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View Full Version : Man do i have it made!


Turfcutters Plus
10-20-2006, 05:03 PM
I'm a solo operator who mulches leaves weekly til they are gone.All smaller properties.Then a final clean-up if needed in the end.All debris is left at properties.I haul nothing!!!!In other words,i'm always caught up.Oh yea!I've got it made.Excuse me i'm off to play my drums and guitar!:cool2:

nobagger
10-20-2006, 05:05 PM
ok.....:confused: have fun Ringo:laugh:

lawnwizards
10-20-2006, 06:34 PM
I'm a solo operator who mulches leaves weekly til they are gone.All smaller properties.Then a final clean-up if needed in the end.All debris is left at properties.I haul nothing!!!!In other words,i'm always caught up.Oh yea!I've got it made.Excuse me i'm off to play my drums and guitar!:cool2:do you charge extra to constantly mulch the leaves? if not, youre leaving leaf cleanup money on the table.

MJB
10-20-2006, 09:28 PM
I mulch em up too. I hate leaf cleanups don't care how much money is left on the table. Time to play.

Envy Lawn Service
10-20-2006, 09:59 PM
I do the same thing.

You can get by with this for your existing customer base.
But I don't think it is realistic for those offering "leaf services"

BUCKEYE MOWING
10-20-2006, 11:39 PM
I agree..I mulch what I can and charge extra to clean out beds and haul away ...I pretty much try to take care of my regular customers and make extra $$$ on the ones who only call for leaf clean ups....and even then I mulch them if at all possible

dcondon
10-20-2006, 11:43 PM
You would have mulch 6 inches deep in this area if you tried doing that. We will for a while and then it's time to suck them up. Lots of hard wood here.

BUCKEYE MOWING
10-20-2006, 11:46 PM
LOL..thank god for urban sprawl in this area ...trees but no real heavy woods to deal with . I only have one property that gets heavy leaves ....and I am lucky to get to suck them up and dump in the woods.

tacoma200
10-21-2006, 12:16 AM
Question? I was just wondering, mulching leaves would make the soil more acidic. Then you will eventually need lime to balance the PH. I am not educated much in this area but this is what comes to mind.

I do the same thing, I usually side discharge in wooded lots going counter clockwise and blowing them into the forest. A portion of them are mulched pretty good though. I live in the middle of a wooded lot and have tons of leaves and so do a few customers of mine. I'm sure most of you couldn't get by with this method but I live out in the country. Any way after a couple of years of this you notice the growth of moss which is a sign of acidic soil if I understand correctly (no expert here). Your thoughts? Remember I'm speaking from a novices point of view on this.

topsites
10-21-2006, 12:21 AM
Question? I was just wondering, mulching leaves would make the soil more acidic. Then you will eventually need lime to balance the PH. I am not educated much in this area but this is what comes to mind.

I do the same thing, I usually side discharge in wooded lots going counter clockwise and blowing them into the forest. A portion of them are mulched pretty good though. I live in the middle of a wooded lot and have tons of leaves and so do a few customers of mine. I'm sure most of you couldn't get by with this method but I live out in the country. Any way after a couple of years of this you notice the growth of moss which is a sign of acidic soil if I understand correctly (no expert here). Your thoughts? Remember I'm speaking from a novices point of view on this.

No, you are correct, it is not good for the turf to always mulch leaves, thou a light cover doesn't affect ph much, by light I mean there are a few leaves and you can still see plenty of grass in between.

Then, it gets to a point the stuff is several inches deep... You can't just mulch all that, for one it makes a big mess and dust gets into everything, but now the effect on the ph will hurt or kill the lawn over time.

As for me, I like my 10hp push blower, fixing to change the oil in it tomorrow.
I still get it all the time:
Customer: Are you sure you're going to be ok with the leaf cleanup?
Me: Oh yeah, no problem, 2-4 hours max.
Customer: You want to use my machine?
Me: No thanks, I have a pushblower.
Customer: Seriously, you're more than welcome to!
Me: nah it'll be alrite (while I'm thinking I can't wait, they're thinking I'm either done or crazy lol).
Then the big day arrives.
As predicted, 2-4 hours later I am done.
Customer: Wow that machine gets the job DONE don't it?
Me: heheh, yeah...

LawnMower
10-21-2006, 12:23 AM
I dont mulch leafs. I mow over them and blow them. Then in another month I charge a lot more to get rid of them. I have it made.:cool2:

Envy Lawn Service
10-21-2006, 12:27 AM
Question? I was just wondering, mulching leaves would make the soil more acidic. Then you will eventually need lime to balance the PH. I am not educated much in this area but this is what comes to mind.

