PDA

View Full Version : Mulch the whole yard?


HitchC&L
05-08-2011, 09:22 PM
I have a customer who wants me to mulch his entire yard.

The whole property is surrounded by trees, the house is in the woods, he gets little to no sunlight and so he cant really grow grass.

He has about 1500 sq ft of area that he wants mulched. My question is, what other alternatives could I use instead of mulch. He wants to keep the cost down but wants it to look presentable.

He can afford the mulch job, but Im concerned with how well its going to hold up, Im going to put landscape fabric under it to keep weeds from growing up through, but next year I think hes going to be in the same position again, needing remulching, or at the very least touch ups.

Is there an alternative to this that will last longer? Id like to stay away from crushed stone because the driveway is gravel and I feel that it will just look like garbage with the whole thing just stone.

punt66
05-08-2011, 09:25 PM
in a job like that i typically use what we call "forrest mix". It looks more natural.

cuttin-to-the-Max
05-08-2011, 09:31 PM
Thats crazy! I REALLLYY would not go with mulch! For a number of reasons!
I think i would look into turf! I hear thats what they use in sunny/dry states. Then you can also stripe it with a mower my cousin said! I would price that out. Bet its expensive as he!!
Better than nothin' But that would be after he cut back some of those trees!

HitchC&L
05-08-2011, 09:38 PM
Problem is he cant cut ANY trees on the property because its a HOA.

He wants no maintenance, hes rarely there and he doesnt want to work on it when he gets home. Its a bachelor pad and he wants it to look presentable for the ladies he brings home haha

HitchC&L
05-08-2011, 09:40 PM
Id like to hear a little more about this forest mix...is that a common term that the suppliers would know what Im asking for?

nobagger
05-08-2011, 09:46 PM
What about rubber mulch? That stuff costs a bit more but only really needs it one time.

HitchC&L
05-08-2011, 09:49 PM
I looked into that but regular mulch is right about the maximum hes looking to spend.

If its not all that much more per yard then I may be able to upsell him.

nepatsfan
05-08-2011, 09:52 PM
The forest blend around us is wood chips but not clean wood chips. It has pine needles and pine cones and whatever else in it. We use it for big areas away from the house or for dog pens and things. I would consider it for what you are doing.

93Chevy
05-08-2011, 10:00 PM
You could design a full landscape into his yard. Plantings, dry creekbeds, a water feature, winding stone pathways, mulch areas, specimen boulders, stone beds, etc.

KINGMADE
05-08-2011, 10:38 PM
You could design a full landscape into his yard. Plantings, dry creekbeds, a water feature, winding stone pathways, mulch areas, specimen boulders, stone beds, etc.

Yeah what part of "the guy wants to spend just enough to do the mulch" did you miss?

KINGMADE
05-08-2011, 10:39 PM
Mulch will be the only thing that you can do for around what he is looking to spend. If there was an alternative that looked better around the same price, people would already be putting it in their yard. Just tell him you will need to add mulch at least every 2 years. If he still goes for it charge as much as you can get.

93Chevy
05-08-2011, 10:58 PM
Yeah what part of "the guy wants to spend just enough to do the mulch" did you miss?


I don't miss anything, don't worry.

cuttin-to-the-Max
05-08-2011, 11:36 PM
What about rubber mulch? That stuff costs a bit more but only really needs it one time.

Personally i hate that stuff! Installed 5tons of it last year at this house and It still looks red like it did last year. But everytime it rains more and more rolls out of the beds into the lawn. Then Shoots like bullets out of my mower.....Dangerous?

Showpropserv
05-08-2011, 11:47 PM
hell just let a bunch of angry beavers loose

HPSInc
05-09-2011, 02:11 AM
at my old company i worked for we used wood chips for large areas but i was told by one of the guys who work in the store that they attract bugs.

