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13 Fall & Winter Landscaping Services to Keep a Steady Income All Year

September 22, 2023 9 min. read
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What do landscapers do in the winter? Offering fall and winter lawn care services, holiday light installation, and other seasonal work can keep your landscaping business profitable from late fall to early spring.

We’ve listed 13 fall and winter lawn care tips and landscaping ideas to help you generate income in cold weather—and to gain year-round customers who stay when the snow melts.

You can also watch this episode of our Ask A Business Mentor Series to get advice from green industry experts:

1. Yard cleanup services

By the end of summer, organic matter and debris like leaves, weeds, and trash, and rotting fruit can make a real mess of client lawns. Left unattended, they can lead to fungi, mold, or unwanted pests. 

Yard cleanup is a popular and easy to add-on service. The best time to offer it is late summer to mid fall (although really you could offer it year-round, for example, after storms or if a client has left their yard unattended for a long time). 

Try offering a fall cleanup towards the end of your seasonal lawn mowing contract. Most homeowners want to enjoy the last days of summer instead of working on their lawn, and will be grateful to keep their grass looking fresher, longer.

 A typical fall yard clean service will include:

  • Leaf and debris removal
  • Lawn mowing
  • Garden bed cleanup
  • Pruning and trimming trees or bushes on the property
  • Weed control
  • Tidying any other outdoor areas (e.g., sweeping decks and patios)

Pro Tip: Give your customers flexibility by offering your fall landscaping services as optional line items on estimates. This lets customers select the services that best fit their needs.

With quotes made in Jobber, customers can see their quote automatically update with the line items they want before they approve. The best part? Clients can accept with no back-and-forth revisions required.

Lawn Care Service Quote with Fall Cleanup Optional Line Item, created in Jobber
Example of quote with optional line items, made with Jobber.

2. Winter lawn prep

Your customers have invested top dollar to keep their property in tip-top shape throughout the summer months. Don’t let that investment go to waste during the winter. 

Winter lawn prep and maintenance ensures your clients’ lawns can withstand damage caused by harsh weather and are more likely to bounce back in the spring.

Offer a comprehensive winter lawn prep package that includes:

  • Draining all sprinklers and hoses to avoid freezing
  • Aerating the soil by dethatching the lawn
  • Pruning trees and shrub and wrapping plants in burlap
  • Removing all leaves, weeds, and debris from the lawn
  • Removing dead grass, leaves, and plants from flower beds
  • Keeping the lawn dry to prevent snow mold build-up
  • Removing and storing all patio furniture
  • Once February rolls around and the ground begins to thaw, offer debris removal and fertilizing to make lawn mowing easier in the spring and summer.

Don’t forget to price this new service for profit. For pricing formulas and benchmarks, read how to price lawn care services.

3. Leaf removal contracts

Most people associate raking leaves with the fall. In reality, leaf removal is often needed well into the winter months to keep lawns healthy and prevent snow mold.

Best of all, clearing fallen leaves off the grass often requires multiple visits, as some trees can take months to lose all of their foliage. A lawn care contract that includes leaf removal can help you secure steady work and income.

Reach out to customers with large or multiple trees on their properties. Faced with a bigger job, these customers are often willing to pay for recurring leaf removal services.

4. Winter weed removal

While weed removal is a classic summer lawn care service, some types of weeds, such as chickweed, henbit, and shepherd’s purse, actually thrive in the cold and begin their germination and growth in the late fall and early winter. 

Stand out from the competition by offering weed removal specifically for these fall and winter irritants. Taking preventative measures will help stop the spread of weeds, and make your job that much easier once spring rolls back around.

With all the right tools already in your arsenal, starting a weed removal service can be a great addition to your lawn care business during any season.

5. Snow removal

Many lawn care service providers transition their business in the winter months by offering snow removal services.

While snow plowing may seem like a natural fit, starting a snow removal business can require a substantial investment in snow plows, salters, and snow plow insurance. (Not to mention the added wear-and-tear on your work trucks.)

If you’re not ready to front the added costs needed to plow parking lots, you could offer residential snow removal services to your existing lawn mowing clients. Use a shovel or snow blower to plow sidewalks and driveways until you’re ready to invest more.

READ MORE: How to Run a Successful Snow Removal Business

There is no slow season for us. In the summer we do landscaping and prepare for the winter. In the winter, those roles reverse.

6.  Christmas light installs and takedowns

Homeowners are always looking for that gorgeous light display, without the hassle. Starting a holiday lights installation business can provide a couple months of winter work for landscapers during the slow cold weather months.

Kirk Brown, Owner of Kirk’s Lawn Care, saw Christmas lights installation as an opportunity to extend his business and bring in extra income over the holiday season. Dynamic Celebration Lighting offers all-inclusive holiday lighting installation, maintenance, takedown, and storage.

Using a professional website as the base for his winter business, Kirk attracts both commercial and residential clients with a high-quality photo gallery, and a simple quote request form.