I do the same thing, I usually side discharge in wooded lots going counter clockwise and blowing them into the forest. A portion of them are mulched pretty good though. I live in the middle of a wooded lot and have tons of leaves and so do a few customers of mine. I'm sure most of you couldn't get by with this method but I live out in the country. Any way after a couple of years of this you notice the growth of moss which is a sign of acidic soil if I understand correctly (no expert here). Your thoughts? Remember I'm speaking from a novices point of view on this.

According to my running 8 year study....

The effect on soil pH is a MYTH.

I just laugh about it now, because I know all these guys are running around claiming this and then turning right around an applying synthetic fertilizers that have been PROVEN by many studies to effect soil pH.

The only change I have noticed from mulching huge amounts of leaves into the turf is a greatly increased level of naturally occuring nitrogen in the soil and some increasing organic content.

Most turf problems around trees are due to dense shade, lack of proper turf cultivar selection and lack of annual overseeding.

topsites
10-21-2006, 12:31 AM
Most turf problems around trees are due to dense shade, lack of proper turf cultivar selection and lack of annual overseeding.

Not to entirely disagree, but my school calls for overseeding only every 3-4 years.
So perhaps it does have some effect on the lawn but either way you cut it, it's all the same in the end (one person pays more for overseeding, the other pays more for leaf cleanup).

The one thing that I've found extremely beneficial of late is what I call 'soil conditioner.'
Basically, it's 100-120 pounds of lime + 100-120 pounds of gypsum per 1/4 acre of turf.
So it's a mixture of calcium carbonate, and calcium sulfate.
It really helps a LOT, especially when fertilizer has been applied in the past.

So-Cal has some 0-0-0 product that works well also.

Envy Lawn Service
10-21-2006, 12:43 AM
Not to entirely disagree, but my school calls for overseeding only every 3-4 years.
So perhaps it does have some effect on the lawn but either way you cut it, it's all the same in the end (one person pays more for overseeding, the other pays more for leaf cleanup).

Regardless of what the school says, it's more effective out in the field to overseed at a lower rate every year, or at least every two.

What people don't seem to grasp about trees and turf is that they are competing plants and also some of them do not mix well. Like here, a person might have warm season grass and it may do well for several years. Then they start I start to see thinning they don't. Then extensive thinning they see. Then bare spot development... and an overall area of weak turf that seems to be growing.

WELL DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Most warm season grasses do not tolerate shade well, but will live there under trees a while. But DUH AGAIN!!!! The trees are growing, the roots are spreading, the mast is getting larger, thicker and taller, and DUH AGAIN!!!! It's producing a larger area of shade and the shade is getting denser...

Denser... I made up a new word.
Pretty much sums up those that do not grasp this... LOL

burns60
10-21-2006, 01:07 AM
Regardless of what the school says, it's more effective out in the field to overseed at a lower rate every year, or at least every two.

What people don't seem to grasp about trees and turf is that they are competing plants and also some of them do not mix well. Like here, a person might have warm season grass and it may do well for several years. Then they start I start to see thinning they don't. Then extensive thinning they see. Then bare spot development... and an overall area of weak turf that seems to be growing.

WELL DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Most warm season grasses do not tolerate shade well, but will live there under trees a while. But DUH AGAIN!!!! The trees are growing, the roots are spreading, the mast is getting larger, thicker and taller, and DUH AGAIN!!!! It's producing a larger area of shade and the shade is getting denser...

Denser... I made up a new word.
Pretty much sums up those that do not grasp this... LOL
I think we had this same conversation last year about the effects of too much mulching. I was afraid that I was noticing a "thinning" around some oak trees that I had been mulching for 3 years running. I sure liked your reasoning the best since I could keep on mulching and just blame the thinning grass on the fact that the trees were getting bigger and with more and bigger roots. I'm still not convinced that these acid filled leaves aren't the culprits or at least partly to blame.

I also like your new word "denser." It could be the root word of "densiticity", and I may use both of them in explaining to my customer why the grass is thinning under her oak.

Turfcutters Plus
10-21-2006, 01:24 AM
do you charge extra to constantly mulch the leaves? if not, youre leaving leaf cleanup money on the table.
I charge more if there's more time involved,yes.

indy2tall
10-21-2006, 10:04 AM
There have been a number of studies by major university agricultural departments, Purdue and Penn State come to mind, that have shown there is no adverse effect on lawns due to mulching even large amounts of leaves on a yearly basis.

I mulch all yard leaves in the fall no matter how deep they get. This year may be different only because this fall it has been soooooo F**king wet (in central Indiana) that the leaves may never get dry enough to mulch.

the undergraduate
10-22-2006, 12:17 AM
Oak leaves tend to cause pH problems... other trees are fine as far as I know. But, then again, it's harder to mulch oak leaves in the first place.

