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View Full Version : Your success rate on…. talking clients out of power raking in favor of aeration…?


Exact Rototilling
02-24-2012, 09:16 PM
Your success rate on…. talking clients out of power raking [what they really want] in favor of core aeration…..?

Very typical here. I get a call for a power rake estimate. Lawn looks like it is lagging and has a fair amount of dry dead grass in it still dormant from the winter and they want to know how much to scrub it all out.

I’m thinking all this lawn needs is a maybe a low mow to 1.5” and bagged ... call it good and core aerate and fertilize.

How many of you have had success in talking them out of power raking? For me it is less than 1 in 10....:rolleyes:

Exact Rototilling
02-27-2012, 02:04 AM
Okay ...lets rephrase the question.

I’m at the point where I believe most power rakings and or pseudo dethatchings are in fact largely driven by the client’s wants or desire, not driven by fact or need but largely by cosmetics.

In the past I have found it to be a hard crowd to please crowd. “you didn’t grind out enough” or “you scorched my lawn”.

The same can be said for aeration in a lawn that has a very vibrant night crawler population and has no thatch but the client is still convinced they need core aeration.

yardguy28
02-27-2012, 08:41 AM
i've had zero sucess because i never try and talk them out of it......

de thatching is a beneficial service and i will gladly do it for anyone that wants it done.

in fact i've also power raked and aerated the same property in the same day.

elitelawnteam1
02-27-2012, 08:50 AM
i've had zero sucess because i never try and talk them out of it......

de thatching is a beneficial service and i will gladly do it for anyone that wants it done.

in fact i've also power raked and aerated the same property in the same day.

Yeah, that's what everybody does here. I try to promote dethatching, it's good money, but you need a lot of people (or family) who are willing to rake, and collect the thatch.

It only takes me about 2 hours to dethatch an average 1/4acre property with 2-3 people (including me) and after maybe a $5-10 disposal cost, I charge the customer $140-150

and yes I as well do aeration and dethatching on the same day.

hackitdown
02-27-2012, 09:04 AM
I push dethatching in the spring. We use a JRCO on a ZTR, we rake, then vac the lawn. Customers love it. I try to do it as part of a spring clean up.

I offer aeration in the fall.

WHIPPLE5.7
02-27-2012, 09:50 AM
Its pretty common for me to do both at same time. If they want to pay for it, I'm willing to do it. My question you is do people complain about the plugs? Many people hate the core plugs so what I do when they want both services is to aerate 1st and use the powerrake to break the plugs up. I get paid for both and they don't have the plugs left over. If you really feel the lawn doesn't need powerraked just adjust the blades up so they don't grab much and let them pay you anyway. Then you have 1/2 the mess to clean up.
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yardguy28
02-27-2012, 04:22 PM
i haven't had any one ever complain about the plugs. i've always de thatched first then aerated if i'm doing both.

i really don't get a lot of people that want there turf de thatched but when i do i never try to discourage it or talk them out of it. i'm always more than happy to do it.

some people just get aeration others get just de thatching and others do both.

about the only service i have ever discouraged is lawn rolling.

Smallaxe
02-27-2012, 09:24 PM
When people want to have power raking done, I just "never get around to it"... especially in the Springtime when the damage is most severe due to the soft wet ground of Spring and the newly awakened and tender roots that get, ripped out in the process...

Besides, stirring up the soil may mean some new seeds are going to germinate this year, whereas they haven't in years past... work on the excessive dead grass from August to frozen and let it thrive in the Spring, by leaving it alone, at least for 3 mowings or so... :)

yardguy28
02-27-2012, 09:29 PM
oh i don't do de thatching in the spring.......not unless they want to pay me $35 per man hour to take a rake to it.......

de thatching and aerating are only done in the fall in my neck of the woods.

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 12:21 AM
When people want to have power raking done, I just "never get around to it"... especially in the Springtime when the damage is most severe due to the soft wet ground of Spring and the newly awakened and tender roots that get, ripped out in the process...

