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View Full Version : $675.00 to overseed Zoisia?


Armadillolawncare
11-07-2007, 10:40 AM
I have never overseeded a property this large. Does this seem reasonable. The purpose of the overseeding is to have a green yard during the winter months.

I measured the turf areas at 33,000 +/- sq. ft
I am applying seed using a slit seeder at a rate of 10# per 1000
I will also spread starter fert

I am charging 360.00 for 300 lbs of perennial rye seed.
Starter fert will be 40.00
Slit seeder rental 75.00
5 hrs labor 200.00
Total $675.00

I will mow the turf as low as I can. Then begin slit seeding in two directions followed by an application of starter fert. I will then irrigate daily, once in the AM and once in the PM as local regulations allow.
In the past I have always just broadcast my seed over low cut bermuda and then repeated the broadcast in two to three weeks in areas that looked thin to get a full looking yard. I do not know about broadcasting over the Zoisia and since this is a high end model home for a builder I want it to come in full on first try which is why I am using the slit seeder. Comments would be welcome.

baddboygeorge
11-07-2007, 09:50 PM
thats a 1200 - 1400 dollar job ! Dont cheat yourself ! see ya George

loom-gen
11-07-2007, 10:01 PM
You are rediculously cheep. I would charge my own mother more than that. labor alone for 5 hours is 300. You have to water? two times a day? Don't charge your cost for seed and starter if you have to go get it. I charge 27 - 30 for every 1,000 ft2. I would add the rental to that. $1065.00 is my bid. $966.00 if they are eating out of a dumpster.

Armadillolawncare
11-09-2007, 12:24 AM
Thanks for the help guys. Based on your comments I have adjusted my price up a good bit.

baddboygeorge
11-09-2007, 10:26 AM
thanks what were here for have fun George

DuallyVette
11-09-2007, 09:27 PM
thats a 1200 - 1400 dollar job ! Dont cheat yourself ! see ya George


At least 1200 to 1400

tjsquickcuts
11-09-2007, 09:55 PM
You are going to lose that bid going any higher then $700 for seasonal rye grass. Thats less then a acre, and I cant see charging anymore then $200 per 1/4 acre for seasonal rye grass. Good luck!

DuallyVette
11-09-2007, 10:15 PM
You are going to lose that bid going any higher then $700 for seasonal rye grass. Thats less then a acre, and I cant see charging anymore then $200 per 1/4 acre for seasonal rye grass. Good luck!


Correct me if i'm wrong. Around here, planting rye grass is a punishable offense since it is so juicy and fast growing that it requires double cutting and blowing each week. People use to seed annual rye on their fescue here until they learned that fescue stays green enough months and that annual rye stifles the fescue.

When we planted RYE grass, it didn't seem to need dethatching for soil contact. That junk would come up in sidewalk cracks.

This guy said that he was going to dethatch and seed 33,000 sq ft. Anytime I dethatched anything, I had a dump truck full of thatch to rake up. For a 5 hour PIA job like that, I'd need $600 plus $ 150 for fertilizer and double whatever seed costs plus dup fee for the thatch.

tjsquickcuts
11-09-2007, 10:34 PM
Rye reminds me of Bermuda, it will grow anywhere.

Armadillolawncare
11-12-2007, 06:51 PM
Just to give you an update. I raised the price to $850.00 and got the go ahead to get started. Thanks again for the help.

DuallyVette
11-12-2007, 06:53 PM
Let us know how the job turns out...time wise, and profit wise.

Armadillolawncare
11-14-2007, 01:05 AM
I will post my costs and time spent when complete.

Stillwater
11-14-2007, 02:46 AM
I have never overseeded a property this large. Does this seem reasonable. The purpose of the overseeding is to have a green yard during the winter months.

I measured the turf areas at 33,000 +/- sq. ft
I am applying seed using a slit seeder at a rate of 10# per 1000
I will also spread starter fert

I am charging 360.00 for 300 lbs of perennial rye seed.
Starter fert will be 40.00
Slit seeder rental 75.00
5 hrs labor 200.00
Total $675.00

I will mow the turf as low as I can. Then begin slit seeding in two directions followed by an application of starter fert. I will then irrigate daily, once in the AM and once in the PM as local regulations allow.
In the past I have always just broadcast my seed over low cut bermuda and then repeated the broadcast in two to three weeks in areas that looked thin to get a full looking yard. I do not know about broadcasting over the Zoisia and since this is a high end model home for a builder I want it to come in full on first try which is why I am using the slit seeder. Comments would be welcome.

you are to detailed with the billing, your labor rate should be kept out, your giveing the seed away you should be chargeing 2.25 per pound of seed.

