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scarr133
04-23-2005, 04:33 PM
One of the neighborhoods that I maintain want me to give them a bid for watering flowers. There will be about 50 flats of annuals that I will be planting and I am estimating on needing to water about 2-3 times per week, especially during the hot summer months. I currently do not have a sprayer or water tank, but found one I can buy for my gator for around $200. So, what would you guys charge for the watering service? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Runner
04-23-2005, 05:01 PM
Well, you figure about a half hours time, each visit. You have windshield time, so you are looking at 40 bucks easily, anyway. X3, brings it to $120. Explain it to them like this, if they go for it, you go get some soaker hose, or poke holes in some regular hose, buy yoursel a self timer from Home Cheapo for about 20-30 bucks, and you have y0ourself a pretty good little income, there. You come and check on it twice per week or so, to make sure the hose is situated right, and you're outta there. I would say go for it.

I just put 2 and 2 together after re-reading your post...you don't have water readily available. How far out is water availability? Even if you invest in a length of hose, it may not be too bad. As far as transporting the water there, is this absolutely what you'd have to do?

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-23-2005, 05:38 PM
I would invest in a plastic/poly storage tank that mounts in the bed of your truck. Mount a pump, reel of hose, about a hundred or so feet and then go from there. Get your start up cost to get it going, work out your time and water costs. If you can fill up for free somewhere all the better. Then start selling the service.

NO offence to Ground Control but for what you described, the homeowner would be better served with an irrigation system.

rodfather
04-23-2005, 05:48 PM
Do a search on this topic...I remember it being brought up a few years ago or so with many good replies.

A+ Lawncare
04-23-2005, 05:49 PM
if people like this are willing to pay for services like this, why would they not put an irrigation system in, over time its less hassles..... plus the $2k your gonna charge them to water for the season , i'm not knocking you at all.....thats a great service to be into, i've entertained the thought myself but am just wondering why a person like this would just not go out and pay for an irrigation installer to install a system in their yard

scarr133
04-23-2005, 10:35 PM
The watering wouldn't be for a residential yard or a homeowner. It would be for a neighborhood, in the common areas where I will be planting the flowers. There are numerous beds throughout the neighborhood that will have flowers in them, and that will need watered. I mow 11.5 acres in this neighborhood, and it would be way too expensive for the neighborhood to put in a sprinkler system, although it would be nice. So, as I stated in my original post, my startup cost would really only be the $200 for the tank to put in the bed of my gator, and I can fill up somewhere for free. Any other suggestions on the price of watering the 50 flats of flowers throughout the season would be great. Thanks for all the previous replies.

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-24-2005, 12:21 AM
I'll stick with my suggestions lol. Just do a "dry" run litteraly on how long it would take to water all the beds. The towns here water all their hanging baskets (and they are big) on the light poles. They run a tank on trailer with pump though. I've never timed them but for each planter they take aprox a minute and half to two minutes before mowing on to the next. The planter size would be 2-3ft diameter.

Billz
04-24-2005, 03:55 AM
I did this last season for some condos I work at. They have 12 buildings, each with 2 condos in them. Each condo had 2 big pots full of flowers that needed to be watered. When I watered them I noticed that it took me 2 hours to give them a good soaking, or 1 hour if they just needed a little water, but I had to basically check them every day. They really needed to be watered every day in August, and into the first of september, and the bill was way beyond what they had budgeted. The flowers looked great all year, and I was complimented on them daily, but really paying for me to come for 1-2 hours daily got to be alot of money. They didn't have me do them again this year. it was a real commitment, I literally had to be there before dawn to be ready to mow by 8:00. I would not have done it again had they called.

greywynd
04-24-2005, 08:54 AM
Ok, I'm wondering out loud here, but, maybe you could find someone that has a water truck or wash truck that you could sub it out to? I'm thinking that using your gator, you'd need to refill the tank.....which, even if the water's free, would take time, because your most likely to have to use a garden hose to refill....I can see this doubling the time very easily.
I often have to haul water during dry times (we have a poor well and have to water our horses). Currently I have a steel 200 gallon tank I put in the back of my 1 ton dually, but, I know of a 500 gallon fuel tank that's available. I'm going to skid mount it so I can easily take it on/off of one of my tandems. When I build the skid, I'll make it big enough/long enough that I can mount a pump on it, and use the pump for filling or unloading. With the changes here for insurance and the like, a lot of the farm fuel tanks are becoming available, and they can be steam cleaned for a fairly decent price. They won't last forever, mind you, but if you can get a few years out of it to 'try out' your new service why not?
If it works out, you could always consider getting a poly tank permanantly mounted on a dedicated trailer. (If you go this route, make sure to get a tank with baffles, as you will likely end up moving around with a partial tank of water, it helps with the sloshing. Also make sure you don't skimp on brakes, some of the trailers I see only have brakes on one axle, I'd definitely have brakes both axles with a water tank, as you'll likely be trying to maximize the load on the trailer with the right size of tank.)

Oldtimer
04-24-2005, 09:58 AM
Use one of the cross linked polymers for hydration and you can water once a week.

Just search for "cross linked polymers for landscaping".

Here is an example: http://www.digahole.com/stamoist.htm

Oldtimer

scarr133
04-24-2005, 12:25 PM
BILLZ, what were you charging for watering at the condo's? I did a dry run and it will take around 1.5-2 hours each time. Thanks.

A+ Lawncare
04-24-2005, 12:53 PM
is this a good time to follow the $1 per min thumb rule? if so, then just figure $90-120 a visit....

bill them a bill for the season @ $6,000-8,500....

$90 X 3= $270 X month (4weeks)= $1,080 X 6 months (April-September) = $5,940= $6k

OR $120X 3= $360 X month (4weeks)= $1,440 X 6 months (April-September) = $8,640= $8,500 ( maybe round down and give them a free water visit, if they pay cash up front b4 the seasonal of visits start)


$120

Jeff@SGLC.ca
04-24-2005, 01:37 PM
I feel it is one of those services that if u charge to much there is no chance in getting it. You'll have to come up with the minimum u would ever want to get and go with it. Figure out if the minimum meets your standards and still gets you enough money in pocket.

With the towns that water the flowers around here, the employees are hourly salary and regardless of what they are doing still need to be doing something.