GravyTrain
05-09-2011, 11:36 AM
been a while since I priced it, but river rock I was thinking is pretty close in price. You only have to do that once. As for the weed barrier....I'd highly recommend staying away from that, especially if using mulch. After the first year, the bottom of that mulch decomposes into fertile soil, perfect for growing any seeds that are in the mulch. On top of that, I've never seen a fabric that lasts more than about a year or so, at which point weeds start growing through the fabric....good luck maintaining that.

Patriot Services
05-09-2011, 11:52 AM
You mentioned its in a deed restricted HOA. They usually have very specific rules regarding what you can and can't do. Some even require a written plan be submitted for approval. The H.O. needs to check his restrictions before deciding.
Posted via Mobile Device

soloscaperman
05-09-2011, 12:28 PM
Is there some sort of plant that looks good that can spread around in this area? Can you post us a picture of the yard??

punt66
05-09-2011, 09:46 PM
Id like to hear a little more about this forest mix...is that a common term that the suppliers would know what Im asking for?

Forrest mix is basically single ground and a mix of different woods. It looks more natural and would be your best choice based on what you explained to us. Here is what it looks like. http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dforest%2Bmix%2Bmulch%26ei%3DU TF-8%26fr%3Dyfp-t-382-1&w=600&h=450&imgurl=www.blackwoodlandscapefirewood.com.au%2Fimages%2Fproducts%2FDSCF2127.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blackwoodlandscapefirewood.com.au%2Fproducts.html&size=180KB&name=Forest+Mulch&p=forest+mix+mulch&oid=001297081eeea08bc5131ff8cdcede59&fr2=&no=8&tt=270&sigr=11q8497qm&sigi=122uh90j8&sigb=12nmvhiud&.crumb=M5K/yfQpGrF

JDiepstra
05-09-2011, 10:46 PM
Keep in mind it's not going to be easy to do a leaf cleanup on a yard in the woods with all those woodchips under there.

clean_cut
05-09-2011, 10:52 PM
You could design a full landscape into his yard. Plantings, dry creekbeds, a water feature, winding stone pathways, mulch areas, specimen boulders, stone beds, etc.

That's what I would have suggested too, but with the price constraints, maybe just cover it in mulch. He'll have to install mulch every once in a while for sure though, have you considered pine straw since it won't float away as easy as some mulches (or even synthetic pine straw). Just keep in mind which mulches will run off a slight slope with a good rain.

Will P.C.
05-10-2011, 12:46 AM
You need to check with the HOA. At the very least, they will have restrictions on what color of mulch to use. It would be a shame to do a bunch of work only to be told to take it up

You should try and take some pics of the house as well.

hackitdown
05-10-2011, 08:40 AM
What is the big deal, it is only 1500 sq/ft. Just spray everything with Roundup (or have it sprayed by a licensed applicator), hit it with the string trimmer a couple days later, rake it out, and spread 10 yards of mulch. Present customer with invoice. Easy.

chris@perfectlawncare
05-10-2011, 11:05 AM
I have a customer who wants me to mulch his entire yard.

The whole property is surrounded by trees, the house is in the woods, he gets little to no sunlight and so he cant really grow grass.

He has about 1500 sq ft of area that he wants mulched. My question is, what other alternatives could I use instead of mulch. He wants to keep the cost down but wants it to look presentable.

He can afford the mulch job, but Im concerned with how well its going to hold up, Im going to put landscape fabric under it to keep weeds from growing up through, but next year I think hes going to be in the same position again, needing remulching, or at the very least touch ups.

Is there an alternative to this that will last longer? Id like to stay away from crushed stone because the driveway is gravel and I feel that it will just look like garbage with the whole thing just stone.

Preen it, spray it, then sell him on a monthly weed control program
Posted via Mobile Device

Grubber
06-03-2011, 01:53 AM
I think Rubber Mulch would work better because the grass can still breath if your client chooses to mulch the entire yard.

Darryl G
06-03-2011, 02:35 AM
What about weeds? Sounds like a nightmare to me....barren 1500 sq foot mulch bed. How about planting some shade tollerant ground cover? Deep shade grass seed? Yes even that will decline over time but an annual touch up should do the trick.

