MARION – The brown, dry grass earlier this summer also meant less green in the pockets of lawn care businesses.
Though rain has been plentiful in late August and September, June and July were two of the driest months Southern Illinois has seen in some time. And though their prospects have improved in recent weeks, lawn care businesses have been greatly affected by the dry weather.
Jarrod Greer is assistant manager at Scott Lawn Services in Marion, which specializes in fertilization, pest control and turf management. He said his company has had to be a little pragmatic because their products are watered by rain, which they could not depend on this summer.
"What we did differently was we used an insecticide that killed out insects that killed the moisture in the grass," Greer said.
Grassworks in Marion has faced issues with the drought as well.
"It has definitely been slower, but adverse weather will be beneficial later as people need shrubs removed and their lawns repaired," owner Doug Corzine said. Grassworks offers full landscape design and installation, weekly mowing services, fire pits, fountains, mulching, shaping, aeration, seeding, snow removal and patios.
Corzine said while the lack of rain is unfortunate for people, it could be good for business in the long run.
"Lawns will need to be repaired or replaced," Corzine said. He went on to say that lawn care is "totally dependent on the weather" and that he tried to approach the downtime with that frame of mind.
Zach Hutchinson Lawn and Tree Service in Marion did see a decline in their lawn business this summer, but their tree service did quite well.
"I lost out on about seven weeks of yards due to the drought," Hutchinson said.
This was 80 to 90 percent less business than he had in the past years, he said.
However, he said this did give him more time to dedicate to tree service.
"It gave us a lot of time to focus on tree work and catch up," Hutchinson said.
His lawn care business has improved with the recent rains.
"Things have really picked up the last three weeks, we are mowing just like before the drought," he said.
Moss Lawn Care had similar experiences this summer.
"The lack of rain put us down, we did not lose customers," owner Cole Moss said. "They just did not need us to mow."
Moss said business in June and July was "nonexistent. It is going to turn out to be one of the best Augusts, but one of the worst years."
Moss said that due to it being slower this summer his business, took jobs his company would not have done in the past.