Lawn Companies See Decrease in Business During Hot Summer

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COLUMBIA - Lawns and fields are brown and patchy in mid-Missouri after a hot summer with little moisture. As a result, many local lawn companies are experiencing the effect as there aren't as many lawns to mow. 

Grizzly Bear Lawn Care Owner Casey Henage said the heat has been hard on his business. Henage said he had to tell seasonal employees the business did not need them because there wasn't enough work.

"You got to budget. It's all part of owning a business. You got to do what you have to," Henage said.

Employees at the company have only been working fours short days a week. Henage said if it weren't for the commercial properties the company mowed, the drought would have hit the company even harder.

"They have the irrigation systems to keep things looking green. They can turn on the water. But individual household services have just plummeted," Henage said.

The households account for about 40% of the company's business. But even through the hard summer, Henage has hope fall business will pick up at full speed again.

"People will want help cleaning up dead landscapes and to seed their properties again. Hopefully by September, when the nights get longer and cooler, things will pick up again," Henage said.

However, Henage said the mild winter allowed the company to have a better March as grass and landscapes bloomed early. Employees at the company have also answered many calls from commercial properties to come fix landscapes.

"We find that the commercial properties are using their budgeted funds for summer time mowing  to fix other landscape on their property," Henage said.

Columbia Parks and Rec have also experienced trouble from a hot summer. Many parks do not have irrigation systems and it has been hard to keep things green.

"It's hard to maintain the parks. We water early to try to keep things looking as good as possible and keep our guys safe from the heat," Columbia Parks and Rec manager Gabe Huffington said.

The department said it hasn't had to mow as much at its parks. It has also tried using Missouri-native plants in the parks to cut down on maintenance costs in the heat.

Huffington said he hopes September will bring cooler weather to get the city and people's lawns looking green again.