Besides, stirring up the soil may mean some new seeds are going to germinate this year, whereas they haven't in years past... work on the excessive dead grass from August to frozen and let it thrive in the Spring, by leaving it alone, at least for 3 mowings or so... :)

Funny there were about 5 or 6 power rakings I never got to last year [didn’t do any for hire just my own test patch] due to my own foot dragging and a very wet Spring....shucks darn. I intentionally didn’t pose this question over on the renovation sub-forum because I wanted to see how this was handled here. For this process to be less damaging IMO the turf needs to be on the drier side so the roots don’t get ripped out. Over the prior years a number of clients have been irked, “hey we had one dry day this week and you didn’t show up”. I did a test plot last March on a circular area of my lawn bordered by a turn around pull through driveway. One side was Spring Tine power raked [not flail bladed – the other half was low mowed to 1.5” maybe 1.75”. The Bluebird/Husky spring tines are easier on the turf than full throttle flail blades. Bluebird says the spring tines are meant to really only comb the lawn not meant to rip into the turf like sharp flail blades. I have all 3 bars for my Bluebird S22 seeder the delta seeder bar came with the unit.

Anyhow ...back to my test plot.....I meant to say the low mowed portion bounced back quicker than the Spring Tine raked portion and looked better for a 4-6 weeks. The debris haul off was nearly the same and the low mow section took less time and the haul off was close to being identical. The low mow does stimulate the crowns of the plant but doesn’t rip out the new growth and also gets rid of the extra debris.

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 12:26 AM
oh i don't do de thatching in the spring.......not unless they want to pay me $35 per man hour to take a rake to it.......

de thatching and aerating are only done in the fall in my neck of the woods.

In 5 years I have only had one Fall request for power raking. It is a Spring time rush here for this service. Same with aeration. Little to Zero interest in the Fall. I do a few aerations every late summer early fall but not many. I hope to change that this year. When I talk about Fall aeration with customers or potential clients they look confused ...:confused: 8 out of 10 think it’s for the Spring only. :hammerhead:

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 12:36 AM
Its pretty common for me to do both at same time. If they want to pay for it, I'm willing to do it. My question you is do people complain about the plugs? Many people hate the core plugs so what I do when they want both services is to aerate 1st and use the powerrake to break the plugs up. I get paid for both and they don't have the plugs left over. If you really feel the lawn doesn't need powerraked just adjust the blades up so they don't grab much and let them pay you anyway. Then you have 1/2 the mess to clean up.
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I hear you. I’m at the point now if they insist okay fine I’ll do the power raking IF and only IF the weather cooperates. I’m also going to a firm $120 min for tiny lawn for power raking and haul off. I also have a few other angles up my sleeve for home owner who don’t want to pay for haul off and clean up. My $120 min will probably mean I’ll do very few this season. Power raking quotes are super low here.

I did do a aeration first then power rake once. Gets really dirty but yes it does break up the plugs. If I do any Power rake aeration combos this Spring it will be Aeration after the fact break up mow a few day later. The dirt top dressing is in part wasted and pulled up by the mower or raked up.

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 12:47 AM
I push dethatching in the spring. We use a JRCO on a ZTR, we rake, then vac the lawn. Customers love it. I try to do it as part of a spring clean up.

I offer aeration in the fall.

Just wondering what your ball park rates are for this in relation to mowing the same property? Many of my competitors use this method in my area but the spring tine bar does a more complete job. I admit it would be nice to ride and pull up debris in the same step.

elitelawnteam1
02-28-2012, 08:55 AM
in reality dethatching is supposed to be done in the fall (or at least its better to) but nobody cares. 2 years ago i sent out flyers in the fall for dethatching, and got no takers. But in the spring, I sent them out and got about 25 responses. I have no choice but to do it when the customers want it. cuz if i don't Garcia's Services comes out from St. Charles, IL (nowhere near where I live and work) and will do it.

Bottom line: by fall, everyone is thinking about snow

yardguy28
02-28-2012, 09:06 AM
not sure how you have problems with clients not wanting to pay for haul off and clean up.

its part of the service for me. quoted at one price, not broken down. i never have a question about haul off and clean up.

some one calls for a quote i go look and give them one price. no one has ever asked if it includes or doesn't include haul off and clean up. the invoice isn't broken down either. it simply will read de thatching x amount and the date it was performed.

i periodically here people mention they have trouble getting client to pay for hauling away the debris and clean up and my question is why are you seperating that for the client? any time there is haul off and clean up i never seperate it, its just incorperated into the price. you want a fall clean up price for example. i give you one price and that includes hauling the leaves off.

try that snd you will have better results i'm sure.

yardguy28
02-28-2012, 09:08 AM
in reality dethatching is supposed to be done in the fall (or at least its better to) but nobody cares. 2 years ago i sent out flyers in the fall for dethatching, and got no takers. But in the spring, I sent them out and got about 25 responses. I have no choice but to do it when the customers want it. cuz if i don't Garcia's Services comes out from St. Charles, IL (nowhere near where I live and work) and will do it.

