Landscapers cope with new executive order restricting work

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– With warmer temperatures on the way, landscaping companies all over Michigan were planning to bring in more business this spring. That has come to a halt because of the pandemic.

Instead of normal spring cleanup projects, Brian Bertsch of Land Visions Lawn and Landscape says his company is waiting things out as the state stays closed.

“We’re getting ready to put down that first applicator of fertilizer, which is a crabgrass breed-emergent, getting our spring cleanups done, getting our landscape projects started,” he says. “So it was a, it hit home then.”

Tom Flood of Fantastic Lawns in Holt says most of his workers don’t come in contact with each other or with customers on the job, but he understands the reason behind the governor’s order. His company is fixing what they can in the meantime to be ready for business at the earliest opportunity.

“We’re all kind of dealing with it the best we can, we’re working on equipment and trying to stay up as best we can and stay safe really. That’s what this is all about, is staying safe.”

“Strictly mowing lawns should be considered essential as it is necessary for controlling pest populations,” says Jesi Honeycutt of Lansing. “Mosquito and tick populations are already on the rise due to a warm winter and both of those are known carriers of (non COVID-19) diseases. Keeping grass short in urban areas is a matter of public health. Mow crews (especially solo operations) already rely on social distancing because our machines can harm a bystander. We can easily operate without coming into contact with another person by simply ruling out face-to-face payment.”

While both companies have lost revenue, Bertsch says he’s been able to keep most of his employees through it all. And he wants people waiting on lawn maintenance to stay patient when they’re open for business again.

“We’re about six weeks behind and we’re gonna do everything we can to catch up. We’re gonna go seven days a week. We’re probably gonna do two shifts to keep the distancing part of the new norm.”

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