When many area cities elevated to Stage 4 water restrictions in November outside watering was banned. That cut the winter work load of landscapers even more and forced many, like Richard Long, to find additional ways to help make ends meet.
Spreading compost in a client's raised garden beds is how Richard Long spent his morning. Although he's busy now he says work this winter is slower than normal thanks to Stage 4 drought restrictions prohibiting outside watering in Wichita Falls. So he's had to dig for additional ways to make money.
"Last week I moved somebody. I've moved people before to supplement my income," Long says.
Long says he also put up and took down Christmas lights to generate extra winter income.
"We really are in a bad stage right now and it doesn't look like it's gonna get any better anytime soon," Long says.
That's why long says many in the industry, as well as clients, are turning to "xeriscaping", a landscaping method that utilizes drought resistant plants.
"It's actually better for this type of... you know, we're in a drought stricken town and county and it's just something people should look at," Long explains.
Long says he xeriscaped a client's yard about two weeks ago and says he knows of many other landscaping companies that are helping clients make the switch and that is helping to keep this long-term drought from causing more work to dry up.
Long says he and many other lawn care businesses do get paid through the winter from year round contracts with some clients. Still, he says the Stage 4 water restrictions have slowed work more than in the past which could mean just like with the trees and lawns, there could be some thinning out of landscape businesses this spring and summer.
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