Bottom line: by fall, everyone is thinking about snow

wish that were true in IN.....

people don't start thinking about snow until after the few snow falls.....

weeble67
02-28-2012, 09:32 AM
I don't try to talk them out of services, I just try to package up services that I think they need. I do a lot of core aerating and I am trying to work some more power rakings into jobs this year.

WHIPPLE5.7
02-28-2012, 10:16 AM
If you want to see the healthiest lawn you've ever seen do your power rake just as its turning dormant as winter sets in and leave the thatch all winter. The thatch insulates it and you about a 2 week jumpstart. I do at my place every year. Customers likely wouldn't want it though.
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Smallaxe
02-28-2012, 11:08 AM
We were just talking in another thread about, how it appears that 'verti-cutting' and 'dethatching' in the Spring makse sense for Bermuda grasses, but would be an unnecessary devastation for fescue, in cool season environments...

It is interestting to read in this thread, how many h.o.s don't have a clue about what they're talking about , but demand that it is done... :)

yardguy28
02-28-2012, 11:49 AM
i'm cutting tall fescue and kentucky blue.

we mostly do de thatching and aeration in the fall. it allows the root system to develop really well over the winter months......

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 12:02 PM
We were just talking in another thread about, how it appears that 'verti-cutting' and 'dethatching' in the Spring makse sense for Bermuda grasses, but would be an unnecessary devastation for fescue, in cool season environments...

It is interestting to read in this thread, how many h.o.s don't have a clue about what they're talking about , but demand that it is done... :)

Yeah that the whole reason I started thread. Clients chomping at the bit for cool.season. sprimg turf scrubbing and all and its always in the spring here once October roll around many clients loose interest in anything lawn related. Aeration, fert....

Customers think it is.needed every few.years etc.

Purely from a profit standpoint.

I basically have grown weary of talking client and.potential clients out of it. :rolleyes:
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Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 12:07 PM
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WHIPPLE5.7
02-28-2012, 01:01 PM
All customers here want these services from mid March to May. Most won't even do a fall cleanup, they want the last mow and cleanups are all in March/April.
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Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 03:00 PM
not sure how you have problems with clients not wanting to pay for haul off and clean up.

its part of the service for me. quoted at one price, not broken down. i never have a question about haul off and clean up.

some one calls for a quote i go look and give them one price. no one has ever asked if it includes or doesn't include haul off and clean up. the invoice isn't broken down either. it simply will read de thatching x amount and the date it was performed.

i periodically here people mention they have trouble getting client to pay for hauling away the debris and clean up and my question is why are you seperating that for the client? any time there is haul off and clean up i never seperate it, its just incorperated into the price. you want a fall clean up price for example. i give you one price and that includes hauling the leaves off.

try that snd you will have better results i'm sure.

Well there are some ridiculous low rates here for clean ups and dethatchings. If I'm stuck with an expensive disposal fee because my truck is lettered I can't compete with a neighborhood kid who rents a power rake and.goes door to door and all his friends to help on a weekend.

So my angle I'm going to offer a rake and go special. I run the power rake....homeowner cleans up the mess.

The other irk factor is it is tough to keep these people happy. You took out too much or you need to go over it again.

My favorite line was the last kid got 17 trash bags of thatch out and only charged me $65. She was peeved my rate was $135. Again these people are convinced clippings must he bagged and that is what cause thatch.... Of course this client had the big national Co do her fert, sprinklers on most everyday, just could say enough good things about how great her lawn looked.

Once I get busy with other work I put power raking on the back burner.