Big Bad Bob
10-22-2006, 12:43 AM
I'm a solo operator who mulches leaves weekly til they are gone.All smaller properties.Then a final clean-up if needed in the end.All debris is left at properties.I haul nothing!!!!In other words,i'm always caught up.Oh yea!I've got it made.Excuse me i'm off to play my drums and guitar!:cool2:


what do you do during the period when the maples and sycamores (dinner plate size leaves) drop 8 inches of leaves on the lawn overnight? and then there are the oak and walnut leaves which should not be mulched in large quantity.
besides, at $85.00 per hour per man, I don't mind doing leaves. I have a $10.00 per hour flunky who does all the heavy lifting. It's still a dirty job but money is money and it is usually a long winter without snow removal.

Envy Lawn Service
10-22-2006, 01:06 AM
what do you do during the period when the maples and sycamores (dinner plate size leaves) drop 8 inches of leaves on the lawn overnight? and then there are the oak and walnut leaves which should not be mulched in large quantity.
besides, at $85.00 per hour per man, I don't mind doing leaves. I have a $10.00 per hour flunky who does all the heavy lifting. It's still a dirty job but money is money and it is usually a long winter without snow removal.

I had properties last year with BOTH those big leaf types. I had one that had 4 massive mature sycamores, one large maple and one walnut all on 1/2 acre. With the deck set to 5" I'd hit the lawn plowing leaves. They would build up to the point of rolling over the top and on my feet. I'd have to stop, back out and then come back to cut the piles down with blowers and the air out the chute.

After a pass or two, I'd blow the roof off and blow out the gutters. Then actually blow out from around everything and finish up. You couldn't even blow out for these accounts with a handheld blower. The BG85 handheld was the only one that would move them but not with any amazing productivity.

As I came each week and did it, man the grass got green and I mean GREEN by the end. Never seen one have such response. Heck I ended up having to go back on that lawn and mow it on into the winter after all the leaves were gone.



Even if you wanted to bag a lawn like that, you'd have to run over it with gators a time or two first, otherwise you'd probably just clog up.

Big Bad Bob
10-22-2006, 02:27 AM
I had properties last year with BOTH those big leaf types. I had one that had 4 massive mature sycamores, one large maple and one walnut all on 1/2 acre. With the deck set to 5" I'd hit the lawn plowing leaves. They would build up to the point of rolling over the top and on my feet. I'd have to stop, back out and then come back to cut the piles down with blowers and the air out the chute.

After a pass or two, I'd blow the roof off and blow out the gutters. Then actually blow out from around everything and finish up. You couldn't even blow out for these accounts with a handheld blower. The BG85 handheld was the only one that would move them but not with any amazing productivity.

As I came each week and did it, man the grass got green and I mean GREEN by the end. Never seen one have such response. Heck I ended up having to go back on that lawn and mow it on into the winter after all the leaves were gone.



Even if you wanted to bag a lawn like that, you'd have to run over it with gators a time or two first, otherwise you'd probably just clog up.


I bag them like that all the time. I use a Cub tractor for that. anywhere the loader tube won't reach.

Big Bad Bob
10-22-2006, 02:35 AM
There have been a number of studies by major university agricultural departments, Purdue and Penn State come to mind, that have shown there is no adverse effect on lawns due to mulching even large amounts of leaves on a yearly basis.

I mulch all yard leaves in the fall no matter how deep they get. This year may be different only because this fall it has been soooooo F**king wet (in central Indiana) that the leaves may never get dry enough to mulch.



that's the one geographic defining factor. it is usually pretty rainy around her in sept oct and nov.

naturescape
10-22-2006, 10:31 AM
It doesn't matter WHAT type of leaves they are. Any amount can be mulched and it's only beneficial for the lawn. I've been mulching leaves ONLY, since 1987. My properties only improve.

Now, if I have leaves a few inches thick on your properties, I may blow the excess mulch into flower beds, etc. For example, if I take a new account that has not been kept up with. Then in Spring you can blow out the beds and mulch all over again with a spring clean-up.

By mulching leaves in fall, I simply charge the regular weekly price, and make another pass or two over the lawn instead of edging/trimming. It keeps me working all through leaf season, is very easy to keep up with, improves every property, and customers are amazed by the mulching.

I had a new potential customer the other day ask me, "I just don't see how you can say you'll mulch the leaves and the lawn still looks great. Could you mulch these?" (Points to a moderately leaf scattered lawn) I said, sure, I'll give you a little demo if you want. I did a small section, two passes, and she said "I just don't BELIEVE it! That's amazing! You're hired next year! (She has an existing lawn service.)

But if you guys want to blow off everything, go ahead and waste your time! Just makes my service look that much better.

Groomer
10-22-2006, 12:25 PM
I've said it before, I'll say it again, we mulch till we can't. I have properties where the leaves HAVE to be removed, at a certain point.

Big Bad Bob
10-22-2006, 03:32 PM
I've said it before, I'll say it again, we mulch till we can't. I have properties where the leaves HAVE to be removed, at a certain point.


ditto. even mulching, the leaves act like thatch after they get so thick.