them in mine) and they garden, including mowing the lawns, rain or shine. Not surprisingly, most of the lawns in the neighborhood look pretty crummy.

stoneware70 said...

Thanks for the comments...

Clair - That's pretty much what we're doing at the moment, except the extra day is a Saturday. I've always tried to make sure that my staff get their weekends to themselves, so thats not really ideal. We are also probably too busy to keep 1 extra day during the week free.

Yes Chookie, it usually rains 2-3 days at a time, and strangely enough, the same areas often get rain on the same day of the week! I had been toying with the idea of having a separate team for garden clean-ups, so I suppose I could possibly use them to catch up too?
I wish I'd thought to make notes of the rain days in the past, but no I hadn't thought to do that...

Thanks Susan, yes many garden services seem to cut rain or shine. With our humidity in Durban, it really increases the chances of fungus and other diseases, so I try not to cut when its raining. Unfortunately some of my clients don't appreciate the need for this - they would rather take their chances, and have a trim lawn!

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