My experience is it tough to get people educated on what is best for.their lawn. They just don't get it.
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elitelawnteam1
02-28-2012, 04:09 PM
not sure how you have problems with clients not wanting to pay for haul off and clean up.

its part of the service for me. quoted at one price, not broken down. i never have a question about haul off and clean up.

some one calls for a quote i go look and give them one price. no one has ever asked if it includes or doesn't include haul off and clean up. the invoice isn't broken down either. it simply will read de thatching x amount and the date it was performed.

i periodically here people mention they have trouble getting client to pay for hauling away the debris and clean up and my question is why are you seperating that for the client? any time there is haul off and clean up i never seperate it, its just incorperated into the price. you want a fall clean up price for example. i give you one price and that includes hauling the leaves off.

try that snd you will have better results i'm sure.

What's wrong with having the customer clean it up? Charge them what it would cost to rent the machine for 3 hours plus your hourly labor rate. Last year I did that for 2 neighbors who lived next door to each other, and they all brought their kids out and they raked after i finished. To me, the raking and disposal doesn't generate that much profit, especially when ur competing with about 50 other companies that send out dethatching and aeration flyers out in the spring

yardguy28
02-28-2012, 08:10 PM
my point is i don't break things down for clients......

there is no telling the client is x amount to rent the equipment, y amount to do the work, z amount to clean it up and a amount to haul it away so the total will be c amount.......

my estimates are its x amount for the job. if asked, that includes renting the equipment, doing the work, cleaning up and hauling it away......

just like we don't reveal our hourly rate to the client the grand total is not broken down into categories......

Exact Rototilling
02-28-2012, 09:43 PM
What's wrong with having the customer clean it up? Charge them what it would cost to rent the machine for 3 hours plus your hourly labor rate. Last year I did that for 2 neighbors who lived next door to each other, and they all brought their kids out and they raked after i finished. To me, the raking and disposal doesn't generate that much profit, especially when ur competing with about 50 other companies that send out dethatching and aeration flyers out in the spring

Well this is what I hope will be the bulk of my power raking jobs. Haul off and complete clean up is a pita. Much rather rake and split. However I'd much rather aerate and skip the power raking completely.
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WHIPPLE5.7
02-29-2012, 09:42 AM
I tried that angle with powerraking in the past but the cleanup of the thatch is what the homeowner least wants to do. Atleast that's my findings in this area. If I had to haul all the thatch to the dump I probably wouldn't even do powerraking. I've always been able to work deals with landowners for dumpings clippings. Trash is a big business. I figure in this area one dump containers worth of trash has generated close to $2000 in fees.
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bigslick7878
02-29-2012, 01:28 PM
I would not recommend power raking coming out of winter, only aeration.

That is not the time to do it for a variety of reasons.

If a customer called me for it that early I would tell them that, and would not risk damaging their lawn. Let someone else do that but it won't be me.

WHIPPLE5.7
02-29-2012, 01:33 PM
The majority of the city has done it that way here since the 70's and their lawns turn out perfect every year.
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DUSTYCEDAR
02-29-2012, 10:32 PM
i dont offer it so i dont have to talk anyone out of it

Exact Rototilling
02-29-2012, 10:49 PM
i dont offer it so i dont have to talk anyone out of it

Neither does senske or is it true green. I found this out from a estimate tire kicker last spring. They had already scheduled an aeration. They didn't buy the angle that more plugs pulled per square foot is better for the lawn.....:rolleyes:
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Exact Rototilling
02-29-2012, 11:13 PM
i dont offer it so i dont have to talk anyone out of it

Any chance you offer low mowing in the spring instead....down to 2", 1.75" or even 1.5".....?
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Smallaxe
03-01-2012, 11:39 AM
The majority of the city has done it that way here since the 70's and their lawns turn out perfect every year.
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But at what cost???

The reason the 70's is significant is because by then everyone had easy access to lawncare chemicals and handy bags of fertilizer in the new dept. stores and malls... before that most fertilizer was sold at co-ops or grinding mills and the lawn wasn't a status symbol that the middle-class cared much about, until they populated the suburbs...
They built a turf world of 'too much fertilizer' and 'too much water', thereby creating a new phenomenon known as 'thatch'... not the brown grass clippings either... real thatch with a hydrophobic surface,... living thatch that has more roots above the ground than below...

If you have a layer of real thatch then scratching the surface to help with perculation then that is what the dethatcher does... also what the aerator does... a problem was created by too much fert and too much water, and the lawncare business began to boom, and now there is hardly a communittee in the country that doesn't feed multiple families in the lawncare business...