A landscaping website page with information about Christmas lights installation services

While installing holiday lights can be extremely profitable for professional landscapers or lawn care service providers, keep in mind it’s a short holiday season.

Most customers want their lights up no later than December 1st and taken down no later than January 31st. Make the most of your limited time by selling more with optional line items and detailed quotes like this one:

A Christmas holiday lighting installation quote with optional line items, made in Jobber
Example of a detailed holiday lighting quote, made with Jobber.

7. Winter mulching

Winter mulching should be on your landscaping services list as yet another way to generate winter income for landscapers. Mulch acts as a layer of insulation to keep the ground frozen and plants in dormancy, especially throughout brief, warm-temperature spikes.

For best results, offer mulching once the ground has hardened, or after the first hard frost, to protect perennial plants from cold weather damage. Winter mulching can also block weeds and pests from penetrating the surface of your soil.

8. Gutter cleaning

Waiting too long to clean out leaves and other debris from your gutters can have costly impacts, resulting in roof leaks or structural damage to your property.

With no major investment in landscaping tools or equipment required (all you need is a sturdy ladder), gutter cleaning can be a winning addition to your lawn care services repertoire.

I do gutter cleaning. Definitely not the most glamorous job, but it gets me through January. We only do it for around 4-6 weeks a year.

Robbie Lynn Premier Lawns

9. Plant trees and shrubs

Cooler temperatures make labor-intensive jobs such as planting young trees and shrubs much more comfortable. As long as the ground isn’t frozen, winter is a good time to plant trees or shrubs for your customers.

While the typical range for plant installations is between $1,330 and $5,646, some professional landscapers will charge anywhere from $300 to $10,800. That means a few, large-scale planting gigs could get you through the slow winter season.

10. Pressure washing

Early spring and fall are good times to offer pressure washing services. Offer to pressure wash pergolas, fences, patios, decks, planters, and driveways, to clear off any grime or dirt that may have built up over the summer or winter months.

Depending on the scope and surface area, the average pressure washing prices range from $56 to $827. And since pressure washers are fairly affordable (starting around $150), adding pressure washing to your service list is a small investment with big rewards.

11. Remarket to your client list

If your fall landscape schedule still isn’t full, take advantage of this slower time to build relationships and start filling in next year’s calendar. 

Past customers already know and trust your services, but they’re busy people too. If you don’t stay connected, they might not even realize what services you offer that they can book.

First, use your CRM (customer relationship management) software to analyze and segment your client list—are there clients whom you haven’t serviced in a while? Clients who you have a great relationship with and who you think could benefit from a few new offerings?

Next, send an email to either announce a new service, offer a seasonal promotion, or find out if they’d like to lock in any big landscaping projects before your summer schedule starts to fill up.

Not sure where to start? We’ve put together some free email templates for reconnecting with old clients

12. Generate new leads

Once your current leads are exhausted, it’s time to start marketing to new clients

Robbie Ackley, Owner-Operator of Ackley’s Property Services LLC, uses slower periods to practice lead outreach.

“We work to grow our business by sending out letters to commercial accounts about being put on their list of bidders.”

A few other ways to boost your marketing during a slow season include:

Pro Tip: Book new leads without lifting a finger. Jobber’s online booking feature enables users to receive leads directly from your landscaping website, your business Facebook profile, and Google Search.

13. Work on your business, not in it

Finally, if adding new exterior services isn’t on your roadmap this year, don’t sweat it. There’s lots you can do during the winter months to work on your business instead of in it. 

As an entrepreneur, you’ll find that there is no slow season—just a different kind of growth season. 

So what else do landscapers do during the winter? Here are some productive ways to prepare your business for serious growth in the New Year:

  • Assess your business spending: Take a good look at your overhead and material costs. Now could be a good time to negotiate with your suppliers to squeeze out a higher profit margin.
  • Put new systems in place: Is your CRM working for you? How about your invoicing software? Get up to date on the best apps for lawn care businesses to keep your business running smoothly.
  • Clean and maintain your tools: Landscaping tools aren’t cheap—so treat them right. Use quiet days to take stock of your inventory and do any necessary repairs. 
  • Hire and train the best lawn care professionals: Spend your off-season hiring lawn care employees and training them for the spring season.
  • Listen to your customers: When it comes to winter landscaping services, get creative and observe what your customers need most. Your next high-margin service could be something you haven’t even thought of.

READ MORE: Landscaper Job Description: How to Write Your Own [+ Free Template]

Winter doesn’t need to be a dark time for your business. 

If you’ve had a stellar summer season and contracts lined up for when the snow melts, experiment with one of the ideas above, or just take a well-deserved break. 

Entrepreneurship is tough, but the freedom to spend time on what matters to you is so worth it.

Want to go even deeper on this topic? Listen to our Masters of Home Service Podcast episode: How Navigate the Off-Season with Confidence.

Originally published in February, 2021. Last updated on September 22, 2023.

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