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cpllawncare
12-17-2011, 09:13 PM
I am writing some process's for the spring and wanted to hear what you guys do when either creating or remulch an existing bed, IE step by step instructions per say, this would be for a commercial application.

Darryl G
12-17-2011, 09:40 PM
Creating: 1) Create Bed 2) Mulch Bed 3) Clean Up 4) Collect Money

Mulch Existing 1) Weed 2) Edge 3) Mulch 4) Clean Up 5) Collect Money

Smallaxe
12-18-2011, 10:46 AM
An additional cover in the Spring placed around the plants as they are emerging, is the way of ensuring deep cover without buring the crowns of the plants them selves... Putting down the pre-m and roundup-ing the perennial weed b4 the process is of course your first step...

The use of fertilizer is a debateable issue, in that rapid growth, esp. on woody plants, enhance insect infestations... The rotting mulch from the previous years is about the best fertilizer perennials could want... :)

Agape
12-29-2011, 03:19 AM
Creating: 1) Create Bed 2) Mulch Bed 3) Clean Up 4) Collect Money

Mulch Existing 1) Weed 2) Edge 3) Mulch 4) Clean Up 5) Collect Money

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::dizzy:

cpllawncare
12-29-2011, 08:10 AM
An additional cover in the Spring placed around the plants as they are emerging, is the way of ensuring deep cover without buring the crowns of the plants them selves... Putting down the pre-m and roundup-ing the perennial weed b4 the process is of course your first step...

The use of fertilizer is a debateable issue, in that rapid growth, esp. on woody plants, enhance insect infestations... The rotting mulch from the previous years is about the best fertilizer perennials could want... :)

Thanks Smallaxe, I'm trying to write a process for all my services and wanted to make sure I wasn't skipping something. A few questions as to how often to you generally apply roundup or pre-em after the initial application, do you till after your first application before the mulch or not?

ralph02813
12-29-2011, 09:54 AM
Creating: 1) Create Bed 2) Mulch Bed 3) Clean Up 4) Collect Money

Mulch Existing 1) Weed 2) Edge 3) Mulch 4) Clean Up 5) Collect Money

[QUOTE=Smallaxe;4247521]An additional cover in the Spring placed around the plants as they are emerging, is the way of ensuring deep cover without buring the crowns of the plants them selves... Putting down the pre-m and roundup-ing the perennial weed b4 the process is of course your first step...

These two together is what works best for me!

Smallaxe
12-29-2011, 10:14 AM
Thanks Smallaxe, I'm trying to write a process for all my services and wanted to make sure I wasn't skipping something. A few questions as to how often to you generally apply roundup or pre-em after the initial application, do you till after your first application before the mulch or not?

Pre-m should be part of a "Targetted" application. These applications are targetting specific problems that may or may not arise... If CrabGrasss is the target and is 'needed', then is may be applied for "X" number of "$"...

Big IF a 2nd app is needed, it will also cost "X" number of "$"... One important thing to do is to make clear there is a Minimum Charge for each time you come on the property to apply anything...
Even if your minimum was $35.00 and you were asked to spot spray(roundup) a few perennial weeds that didn't die in the Spring,, and it takes 10 minutes to get it done, the $/visit is $35.00...

Even if your usual visit is over a hundred, it is good to name a figure that the client can relate to, as well as educating the client that so much is wrapped up in an unscheduled visit... However, They should see this as a reason to group a few items together before they say, "Let's Call, CPL"...

Keep everything friendly by negotiating, instead of pre-selling unnecessary trips... When you write it into your business model you are stuck with it... Make a basic outline on your ad, then 'bullet point' the specific activities you recognize as, an "as needed" 'extra'... too many absolute payments seems expensive to people...

Go after meat and potatoes with your ad, then work for the gravy... :)

ryan alyssa
12-29-2011, 08:15 PM
Don't forget to srip the old mulch where necessary

Smallaxe
12-29-2011, 08:59 PM
Don't forget to srip the old mulch where necessary

When is it necessary to take old mulch away??? ... :)

LawnMan19
12-29-2011, 11:27 PM
When is it necessary to take old mulch away??? ... :)

Some times theirs to much mulch in the bed and you don't want a mound of mulch in the beds.

ryan alyssa
12-30-2011, 07:29 AM
Well also a lot of times the old stuff gets compacted and moldy you probably only want about two to three inches at any time. I usualy take a good look at that and if need be factor stripping the old into the price
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ralph02813
12-30-2011, 08:57 AM
Well also a lot of times the old stuff gets compacted and moldy you probably only want about two to three inches at any time. I usualy take a good look at that and if need be factor stripping the old into the price
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@Ryan and lawnman: I am assuming in both examples you guys give we are talking about NEW customer - I cannot imagine tell an existing customer that I screwed up last year and put too much mulch down and some got molded so I have to charge you to take it out :confused:

Smallaxe
12-30-2011, 10:54 AM
Some times theirs to much mulch in the bed and you don't want a mound of mulch in the beds.

I still don't understand... are you just adding new mulch without allowing the old mulch to decay into the soil?

Swampy
12-30-2011, 11:46 AM
The only time I take mulch away is when previous guy volcano'ed around a tree. If its to "high" in a bed just rake it over and top dress or dust new over it to get a fresh look.

Take that back I'll remove mulch if there is a drastic color change and I can't bury it I.E. red existing mulch.

