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billybob358
04-24-2011, 08:34 AM
Hi Everyone,

A new customer of mine has requested that I do his garden maitenance along with all the other lawn services that I am providing for the season. I have never quoted on garden maitenance before and was wondering how the experienced companies do it. I was going to measure all the gardens then try to figure out how long it will take me to complete the task. I plan to prune shrubs, till the beds, edge the beds if needed and weed.

He also wants me to maintain his gardens over the saeson as well. What would you do on a monthly basis and what would you again charge for this service?

Thanks Guys

lukemelo216
04-24-2011, 10:15 AM
are you talking about garden maintenance (as in cucumbers, tomatos, etc) or flowre bed maintenance? It sounds like your talking flowerbed maintenance but calling it garden.

But anyways my flowerbed maintenance usually consists of this. Initially we spade edge all the beds with a shovel, no machine in the spring time. We will run a mantis or something through the bed to bust up the soil, etc. Then we apply snapshot to all the beds to minimize weed development. Then we will mulch all the flowerbeds 2" deep (usually with premium hardwood mulch.

Once the season really starts going, on a weekly basis we walk through all the beds and look for weeds (either pulling them out or spraying them with round up). As long as you snapshot them, and dont blow grass towards the bed and its somewhere in the range of 1500-3k of flower beds, you probably will only havel like 3 hours at most of weed control services in the year.

Then every month, we rake back the mulch from the edged, run our echo redefiner and touch them all up, and then rake the mulch back into the edges.

Most of our customers, we dont use gas trimmers unless its on something like boxwoods or a true hedge. We hand prune things. So that is ultimately dependant on whats in there. But after something flowers and the flowers die off, we will go throuhg and prune it all out. Formal shrubs (boxwoods hedges, etc) are usually trimmed 4x's yearly, sometimes 5x's. In the late spring usually and then again in the fall time we touch them up.

Finally usually in the summer, I have a mulch pro rake that attaches to my trimmer, we put that on, go through all the flowerbeds, reapply snapshot, and then breakup the mulch and fluff it up. Gives it a fresh look and then it also allows more air and water flow to the soil to provide more nutrients for the plants.

Basically the way I price it is, figure each time your there, whether its weekly, bi-weekly or what have you. Plan on being there for 1 hour. I learned it from Tommy Ganz, its called the snip snip method. Basically tell your employee or you do it yourself this. Your mom just landed for a suprise visit at the airport and she will be at your house in an hour. You need to go through and do anything you can do in an hour, then your done.

Now if you do this each time, the beds will always look good. We do things more frequently to make things look better and always manicured, and reduce our cleanup and overall man hours.

Dr.NewEarth
04-24-2011, 03:02 PM
Ya, lukemelo216 knows what he's talking about.

We don't use round-up or pesticides though. They have been banned in most cities around Vancouver...so, we have to calculate more time for weeding each week.

With experience comes knowledge.

lukemelo216
04-24-2011, 07:47 PM
That is correct. We figure time for weeding both mechanically (by hand) and chemically. Small little grassy weeds we just spray but the bigger stuff we pull out.

This method is great to use though. The snip snip method that is. You reduce your overall man hours on a property by doing this. Your clean up time is less as well as the actual time to do the job. The more you actually do something, the less attention it plus the property always looks manicured. When we turn and fluff mulch I carry a few yards on the truck so we can touch up low areas to, and overall the customers love it.
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White Gardens
04-24-2011, 08:13 PM
I generally charge labor + materials for bed maintenance. One hour minimum.

Generally for my clients it's once every two weeks. Combination of hand weeding and spraying, pruning, trimming, etc..... Most urban accounts only take 1-1.5 hours each time. Cleanups generally take twice that long.

One account is big enough that I'm there for almost 4 hours every two weeks.

lukemelo216
04-24-2011, 10:44 PM
seasonal cleanups are a completely different charge for us. That is not included. All we include in bed maintenance is weeding, trimming shrubs/flowers, bed edging, and turning the mulch over. We will include in the spring cutting the grasses back and things like that as well as in the fall cutting the perennials back, but cleaning out the beds, i list as a fall cleanup, or spring cleanup, and midseason cleanup.