My bill based on your info came to around 1,300

you should be chargeing 2.25 a pound of seed and 225.00 for the seeder and 65 for the fert, labor rate is ok on low side but respectable.....new construction you should apply Dylox as well for 75.00

I never line item labor on my invoices

Armadillolawncare
11-15-2007, 06:52 PM
My customer got a bid listing out the work to be done and a total price for the entire job. I did not itemize my bid for the customer. I am itemizing for the forum knowing that the more detail I give you guys the more accurate your help will be.
Today I picked up 300 lbs of seed and 150 lbs of starter fert. The cost for these items was $358.00 which includes tax.
I am scheduling the work for Monday and will rent the seeder for 65.00 for the day. The make or brake is going to be labor. If I can get the seed down in 10 labor hours or less I will be where I want to be as far as profit goes.

Armadillolawncare
11-15-2007, 06:54 PM
Eshskis
Can you tell me about Dylox? What does it do and why should I be applying it? I am always eager to learn and apply.

Stillwater
11-15-2007, 10:48 PM
I mentioned Dylox as a up-sell for your job. Sometimes in new construction or renovation where loam is brought in or where the existing turf area is damaged or of poor quality their could be a population of white grub or other insect. Dylox is one of the fastest acting control of surface-feeding and soil insects, white grubs, mole crickets, sod webworms and cutworms and more.

How do you like the stihl ms310?

Tadams
11-15-2007, 11:05 PM
I have never put rye out on Zoysia- only bermuda. Zoysia is usually too thick for soil contact with the seed. Has anybody else in the south had rye to come up in the Zoysia?

Armadillolawncare
11-15-2007, 11:37 PM
Tadams
I am using a slit seeder for the very reason you mention, I was afraid that Zoysia was to thick to just broadcast the seed. The slit seeder will actually plant the seed in the dirt.
As far as the MS310 chainsaw goes I like it a lot. It is big enough for me to do complete tree removals with and still small enough to still use for just limb cutting. My only complaint is that every once in a while it takes a bit to start. Overall though I would buy another one.

TurfProSTL
11-15-2007, 11:40 PM
I have never put rye out on Zoysia- only bermuda. Zoysia is usually too thick for soil contact with the seed. Has anybody else in the south had rye to come up in the Zoysia?I was going to ask that question, too.

I experimented overseeding my zoysia front lawn several years ago. The results were much less than desired.

TurfProSTL
11-15-2007, 11:44 PM
Tadams
I am using a slit seeder for the very reason you mention, I was afraid that Zoysia was to thick to just broadcast the seed. The slit seeder will actually plant the seed in the dirt.I guess you will need to really scalp the zoysia down almost to the dirt. Otherwise, the thick zoysia shades the seed too much for good germination (that was my experience here in the transition zone, anyway).

If the zoysia stand is good and thick, why not use turf paint if all you're after is winter color?

Armadillolawncare
11-16-2007, 01:44 AM
I will be there tomorrow for my regularely scheduled mow and I will be taking it down low. As far as turf paint goes I was not asked to bid that service. My customer asked for overseeding so that is what I am providing. I doubt they would have considered the turf paint anyway. This is a model home in a new subdivision that is sellinghomes in the $700,000 and up range. Down south here in Texas where the average priced home is $150,000 this is a definate luxury home.

TurfProSTL
11-16-2007, 11:22 AM
Good luck.....

Armadillolawncare
11-19-2007, 09:57 PM
OK you guys were good enough to help me out so here are the results of my job as you requested.
300 lbs Perennial Rye Seed - $285.00
100 lbs Starter Fert 18-24-12 - $29.00
Bluebird S22 seeder rental - 62.00
14 hours labor at @ 10.00 per hour - $140.00
Total expenses - $516.00
Bid amount - $850.00
Difference - $334.00

Well this was a learning experience for me. If I bid this again I would bid higher, probably closer to the 1000-1200 range as advised by you guys. Some of the things I learned is that this could very easily be a one-person job. It seemed that one person spent a lot of time standing around watching the other run the seeder. Spreading the fert does not take long and there was not much thatch that required raking and bagging. So the second person spent a lot of time standing around. We also had a lot of difficulty in some areas because the turf was so wet we were trying to push the seeder thru mud, up hills etc. I think that if we had been working on dry or just damp turf we would have shaved a good 2 hours off our time on site, which equates to 4 labor hours. Because of the muddy areas and the hills having a second person available to alternate running the seeder was nice. If I did more of these size jobs (30,000 + feet) I would defiantly consider a second seeder. Overall the budget buster for me was the wet conditions causing the job to take a lot longer then anticipated.
Overall though I am happy. I learned how to better price this type of work without losing my shirt. I just didn't make a smuch as I would have like to.
Thank you to all who offered advice. If you have any comments feel free.

DuallyVette
11-19-2007, 09:57 PM
Let us know how it turner out !!!

Armadillolawncare
11-20-2007, 12:55 AM
Dually
Did you see my post above yours? Or are you asking about how well the grass comes in?