Agape
12-30-2011, 02:32 PM
I still don't understand... are you just adding new mulch without allowing the old mulch to decay into the soil?

some customers just like the pretty colors of the fresh stuff, and I'm happy to give the customer 100% of what they want:)

ryan alyssa
12-30-2011, 05:16 PM
I only srip the old when it did not decompose from the year before. A lot of new jobs have had other company's that never took the old out and would just keep pyling it in there. Not only unatractive but not healthy for the landscape either. I never just pile the mulch in. Couple other things for the processes that we do are spread the mulch by hand and than with a good flat hard rake tamp it all down makes for a nice smooth appearance. When I get some time and figure the picture thing out I will post some pics of our work. I think it looks pretty good

LawnMan19
12-30-2011, 08:27 PM
Like ryan alyssa said and If it is around a tree you don't want a volcano around it because does more harm then good.

MarkintheGarden
12-31-2011, 03:58 AM
Old mulch and the fungus that grows in it are mostly good things for the plants and soil.
There are good and bad fungus, but what moist mulch does is grow beneficial fungus.

Sometimes there is too much mulch if it is overflowing onto the walkways or is over four inches depth. Four inches and more of mulch will create a situation where the bed will tend to be either too dry or two wet. It is debatable, but I think that two inches mulch is optimum.

I see jobs where people have just put down more and more mulch to make it look good and there is just too much. If you are removing mulch then you are putting down too much, or you just may need to do edging.

Throwing away old mulch is wasteful. Old mulch is better for the soil and plants than new mulch.

MarkintheGarden
12-31-2011, 04:00 AM
If a customer insists, or if someone has put down to much mulch, I will remove it and use it to amend soil. Or it can be used where you do not need good looking mulch like vegetable gardens.

MarkintheGarden
12-31-2011, 04:13 AM
An additional cover in the Spring placed around the plants as they are emerging, is the way of ensuring deep cover without buring the crowns of the plants them selves... Putting down the pre-m and roundup-ing the perennial weed b4 the process is of course your first step...

The use of fertilizer is a debateable issue, in that rapid growth, esp. on woody plants, enhance insect infestations... The rotting mulch from the previous years is about the best fertilizer perennials could want... :)

Smallaxe, I think that the fertilizer-rapid growth-infestation scenario is only when over-fertilizing. Like over-mulching these things are done to make a buck.
I agree that most perennials do well on good mulch alone, but some perform much better with small, timely applications of the right type of fertilizer.

My experience confirmed my education that when it comes to both fertilizer and mulch a little goes a long way. I have and continue to try different things. In general it is prudent practice to apply half of the manufacturers reccomended application for most uses. When I want to produce traffic stopping displays of flowers, I use the full recommended dosage.

Smallaxe
12-31-2011, 08:56 AM
Smallaxe, I think that the fertilizer-rapid growth-infestation scenario is only when over-fertilizing. Like over-mulching these things are done to make a buck.
I agree that most perennials do well on good mulch alone, but some perform much better with small, timely applications of the right type of fertilizer.

My experience confirmed my education that when it comes to both fertilizer and mulch a little goes a long way. I have and continue to try different things. In general it is prudent practice to apply half of the manufacturers reccomended application for most uses. When I want to produce traffic stopping displays of flowers, I use the full recommended dosage.

I agree that 'flowers' should be given fertilizer in sufficient amounts to really show-off... My thoughts lie more with shrubs and some perennials... Around here our major problem can be spider mites, aphids and other sap sucking insects... Where these pests may be common in some landscapes they are not in others...

Guess in which landscapes, we find these problems... :)

I agree with you that wise application is necessary for many arenas, but woody plants should grow more slowly...

MarkintheGarden
12-31-2011, 10:27 AM
I agree that 'flowers' should be given fertilizer in sufficient amounts to really show-off... My thoughts lie more with shrubs and some perennials... Around here our major problem can be spider mites, aphids and other sap sucking insects... Where these pests may be common in some landscapes they are not in others...

Guess in which landscapes, we find these problems... :)

I agree with you that wise application is necessary for many arenas, but woody plants should grow more slowly...

I agree, the fert does produce a lot of new growth and that is like a free buffet for the sap suckers and we do see that in our area. The funnny thing is often the trees and shrubs are the right size for the landscape or getting there soon enough on their own, but some people will over fertilize them anyway. I guess if you over-fertilize, you can charge for that and then next month you charge for an application to eliminate the insects.

Most trees and shrubs I apply one application in the fall at half strength and that seems enough to maintain regular growth and keep the plants flowering well in the spring. And of course using the high ph fert for those that benefit from that.

4 seasons lawn&land
12-31-2011, 10:35 AM
@Ryan and lawnman: I am assuming in both examples you guys give we are talking about NEW customer - I cannot imagine tell an existing customer that I screwed up last year and put too much mulch down and some got molded so I have to charge you to take it out :confused:


In all day direct sun areas the mulch dries out pretty quick and never really breaks down. Thats when it gets stripped off (powerbroom works good!) 90% of the time nothing needs to get stripped off.

MarkintheGarden
12-31-2011, 10:50 AM
In all day direct sun areas the mulch dries out pretty quick and never really breaks down. Thats when it gets stripped off (powerbroom works good!) 90% of the time nothing needs to get stripped off.

This is true. If the mulch is not breaking down it is because the wrong fungus is growing and this does occur because of too little moisture. Sometimes this can be prevented by soaking it well when first applied. Also you can do the watering late in the day so that the moisture remains longer. Sometimes this is hard to prevent.

Smallaxe
12-31-2011, 04:03 PM
One strategy that may help is to remove some of the coarser material, then work up the semi-decayed stuff underneath so it is able to soak up more water and bind to the soil under that... Next spring you have a clean bed of rotting mulch and are able to put a fresh layer of color on that... best of both worlds... :)