Landscaping is a year-round job, but with fall and winter on the way, your clients will be asking about things like leaf cleanup, perennial bed maintenance and fall planting. The thing is, not all clients are aware of just how much work it takes to keep their landscape beautiful throughout the cooler months and healthy come springtime. That means the last days of summer and the early weeks of fall are a wonderful opportunity to educate customers and offer new services that will bring new customers into the fold.
Promote Healthy Landscape Care. To many people, autumn means falling leaves and lots of raking. While that is part of fall landscape care, there are many more things that need to be done as well. Prepare a fact sheet or advise your clients about all the other late summer jobs, such as:
- Removal of dead branches
- Trimming and pruning of trees and shrubs
- Perennial bed cleanup
- Tilling and re-mulching
- Grass fertilization
- Lawn aeration
For many of these things—like grass fertilization—the common wisdom among homeowners is that it should only be done in the spring and early summer. Let your clients in on the truth: Grass fertilization, lawn aeration, pruning and all the rest will promote healthy growth though the fall months, which will result in a revitalized landscape in the spring. Your clients will see the difference once everything starts to grow again, and they'll be quicker to call you back for more.
What to Do with All Those Leaves? In the past, people raked and bagged leaves, tilled them into garden beds or mulched them into the lawn. These days, people are looking for greener, more sustainable alternatives. That's where you come in: Offer to set up a compost bin.
While homeowners love the idea of composting, many are still intimidated by the process. When you start talking about microbes, nitrogen levels and other things, it starts to sound more like a science project and less like a green way to get rid of leaves and garden waste. Make it simple for your clients by explaining which additives—like bone meal or other nitrogen supplements—will hasten the decomposition process. You could also provide a guide that shows how to layer leaves and other organic materials, how often the compost should be turned and any other tips that will get your customers started.
Offer Deals on Gazebos, Patios and Other Landscape Features. What better way to spend the autumn than watching the leaves fall from a quaint gazebo or shady pergola? Late summer and early fall is a great time to find end-of-season deals on outdoor architecture, and these discounts translate into attractive savings for your clients. Plus, when it's time for more landscaping work to be done, your clients will remember who installed their beautiful new gazebo, and they'll give you a call.
Fall is also a great time to talk to clients about installing new patios, establishing new perennial and shrub plantings or creating a wonderful new water feature. Manufacturers often offer late-season discounts on many of the supplies necessary for these jobs. Promote new landscape features that are enjoyable in the fall and will be fresh and ready to go for spring.
As the hot weather fades away, clients will be asking what they can do to get ready for falling leaves and blowing snow. This is your opportunity to make an impression with new services while making sure your clients’ landscapes will be beautiful throughout the winter months. Put your best foot forward, and you'll draw in all kinds of new business!
About the Author: Jeff Caldwell is Brand Manager of Litchfield Landscape Elements in Carrollton, GA. The company designs and creates custom outdoor shelters, including steel gazebos and pergolas, to solve your outdoor shade needs. They work with landscapers and architects worldwide.