UTAH DROUGHT

Lawn care businesses feel the effects of drought and water restrictions

Mar 28, 2022, 8:30 AM
utah xeriscaping...
FILE: A xeriscaped yard in the Avenues of Salt Lake City on May 30, 2005. Washington County residents could soon get an incentive to replace their grassy lawns with xeriscaping. Photo: Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — As springtime rolls around, home and property owners will likely be thinking about their lawns. But water levels are down again this year and water restrictions are possible in the future, which is affecting lawn care businesses.

” The areas where the water restrictions have been the most stringent have had some effect on business,” said Chris Barlow, owner of All Green Pest Control and Lawn Care. Some customers have reduced or stopped using lawn care services because of the water restrictions in some areas, he said.

Lawn care businesses

However, Barlow noticed something else.

“We’ve had other things like where [customers] use soil moisture manager applications,” he said. “[It] is a product that helps to extend the life of the water in the soil.”

Water molecules bond with the soil itself to help retain water longer in the soil. Barlow said more customers are turning to that instead than a reduction of service.

“A good, probably around 15% of customers have elected to add in the soil moisture manager services to help to improve their watering results in the Midsummer,” Barlow said.

Alternative methods

Depending on how long the drought lasts, using alternative methods to maintain lawns outside of watering them may be the new direction of lawn care. 

“Actually, we’ve offered the soil moisture manager services in the past. And have gotten a lot of business out of it,” Barlow said. “Whereas last year and this year we’re seeing a dramatic increase in requests for that, for sure.”

But even with everything that is going on with water restrictions and with legislation that was passed during the last session that directly addressed lawns and lawn care, Barlow said his business is still going.

“I don’t think it’s had a major negative effect on our business, at this point,” he said, referring to recent water and lawn care issues. Still, Barlow advises people to be water smart and to consider soil moisturizing products as an alternative.

“I think that’s something that, getting public awareness out helps people to understand that. And allows them to reduce their watering a little bit while still taking advantage of maintaining the moisture a little bit longer in the soil with those products,” he said.

 

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