What I'm trying to get across is that the living thatch also has dead thatch in it and if one could set the irrigation correctly and feed the N, into the soil rather than above, one could turn that excess dead thatch into a surface structure of the soil that perks as well as the texture allows... But the concept of soil sructure doesn't register with lawnboys... Too much water/fert, continues to flourish and the lawnboys say, Amen...

WHIPPLE5.7
03-01-2012, 12:31 PM
Thanks for the assumptions but I was already well aware that excess water/fert.=thatch and as an ignorant simple minded lawnboy as you claim I'm fine with that. You see, if customers really knew what was best for their lawn I'd make a lot less money. I'm in this to survive, not educate homeowners on ways to prevent me from getting paid by them.
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Smallaxe
03-01-2012, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the assumptions but I was already well aware that excess water/fert.=thatch and as an ignorant simple minded lawnboy as you claim I'm fine with that. You see, if customers really knew what was best for their lawn I'd make a lot less money. I'm in this to survive, not educate homeowners on ways to prevent me from getting paid by them.
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We already knew that...

But our discussion was about the wisdom of dethatching a lawn,

not how easy it is to take a sucker for a ride...
A lot of lawncare co., continue to create problems, so they can go back and fix them...
whatever... that's their trip...

just don't call it wise, professional lawncare... that's what I take offense at... :)

WHIPPLE5.7
03-01-2012, 01:16 PM
Sorry, I read this stuff in tiny print from my phone and looking again it looks like I may have misunderstood what your were saying. I agree with you, but I'm glad people water and fert. Like crazy because it builds my bankroll.
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RigglePLC
03-01-2012, 03:18 PM
I don't like raking. Aeration followed by liquid enzyme de-thatch is best, plus a bit of nitrogen and iron. Liquid de-thatch probably is not particularly effective. So practice your sales pitch...after a couple mowings, it looks about the same. Be persuasive and have your literature ready to support your idea, and include a sales brochure or info from the dethatch company. Grass seed is also simple to apply. 2000 sqft per minute, and done.

Anyone got some liquid de-thatch you want me to test?

http://www.outsidepride.com/lawn-aerators/lazyman-liquid-gold.html
http://www.megagro.com/liquid-rake.htm?gclid=CPPN7sG2xq4CFcNrKgodxwizVg
http://guarding-our-earth.com/organic-fertilizer/organic-lawn-thatch-removal-from-turf-grass/
http://www.natureslawn.com/index.php
http://www.cleanairgardening.com/liquid-dethatcher.html
http://www.theorganiclawncarestore.com/Bio-Enhanced-Liquid-Dethatcher-p/a0201.htm

yardguy28
03-01-2012, 06:11 PM
Thanks for the assumptions but I was already well aware that excess water/fert.=thatch and as an ignorant simple minded lawnboy as you claim I'm fine with that. You see, if customers really knew what was best for their lawn I'd make a lot less money. I'm in this to survive, not educate homeowners on ways to prevent me from getting paid by them.
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i'm glad you can sleep at night knowing your selling clients services they don't need.

i can say that because i don't do services unnecessarily. if a client wants something done or think they need something and i know they don't you can bet i'll try and talk them out of it. done for 2 reasons,

most importantly morally its not right to talk money and perform a service thats not needed or beneficial.

secondly if it isn't beneficial the client won't see results and will be unhappy with you. and i don't want my name attached to a convo about the lawn company did such and a service and it didn't even do anything.

WHIPPLE5.7
03-01-2012, 06:21 PM
Once again, its a tradition in this area since the 70's to powerrake at the 1st sign of spring. Whether right or wrong, needed or not they hire someone to do it. They don't wan't someone second guessing if it needs it or not. If you tried talking them out of it they would just call the next guy and after he got done poweraking their lawn they would talk to him about mowing for the summer and I'd be at home wondering why I have no work if I took that advice. These people are dead set on powerraking in the spring and if you don't do it someone else will. BTW the yards look 2x better after the powerraking so maybe its not so bad after all. Stick to what works for you and I'll do the same.
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yardguy28
03-01-2012, 06:28 PM
Once again, its a tradition in this area since the 70's to powerrake at the 1st sign of spring. Whether right or wrong, needed or not they hire someone to do it. They don't wan't someone second guessing if it needs it or not. If you tried talking them out of it they would just call the next guy and after he got done poweraking their lawn they would talk to him about mowing for the summer and I'd be at home wondering why I have no work if I took that advice. These people are dead set on powerraking in the spring and if you don't do it someone else will. BTW the yards look 2x better after the powerraking so maybe its not so bad after all. Stick to what works for you and I'll do the same.
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yeah well it sounds like if i stuck to what works for me in your neck of the woods i'd be sitting at home all the time.

i wouldn't do any thing unnecessarily for any one, tradition or not.

