Nursery, lawn care businesses wilting during ongoing drought

WOOLMARKET, MS (WLOX) - If you're like most homeowners, your lawn and gardens are probably suffering under this long-lasting drought. This is usually a busy time of year for nurseries and lawn care companies. But many owners tell WLOX News, business has been slow.

Employees have to work extra hard these days to keep the plants lush and lively at Landscape Logistics in Woolmarket.  The nursery sells ornamental plants and trees to homeowners and contractors. After 18 years in business, it is definitely feeling the heat.

"This year, it's been extraordinarily bad," said owner Richard Drummond. "It's obviously a dry situation and that's going to affect things like landscaping in a very negative way."

Drummond said when it's too hot and dry outside, people aren't as motivated to work on their lawns and gardens.

"You're not outdoors as much," said Drummond. "There are a lot of reasons people would choose not to plant in a situation like this, verses say in a typical summer where we get the afternoon rain showers and that sort of thing to cool things off."

His sales have dropped more than 37 percent compared to last summer.

"We're having a pretty large sale right now that we were motivated to do primarily because of the drought," said Drummond.

There is one bright spot though. Drummond also does landscape design. And like many landscape businesses, he has noticed a bigger demand for irrigation systems.

"We're seeing more people come in to ask for sprinkler systems that already have landscaping and we're seeing more people that are considering landscaping, allocate some of their budget to irrigation," said Drummond.

It's a bit of relief for his business that's trying to a hang-on, just like the parched plants and wilted grass, during this ongoing dry spell.

Drummond said another device to consider for your lawn is a rain sensor.  During a rain fall or shortly after one, it prevents your automatic sprinkler from going off. He says it's an inexpensive product that can help conserve water during this drought.

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