Are you sure he doesn't just want you to use a mulching mower? LOL

dgw
06-03-2011, 07:25 AM
What about weeds? Sounds like a nightmare to me....barren 1500 sq foot mulch bed. How about planting some shade tollerant ground cover? Deep shade grass seed? Yes even that will decline over time but an annual touch up should do the trick.

Are you sure he doesn't just want you to use a mulching mower? LOL

thats what i was thinking, some ivy or something

Dr.NewEarth
06-03-2011, 09:22 PM
As mulch decomposes it depletes the nitrogen
and nitrogen fixing weeds like clover and creeping buttercup will start growing in your mulch.

Our BCSLA/BCLNA Landscape Standard suggests; a fabric covered with a minimum of three inches of bark mulch, topped up with one inch every year.

You will have to do some spot spraying for weeds later on.

Also, I think that if there is any-thing growing in the area right now
set your mower as low as it will go and scalp it down to the meristems
Then lay down your fabric and mulch.

If you use fabric you might also want to do some herbicide control around the perimeter

And ya, if it's an HOA he'd better do their dance for them first, before you do your job

clcare2
06-04-2011, 12:43 AM
Fabric is the biggest ripoff that landscapers try to sell for mulch. The effort and price involved are not worth the small benefit involved. round up, mulch , round up. Make sure this guy knows that he has to put down new mulch every year and you are going to have to maintain the weeds. He sounds more like a cheapskate than anything else. Might as well just asphalt the thing and be done with it.

hackitdown
06-04-2011, 08:47 AM
Fabric will help kill the old weeds, stopping them from popping back up. Fabric does nothing to stop new weed seed from sprouting right on top of the new mulch. Then the downside is when the mulch over fabric system is not constantly maintained, the weed roots penetrate down into the fabric, and it becomes a total disaster. Try pulling giant weeds out of a fabric job...the fabric come right up with the weeds in shreds. Then everything has to come out, more expensive labor.

Roundup will also kill the old weeds. I believe Roundup is far less expensive, both on labor and materials. The benefit is that you have no fabric to deal with in the future.

Neither Roundup nor fabric will prevent weeds on top of the mulch.

Mike Fronczak
06-04-2011, 09:07 AM
My suggestion would be a shad tollarant ground cover plugs (pachasandra, ivy, lily of the valley, ect.), mulch untill it establishes, NO FABRIC, it is a waste when used with mulch...stone absoulty fabric, mulch...no way. If he needs to save money look into a "free" mulch I least here the towns give back mulch free most even deliver for free, some have single ground, some double, quality control is not the strong point of the town mulch, somtimes it looks damn close to what you buy, other times...well. But the material savings would help offset the plant cost.

Patriot Services
06-04-2011, 09:36 AM
I just can't get behind these attempts at turf free landscaping.
Posted via Mobile Device

johnroscoe
06-05-2011, 12:31 AM
A large portion of my backyard is like your customer's. I work with a local tree service and let him dump his wood chips in a remote corner at our shop. After they've set through a season, I stir them with a backhoe, load and take home to spread. I keep about 3-4" down, and only have to add to it every few years.

Of course I have lots of perennials there as well, and with the dozens of shade trees, the wood chips look much more appropriate than turf would. I spot spray the occasional weeds about twice a year.

My only regret is that I tried too long to grow grass there before naturalizing the area.

Kate Butler
06-07-2011, 10:01 PM
I have a client with a similar situation - no light, doesn't want to cut trees. The solution is (drum roll, please) moss. Get some, put it in a blender (a really big blender) with milk and spread the slurry around. You can also get it to grow on rocks with this trick. Once it's "caught" it will spread quickly on its own. Of course, the downside is that moss never needs cutting, but the occasional grass that comes up through it will.

Seriously, find a hydroseed person to do the mixing and spreading for you.