WHIPPLE5.7
03-01-2012, 06:36 PM
Got no problem with ya but you gotta understand some markets are differant than others and if you don't go with the flow per se you're the odd man out.
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Exact Rototilling
03-01-2012, 10:12 PM
Got no problem with ya but you gotta understand some markets are differant than others and if you don't go with the flow per se you're the odd man out.
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Whipples has a valid point. Many want this done and to educate them on the facts of proper Lawncare…..is like fighting gravity. When a client sees all the haul off they think of how great it is. :clapping:

When I started in this business I mainly did garden Rototilling in the Spring of that first year and being a perfectionist and having solid command with a Troy Bilt Horse tiller and leaving a freshly tilled garden area basically manicured…. the reactions were WOW!

My point is the services where a client can see a contrast of the before and after it is an easy sell and they typically know what they already want. As I stated in the original post I have not been very successful in swaying client out of power raking in favor of just aeration. People want quick results and they want it now.

Being a turf evangelist is an uphill battle. I was doing Purdue Turf Grass extension hand outs on the following: benefits of aeration, proper water sequencing and schedules, what thatch really is, healthy mowing heights etc.

All I have heard for the most part with few exceptions is: “can you mow it lower”, “can you bag the clippings that causes thatch”, “I had an award winning lawn in Walla Walla and I’m 87 years old done my own lawn nearly all my life so here put this Turf Builder on at double the rate every 4 weeks …. [Lawn is a thatch fest BTW]” Honestly there is so much confusion and conflicting info floating around out there.

yardguy28
03-01-2012, 10:18 PM
guess i don't worry about swaying the client one way or the other.

if what they want isn't helpful and necessary i flat out won't do it. they fire me, they fire me.

kennc38
03-01-2012, 10:23 PM
Got no problem with ya but you gotta understand some markets are differant than others and if you don't go with the flow per se you're the odd man out.
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This is so true, not just with lawn care but just about everything else. People are willing to pay only a certain amount based on the market and if you're charging twice as much as everyone else because you want to "educate" your customers or want to be a perfectionist and try to impress everyone, then you'll soon be out of business.

DUSTYCEDAR
03-01-2012, 10:24 PM
we are all in biz to make money
i have my ways to deal with my lawns problems and such
i do no mowing so i have to deal with the lawn guys crap from time to time
most work with me some dont care to
some of my lawns have never been aerated or thatched with a machine....
but i have my organic ways "insert evil laff"
:waving:

MV Property Care
03-03-2012, 11:34 PM
I push dethatching in the spring. We use a JRCO on a ZTR, we rake, then vac the lawn. Customers love it. I try to do it as part of a spring clean up.

I offer aeration in the fall.

Is there a vac attachment out there for a ztr? or do you use a pull behind trac-vac

Smallaxe
03-04-2012, 10:14 AM
This is so true, not just with lawn care but just about everything else. People are willing to pay only a certain amount based on the market and if you're charging twice as much as everyone else because you want to "educate" your customers or want to be a perfectionist and try to impress everyone, then you'll soon be out of business.

That is exactly why the better way is also the cheaper way, with overall long term benefits in regards to the health of the lawn...

your concept of charging twice as much, applies to the arrogant h.o. that believes dethatching and aeration is the only way to go...

It's like saying, "That mulch has been decaying in that perennial bed for 10 years, now...Could you clean that stuff out of there down to the bare sand and roots?"
It is really the SAME stupid minset as dethatching... :laugh:

yardguy28
03-04-2012, 10:35 AM
as far as de thatching being beneficial i think it is in certain situations.

i think a better way to reduce thatch is to aerate at least yearly and properly fertilize and mow your lawn.

whats wrong with removing the mulch from the beds. i know people who remove all there mulch from the beds every other year. a friends client removes all the mulch from the front beds one year then the back beds the next.