Southern Signature
11-20-2007, 01:03 AM
$850.00 sounds about right. Hope all goes well...

Stillwater
11-20-2007, 01:12 AM
did ya, get ah check.... hu? did ya,?

dave k
11-20-2007, 05:32 PM
What kind of Zoysia? I wouldn't do it myself, especially if its Emerald, way to thick, if you do it take some pics and post them.

DuallyVette
11-20-2007, 07:48 PM
Dually
Did you see my post above yours? Or are you asking about how well the grass comes in?

We posted at the same time. You answered my question.

Armadillolawncare
11-20-2007, 09:05 PM
I'll post some pics when I get them. I am not sure what type of Zoysia as I do not know the differences yet. Tell me what characteristics to look for and I'll check.

dave k
11-21-2007, 05:49 PM
Emerald has very fine blades similar to Bermuda but extremely thick and tight and it feels a bit stiff, not soft like Bermuda. I have it in my yard.

Armadillolawncare
11-21-2007, 10:36 PM
It is probably Emerald then. It is very thick which is why I chose to slit seed it instead of just broadcasting the seed like I do on Bermuda. I am a little nervous about how well the rye will come up since I have never tried slit seeding before.

Armadillolawncare
02-02-2008, 05:50 PM
I appreciate all the help you guys gave me on this job. You all asked for pics to see how it turned out so here they are. I am still working to improve the appearance by getting thin spots to fill in but overall I am very happy with the appearance.

Armadillolawncare
02-02-2008, 05:54 PM
A few more

DuallyVette
02-03-2008, 11:59 PM
Looks pretty good for February !!

Armadillolawncare
02-04-2008, 03:05 AM
Thanks DuallyVette

Sunstate Lawn
02-04-2008, 01:00 PM
Wow. That looks pretty good. Down here zoysia isn't used as much. Usually only on golf courses. Does anyone know why? I prefer the look of zoysia over st augustine (which is the norm here).

Armadillolawncare
02-04-2008, 11:08 PM
I know zoisia is a good bit more expensive. My cost for a pallet of St Augusitne or Bermuda is 95.00 vs Zoisia which is 150.00. That cost difference alone will discourage a lot of people from getting Zoisia. I agree though I like it a lot. Thanks for the compliments on the overseed job.

lawnpro724
02-05-2008, 01:17 PM
Oh bye the way, what seeder did you use? Did you core aerate before seeding?

Armadillolawncare
02-05-2008, 09:38 PM
I did not core aerate first, it is a brand new lawn. I rented a bluebird 522 from Home Depot and put down 8 lbs of rye per 1000. I did it in two passes at 4 lbs each. I also put down starter fert and have followed up with additional fert about every 5 weeks. Thanks for the compliments.

lawnpro724
02-06-2008, 11:17 AM
I did not core aerate first, it is a brand new lawn. I rented a bluebird 522 from Home Depot and put down 8 lbs of rye per 1000. I did it in two passes at 4 lbs each. I also put down starter fert and have followed up with additional fert about every 5 weeks. Thanks for the compliments.

522 bluebird seeder? I think you mean S22 seeder. How did the seeder work for you? Did you have any problems with it or did it work ok for you? I just bought a new bluebird S22 seeder to replace my older seeder, looking forward to seeing how the new model works. The older model worked pretty good and we've had good results using it so I decided to get the newer model this year.

Armadillolawncare
02-06-2008, 04:29 PM
It worked fine. My complaints were the small wheels really didn't do well in the wet areas. I would like to see bigger wheels. The seed also had a tendance to move to one side of the hopper on slopes and we often didn't notice because the see thru top was to cloudy. A bigger hopper would also be nice.

PaproskiLandscaping
02-09-2008, 04:08 PM
Armadillo:
The IPM guys would not like to see blanket applications of dylox, without checking for the presence of pests first and determining if they exceed the threshold. Furthermore... now I am in CT and I know that the seasons for pests are different down there but I am not aware of any pests that would be in season right now. (grubs should be well into the soil at this point in their life cycle and an application would not reach them) I did not see any "red flags" in the picture that would have made me think that you have an insect problem. Also dylox is not typically used as a preventative pest control. Usually you use merit. Around here we usually put it down in June. Not to get on too much of a soap box, but applying dylox right now would be wasteful and downright irresponsible. There is no reason to expose yourself to the risks of using the strong chemical to make an extra 50 bucks. Also the over use of dylox (and other pesticides) has been shown to cause insects to develop a resistance to it. When are they going to make this stuff restricted?

Also why did you put it down at 8lbs per thousand? I never spread straight rye always a blend, but everything I have read points to putting down a KB, rye, fescue mix between 1.5 and 4 lbs per thousand. I have always put it down at no more than 4 lbs per thousand and have always had good results. 8lbs seems excessive to me...