Despite a winter and spring of freak weather conditions, not to mention the effects of the pandemic, Carluke-based ground maintenance and weed control specialist business Complete Weed Control is undergoing an unprecedented business blossoming.

In a growth rate matched only by the weeds it suppresses, the leading Scottish company has posted its best results ever, up from £1 million last year to £1.2 million to the end of last month (May 2021), with £1.5 million forecast for the coming year.

It has also boosted its head count by more than 25% to a full-time total of 22, and introduced a recruitment strategy which focuses on finding the right personnel and upskilling them in alignment with the company’s future aims to make them a long-term part of the family-oriented business.

This has created a workforce which is committed to the success of Complete Weed Control and which is steadily enhancing its reputation with its expanding portfolio of clients, among whom it numbers many local authorities as well as private companies.

Keith Gallacher, director of Complete Weed Control Scotland, said: “In the middle of last year it was difficult to predict if we would break even, or even stay in business. The fact that we have not only survived but thrived is entirely attributable to the team we have been able to build up.

“In all my years in business, I never thought I could be so proud of a workforce which is not only competent and dedicated, but is always willing to go the extra mile.”

Keith said that the prolonged cold spell, driven by bitter northerly winds, has seen one of the coldest Aprils on record. And with continuing frosts, hail and snow hitting the growing season last month (May), operations have necessarily been affected. 

He said: “The weather has been ridiculous. Grass cutting schedules have been ripped up because there is so little growth, and there is hardly any foliage on the trees and bushes alongside highways.

“Traffic management has to be booked well in advance for highway-adjacent grass cutting and if these slots are missed the grass verges and dividers will have to be allowed to grow uncontrolled until the scheduled second cut can be fitted in.

“As every landscaper knows, however, the weeds are growing apace despite the conditions, and operations involving our fleet of seven Weed-IT machines, which control weed growth on footpaths and hard surface urban areas, are under way as planned.”

Keith pointed out that the weather is affecting agriculture as well, with silage preparation delayed and barley crops set back. Even abroad, French wine growers are having to heat their crops with controlled fires to protect against night frosts.

He said: “There is nothing we can do about it but adapt. Last spring was glorious, and nature has a way of balancing things out, but even so it is disconcerting to see hailstones the size of marbles in May.

“Everything now needs sunshine and heat, in which circumstances and growth will accelerate. Grasses will be desperate to catch up and begin to flower. I just hope it is not going to be one of these years where it remains mild, dull and wet until the end of the growing season.”