Smallaxe
03-04-2012, 11:08 AM
... whats wrong with removing the mulch from the beds. i know people who remove all there mulch from the beds every other year. a friends client removes all the mulch from the front beds one year then the back beds the next.

When I talk about mulch I typically mean wood chips/pine needles type stuff...

These types of mulch break down into the soil and enriching it in any number of ways... one of the most important duties of mulch up here is the protection against winter kill...

this year is a particularily good example of why we would like the benefit of well established mulch around the base of our Hydrangeas for exa... if we have lots of snow, well moistioned and thick root zones and stay above 15 degrees below 0, even the "Endless Summer" stems will keep 'living buds' 4 feet into the air...
this year, with this winter, and uncovered or poorly covered Hydangeas will be lucky if all its root tissue is alive... :)

yardguy28
03-04-2012, 06:00 PM
When I talk about mulch I typically mean wood chips/pine needles type stuff...

These types of mulch break down into the soil and enriching it in any number of ways... one of the most important duties of mulch up here is the protection against winter kill...

this year is a particularily good example of why we would like the benefit of well established mulch around the base of our Hydrangeas for exa... if we have lots of snow, well moistioned and thick root zones and stay above 15 degrees below 0, even the "Endless Summer" stems will keep 'living buds' 4 feet into the air...
this year, with this winter, and uncovered or poorly covered Hydangeas will be lucky if all its root tissue is alive... :)

your point is well taken. one question though. what mulch isn't made of wood besides rubber?

in my neck of the woods we don't keep "mulch" around plants for the winter.

Smallaxe
03-05-2012, 08:22 AM
your point is well taken. one question though. what mulch isn't made of wood besides rubber?

Pine needles, straw, stones

in my neck of the woods we don't keep "mulch" around plants for the winter.

I don't understand the reason for that at all... do you have vermin and disease problems?

yardguy28
03-05-2012, 09:43 AM
Pine needles, straw, stones



I don't understand the reason for that at all... do you have vermin and disease problems?

no, no vermin or disease......

Smallaxe
03-06-2012, 09:06 AM
no, no vermin or disease......

Well... then,,, why??? :)

yardguy28
03-06-2012, 10:19 AM
Well... then,,, why??? :)

just not needed.

sure the mulch from the season is left there but it's not piled around plants.

some plants are cut down to the ground for the winter others we just trim out any dead and others are just left alone.

could be that most people use only the plants designed in our climate. we usually have cold snowy winters. we use bushes, flowers, etc that will survive those winters without special treatment.

PNW Landscaper
04-02-2012, 07:17 PM
Hand tine in Spring, Machine in Fall.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
04-04-2012, 12:15 AM
I used to try and divert to aeration but people keep asking for 'dethatching' so I just give them what they want and explain to them (if they want to know) that power raking doesn't do much of anything to break the actual thatch layer.

Exact Rototilling
04-04-2012, 12:16 PM
I used to try and divert to aeration but people keep asking for 'dethatching' so I just give them what they want and explain to them (if they want to know) that power raking doesn't do much of anything to break the actual thatch layer.


Case in point. New clients lawn adjoins golf course and lawn is not very big. A referral from a neighbor down the street who is an aeration client.

I use my Plugr® modified step aerator and pull numerous samples in the lawn and actually show the client what REAL thatch is. Quizzed him on watering cycle, fertilizer type and frequency, mowing height etc. Sure enough over watering is the culprit and high nitrogen fert.

I tell the client if I use flail blades to actually chew down into the REAL thatch layer charge would be well over $250 and the lawn would probably have to be reseeded.

So we decided on a more aggressive spring tine power raking $150 followed by a $75 aeration next week if the weather cooperates.

---

Going to upsell him on organic and semi [bridge organic] product. Modify watering cycles. Upsell on molasses treatments.

Duekster
04-08-2012, 12:46 PM
In 5 years I have only had one Fall request for power raking. It is a Spring time rush here for this service. Same with aeration. Little to Zero interest in the Fall. I do a few aerations every late summer early fall but not many. I hope to change that this year. When I talk about Fall aeration with customers or potential clients they look confused ...:confused: 8 out of 10 think it’s for the Spring only. :hammerhead:

We aerate in the off season which is right before we apply pre-emergent